Riding after an accident?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by motoracer85, May 24, 2018.

  1. motoracer85

    motoracer85 Adventurer

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    I know many of us have been in accidents, so I thought this article could be useful for those who had troubles overcoming their fear of riding again.

    I've never truly contemplated giving up riding but my first time back on the bike was definitely nerve-wracking.
    #1
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  2. UKJeeper

    UKJeeper Been here awhile

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    I finally 'sucked it up' and got back on a bike after a 22 year break. I used to be a courier, In L.A, for about 5 years. Until my luck ran out, several times (4), in the last 5 months of riding. Three of those months were laid up with a broken shoulder.

    Took a lot to get back on two wheels, but I am loving it. I'm still plagued with mental movies playing in a loop, of the accidents I had, and what COULD happen, while I'm out riding. My confidence is slowly returning though.
    #2
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  3. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Caution: NO humans before coffee.

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    I totaled my first bike in college in 1980 and swore I'd never ride again. Two weeks later my roommate showed up with Kawasaki 650 and said I had to go ride it. My youthful invincibility was restored that day.

    I never did lose my wariness of potential left-turners though.
    #3
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  4. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I could not wait to get back on a bike after any and all crashes.
    My mind just does not seem to work on the negatives.
    #4
  5. Norty01

    Norty01 RIDERCOACH (RETIRED!)

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    Depends on if the crash cause can be isolated. If the cause can be examined, then hopefully a strategy can be developed to mitigate that risk to an acceptable level. This is the best way for a rider to "rationalize" a modification in their riding, or help them develop to be a better rider in the future. This is usually the "mental" side of a crash aftermath. Injuries bring in a whole other set of challenges.
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  6. BMWrider79

    BMWrider79 Here

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    Ha, my strategy is to go really slow in the corners I’ve crashed in. One is close by and now that I know it better I could ride it faster, but I don’t. The other I pass through once or twice a year and almost always stop and re-examine it - always coming to the same conclusion. I screwed the pooch that day. Else wise I really only fear getting too old to ride - it’s been a part of me since I was a kid with my face presses against the showroom window of a little bike shop.
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  7. telejojo

    telejojo Been here awhile

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    Went down hard on my KLR in mud and rocks (bruised ribs and shoulder).Every time I ride with these guys they think they are in a race so from now on I just slow down and let them go on.
    #7
  8. Chaostrophy

    Chaostrophy Been here awhile

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    I've only had 3 crashes, two were low speed brake over applications right when I was starting out (should have taken the class!), one was a freeway cloverleaf, and I was just putting along, I'd have gone slower in the rain, or faster if I felt like it, bike got all wobbly like I was a gp racer ;-) and then I fell off. I walked back, perhaps the pavement felt a little slick, but I couldn't see anything. I rode another five years, then stopped for 20 or so. It didn't have a big impact on my riding then, but it seems to now that I'm riding again. Then again, I've only been riding two months... We shall see.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    #8
  9. st3ryder

    st3ryder Been here awhile

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    I promised myself I would retire from riding, after my first crash, if I had 3 crashes. Still riding long after my 3rd. But, what I can't seem to "get over" is the programing/muscle memory/ brain-right wrist connection, I have when I come across an area of familiar road where I once had reason for caution or a close call. Could have been gravel at a corner, a car that crossed the line, standing water, tar snakes etc and so on.Everytime I ride on those stretches of road, I still slow down in expectation of a risk. Maybe that's kept me from my 4th, because it was easier to get back on my bike after a crash, in fact twice riding it home when there was no choice other than to get back on, than to totally "trust" the road.
    #9
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  10. GreyThumper

    GreyThumper Long timer

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    I've only had one crash, and I'm lucky enough that the cause of the crash was easily identifiable. It was my fault; I rode over a metal road expansion joint (and in the rain too), lost traction, and down I went. I've avoided them ever since (and am generally wary over any unavoidable metal, like a bridge), and fortunately, haven't crashed since then.

    I think it helps to decide that the crash is your fault, whether it actually is or not. At least you can clearly define some sort of behavior or skill change, then work on that. It helps to regain a sense of control.
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  11. Noxortus

    Noxortus n00b

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    High sided this last weekend riding off road, the cause was simply me riding beyond my limits. Gear limited my injury to a sprained wrist (which is unfortunate because I work in a motorcycle dealership) bike will need a little love to get it back into pre-crash shape, but it gives me something to do.
    #11
  12. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen Dirt Seeker

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    That's me as well. There's 2 I've had that I'll actually call crashes rather than just offs. Both times I was out in the garage straightening handlebars and hand guards, fixing turn signals, and just being around the bike from as soon as I could get out of bed to when I could finally ride again.

