You realize that you are quite close to your destination as you fill up for what would be the last time. It is amazing how fast you got to this point after you stopped caring about getting there. The last leg is a bittersweet return to Las Angeles along the beautify beach road that cuts through Santa Monica and Malibu. Now it is officially hot, and you find yourself longing for the morning chill feels like years ago in a different world. The traffic grows in intensity, the coast lined with RVs and beach goers. Now you are morning the loss of the peaceful ride, once again concerned with the cars, the trucks, the stop and the go. Eventually you do find your way through the hot streets of the city to drop off your ride. Only much later, easing into you chair in a jet high above the earth, can you contemplate the whole ride for what it was. You remember the high points and the low points. You feel a slight bit calmer, and you hold with you that infinite crashing blue Pacific, finally on the way home.

November 5, 2012 1 Share this

Energy of the morning sun courses through your body as you drop out of the mountains onto an epic coastal valley. The symphony of curves and switchbacks builds to a crescendo, now one note, one loud tone that is the road. Picking up speed the wind whips into your helmet, fresh sea air, salty, with bits of hot seaweed here and there. You howl into your helmet, each breath pulling in exquisite life. Beaches cut into the lowlands as the asphalt elegantly curves over lower hills and smaller cliffs. More bits of rock pop out of the low sea, and more and more you see virgin beach land, pilled with driftwood, slowly caressed by what appears to be a calmer ocean. You are cooking now, making good time, eating up tarmac as you rocket south.

The air is frigid in the morning. There is light but no sun, a blue hue washing over the land. The chill wakes up up faster then a cup of coffee as you rocket off from this overnight, glad to be back on the road, now free of everyone. Only cars seem to pass you on the left, no one is behind or in front. It is just you on this little line drawn around the mountains and the sea. Again you long for those patches where the sun warms you, only this time it is different, the intensity grows each time. The angle of the sun is so low you are blinded as you drive towards it.

Only a small patch of road ahead of you is visible, every bit of quartz in it glowing with the intensity of the dawn. They slip toward you and under you like millions of stars. Here is that trance you were looking for. Here is that moment you will remember most deeply when the trip is done. The large cat tails that line the road glow with a fire of the morning sun. The sun shoots right through you, the sky, you, the road, the mountains, the sea. One line connecting you with the world. Time isn’t your concern, you have no pictures to recount it, and you are not really sure how long you were cutting through the curves of Big Sur, and you are pretty sure part of you still is.

Rising into the mountains now you sense you are getting to that no man’s land you have read about and wanted to see. You filled up at the last town expecting not to see another station for miles. The sun is low in the sky now and the shadows of dusk are creeping over the hills. The air is getting much colder now and you long for the south eastern roads where the sun warms you, before you cut back out to sea, twisting along shadowy roads, the massive fingers of these mountains clawing into the Pacific.

You are here now, Big Sur, alone on the edge of the world, alone in the fading day. The cold and darkness and fatigue has become too much, it is time to stop for the night. There are ancient motels along the way, any one will do. It is nice to have a warm meal and a few pints and soak up the local color. Everyone here is quieter than you might expect. It’s the road that is in them. They are moving north or south, they have not come here but for the tire and mental exhaustion of travel. Some are drifters, speaking strange phrases, huddled in blankets out side. Some are local workers, eager to share a piece of their world.

One couple you speak with has been stranded here by a broken car, having traveled the country up and down in search of something; maybe they are doing what you are but just got lost along the way. The image of the girl won’t soon leave you’re mind; naturally beautiful, her blond hair in dreadlocks and the rest covered by a shabby collection of jackets. You hope their luck turns around as you drift off into a deep sleep.

Here and there along the coast you stop to take in the glorious view. Your stops are brief as it would all too easy to simply sit down and bask in the warm late afternoon sun, perhaps lulled to sleep by the infinitely crashing waves. At times the cliffs break away and massive crags jut out of the foam. Perhaps only birds have had the fortune to land there and listen the the waves ever smashing against the sides, slowly changing the epic rocks. You realize that as you gaze into the see you are looking at geology that only you will ever see. The next person will see something slightly changed by the slow procession of time.

