Loose gravel, and proper gear. - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Loose gravel, and proper gear.

Some of you may know that my wife just purchased a 2007 SV-650S model a couple of weeks ago. This is her second bike, and the first time in over 7 years that she has ridden one. I convinced her to buy the SV, as it is a much more forgiving tool to learn proper technique, and skill building than a modern 600CC sportbike.

She has taken to it slowly, and was getting her groove back until yesterday. This is where the gravel comes in. As with many country roads across this country, and around the world, there are gravel driveways, and the DOT often fills in holes along the roadside with loose gravel. Inevitably, some of this gravel enters the road surface, and oftentimes covers our riding lines completely. This situation becomes even more hazardous when the gravel is present in a curve.

The best course of action in this circumstance is to look for the cleanest line possible through the hazard. If that line takes you over a double yellow, and there is no traffic headed towards you, then by all means, cross the line. Roll off the throttle slowly, and commit to the turn. If you hit the gravel, you should be at a safe enough speed to correct your line if the need arises, or find the safest escape route if the bike is uncontrollable. Above all, DO NOT grab the brake! This immediately causes the steering geometry of the bike to become unstable, and your line is now non-existent. Stay smooth, keep your wits about you, and do not alter your course unless the situation demands it.

My wife was in an accident yesterday that involved this exact set of circumstances. She knew what to do in hindsight, but her survival instincts took over. She saw the gravel, and her mind told her hand to grab the brake. She was already committed to the turn, and there was no way to overcome the braking action. In this case, she went down hard at about 50-55mph, and her left knee took the brunt of the impact. She then slid along and tumbled a bit to end up next to the bike.

Now, on to the part about the gear. Whatever you do, spend some money on gear. At the very least, buy a helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and pants. The only protective gear she wasn't wearing were boots and pants. She wore normal jeans, and tennis shoes. In the course of the accident, her shoe flew off, and it is only by the grace of God that she did not suffer any injuries to her feet and/or ankles. She was wearing a Scorpion EXO-400 helmet, Shift motocross gloves, and a Joe Rocket mesh jacket without liner.

Some of you have mixed views on whether or not riders should wear mesh protective gear. Let me tell you right here and now. Mesh saved my wife from suffering many more injuries than no gear at all. Anything is better than wearing nothing but your street clothes. Spend the most money you can right now. Don't give the excuse "well, i'm saving for the good gear." While you are saving, your ass is quite literally on the line. Cover it, and still save for better gear if you can.

The bike:










The gear:






















Before you ask, she is doing just fine, and thanks everyone for their wishes. She will heal, and that is all that really concerns me. My reasoning behind this post is to help someone else avoid the same situation. We are all riders of mixed backgrounds, and various levels of expertise. Something like this does not discriminate, the only way this can come out in a rider's favor is skill, seat time,and a cool head under stress. Use your heads out there people, and ride safe.

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post #2 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:10 PM
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Holy crap James! Thank God she is all right. I'll second your thoughts on buying and wearing protective gear, you never know when something like this can happen and I'm not talking just an inexperienced rider but all of us.


Please wear your gear guys and girls. Ride safe




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post #3 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:25 PM
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Glad to hear she's ok. Good point about the gear though.

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post #4 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:25 PM
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Well that doesn't look like much fun at all. Glad to hear she's okay. I must admit, in lieu of all the JR and mesh bashing that gets bandied about, that jacket seems to have held up quite well considering the circumstances. It probably wouldn't hold up to another fall, but one fall is all your gear needs to save you from.

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post #5 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bock919 View Post
Well that doesn't look like much fun at all. Glad to hear she's okay. I must admit, in lieu of all the JR and mesh bashing that gets bandied about, that jacket seems to have held up quite well considering the circumstances. It probably wouldn't hold up to another fall, but one fall is all your gear needs to save you from.
+1, glad your wife is OK Ridge.

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post #6 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:33 PM
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Poop a duck, man that's looks like it could have hurt a lot worst than you explained. Glad she's okay.

ATGATT.

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post #7 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:38 PM
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Very sorry to hear about your wife's accident! I hope she makes a quick recovery and is enjoying rides again soon! Her accident is nearly identical to my 91' Canada gravel accident (no pants either ). Thank you for the great documentation that will surely inspire us all to be more careful!

[My riding noobie SO will now be limited to ninja 250!]

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post #8 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
Very sorry to hear about your wife's accident! I hope she makes a quick recovery and is enjoying rides again soon! Her accident is nearly identical to my 91' Canada gravel accident (no pants either ). Thank you for the great documentation that will surely inspire us all to be more careful!

[My riding noobie SO will now be limited to ninja 250!]
Yeah, I get lazy about the pants too. I have all of the gear, pretty good stuff too but the pants make me feel like a power ranger and cut the blood circulation off to my unit when I wear the whole ensemble.

I'm going to have to shop for some that are more comfortable so that I wear them.

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post #9 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quite a few manufacturers are making Kevlar, and armor reinforced jeans, and casual-slacks now. If you can't get away with 600Denier Cordura, and armor, look at draggin' jeans, alpinestars makes some, and i'm sure there are others.

