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Author Topic: It Can Happen at Any Time - Or It Was My Lucky Day!  (Read 638 times)
gurock1
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« on: June 28, 2017, 01:22:08 AM »

This weekend I took off for one of my weekends in Southeast Kentucky, but I had Brian with me.  On Sunday we were riding Kentucky 36 out just before Owingsville and Frenchburg (near Red River Gorge).  There is a spot with a series of very tight turns on a very narrow roadway with drop offs, guard rails and no shoulder on both sides.  I was riding the DN-01 and coming through these turns in the late afternoon when an oncoming pickup truck coming through hot, came over onto my side of the double yellow line.  In that instant I just knew that my left handle bar was going to contact his left side and death was imminent.  So I adjusted as much as possible to the right which took me onto cinders and within inches of the guard rail.  The move avoided contact with the jack ass truck, but washed out my front wheel on the cinders.  As that happened my mind knew that if I went off to the right at all I'd hit the guard rail and die, so I pulled left.  As the bike got off the cinders I knew that the bike was uncontrollably sliding out with no possible recovery.  The DN-01 is very low to the ground to start with and by that second the speed was probably scrubbed down to the 30s,  I let the bike out from under me and slid down the road on my rear end to a stop.

I was wearing kevlar blue jeans and didn't hurt my butt or legs at all.  The pavement tore a small hole in my riding jacket and made an abrasion on my forearm (about half the size of a dollar bill), and there's a bump and bruise on a shin.  That's all that happened to me.  As I slid to a stop my next thought was damm I wrecked my new bike.  So as a result of having lost 65 pounds dieting this winter I got my rear end up fast and was at the bike the same time that Brian got there.  We hurried up and picked up the bike to get it out of the path of traffic and I was shocked.  Apparently the Givi E 55 top-case is enough wider then the bike that it protected the bike from almost all damage.  There's a small scrape on the edge of the left mirror and a half dollar sized scrape by the side stand and on the left bar end.  That's it, the bike started right up, runs perfect and you need to look hard to find any damage.

When it was done we stopped a few miles up the road at the intersection of KY 36 and I 64.  I told Brian that I thought I wanted to go to the hotel in Lexington, gave him the map and directions so he could still ride the "Gorge" and I went to the hotel ate dinner, had a couple of drinks and went to sleep.  Monday morning I wasn't even soar so we rode down through the Daniel Boone Forest, through the Cumberland Falls area, over to Frankfort and up US 421 back to Indianapolis then home to Chicago (a 700 mile day).

BTW the jackass with the truck didn't even stop for me (What I'd give to have five minutes in a dark room with a rubber hose and the jackass).
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Liamjs
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« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 03:22:01 AM »

Lucky, no. You were well trained, well equipped and a seasoned rider who didn't panic. All hallmarks of someone prepared for a bad outcome. And due to your preparations, your situation turned out okay.

Success has been defined as the intersection of opportunity and preparation. While hardly an "opportunity", the situation demanded you to use the tools at your disposal to succeed in not hurting yourself. A lesser rider would not have been so "lucky". Many times We make our own luck.

Well done you.  

(Ps. I would choose a tire iron and a cheese grater for that dark room)
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 04:23:04 AM »

Glad you and the bike survived with minor damage. Full gear works. Unfortunately lots of folks come over the lines. Scary.
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 03:47:12 PM »

Whoa .. close call for sure!  Really glad you made out alright.  The jack ass didn't kill you but there is someone out there he will likely get yet.  Bet he was a kid with dad's truck.  And , didn't even stop !!??!! 

Reading you account Rich reminds us all of the possible dangers lurking around each corner.  It is like of refresher to keep the mind alert and dress properly for the task at hand.  So, thanks for the post.

Mike
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Maggie
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 04:07:40 PM »

Glad you are ok! So scary anymore out on the roads. I constantly scan for this especially in this day of using a phone and driving.


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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 05:45:19 PM »

Thanks everyone!  I think the Jackass was at least a little drunk, but I'll never know.  As much as he was endangering me on the wrong side of the line, I think that even more seeing that someone crashes and just keep going is morally worst. 