Your mood now shifts slightly as you begin to ponder the epic scale of the ocean and the unceasing surge against the coast. Eons have passed and little has changed here. Still the water against the land. The pacific does not care about you and your troubles. It will always be there an always has.

October 30, 2012 0 Share this

The city is long behind you and the road winds like a ribbon tossed at the edge of the sea. To your left green hills rise and fall, to your right the Pacific occupies your periphery. Massive sandy cliffs rise up out of the beach as you gain elevation. The population dwindles and only a few cars pass you or come up behind. Here and there another bike, probably doing the same thing as you. The massive beaches touched only by a few foot prints or an off roader, its tracks long since eroded by the surf.

The stress wavers slightly and you think you are a little less tense. The waves lapping at the beach, the drone of your engine, and the white noise of the wind serves to clam you somewhat. Still you are excited at what is to come, you know it will be a while before you can completely let go, get into that trance that calls you back, again and again.

October 29, 2012 3 Share this
A lot of people have been asking me recently “what happened” because this past weekend I crashed my motorcycle and got pretty banged up. I wanted to write a post to both explain how it happened, and more importantly share some lessons learned to prevent this in the future and reiterate some points that probably saved my life.

How It Happened

I was riding home at about 5:30PM on a Friday. The weather was fantastic. It was a really enjoyable low traffic ride up Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. I was going to my sisters for some beers and to have a relaxing evening. My route brought me up out of the park on Adams Mill road, where I would turn around south on to Irving Street and shoot over to Columbia heights. This was a bit of a hair pin turn, coming up hill and around a little. See this map:



I took the turn a little wide so I could get the bike around and I’m guessing the back wheel caught this big gravelly patch I only noticed later and started to skid as I powered out of the turn. It also just occurred to me the bike could have been slightly upset by coming up the hill a little. I’m not sure. So my best estimate is that the rear wheel continued to skid around the front and the bike got squirrelly. When the traction resumed the bike flipped forward tossing me off of it. See this sketch:



I was tossed from the bike, landed, then slid for a bit. It was very slow motion as these things seem to be, with a scary internal dialog like this:


  Oh shit I am flying through the air.
  
  I’m not wearing my jacket and my arm is about to hit the ground.
  
  My skin is going to be torn off to the bone.


CRACK (Helmet hits ground.)

WOOOSH BUBMBUBDFAFUOIELealre235800s8df023 (Body slides along ground into curb.)

Lots of cursing and catching of breath. Looks at arm.


  Oh thank goodness. Big scrape. But no bone.


See this annotated picture:



A variety of very nice locals helped me get my bearings, righted the bike, and called the ambulance. I landed on my face/right shoulder and right forearm. The helmet took a lot of abuse:



As did my arm:



And I was lucky not to break any bones in my shoulder, but for a time it felt and seemed like it might have been dislocated as I could not lower it once I had raised it for a while. It hurt like hell for maybe then next 24 hours, but as I write this it is getting back to normal.

I consider myself very lucky to have come out of this with a bunch of scrapes and bruises but no broken bones or major internal damage. I’d want to publicly thank all the unknown pedestrians who helped me and the EMTs and Trauma staff at George Washington University Hospital.

Lessons Learned

I have no one to blame for this accident other than myself. So I did a lot of reflection on it and came up with these lessons that I’m always going to remember:

Wear your mother fucking jacket. - I have a rather nice and expensive Alpinestars riding jacket similar to this. It has massive armor plates in the shoulders and on the arms. It is really thick leather. Did I wear it? No. Why? Maybe cause I liked the wind over my t-shirt. The real reason is because I’m and idiot. I probably could have walked away from this if I had the jacket on. So I will always wear my jacket regardless of the conditions or length of ride.
Go easier in turns you don’t know. - I really had not taken this turn on a bike before. I was overconfident and made assumptions on how the bike would handle, and gave it too much gas on the way out. Had I taken it much slower I could have corrected or stopped a skid. Or at the worst would have had less injuries. I also could have noticed the gravel which brings me to:
Watch out for gravel! - Gravel, dirt, oil, wet leaves; all of this could cause your bike to slide even at very low speeds. Keep an eye out. Always scope out the turns for any of this, and if you see even a little, really slow down, maybe even just power walk through the turn even. If you see any of this there could be a lot more that you don’t see. In my particular case the bank of the road and the incline of the hill made it tricky to see the big patch until it was too late. 
Always Remember

Finally it’s worth reiterating some general tips and things that I did do well.

