4 broken ribs and collapsed lung... fighting fear now

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by TwinCitiesRider, May 25, 2019.

  1. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    I love motorcycles. I love all the types of motorcycles and the activities related to motorcycles. In addition, I love the utility of commuting to work and getting around on bikes. My girlfriend is also a motorcycle addict, and fear is making me enjoy riding with her less which kills me. Two weeks ago a teenage driver turned in front of me while going through an intersection. I collapsed a lung and broke four ribs as a result of the impact. I'm still sore 2 weeks later but mostly recovered. The only thing that hasn't recovered quickly is my mind. I got on my other bike 5 days after the crash to ride with my girlfriend to a cafe and I just couldn't wait to arrive due to fear. I was hoping getting on the bike quick would get the jitters out, but didn't work. I've been making myself do short rides around my neighborhood since, but I'm worried I can't get back the peaceful state of mind I had before on a bike. I always rode with caution, but I was relaxed as well. I'm hoping this fades quick so I can be excited about riding again rather than anxious. I'm 27 with lots of years to ride ahead, I just hope those years are not plagued with this anxiety. I'm going motocamping next weekend with my girlfriend, hoping some dirt riding will get me back in the right mindset.
    Any body else been in a bad crash who can offer some assurance? How long did it take for you to feel calm on a bike? Any tips?
    #1
  2. txbear55

    txbear55 Been here awhile Supporter

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    I've crashed, but not as severe as you. I suggest just park the bike and wait until the urge really hits you to ride...could be a few weeks or months even. The bike will be ready when you are. If your girlfriend is a keeper, she'll understand and not pressure you. Good luck!

    As an aside, I have a good friend who was nearly killed on his bike a couple of years ago. It made me apprehensive enough that I sold my bike and did not ride for a year. Then I realized I was not done with riding yet, so I bought another. Headed for Alaska next Friday!
    #2
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  3. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Life isn't a race. Take your time and enjoy yourself. If you don't feel like riding, then give yourself time and just don't ride for a while. The best way to kill a good hobby is to turn it into a job, or force yourself to do it when you don't want to...
    #3
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  4. GR8ADV

    GR8ADV Safety Second!

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    Ok. So in the end, maybe not now, or maybe not in a while, but sometime, you will realize that fear is at your digression. When ever you decide.
    #4
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  5. skuzeee

    skuzeee Adventurer

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    This might sound stupid, but consider taking a motorcycle riding course, it might re-focus you, build your skills and serve as a "start-over".
    #5
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  6. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Off road racing. Hare scrambles or whatever suits your fancy. Will have you right as rain in no time.
    #6
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  7. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    Good call, I'll sign up for the next one in my area.
    #7
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  8. Boneheadnw

    Boneheadnw Adventurer

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    I completely agree. I've been in bad car, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents. I took my time to get through it and didn't force myself back into it. If you fear of anything takes control of your life, consider talking to a mental health professional. Sometimes just talking about what you are afraid of will help ease your fear.

    Bone
    #8
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  9. Midnightventure

    Midnightventure -

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    I had a bad one more than a decade ago. People would ask me if I was going to continue to ride. I always said I wouldn't know until I healed up. I had a Yamaha 650 maxim in addition to my touring bike at that time. Started on it. That first year I rode slower. Back tire on the Venture that usually wore out in 12000 miles lasted 15000. I eventually got back up to speed and maybe even a little faster. AT 63 I think I am slowing back down. I always remember the accident but the mental trauma does fade. I ride or drive through where the lady turned left in front of me 5 days a week most of the time and always remember it.
    #9
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  10. Motor7

    Motor7 Long timer

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    Taking a class or three is a great idea and it will build confidence. You also might have the instructors specifically re-create and analyze your crash. This might help you remember that there are many ways to help prevent such an accident in the future. Have an open mind, its not just about pointing out any mistakes you might have made. It's about teaching you to be better in the future about threat assement and escape options.
    #10
  11. donmac

    donmac casual angler

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    My comment is don't sell the bike too soon. I've been riding for 45 years. While I have not been down on the road, there have been times that I have not been able to ride due to various injuries, etc.. Every time I sold a bike during a time like that I wind up wishing I hadn't within a year or so. When bike-less for whatever reason there's a hole that is unfilled. I've finally clued in to the fact that that I'm better off just letting it sit than getting rid of it. For me, just knowing it is there tends to fill that void. Enjoy
    #11
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  12. Arbolmano

    Arbolmano Not so Studly

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    I’d reiterate others, be patient. I stopped for a few years after cheating death. Actually cool to come back to advances in technology and relearning fun too. Get a quality bicycle and build your skills.
    Tonto
    #12
  13. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    Their insurance might total it, but I'm already looking at new bikes and availability of used parts for repair if I decide to buy my bike back from salvage :). Luckily I also have a DRZ-400 so I have another bike to ride right now.
    #13
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  14. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    That's a great Idea, I'll ask. I was wondering the best course of action after the fact. They turned left in front of me when I was just entering the intersection. I believe they didn't see me and were trying to make the turn before the car 20 feet behind me. They stopped in my path right before impact. This made me wonder if braking or swerving would have been better. I braked hard and locked my front since I had less than 10-15 feet to stop from 35mph. Since they didn't follow through their turn I keep thinking a hard right swerve maybe could have gotten me just around their front. I do think I need to work on panic breaking though. I wouldn't have been able to stop fast enough, but I could have at least slowed while under control and hit them while upright at a slower speed. I'd be interested to hear an expert's thoughts on whether to swerve or brake.
    #14
  15. ShaftEd

    ShaftEd Long timer

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    Sounds like you are rushing things a bit. Did I read right that you broke 4 ribs and collapsed a lung two weeks ago and now you are prepping for an off road trip? I’ve had broken ribs and they take longer than 2 or 3 weeks to heal up. An off road crash could cause a problem at this early stage. I’m all for getting back on the horse but your body and your mind need more time to heal. Then when you do get back on the bike it will all flow natural without forcing it.:-)
    #15
  16. Master Cylinder

    Master Cylinder Adventurer

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    If you do sell your bike you will soon be seeing bikes on the street and your overwhelming desire to ride on the street will return. You’ll soon find yourself back in the motorcycle shops lusting after a new machine like a kid in a candy store. It’s just like a surfing addiction, surfers gotta surf...and riders gotta ride.
    Give it some time and the desire to ride will return. Also, you will have a new sense of awareness when you ride.
    I hope you heal up soon and get back on that horse when you’re ready. The horse will be there waiting patiently for you.
    #16
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  17. Mr. Ray

    Mr. Ray Glistening Shaft Supporter

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    I hurt myself pretty bad last year: broken LH radius, dislocated ulna and shoulder on the same side. In addition I broke my right ankle and shattered my tibial plateau. A bunch of screws and plates later and some serious pain intake has found me pretty nervous on the Moto. Take your time. I agree with the suggested safety course. It'll give you an opportunity to feel more in control of the bike with zero chance of interaction with cars. A track day would work too.
    #17
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  18. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Goat Herder

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    After my crash and seeing lots of idiotic drivers behind the wheel, I took a little over a year off and got into ATVs. But I couldn't fight it any longer and eventually jumped right back on.
    #18
  19. TwinCitiesRider

    TwinCitiesRider Adventurer

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    Thanks for all the responses everyone! Great to hear from other riders
    #19
  20. Motoriley

    Motoriley Still riding like crap after all these years.

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    Had a friend crash and get paralyzed. Really shook me up. Then had my first big crash. Somehow that affected me less. Both times I just waited till the urge came back. We have winter here so I think the mandatory 6 months off helps.
    #20