A Vent/ request for help/ideas/ is it normal to think like this?

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by canoli, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. canoli

    canoli human

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    On Sept 28th on my way home from work on my daily ( BMW F800 GT), a guy in an SUV made a left turn in front of me and launched me off my bike. I was doing 35 MPH and wearing all the gear. Still the impact broke one vertebra, shattered my wrist, screwed up my knee and a few other things as well. I never lost consciousness and the pain of everything was immense. I even remember wondering right after I was launched if a car was going to crush my head as I was laying in the middle of the road as I was unable to move.

    Lucky for me the woman behind me was paying attention and she actually help to stabilize my neck and kept people taking off my helmet until the EMT's arrived. I owe her, the level 1 trauma center and all the 1st responders my ability to walk.

    [​IMG]

    While in the hospital I had to be put on a ventilator for 2 days due to complications from anesthesia and there was a time where the docs weren’t sure if I was going to make it. Opening my eyes to see my wife crying while holding my hand while all the tubes were shoved down face is just one of the images burned into my brain from this incident. After 2 surgeries, and 6 weeks recovering I was finally able to go back to work. I have another "procedure" scheduled for tomorrow, I'm still in my back brace 20/ 7 ( I can sleep/ shower without it) going to physical therapy 2-4 times a week just to get back to where I was all those weeks ago and yes still in a lot of pain.

    The thing is this; This is my 3rd BIG motorcycle incident in 5 years. The first two were the result of racing motorcycles in the Australian Outback and I fully accept what happened in those cases and I learned from those mistakes. However looking back at what happened on Sept 28th, there is not 1 thing I would do differently. My bike had just gone through a major service by a certified and well respected factory trained tech a few weeks prior. My brakes, tires, controls etc.. were all in top shape. I was paying attention, used the powerful ABS brakes as soon as the SUV's tires started to roll and could not swerve to either side due to a drainage ditch and other traffic to the sides of me. In the past 8 years I've put over 80,000 miles on my bikes in no fewer than 10 different countries and never once had a single incident with my bike vs another anything. No traffic tickets, no nothing. I have taken the MSF class, practiced what they preached, and was even wearing an Icon reflective vest when I got hit. That is not to say I have never been hurt on a bike. The last 2 times I’ve gotten concussions, broken at least 4 ribs, broke my pelvis in 2 places and each time I had to figure out how to extract myself from the desert while in significant pain.

    This last off was a BAD one for me and I'm still in pain (physical and mental) as I sit here and type. I was even forced to (gasp) buy a car so I could get to work. A CAR!!!

    The car is nice enough for what I can afford, and it's 5 star safe but boring and I'm finding myself having dreams about getting another bike. But when I wake up and start really thinking about it, I get very very scared. Remembering the impacts, the pain that I am still in, the fear of being run over while I was sprawled out on the pavement, the fear of not knowing if I was going to walk again and the burden that would put on my wife, the quiet muffled voices in the ICU as I was getting worked on. Not sure of...well...rather not go down that dark path any more then I already have.

    So what is a middle aged kid to do? Keep the car and get another hobby ( sail boats?). Get another bike and prepare myself for the inevitable horrors? I’m not a Corvette type person and I can’t afford the really nice fast and safe cars that Top Gear drive so I don’t know.. trying to vent and hear some anonymous voices on this.

    Thanks guys for being “here”.
    Canoli
    #1
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  2. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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    Ouch. Glad you are on the mend. You will know if/when you are ready for another bike.
    #2
  3. jjxtrider

    jjxtrider questionable

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    Nobody can tell you what you should do other than opinions . Me personally would get another bike and maybe drive the car a little more often and bike on more ideal days . I know when I first started riding daily I'd have one or 2 "close calls" per year till these bright LED lights started coming out , I was an early adapter of them since we have a lot of woods rats and too much light is not enough . Since installing them I've not had much trouble with people turning in front or those starting to turn but suddenly stop instances . Rear brake light flashers and making a point to watch the mirrors at stoplight as well . Still traffic is low compared to other places so my mind may change in different areas.

    Plenty of people get maimed in cars as well .


    .
    #3
  4. Nurse Ratched

    Nurse Ratched Been here awhile

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    Riding a motorcycle is dangerous as hell. Ignore that fact at your peril.

    Each one of us decides if the risk is worth the pleasure.

    I struggle with that decision every day.
    #4
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  5. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    1. Buy life insurance, to protect your family.
    2. Buy another bike
    #5
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  6. rockydrxrvr

    rockydrxrvr Multi Meter Meathead

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    Location:
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    Guy next to me at a campground in Utah had a newer 4 cyl. 4 x 4 Toyota Pickup. He gave up riding 2 years ago, and so me thinks.....hey, that's not too bad of a way to still keep getting out for exploration. So---this is now my future bail out plan.
    Yeh, I get the talk all the time being 67 years old, ''Stop riding when you can,----not when you can't.''
    #6
  7. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    SMIDSY

    I use it every day and my perception is that it is a huge improvement in becoming visible.
    #7
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  8. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    Ouch.

    Heal up man.