Get a VERY good, full face helmet, wear it. Every. Single. Time. - I’m gonna say it. My HJC AC-12 probably saved my life. I can almost guarantee without it I would have had a broken nose, concussion, probably broken cheek bone, skin torn off of face, at a minimum. Could have just died. Never, ever, ever. EVER skip the helmet. I won’t judge those that ride without, if and only if, there is no one else that cares about you, which I doubt. 
All gear, all the time - With the exception of my jacket (see above) I had on a sturdy pair of jeans, great gloves, and ankle high leather boots. All that really helped cut down on the abrasions. I was surprised after inspecting my jeans which were cut off of me at the hospital:That there were no major cuts or scuffs on it and my legs were in great shape. You never plan to crash your bike. So wear all your gear no matter how not it is. A little sweat is better than a blown weekend, road rash, a busted bike, etc.
Conclusion

So the bike is beat up, I still have to pick it up. Fortunately I was gonna replace most of the parts that were damaged anyway. I’m glad to be alive and well. I still love motorcycles and will get back in the saddle with some new found appreciation soon. If this post or my experience prevents even one accident then it was all worth it.

Ride safe.
A lot of people have been asking me recently “what happened” because this past weekend I crashed my motorcycle and got pretty banged up. I wanted to write a post to both explain how it happened, and more importantly share some lessons learned to prevent this in the future and reiterate some points that probably saved my life.

How It Happened

I was riding home at about 5:30PM on a Friday. The weather was fantastic. It was a really enjoyable low traffic ride up Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. I was going to my sisters for some beers and to have a relaxing evening. My route brought me up out of the park on Adams Mill road, where I would turn around south on to Irving Street and shoot over to Columbia heights. This was a bit of a hair pin turn, coming up hill and around a little. See this map:



I took the turn a little wide so I could get the bike around and I’m guessing the back wheel caught this big gravelly patch I only noticed later and started to skid as I powered out of the turn. It also just occurred to me the bike could have been slightly upset by coming up the hill a little. I’m not sure. So my best estimate is that the rear wheel continued to skid around the front and the bike got squirrelly. When the traction resumed the bike flipped forward tossing me off of it. See this sketch:



I was tossed from the bike, landed, then slid for a bit. It was very slow motion as these things seem to be, with a scary internal dialog like this:


  Oh shit I am flying through the air.
  
  I’m not wearing my jacket and my arm is about to hit the ground.
  
  My skin is going to be torn off to the bone.


CRACK (Helmet hits ground.)

WOOOSH BUBMBUBDFAFUOIELealre235800s8df023 (Body slides along ground into curb.)

Lots of cursing and catching of breath. Looks at arm.


  Oh thank goodness. Big scrape. But no bone.


See this annotated picture:



A variety of very nice locals helped me get my bearings, righted the bike, and called the ambulance. I landed on my face/right shoulder and right forearm. The helmet took a lot of abuse:



As did my arm:



And I was lucky not to break any bones in my shoulder, but for a time it felt and seemed like it might have been dislocated as I could not lower it once I had raised it for a while. It hurt like hell for maybe then next 24 hours, but as I write this it is getting back to normal.

I consider myself very lucky to have come out of this with a bunch of scrapes and bruises but no broken bones or major internal damage. I’d want to publicly thank all the unknown pedestrians who helped me and the EMTs and Trauma staff at George Washington University Hospital.

