Just a "Tad" Late Posting...

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Just a "Tad" Late Posting...

Postby Falken Hawke » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:34 pm

While in the middle of the fork rebuild for the 600R I remembered I meant to post here about my lowside. For a number of different reasons, mostly those involving lack of going online, I hadn't done this from February. February of 2016...

So here we go. Traveling on the highway I'm approaching an offramp. As I brake for the turn, I experience headshake. I release the brakes but now rather than making the turn close to the inside radius, I'm turning at the outer edge. You know, where all the little pebbles, dirt, and like debris all reside. Aren't I glad I have that "cushion" to maneuver just in case something goes wrong? Heh... :)

I'll pause here because I will now point out mistake #2 (I'll get to #1). While I normally leave myself a way out should anything happen, I did not further adjust to the specific conditions that existed in this particular instance.

So approximately 0.002 seconds later (more or less :D) I'm pointed directly at a flattened barricade sign that was left behind from previous work. There's no option to turn further and widening my turn puts me well into the guardrail. Head on it is. Split second prayer for the survival of my tires 'cause no way flat tires are going to survive 50 miles.

This, by the way is the mortal riding sin called OVERCONFIDENCE, A.K.A. mistake #3. See, normal people would be concerned about getting hurt or not alive at this point.

I stand the bike up just before hitting the sign and anticipate when the bike will settle to turn in again. At this point, there's a number of things going through my mind. Things like "be smooth", "limited traction", "look ahead"... you get the idea.

Upon checking the "evidence" after the fact, I made it another 20 feet or so before being ingloriously laid out on the pavement as my front washed out. Ironically, the last thought within the nanoseconds after my previous thoughts was along the lines of "I got this" except it came out more like "I g.....".

The next thought immediately after that was "Oh look, the guardrail. Is it close enough to touch?" I then reached up and touched it with my whole hand, arm not even stretched. "Freakin' awesome..." Shortly after that I realized my breathing wasn't working. Great... Roll onto your back, stretch out the diaphragm... Nothing to do but wait. Of course, this it when motorists that have stopped and gotten out of their cars come up to you and ask "Are you okay?". All I can do is give the "give me one second" hand signal.

I would never blame anyone for doing what this person does next but after asking two more times and I''m still responding with my "one second" gesture, she calls EMS. This is a problem for me personally because I am also a First Responder. The people responding will be people I know. As I know I am not seriously hurt, I know I am going to take cracks for this. For a long time. Relentlessly. Deep down, we're all a******'s :)

I'm finally able to force myself to breathe and talk again. I self check and then get out of my riding suit just in case there's an intern on the rig. They'll automatically go into massive trauma mode at accidents, especially motorcycle ones. I poke around for tenderness, make sure there's nothing moving around that shouldn't be, and then wait. I take a look at my riding suit. Nothing. I love it. Everyone should have riding gear, it's freakin' awesome :)

After the Paramedic takes a more detailed look around, I sign the appropriate documents and receive an accident report for insurance if I need it. The officer then asks how I would like my ride removed from the highway. "I'll ride it" I respond. This is one of those moments that body cameras are meant for because everyones reaction was hilarious. Just imagine a flash mob "Are you sh*****g me?!".

Well, let's go over it then. Right mirror broken, front brake lever snapped at breakaway point, right footpeg bent, right front signal lens missing a corner. Otherwise, rolls normally, suspension not binding, steering moves freely, no leaking fluids, starts and runs. Conclusion: Ridable.

Of course, the bike is P.O.d at me into the next decade, if not the next century, so just as I get my right foot up, the footpeg breaks off. For an hour or so, the toe of my boot is crammed somewhere not involving the swingarm. I never took a good look so I can't be sure exactly where it is. All I know is it's not a natural position to be in so stretching my right leg every so often became the norm on this trip.

I arrive at my revised destination, an acquaintances repair shop. I'm hoping for an aftermarket footpeg and brake lever that will work, but if not, I'll need to order the parts anyway. He didn't have any levers that would fit so he went to look at the bike. He then told me there weren't any footpegs that can work without the mounting bracket on the rearset :)

It was during this time he also told me that one of my fork seals was leaking. I went to look and found it wasn't just leaking. There was oil dripping on the fork tube. You know the seal is REALLY BAD when there's oil drips going UP the fork tube. I'm willing to bet this is the reason for the headshake that up until now, hasn't happened before.

I'm sure most of you figured out at this point why I call this mistake #1. Had I done a thorough pre-ride inspection, I would have found the leak and not taken the bike riding.

So, there it is. In a nutshell, I did not:

Do a thorough pre-ride inspection. Do one every time. It's not hard to do, you just look at the bike throughly.

Adjust for the situation. Remember to account for when things go wrong and that the situation is dynamic. Basically, leave yourself a way out.

Remember always, overconfidence is BAD. Just because I can do stuff doesn't mean I can do it all the time. Every situation is different and the situation is dynamic. That is actually the only constant in any situation.

Well, have fun, be safe!
Shyamalan said it was his kids that told him about Avatar, and that it was they that urged him to make the film.

Conclusion: Shyamalan hates his kids.
-jollyjack on Deviant Art-
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Falken Hawke
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