Okay maybe this is no time to be clever with titles, but today I (literally) hit the road traveling at 50-60 mph in the fast lane of a three-lane highway. That is to say, today I dropped my motorized death machine in heavy traffic. I’m not going to get into how it happened but I have some strong words for a someone in a white pickup truck. I feel like an asshole. The reason I feel like an asshole is that I always vowed to never be “that guy.” The guy you and your friends always talk about. You know the one.
“I always warned him that this would happen. I kept telling him that motorcycles were dangerous. Why would he risk his life like that? I guess it serves him right.”
Fine. Go ahead. Gloat. Tell me you told me so. Just know that it’s a risk I accepted when I climbed atop my two-wheeled gasoline chugging steed, although I know I would be singing a different tune had I not walked away from the accident with nothing more than a road-rashed knee and a severely deflated ego.
The bike? I’ll know the damage for sure tomorrow, but from what I can see there is at least a cracked crankcase cover (all the oil leaked out and I had to get it towed), a bent rear brake pedal, a mangled exhaust pipe (road rash), punctured lower right fairing, and worn out frame slider (that’s what it’s there for).
Good Samaritans and Assholes
Good Samaritans still exist. As I lay on the road trying to figure out what just happened, two guys jumped out of their pickup truck behind me after seeing me take a spill, made sure all 3 lanes of traffic were stopped (keep in mind that this was during peak morning rush hour), and helped me get my oil-soaked bike over the right shoulder from the left lane. They gave me some rags and helped me clean the oil off my tires and fairings, and then pulled off the shoulder and blocked traffic to allow my limping bike to get to the next exit.
If I wasn’t so dazed and high off adrenaline I would have gotten their names and numbers so I could thank them with a beer or something. It definitely makes me happy to know that there are still people out there will lend a helping hand, instead of most people in Northern California who will happily spectate and say “aw, what a shame” before speeding off to their busy lives. Rubbernecking motherfuckers.
On the flip side, the guy (or girl) who cut me off to cause this debacle in the first place did not even stop their car. I hope that this because they did not see me hit the ground in their rearview mirror, but I’m inclined to believe otherwise.
I’m not sure yet. I have to reflect. The experience is still too fresh. Technically speaking, though, I’ve learned that:
- Brand new tires are slick, take it easy on them.
- Avoid grabbing the brakes.
- Leathers gear is fantastic, and will literally save your skin.
- Overconfidence is a bad thing.
Here’s a picture of the lower right fairing of the bike. “Mangled” comes to mind.
At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, be safe!