Lessons Learned

I have no one to blame for this accident other than myself. So I did a lot of reflection on it and came up with these lessons that I’m always going to remember:

Wear your mother fucking jacket. - I have a rather nice and expensive Alpinestars riding jacket similar to this. It has massive armor plates in the shoulders and on the arms. It is really thick leather. Did I wear it? No. Why? Maybe cause I liked the wind over my t-shirt. The real reason is because I’m and idiot. I probably could have walked away from this if I had the jacket on. So I will always wear my jacket regardless of the conditions or length of ride.
Go easier in turns you don’t know. - I really had not taken this turn on a bike before. I was overconfident and made assumptions on how the bike would handle, and gave it too much gas on the way out. Had I taken it much slower I could have corrected or stopped a skid. Or at the worst would have had less injuries. I also could have noticed the gravel which brings me to:
Watch out for gravel! - Gravel, dirt, oil, wet leaves; all of this could cause your bike to slide even at very low speeds. Keep an eye out. Always scope out the turns for any of this, and if you see even a little, really slow down, maybe even just power walk through the turn even. If you see any of this there could be a lot more that you don’t see. In my particular case the bank of the road and the incline of the hill made it tricky to see the big patch until it was too late. 
Always Remember

Finally it’s worth reiterating some general tips and things that I did do well.

Get a VERY good, full face helmet, wear it. Every. Single. Time. - I’m gonna say it. My HJC AC-12 probably saved my life. I can almost guarantee without it I would have had a broken nose, concussion, probably broken cheek bone, skin torn off of face, at a minimum. Could have just died. Never, ever, ever. EVER skip the helmet. I won’t judge those that ride without, if and only if, there is no one else that cares about you, which I doubt. 
All gear, all the time - With the exception of my jacket (see above) I had on a sturdy pair of jeans, great gloves, and ankle high leather boots. All that really helped cut down on the abrasions. I was surprised after inspecting my jeans which were cut off of me at the hospital:That there were no major cuts or scuffs on it and my legs were in great shape. You never plan to crash your bike. So wear all your gear no matter how not it is. A little sweat is better than a blown weekend, road rash, a busted bike, etc.
Conclusion

So the bike is beat up, I still have to pick it up. Fortunately I was gonna replace most of the parts that were damaged anyway. I’m glad to be alive and well. I still love motorcycles and will get back in the saddle with some new found appreciation soon. If this post or my experience prevents even one accident then it was all worth it.

Ride safe.
A lot of people have been asking me recently “what happened” because this past weekend I crashed my motorcycle and got pretty banged up. I wanted to write a post to both explain how it happened, and more importantly share some lessons learned to prevent this in the future and reiterate some points that probably saved my life.

How It Happened

I was riding home at about 5:30PM on a Friday. The weather was fantastic. It was a really enjoyable low traffic ride up Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. I was going to my sisters for some beers and to have a relaxing evening. My route brought me up out of the park on Adams Mill road, where I would turn around south on to Irving Street and shoot over to Columbia heights. This was a bit of a hair pin turn, coming up hill and around a little. See this map:



I took the turn a little wide so I could get the bike around and I’m guessing the back wheel caught this big gravelly patch I only noticed later and started to skid as I powered out of the turn. It also just occurred to me the bike could have been slightly upset by coming up the hill a little. I’m not sure. So my best estimate is that the rear wheel continued to skid around the front and the bike got squirrelly. When the traction resumed the bike flipped forward tossing me off of it. See this sketch:



I was tossed from the bike, landed, then slid for a bit. It was very slow motion as these things seem to be, with a scary internal dialog like this:


  Oh shit I am flying through the air.
  
  I’m not wearing my jacket and my arm is about to hit the ground.
  
  My skin is going to be torn off to the bone.


CRACK (Helmet hits ground.)

WOOOSH BUBMBUBDFAFUOIELealre235800s8df023 (Body slides along ground into curb.)

Lots of cursing and catching of breath. Looks at arm.


  Oh thank goodness. Big scrape. But no bone.


See this annotated picture:



A variety of very nice locals helped me get my bearings, righted the bike, and called the ambulance. I landed on my face/right shoulder and right forearm. The helmet took a lot of abuse:



As did my arm:



And I was lucky not to break any bones in my shoulder, but for a time it felt and seemed like it might have been dislocated as I could not lower it once I had raised it for a while. It hurt like hell for maybe then next 24 hours, but as I write this it is getting back to normal.