    I'm confused about one thing; you had a drainage ditch to one side of you and traffic on the other side, so the left turner was going to drive into a car if you weren't there?
    #8
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  9. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

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    Would an air bag vest have made a difference in the outcome of your accident? All of the first hand accounts of those involved in accidents wearing one have praised the protection level of air bag vests. I am convinced they are a must have part of ATGATT.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #9
  10. canoli

    canoli human

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    Thanks. Yes there was a line of cars coming in the oppisite direction ( 2 lane rd) and the driver of the SUV was turning left into a gap in traffic. That gap opened right up just as the car was getting through the intersection but there was still a car and 1/2 to my left moving in the oppisite direction preventing me from swerving that way. You can monday morning QB this all day but the fact is, if I would have gone left I would have been squished. Right and I would have hit power poles, trees, and the ditch.
    #10
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  11. canoli

    canoli human

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    Saw the video on those and I was thinking the same thing. It really might of, but I also was wearing a jacket with good padding on it so who knows. It's one of those things that keeps me up at night.
    #11
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  12. 51%

    51% ReadyToRide

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    Give yourself some time, don't try to decide until you're ready. As already stated by NR, it's best to be mindful of the risks.

    I've found riding back roads or no roads to be what works for me most often anymore... less opportunity for the unpredictable actions of others to factor in. I do still enjoy a good twisty highway though. Commuting, not so much. When I'm just moving from point A to B in traffic, it's actually more relaxing to me in a protective cage, the bigger the better. Heresy, I know.
    #12
  13. lnewqban

    lnewqban Ninjetter

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    It is normal to think the way you do.
    Some people can forget traumatic events better than others.

    Some motorcycle accidents are very diffucult or impossible for any rider to prevent: yours is a good example.

    Only you can make a decision about the future of your riding.
    If resuming riding, you should be free of all fears related to this accident; riding in fear is very dangerous.

    Best wishes for physical and mental recovery.
    #13
  14. Ohthetrees

    Ohthetrees Been here awhile

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    My own risk analysis has led me to this: I don’t commute on my bike. I only take the bike out when I specifically feel it would be pleasurable to do so. No matter how safe you are, how good a rider you are, how good your safety gear, riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous. Not commuting cuts out a lot of miles, and a lot of seat time, that isn’t really very pleasurable anyway. When I do decide to go out, I’m engaged, I’m focused, and the conditions are usually very good. In most circumstances, those rides take me away from traffic, away from people, because I find riding lonely twisties, or on dirt, is a lot more fun anyway.

    Heal up, and best of luck to you.
    #14
  15. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    Here, but lost. Am I lost if i know i'm here?
    I'm not Monday morning quarterbacking this. I'm trying to understand it as I ride extensively and I want to know what you're situation was in case I end up in a similar. Clearly the left was not an option as opposing traffic was there.

    Was there a vehicle in front of you that they were waiting for or they just flat didn't see you? I've nearly been left hooked when following a car through an intersection and have changed my behaviour accordingly; I keep my distance and make sure there is a clear line of sight. If there is a clear line of sight and a car went ahead of me, I flash my high beams repeatedly and stand up briefly on my pegs. It's unusual to see a rider on their pegs on the street, and it (the motion of standing) draws (hopefully) the eyes of the opposing traffic left turner.


    I've also nearly been side swiped by a driver who was waiting for the car adjacent to him to pass him, and was merely looking for that space to be vacated, not looking for a motorcycle lane splitting. That's changed my behaviour too.
    #15
  16. Sandspur

    Sandspur Adventurer

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    I agree with mostly all of the comments and are glad to read that you are on the road to recovery. I commute about 90 miles a day and try to ride at least half the days of the year. Most days I enjoy the freedom of the ride, but some days I wonder why do I take such risks? I'm 49 and today I intend on riding well into my 60's, tomorrow I may decide something completely different. Do what ever makes you happy.
    #16
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  17. FTL900

    FTL900 White and nerdy

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    That kind of stuff keeps me up at night too. I have a few tactics that I use... clear left and right before moving into the intersection when my light turns green, try to pace another vehicle through intersections, and one I just recently learned, never put yourself between a car and a freeway exit ramp.
    Good luck with your healing and your choices.
    #17
  18. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

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    Just a note for the group here. Many of us think that the freeway is the dangerous place to ride and try to avoid it. Statistics say otherwise (in California).
    Since I spent some time studying the Berkeley report, the numbers show otherwise. Far smaller percentage of accidents happen on the freeway than off. And counter intuitive as that is.... far fewer wrecks for the lane splitters than for the full lane riders (again.. in California).

    Berkeley Report for your viewing pleasure

    I commute and lane split every day, for the very reason we all love to ride. Because, I love to ride. For recreation I don't choose to ride freeways over my backcountry twisty routes. . . .but it is pretty dramatically safer. I know. Head explody.
    #18
  19. canoli

    canoli human

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    Thanks guys. Really appreceate the input as mosyt of what you are telling me, my good friends and wife are also saying. I'll prob get back on a bike someday but my days of commuting with it are over.

    Canoli
    #19
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  20. canoli

    canoli human

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    I wish I could take a pic of the "intersection" where this happened as it is hard to illistrate otherwise. I was coming around a not blind but limited vis corner on a 2 lane rd with steady 35 mph suburban rush hour traffic in both directions. The conditions were near perfect. Sunny but not in anyones eyes, dry clear road and then there is a small housing development just after the exit of the corner bending around to the rt. I saw the truck and covered my brakes front and rear looking right into the eyes of the driver. There was a very small gap in traffic coming the other direction that the driver had tried to get into. In doing so, he accelerated VERY quickly then BOOM! His truck actually wound up in the ditch on the other side of the road. He was overly aggressive, didnt take the time to look and properly examine traffic flow and just wanted to get home. I'm not sure how he wound up in the ditch and honestly I dont care. He made a costly mistake that I now am paying for.
    #20
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