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post #10 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 12:46 PM
 
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I'm glad to hear that your wife is ok and just bruised up a bit.

I'll +1 on wearing the gear. I recently took a fall and the only part of my body damaged was my right knee through my jeans. I too was wearing a Joe Rocket mesh jacket but the shoulder pads saved me from more pain and damage. The jacket is toast but my shoulder is fine.

Take Ridge's advice, buy the most gear you can with the money you have. You can always upgrade later but your turn on the pavement may happen before then!

Best wishes to your wife, I know that she'll be up and wanting to get back on sooner than you'd think!!

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post #11 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 01:01 PM
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Sorry to hear about the your wife, but glad she is okay. Hope she recovers soon!!

-Joe
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post #12 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by async View Post
Yeah, I get lazy about the pants too. I have all of the gear, pretty good stuff too but the pants make me feel like a power ranger and cut the blood circulation off to my unit when I wear the whole ensemble.

I'm going to have to shop for some that are more comfortable so that I wear them.
Reject! If your Unit falls asleep how you can't make good decisions!

I am swimming in my super sized leather ensemble. So I am searching for a new set...summer heat begs for latest tech kevlar!

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post #13 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 01:54 PM
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Glad to hear her injuries were minor. Sounds like it could have been a whole lot worse. Thanks for posting the ATGATT reminder. Please wish her well for us.

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post #14 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 03:43 PM
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James-
Sorry to hear about your wife's accident. I am glad that she is doing OK physically, and hope that mentally she is holding up.

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post #15 of 31 Old 05-23-2007, 04:15 PM
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Sorry to hear James...Glad to hear she is mostly fine. Heal up!!
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post #16 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
Glad to hear her injuries were minor. Sounds like it could have been a whole lot worse. Thanks for posting the ATGATT reminder. Please wish her well for us.
Done, and she appreciates it.

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Originally Posted by Kristen View Post
James-
Sorry to hear about your wife's accident. I am glad that she is doing OK physically, and hope that mentally she is holding up.
Physically, she is healing. Mentally, it will take some time, as she is upset about how the situation ended. Luckily, noone has catered to her ego, and said she screwed up, or didn't need the bike to begin with. Everyone that has talekd to her understands exactly what happened, and how it can happen to anyone, of any level of riding skill.

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Sorry to hear James...Glad to hear she is mostly fine. Heal up!!
Thanks Nate.

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post #17 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 09:06 AM
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Best post I've seen in a long time. Thanks for sharing! Glad she is okay. Look forward to riding with you both again soon.

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post #18 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 09:11 AM
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Wow, sorry to hear she went down, but very glad she is OK. I can relate, Pretty similar to what happened to me when I Lowsided, I also foolishly wasnt wearing good pants. Looks like she was going a lot faster and went down harder than me though. Those conditions can catch anyone by surprise, hopefully she heals fast and uses it as a learning experience too!

Get her some new gear and get her back in the saddle asap!

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post #19 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidgeRunner View Post
Physically, she is healing. Mentally, it will take some time, as she is upset about how the situation ended. Luckily, noone has catered to her ego, and said she screwed up, or didn't need the bike to begin with. Everyone that has talekd to her understands exactly what happened, and how it can happen to anyone, of any level of riding skill.
Ridge,

Very glad to hear she is on the mend!

After I gravel low sided, I bought padded leather pants, took the advanced MSF class, and bought a new bike with twice the power. Not saying the training would have avoided my accident, but mentally it provided confidence to put another quarter in the pinball machine.

Best wishes for her speedy recovery!

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post #20 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dream247919 View Post
Ridge,

Very glad to hear she is on the mend!

After I gravel low sided, I bought padded leather pants, took the advanced MSF class, and bought a new bike with twice the power. Not saying the training would have avoided my accident, but mentally it provided confidence to put another quarter in the pinball machine.

Best wishes for her speedy recovery!
I took the basic and advanced MSH courses as well. I did mine in the rain, gave me more confidence riding in wet conditions too.

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post #21 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 10:56 AM
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you're right, the same applies to trackdays in the rain. There is no rain-out, there is only slow down and concentrate harder.

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post #22 of 31 Old 05-24-2007, 11:35 AM
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you're right, the same applies to trackdays in the rain. There is no rain-out, there is only slow down and concentrate harder.
Unless you are at daytona...

+ $5

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post #23 of 31 Old 06-18-2007, 04:59 PM
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I'm shopping for a pair of mesh pants and remembered this post. Hope she is doing well.

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post #24 of 31 Old 06-18-2007, 06:07 PM
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Glad to hear she is going to be OK.

1 mesh jacket $169 - 1 amazing slide with a 'tank top'; ?50K - 125K?

Just picked up a Cortech jean Jacket for $110. Looks the part on my vintage360 Scrambler and it has the pads as well as vents. I'd say it is a pretty good bet. Now if my Captain America helmet was only full face.....

I have never understood arguing over the obvious. As your photos demontrate, something is better than nothing.