I consider myself very lucky to have come out of this with a bunch of scrapes and bruises but no broken bones or major internal damage. I’d want to publicly thank all the unknown pedestrians who helped me and the EMTs and Trauma staff at George Washington University Hospital.

Lessons Learned

I have no one to blame for this accident other than myself. So I did a lot of reflection on it and came up with these lessons that I’m always going to remember:

Wear your mother fucking jacket. - I have a rather nice and expensive Alpinestars riding jacket similar to this. It has massive armor plates in the shoulders and on the arms. It is really thick leather. Did I wear it? No. Why? Maybe cause I liked the wind over my t-shirt. The real reason is because I’m and idiot. I probably could have walked away from this if I had the jacket on. So I will always wear my jacket regardless of the conditions or length of ride.
Go easier in turns you don’t know. - I really had not taken this turn on a bike before. I was overconfident and made assumptions on how the bike would handle, and gave it too much gas on the way out. Had I taken it much slower I could have corrected or stopped a skid. Or at the worst would have had less injuries. I also could have noticed the gravel which brings me to:
Watch out for gravel! - Gravel, dirt, oil, wet leaves; all of this could cause your bike to slide even at very low speeds. Keep an eye out. Always scope out the turns for any of this, and if you see even a little, really slow down, maybe even just power walk through the turn even. If you see any of this there could be a lot more that you don’t see. In my particular case the bank of the road and the incline of the hill made it tricky to see the big patch until it was too late. 
Always Remember

Finally it’s worth reiterating some general tips and things that I did do well.

Get a VERY good, full face helmet, wear it. Every. Single. Time. - I’m gonna say it. My HJC AC-12 probably saved my life. I can almost guarantee without it I would have had a broken nose, concussion, probably broken cheek bone, skin torn off of face, at a minimum. Could have just died. Never, ever, ever. EVER skip the helmet. I won’t judge those that ride without, if and only if, there is no one else that cares about you, which I doubt. 
All gear, all the time - With the exception of my jacket (see above) I had on a sturdy pair of jeans, great gloves, and ankle high leather boots. All that really helped cut down on the abrasions. I was surprised after inspecting my jeans which were cut off of me at the hospital:That there were no major cuts or scuffs on it and my legs were in great shape. You never plan to crash your bike. So wear all your gear no matter how not it is. A little sweat is better than a blown weekend, road rash, a busted bike, etc.
Conclusion

So the bike is beat up, I still have to pick it up. Fortunately I was gonna replace most of the parts that were damaged anyway. I’m glad to be alive and well. I still love motorcycles and will get back in the saddle with some new found appreciation soon. If this post or my experience prevents even one accident then it was all worth it.

Ride safe.
A lot of people have been asking me recently “what happened” because this past weekend I crashed my motorcycle and got pretty banged up. I wanted to write a post to both explain how it happened, and more importantly share some lessons learned to prevent this in the future and reiterate some points that probably saved my life.

How It Happened

I was riding home at about 5:30PM on a Friday. The weather was fantastic. It was a really enjoyable low traffic ride up Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. I was going to my sisters for some beers and to have a relaxing evening. My route brought me up out of the park on Adams Mill road, where I would turn around south on to Irving Street and shoot over to Columbia heights. This was a bit of a hair pin turn, coming up hill and around a little. See this map:



I took the turn a little wide so I could get the bike around and I’m guessing the back wheel caught this big gravelly patch I only noticed later and started to skid as I powered out of the turn. It also just occurred to me the bike could have been slightly upset by coming up the hill a little. I’m not sure. So my best estimate is that the rear wheel continued to skid around the front and the bike got squirrelly. When the traction resumed the bike flipped forward tossing me off of it. See this sketch:



I was tossed from the bike, landed, then slid for a bit. It was very slow motion as these things seem to be, with a scary internal dialog like this:


  Oh shit I am flying through the air.
  
  I’m not wearing my jacket and my arm is about to hit the ground.
  