    I had some reservations about riding speed after the first one, but that disappeared after getting back to it. I wouldn't say I'm reckless or fearless, I'm just not controlled by fear and the precautions to manage risk. Quitting has never occurred to me.
    #12
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  13. DougA

    DougA Adventurer

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    I have had 3 low sides in the ~11 years that I've been riding and never considered giving up riding until I was rear ended on the highway while commuting to work last year. The bike was totaled and I considered not riding for about a week. However, 2 weeks after the accident I had purchased a new bike. I don't really thinkg about the accident, however I have modified how I ride. I was not wearing riding pants and as a result recieved some roadrash on my legs. I now ride in a Helite Airbag jacket & make a point to aways wear riding pants. Due to where I live & work there is no good way to commute to the office and avoid the lunatics on the roads in the morning. As a result I find I avoid highways more often now and commute to work on the bike less often. I know it's been said before in other threads but driver's today seem much more distracted and aggressive than they have in the past. I feel I can mitigate the risk of other drivers by riding for pleasure on back roads and avoiding high travel times & highly traveled roads.
    #13
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  14. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Those are just off's, I thought we were talking about after you get out of the hospital and get all your limbs working again.

    After about 3 months I got my wife to take me to the friends house that picked the bike after the crash.
    Felt SO good to be back on a bike again (DR650).


    #14
  15. CSI

    CSI Long timer

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    Wonder how many people have been in car accidents, and swore to never drive again?

    I have been lucky (knock on wood) in my riding "career".....I have had five wrecks..three were slide outs (on pavement) at under 35, and 2 were glancing blows to cars. Rode away from all five....fixed the damage, and got back on them the next day.........being too scared to ride again never entered my mind.
    #15
  16. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I've never had a serious bike crash (couple minor ones) but I was a passenger in a serious car accident. Gravel road, oversteer in a corner, overcorrected and we went off a bank and rolled a few times into a tree.

    Fortunately the bottom of the car hit the tree, if it had been the side or roof it could easily have been fatal, but we got away unscathed except for sore necks.

    Don't remember much of the crash, it's like I have three still photos in my mind — the initial slide, grass lit up by the headlights moments before the car nose dived into the ground, and the weird feeling of sitting sideways in a car and wondering if the other person is OK.

    Must be about 18 years later now, and I still find it difficult to be a passenger in a car. Even a bus or train is uncomfortable. But I'm perfectly fine driving or riding as long as *I* am in control.
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  17. William Wolfen

    William Wolfen Dirt Seeker

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    A couple cracked ribs and a couple cracked bones in my hands from one and a fractured heel from the other. In the first one I was knocked unconscious as well. I'd consider those crashes from an injury perspective. Maybe not big ones, but crashes. Offs (to me) are something you ride away from with a bruise or less.
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  18. MauiCowie

    MauiCowie Long timer

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    I used to be a casual, few hundred miles a year, type of rider. I always joked to myself that if I ever had a getoff and lived then I would give up riding. Had a somewhat serious getoff where I totaled the bike and screwed up my knee so I gave up riding. No big loss since I had plenty of other interests when I gave it up. Riding was not that important to me.

    Five years later I got into a conversation about riding with somebody and got the bug again so started looking and had another bike in less than two weeks. I had no trepidation about riding again due to my prior getoff.

    This time owning a bike was different in that I started touring instead of doing just day rides. This got me hooked on riding and I became much more of a "real" rider. After a couple of years of riding I had another getoff - lowsided into a ditch on a graveled turn. (Probably some target fixation involved.) I didn't really get hurt aside from some bruises and the bike was OK aside from broken levers and a heavily rashed fairing so I had to ride it home about 60 miles. After that one the thought of giving up riding didn't even occur to me. All I cared about was getting another bike so I parted out the crashed one and used the money to help pay for my next bike. I was back riding within a few months and my recent getoff didn't bother me aside from from the fact that I probably could've avoided it so I tried to learn from it and move on.

    The only time since I've ever seriously considered giving up riding was after somebody pulled an instant U-turn out of nowhere and I missed the car by about six inches at 40 MPH. Then the next day I saw a rider get instantly killed by an illegal left turner. Having both of those happen within a day of each other made me seriously consider giving up riding for a few weeks, employing a "quit while you're ahead" mentality. But I worked through it and kept riding, although it did force me to be much more cognizant of how fragile the human body is and what the very real risks of riding are.
    #18
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  19. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

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    An old lady in a car lurched over 3 lanes of the road right in front of me, flew over her hood and broke a collarbone. Probably my fault still, should've seen her coming. Back in the saddle 4 months later.
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  20. Richy

    Richy Long timer

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    Once I got a fold up cane, I was good. Carrying crutches was a pain.
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