I don't care for the robo-man feel of textile pants. The biggest problem is the bulk. I have to ride with a Harley buddy to have room to store that stuff when we get to a destination. This also means I have to put up with fingerless studded gloves and Harley goggles and... .

Hope she is back up on top of a bike real soon.

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post #25 of 31 Old 06-18-2007, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken View Post
I'm shopping for a pair of mesh pants and remembered this post. Hope she is doing well.
She is healing well, thanks for the thoughts.

Dr. J, you are exactly right. When it all boils down, something (intended for our sport/hobby), is better than nothing at all, or just your everyday casual wear. Get the gear you can afford, until you can afford better gear.

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post #26 of 31 Old 06-18-2007, 09:53 PM
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Man...Ridge, I'm sorry to see that.
I have been wanting to get my girlfriend into riding.
I think she would really enjoy it.
But seeing your pictures & reading your story,I don't know.
I would be really upset with myself if something like that happened to her & knowing I pulled her into a sport she wouldn't otherwise be doing.
I am glad to hear she is doing fine & is on her way to a great recovery!

I whole heartedly agree with you on the gear issue. Get all you can, if you can.
If it is a choice between mesh or leather,I go leather.
Her example reinforced my confidence in the mesh.Good quality Mesh.
I wear a mesh jacket to commute to work in the summer.
But I understand the consequences if I screw up.
When I go out & "sport ride", I'm in full leathers.
As far as no gear,Thats just brainless.
I passed two "sporty bike" guys in the canyon this weekend, they were riding like idiots,like they are fast or something.
When I caught up to the two, I couldn't believe it.
Both were in tank tops,shorts,& construction boots! With backpacks.
Why even wear a helmet!?
I pointed at their shirts & shorts & shook my head & they looked at me like.... "What?"
I say,Any gear is better than No Gear,But if you can get it, Get Leather.

I hope what happened to her didn't sour her taste for riding.
Her type of accident happens to the best & most experienced riders out there.
Gravel is like Ice, It doesn't discriminate.
We can't see into the future, But we can watch for it. Be prepared for whatever is out there & enjoy the ride.

God Bless, & a speedy recovery!

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post #27 of 31 Old 06-19-2007, 11:33 AM
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Ridge, I'm very sorry to read about your wifes accident. This one hits close to home for me also. My wife has also been hinting about her own bike. I was thinking about an MSF course for her birthday next week... man I just don't know. It seems hypocritical, sometimes I think I'd rather not get her "started". I hope your SO heals quickly, my wife and I are thinking of her.

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post #28 of 31 Old 06-19-2007, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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For anyone that is talking with their SO about beginning to ride, don't let this be a crutch. I posted our experiences mostly for informational content, and not as a discouragement. If anything, look at it as a positive reminder of what can happen to any one of us. This type of accident is not limited to beginning riders, it just tends to happen to them more than an experienced rider.

My wife took an MSF course years ago before buying her first motorcycle, and she never had a spill with it. She sold it and went without a bike for about 7 or 8 years. In that time frame, she and I met, and she was thus inundated by my riding habits, and those of my buddies. Most of us do trackdays, and wear the proper gear whenever riding. Conversations always migrated back to riding whenever we would get together, so she has been surrounded by riders without owning another bike. Both of us believe her accident was a case of being too cautious for the conditions, and overreacting. Age does a funny thing to a person's mind. Before you know it, throwing caution to the wind doesn't sound so appealing, and you approach situations in your life with an attitude of "oh crap, what could happen if I did that", or "how long will it take me to heal up from that?"

We all still need reminding that we're still alive, and we can still heal our bodies from an accident. Whatever doesn't kill us will only make us stronger right?

If you talk about it rationally with your SO, and you both understand the risks involved, go for it. Sharing a sport together can be a great thing for some couples, but it's not for everyone.

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post #29 of 31 Old 06-19-2007, 01:26 PM
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Not so much a crutch, Ridge. More of a vivid display of reality. It's difficult to get past the warm, fuzzy, romantic, notion of a ride with my wife, on her own machine.

"Gentlemen. You can't fight in here. This is the War Room." - President Merkin Muffley
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post #30 of 31 Old 06-20-2007, 07:36 PM
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Thanks for the discussion. It is a little bit like "I should have fallen instead of catching myself". I hear this daily. 6 of one and half dozen of the other.

I ordered skid jeans today. Cortech. Something is better than nothing.

Ride safely!

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post #31 of 31 Old 06-20-2007, 08:46 PM
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I ride with leathers, boots, lid and gloves always. I played baseball back in the day, and felt first hand what sliding into 2nd on dirt will do to your skin. I don't even want know what sliding across the cheese grader would be like without those leathers. Serious skin injuries will complicate your treatment for other injuries and your healing hassles will be worse too. You can get good closeout deals on leathers if you shop around. I wear a quality 2peice get up i got for under $400 on closeout @ newenough.com, and i've had the previleage of track testing them last season - glad i was wearing 'em - and they are still in use. Oxtar boots on sale for 180 shipped. Vemar Helmet on sale $150 shipped. I always try to keep a little extra $ around for gear purchases so when they go on sale i'm ready... i find most deals toward the end of summer and over the fall and winter.

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