  My skin is going to be torn off to the bone.


CRACK (Helmet hits ground.)

WOOOSH BUBMBUBDFAFUOIELealre235800s8df023 (Body slides along ground into curb.)

Lots of cursing and catching of breath. Looks at arm.


  Oh thank goodness. Big scrape. But no bone.


See this annotated picture:



A variety of very nice locals helped me get my bearings, righted the bike, and called the ambulance. I landed on my face/right shoulder and right forearm. The helmet took a lot of abuse:



As did my arm:



And I was lucky not to break any bones in my shoulder, but for a time it felt and seemed like it might have been dislocated as I could not lower it once I had raised it for a while. It hurt like hell for maybe then next 24 hours, but as I write this it is getting back to normal.

I consider myself very lucky to have come out of this with a bunch of scrapes and bruises but no broken bones or major internal damage. I’d want to publicly thank all the unknown pedestrians who helped me and the EMTs and Trauma staff at George Washington University Hospital.

Lessons Learned

I have no one to blame for this accident other than myself. So I did a lot of reflection on it and came up with these lessons that I’m always going to remember:

Wear your mother fucking jacket. - I have a rather nice and expensive Alpinestars riding jacket similar to this. It has massive armor plates in the shoulders and on the arms. It is really thick leather. Did I wear it? No. Why? Maybe cause I liked the wind over my t-shirt. The real reason is because I’m and idiot. I probably could have walked away from this if I had the jacket on. So I will always wear my jacket regardless of the conditions or length of ride.
Go easier in turns you don’t know. - I really had not taken this turn on a bike before. I was overconfident and made assumptions on how the bike would handle, and gave it too much gas on the way out. Had I taken it much slower I could have corrected or stopped a skid. Or at the worst would have had less injuries. I also could have noticed the gravel which brings me to:
Watch out for gravel! - Gravel, dirt, oil, wet leaves; all of this could cause your bike to slide even at very low speeds. Keep an eye out. Always scope out the turns for any of this, and if you see even a little, really slow down, maybe even just power walk through the turn even. If you see any of this there could be a lot more that you don’t see. In my particular case the bank of the road and the incline of the hill made it tricky to see the big patch until it was too late. 
Always Remember

Finally it’s worth reiterating some general tips and things that I did do well.

Get a VERY good, full face helmet, wear it. Every. Single. Time. - I’m gonna say it. My HJC AC-12 probably saved my life. I can almost guarantee without it I would have had a broken nose, concussion, probably broken cheek bone, skin torn off of face, at a minimum. Could have just died. Never, ever, ever. EVER skip the helmet. I won’t judge those that ride without, if and only if, there is no one else that cares about you, which I doubt. 
All gear, all the time - With the exception of my jacket (see above) I had on a sturdy pair of jeans, great gloves, and ankle high leather boots. All that really helped cut down on the abrasions. I was surprised after inspecting my jeans which were cut off of me at the hospital:That there were no major cuts or scuffs on it and my legs were in great shape. You never plan to crash your bike. So wear all your gear no matter how not it is. A little sweat is better than a blown weekend, road rash, a busted bike, etc.
Conclusion

So the bike is beat up, I still have to pick it up. Fortunately I was gonna replace most of the parts that were damaged anyway. I’m glad to be alive and well. I still love motorcycles and will get back in the saddle with some new found appreciation soon. If this post or my experience prevents even one accident then it was all worth it.

Ride safe.

A lot of people have been asking me recently “what happened” because this past weekend I crashed my motorcycle and got pretty banged up. I wanted to write a post to both explain how it happened, and more importantly share some lessons learned to prevent this in the future and reiterate some points that probably saved my life.

