On the memorable date of 07/07/07, some people got married. On the memorable date of 07/07/07, I experienced a highsider. Imagine a beautiful day with blue sky ... the first one after too many days of rain and cold. We are leaving for a week of holidays with friends in Burgundy. From Lausanne, this means a relaxed 3-hours ride. My lady will be going with friends in a car and back with me on the bike, so we prepare our luggage. While I'm trying to sort my clothes and other stuff - in other words, the usual last-minute pre-holiday preparation - , I receive a message from a friend, saying that her father (79 years) is seriously ill and in the hospital. Both are good friends of mine, so we spend a while on the phone ... but she encourages me to go for holidays, and so each of us continues his business. My trusty R80GS is loaded as usual, Pirelli MT21 front, Mitas E09 rear, tire pressure fine, I'm in full ATGATT dress, and off I go. It's a beautiful road into France, many bends and curves covered with the usual, varying, coarse, typical french countryside tarmac. I know this road quite well, it's a pretty lonesome twisty that is close to our house and that I might call my “sunday morning ride”. I also see that the road is still wet in places, yet the tires stick well. Almost no traffic, sunshine, I'm in a relaxed mood and swing through the corners. Until I'm coming around that right corner. Coming around one right corner, I notice that the bike is drifting on both (!) wheels. Speed must have been somewhere in the 40..50 km/h range. I don't recall if it was the front or rear wheel that started, or if it was indeed both – but what I remember is that I did not go down in that moment. Yikes! Bike is sliding, I'm still sitting on it. Bike is still sliding, into the opposite lane. No traffic at all. Handlebar is wavering a bit; must be due to the “non-grip”. Bike is slowing down, we're slowly getting upright ... and ... I'm still sitting on it! Wheaouw! Would someome take a picture please?! Whew. And we're aligned along the road. If I'm a bit lucky I might ... Wham. Something slams into the right side of my body, and the next thing I remember is that I'm hanging in the air. Next, the right-upper front of my helmet touches the ground. I'm coming down over my right shoulder and roll on my feet. I'm now crouching right at the edge of the road, flip my helmet up and recognise that I'm breathing violently for a while. I scan my body and find no particular damage – I can move freely, do not feel dizzy, just “a bit” confused since I do not yet fully understand what just happened. It takes me a while to note that the impact that I received went into my right chest, which probably emptied my lungs ... so my body was now gasping for oxygen. Now ... switch the engine off. I turn around and see the bike just a few steps behind me, standing almost upright in the ditch at the side of the road, and perfectly aligned parallel to the road. To the opposite lane, that is. Looking at the damages on the bike, I can only presume that this was a highsider. I think that that the bike flipped over to its left side under me, leaving me “hanging” in mid-air. The blow that I received into the chest was eventually from the right rear mirror, which would also fit to a bruise on the right upper leg (handlebar?). The bike would then continue to roll and slide onto its front until it was upside-down, ripping away the instruments. Reaching soft ground, it would flip over the handlebar and land - almost upright - in its final position. I jump forward and grab for the key. Now where is that key? Or better ... where are ... the instruments? The speedometer? The whole cockpit is missing ... sh******t! This is going to be expensive. Since the engine is switched off, I step back and try to relax a bit. Helmet off, gloves off, Jacket off. Close gas petcocks. I grab the cellphone from the tankbag to inform my lady, but this area is so far from the next village that there's no way to fetch any signal. OK, we will talk later. Not much she could do now anyway. Now ... shall I take a photo? I admit it: I didn't. I was just not in the mood to. I ride this bike for 17 years now, and it was just too sad to see her damaged like that. A few cars pass by and ignore my signals. Since there is no chance to get the bike out of the ditch on my own, I start to look at the details. Instruments are mostly gone, just the cables are there – cleanly pulled off at the ignition lock. The handlebar is bent upward, clutch lever assy is shifted about 2 cm inwards so there must have been some violent impact on the left end of the handlebar. Clutch and brake lever are intact. Cover of brake fluid container is scraped but still sealing. Kill switch is turned 180 degrees around! Both handguards are intact but scraped, and covered with dirt. Front wheel sits at a strange angle under the mudguard. Tank has a small dent at the right front side, where the fork slammed into it – which means that the lower triple clamp is damaged, too (the “nose” that limits fork movement is almost sheared off). Tank bag and both hardbags are still firmly attached to the bike, due to the straps that I always use. GPS and holder are fine and still working (“no signal” since we are in the forest). Some fluid starts to leak out under the bike; I presume it's gas since the tank was pretty full, so I decide that I should position her more or less upright instead of letting her lean for a longer time. During this time, a bicycle rider stops by and asks if I need help, and yes, I do. Together, we try to pull the bike out, and I recognise that this man must have some experience in off-road matter: Instead of pulling wildly here and there, he grabs and rotates the front wheel by the spokes. Anyway, the bike is too heavy, and I take the bags off. While fiddling with the tank bag, I notice that I'm still quite shaken since I need three trials to get it off the bike. It's quite interesting to observe yourself in such situations: You think about taking pictures for AdvRider, but you forget how your tankbag straps works ... With all that activity, I notice that I'm extremely thirsty. Good thing to have that 1.5-l-bottle of water with me. A few cars and motorcycles pass, but ignore our signs. Finally, a car driver understands and stops, and the three of us roll the bike out of the woods. I'm back on the roadside, phew! And the bike looks as if I could get home with her. Now I “just” need to find out the contacts: The ignition key has three positions, and a total of five cables. After a few trials with the VOM that I always have in the tankbag, I find the two wires that are needed to start, and she fires up on the first try. Good girl! The bicycle rider has been waiting until that point, so he was sure that I could get on by myself. I can merely say “thank you so much”, then he's gone. I doubt that he might ever come across these lines, but - “Merci mille fois!” I take the tools out and roughly adjust the handlebar etc., so that I can ride. I collect the shattered parts (speedometer and various other parts), pack the luggage, put on my gear, and manage to ride the 30 km home (at very low speed, of course). The bike behaves not too badly, but anyway: as soon as I arrive home I start disassembling most parts of the the front fork to reduce strain on the material. Since I feel not too bad, I will go for holidays anyway. I drop a phone call to my lady to inform her, relax a bit, and then I take the car. I arrive in Burgundy four hours later, with a slight headache and sore muscles but otherwise OK. During the next days, I need a lot of sleep and avoid shaking my head too much since I can literally feel my brain dangling around ... but otherwise I'm pretty much OK. PS. The week in Burgundy was indeed nice – albeit we had lots of rain in the first days, there's quite a lot to see, and of course wine and food are excellent!