Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sometimes, shit happens

I’ve been on the road now for an even 24 years almost to the day, I turned 40 in June and got my license at 16, and one thing I have learnt with any certainty as a motorcyclist is that sometimes, shit just happens.
If you've been following at all you'll know I've been holidaying in the UK recently and have just returned back home to Australia. I thought I had recuperated well on the Saturday, after arriving on Friday night with a good seven hours sleep and a massive fry up for brekky, so around mid-morning I just badly wanted out on the Hyper. So I did and it felt incredible. I felt so alive and the bike was simply singing, its 90 horses of desmodromic hutzpah propelling me forward with a sense of urgency. I was only going a few kms up the road for some spa chemicals initially, but it was sunny and that seemed too short a ride to even get that milky colour out of the oil and up to operating temperature, so I kept going.

 I thought I'd drop in on my mates Wombat and Murph for an Aussie bloke fix (the best place you can go for BMW parts) at Discount Motorcycle Wreckers and say g’day, as you do after holidays. So I tucked in left into Dawson Street approaching this tight-ish right to left chicane. It had been dry all morning my way, but over there it had rained and the chicane was still wet. First rain kind of wet, not torrential wet that might clean crap off the road type wet, just annoying, slippery, shitty wet. From memory I gently pushed the bar down into the right, then I as I shifted my weight and leant it left I had a major tank-slap outta nowhere, smashing the left mirror somehow (into me? the tank? the ground?) before it slapped hard again in that typical jack-knife motion a caravan usually does, then low-sided me off onto both knees in prayer position at about 30-40kms. I remember it happening in slow motion (frame by frame, live flashback of every option for recovery evaporating as the rear wheel just vanishes from under me) and cursing out loud 'OH FOR FUCKS SAKE' as the bike slipped away from me and slid down the road…

 It’s always good to crash in front of people, ya know, for your own egos benefit, specially industry people so the folk at the Crash Shop mere metres from my destination just stood there looking at me stupidly. It was a highly unexciting tumble. They heard me do the ‘FF’S more than the crash itself I think, so I stopped with the genuflections and stood up laconically looking at them with a shrug as if to say ‘what do you do’. Then one of the guys came out to help me lift it up - I was struggling pathetically with a busted up thumb and sore knees - and he goes 'everyone does that on this corner'. Typical, I think even Murphy or Wombat may have told me that once or twice before. Overall I have come off worse than the bike as I reckon my left thumb bent backwards as I went down both knees first then stuck my hand out, before doing a race roll of some sort (clunk bang goes the melon).
I swear it isn't normally that colour, or fat

My right knee has blown up like a balloon made out of hemorrhoids so I've got a wicked old-man limp and limited 'bendability', plus the left knee is bruised up too. As for my Hyper, all I can say is they crash well at low-speed. Must get some sliders sorted out as that would've reduced the damage, unfortunately the front left fork has what looks like shaving rash of the metal variety, which I’m sure could’ve been avoided with some fork sliders. I've done both bark busters

shaved the right side tank panel

 and the right peg and rear brake are all scuffed up to shit.

  I must've rolled in there somewhere, because there are two scuff marks on my lid meaning that has to be replaced – not worth the chance with lids, once they hit the ground, they're gone IMHO.
Looks minor but it's on two sides and that's enough for me.

My Dainese Ducati jacket rescued me, but took the hit itself and has a nasty non-waterproof tear in the left arm, so it looks like an insurance claim is on the cards. Dammit. I hate needing it but am thankful it is there for times like this, although I hate to think what might happen to my premium. Be good to me QBE if you are listening.

Not even three months old, sad.

I don't mind being a bit broken strangely enough, it gives me time to think it through, learn from my mistakes and remember never to forget to, first and foremost, always respect your bike. Accidents and slippery wet roads exist - it’s a fact of biker life – but I'll not stop riding because of it, or sell it because it’s ‘too dangerous’ blah blah blah, I can't wait to get it back and my knee to heal and hit the road again (just not literally this time). Bikes and roads can be unpredictable at times, and, well, shit happens. Always wear your full gear – ATTGATT – no matter how short the distance you think you might be going, you might just decide to go a little bit further and shit will happen to you. I’ve read statistics that say many accidents happen closer to home than you might think. In front of people so you look a twat.

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