How It Happened

I was riding home at about 5:30PM on a Friday. The weather was fantastic. It was a really enjoyable low traffic ride up Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. I was going to my sisters for some beers and to have a relaxing evening. My route brought me up out of the park on Adams Mill road, where I would turn around south on to Irving Street and shoot over to Columbia heights. This was a bit of a hair pin turn, coming up hill and around a little. See this map:

I took the turn a little wide so I could get the bike around and I’m guessing the back wheel caught this big gravelly patch I only noticed later and started to skid as I powered out of the turn. It also just occurred to me the bike could have been slightly upset by coming up the hill a little. I’m not sure. So my best estimate is that the rear wheel continued to skid around the front and the bike got squirrelly. When the traction resumed the bike flipped forward tossing me off of it. See this sketch:

I was tossed from the bike, landed, then slid for a bit. It was very slow motion as these things seem to be, with a scary internal dialog like this:

Oh shit I am flying through the air.

I’m not wearing my jacket and my arm is about to hit the ground.

My skin is going to be torn off to the bone.

CRACK (Helmet hits ground.)

WOOOSH BUBMBUBDFAFUOIELealre235800s8df023 (Body slides along ground into curb.)

Lots of cursing and catching of breath. Looks at arm.

Oh thank goodness. Big scrape. But no bone.

See this annotated picture:

A variety of very nice locals helped me get my bearings, righted the bike, and called the ambulance. I landed on my face/right shoulder and right forearm. The helmet took a lot of abuse:

As did my arm:

And I was lucky not to break any bones in my shoulder, but for a time it felt and seemed like it might have been dislocated as I could not lower it once I had raised it for a while. It hurt like hell for maybe then next 24 hours, but as I write this it is getting back to normal.

I consider myself very lucky to have come out of this with a bunch of scrapes and bruises but no broken bones or major internal damage. I’d want to publicly thank all the unknown pedestrians who helped me and the EMTs and Trauma staff at George Washington University Hospital.

Lessons Learned

I have no one to blame for this accident other than myself. So I did a lot of reflection on it and came up with these lessons that I’m always going to remember:

  1. Wear your mother fucking jacket. - I have a rather nice and expensive Alpinestars riding jacket similar to this. It has massive armor plates in the shoulders and on the arms. It is really thick leather. Did I wear it? No. Why? Maybe cause I liked the wind over my t-shirt. The real reason is because I’m and idiot. I probably could have walked away from this if I had the jacket on. So I will always wear my jacket regardless of the conditions or length of ride.
  2. Go easier in turns you don’t know. - I really had not taken this turn on a bike before. I was overconfident and made assumptions on how the bike would handle, and gave it too much gas on the way out. Had I taken it much slower I could have corrected or stopped a skid. Or at the worst would have had less injuries. I also could have noticed the gravel which brings me to:
  3. Watch out for gravel! - Gravel, dirt, oil, wet leaves; all of this could cause your bike to slide even at very low speeds. Keep an eye out. Always scope out the turns for any of this, and if you see even a little, really slow down, maybe even just power walk through the turn even. If you see any of this there could be a lot more that you don’t see. In my particular case the bank of the road and the incline of the hill made it tricky to see the big patch until it was too late.
Always Remember

Finally it’s worth reiterating some general tips and things that I did do well.

  1. Get a VERY good, full face helmet, wear it. Every. Single. Time. - I’m gonna say it. My HJC AC-12 probably saved my life. I can almost guarantee without it I would have had a broken nose, concussion, probably broken cheek bone, skin torn off of face, at a minimum. Could have just died. Never, ever, ever. EVER skip the helmet. I won’t judge those that ride without, if and only if, there is no one else that cares about you, which I doubt.
  2. All gear, all the time - With the exception of my jacket (see above) I had on a sturdy pair of jeans, great gloves, and ankle high leather boots. All that really helped cut down on the abrasions. I was surprised after inspecting my jeans which were cut off of me at the hospital:

    That there were no major cuts or scuffs on it and my legs were in great shape. You never plan to crash your bike. So wear all your gear no matter how not it is. A little sweat is better than a blown weekend, road rash, a busted bike, etc.
Conclusion

So the bike is beat up, I still have to pick it up. Fortunately I was gonna replace most of the parts that were damaged anyway. I’m glad to be alive and well. I still love motorcycles and will get back in the saddle with some new found appreciation soon. If this post or my experience prevents even one accident then it was all worth it.

Ride safe.

September 12, 2012 0 Share this