As much as I was happy that my reactions to the emergency did a lot to save me and that I didn't lose a riding season to something dumb like a broken arm or leg,  I know that these factors affected my riding and that without them there might be no story:

     1. It was late in the day and I was more tired.
     2. Like the above, I had eaten lunch within the last hour at one of my favorite diners down there with steak and potatoes.  Digesting makes you tired and defeats some of my best reactions and abilities.
     3. That I'd ridden from Indianapolis that day and was about 450 to 500 miles into the day which again tends to make my reactions a little worse.

I've always felt and believed that every mis-adventure on two wheels should teach me something.  My one, two and three above are a little of the lesson that I feel I've learned.  With as many factors going the wrong way as I typed above I should have known to be less challenging on those roads.  Also I need to loose a little of my competitive nature when I ride with Brian.  I taught Brian to ride and like to think that I can always "smoke him".  Part of it is that I can and that he doesn't understand and will brag to me about how good he is.  That's why even on the DN-01 Brian didn't get to where I was until I was getting up off the pavement.  At the same time it can be dangerous.  Even more so late in a long day and after a big lunch.


As long as I'm on the subject of lessons I've learned, another part is that different styles or roads are more conducive to different bikes.  The roads where there are a million turns and hills but that the turns aren't insane is a better road for the DN-01 or the FJR.  A road with many tight turns, blind turns, off camber turns and crazy hazards is better for the TMAX.  On this trip I wanted to take the TMAX, but I let Brian talk me out of it.  That's always a mistake.  Everyone needs to ride their own ride and when someone tries to talk you out of what seems to be right you should resist.  It all began because I have two lady friends in Indianapolis who had said that they wanted to go riding to Kentucky with me.  I can't tale two people as passengers on a bike, so I asked Brian if he was interested.  That's how Brian talked me out of the TMAX saying that it didn't have enough engine.  Then he convinced me not to take the FJR as it was "too fast" for him.  I know better then to listen to Brian and I know that at every rally Mark rides his TMAX with Dawn on the back and I have to use everything I have to keep up with him.  You can see that I wasn't making my best decisions and the two ladies backed out at the last minute.  The one said she was too scared and the other said that she didn't want Brian to feel bad when she went without her friend.  So we stayed over in Indianapolis Saturday night and left without them anyway.  BTW we did bring gear for them.  I won't even take a passenger without gear.  I think that every trip and every incident has a story behind it and that things have a way of becoming a conflagration of events.

I guess that the film and advertising for Draggin Jeans is true.  You can slide at speed a long way on your butt in those jeans and not get hurt.  They were Diamond Gusset jeans though.  Also (sorry Maggie) I learned that there are hidden virtues to a top case.  I'm sure that if the DN-01 could talk it would thank me for the top case, as the top case saved the bike thousands of fiberglass damage.
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Maggie
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 11:35:59 PM »

Finally a reliable use ;-)
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gurock1
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 12:19:40 AM »

See Maggie, I knew one day I'd find a redeeming quality for a top case.

BTW it only took me about ten years.
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sirkitrider-2
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 03:00:47 PM »

See Maggie, I knew one day I'd find a redeeming quality for a top case.

BTW it only took me about ten years.

Those lovely, beautiful topcases are lifesavers!

Gurock1, so glad you are mostly unhurt.  It can happen anytime I reckon.  Drivers over the center line are all to common here in TN.  I've had several close encounters with drivers either driving to fast or just day dreaming or brain dead ... across the center line in the wonderful curves of our area.  We have a lot of blind curves ... I try to expect it on every ride.:-(

Good analysis of your incident t... it should be helpful for all of us.

Sirkitrider
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2017, 04:41:09 PM »

Glad to hear you made it through all right with little damage. More, you were able to share the experience with us so that we can take your actions and the need to ride with awareness to heart.

I've come to the conclusion that I'll use my helmet cam for any serious road trips, especially in unknown areas and/or on a highway. I just did an hour long road trip to a friend's house where I recorded everything going, but didn't on the way back. Of course it was on the return trip that I had more close calls with a tailgating PU trick, then a sedan that insisted on coming into my lane -- a merging exit lane as I was coming on to a major Interstate. Luckily they backed off when I held my ground equally as I did my horn. They got the message an backed off, but I wished I had it recorded.

Are all the crazy drivers in the South, or is it because there are more 2-wheel riders there?

- Wolf
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sirkitrider-2
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2017, 05:17:30 PM »

....Luckily they backed off when I held my ground equally as I did my horn. They got the message an backed off, but I wished I had it recorded.

Uh, never take a knife to a gunfight!

Sirkitrider
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gurock1
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2017, 05:42:12 PM »

He's right about knives and gunfights, but I'd probably be like you rven though I know better.  This is a moment that the new last year to me FJR comes in.  I bought it from a police officer who had used it for off duty side jobs and installed lights and siren.  I've never put on the lights except in a parking lot for some firefighters.  But the siren has had a few moments.  The siren is like a very loud horn only better and probably less legal.
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 06:49:57 PM »

Glad you came through this with as few injuries and as little damage as the incident caused. Sounds like it was very close to catastrophe. Good on you for getting back up and riding more.
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2017, 02:06:34 PM »

Rich- I'm glad that the most serious injury seems to be to your pride. I'm also glad that your sense of humor has survived.There are some lessons to be learned, for sure, but it would seem that the most important one is SLOW DOWN! The fact that it took your friend quite a bit of time to catch up is  evidence of that. You-and I-also(I hate to bring up this point) aren't as young as we used to be and maybe the reflexes have slowed down a bit. I like you. I consider you a friend. I'd like to continue to have you around. I don't think I know any other person that has had as many 'episodes' as you- whether it's getting rear ended sitting at a redlight, or an animal running into the side of you, or an inattentive cager crossing over into your lane- you have to admit you've been fairly lucky. I hope your luck holds out!
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gurock1
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2017, 05:03:29 PM »

Bruce, I admit to having been very lucky and for the most part I have slowed down, however I think I let my self get egged on which was a bad idea.  Do however keep in mind that I spend more time and miles on top of a bike then almost anyone you're ever going to meet.  Not to say that there aren't a few that have me beat, but this accident made go back and figure that I've clocked over 60,000 miles in the last year.

If a guy clocks 5,000 miles in ine year on a bike that's not real unusual, but I'm probably expsoed to 15 or so times the risk as that guy.  I know a couple of fellows that have died in bike crashes, but more  of them are IBA guys then the rest put together.
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2017, 06:37:11 AM »

60,000 miles per year is way too much! Slow down and smell the roses. Riding huge distances can be plain silly. And I ride often. Enjoy every tree, every fence post. Relax.

I did a complicated ride a few weeks ago. A few guys on sport bikes got behind me on my Honda Forza 300. I pulled over and let them go. I next saw them picking up one of the bikes and its rider on a steep hill. He said he hit gravel. I saw no gravel and his buddies all made it with no problems.

Relax and enjoy life, it ends too soon.
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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2017, 02:59:02 PM »

60,000 miles!  Wow that's incredible! 
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gurock1
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2017, 04:16:26 AM »

Warm winters have some redeeming value.  Beyond that I do know that some people suffered for my good luck.  I also think that's why a Burgman 650 doesn't work well for me.  I beat up bikes too fast.  I also help support the tire industry with my habits.  Remember that sleep is for the dead.
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« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2017, 06:41:48 AM »

gurock1: Glad you are OK. Having one that you can ride away from (which is even better than one you
can walk away from) is a good thing. Another reminder that proper riding gear, even if it can be a wee
bit uncomfortable at times, is far better than being a candidate for casts, stitches and/or skin grafts or
in worst cases, caskets or urns... 

I had a close call just last Friday. (6-30-17)  Didn't need to end up testing the protective qualities of my
new ALPINESTARS Andes Drystar jacket and pants, new Speed and Strength gloves and new HJC IS-MAX 2
Magma modular helmet but happy that I have them if need be. Though I don't think they would have helped
had I been a victim instead of being a close up (VERY close up!) observer in that event. I'll explain that in
another posting I'm calling "Today's Adventure: My 2 left feet".
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2017, 03:51:44 AM »

Lucky, no. You were well trained, well equipped and a seasoned rider who didn't panic. All hallmarks of someone prepared for a bad outcome. And due to your preparations, your situation turned out okay.

Success has been defined as the intersection of opportunity and preparation. While hardly an "opportunity", the situation demanded you to use the tools at your disposal to succeed in not hurting yourself. A lesser rider would not have been so "lucky". Many times We make our own luck.

Well done you. 
Well said sir.
Keeping your cool in a moment like that and having the right gear on was the key to success. Glad you made it without any serious injuries.
ATGATT
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