Well it finally happened. Yesterday June 4th, 2009 I experienced my first deer strike on a motorcycle. I faired much better than the deer which was killed on impact. Needless to say I was not very happy about any of it.
The day started out like any other. I was milling around the house doing chores and trying to be productive. It was cool outside and cloudy, but not looking like rain. I decided to go for a ride. I went out into the garage and rolled my old CBR out, dusted it off and fired it up. While it warmed up I got my gear on, cranked up the tunes on the ipod, jumped on the bike and away I went.
I wasnít planning to go for a long ride. I hadnít ridden this bike in almost a month, so I just wanted to put 30 miles or so on it just to keep it running tip-top. Once I got on the bike all the feelings I have been having lately about being out of work etc. just melted away. I found myself not thinking about any of those things at all. I was physically smiling in my helmet and it felt great. I kept riding, and riding. I was going to turn back, but the bike was running sweet and I was feeling good, so I kept going.
I was headed north on PA state Route 8 coming from Barkeyville towards Franklin. There is a huge valley that crosses Sandy Creek that all the locals refer to as ďradar valleyĒ as it is known for catching unsuspecting travelers for speeding down the huge hill. I know this, so I paid close attention to my speed (for once!) I was headed up out of radar valley and was passing a PennDOT truck. I was in the left lane about 2 car lengths in front of the truck. The grass was waist high on the road side, and the deer came out of the grass on the left. She was about 10 feet in front of me and I was doing 65 or so and I had about Ĺ a second to avoid the impact, which I didnít. According to the officer that took the report at the hospital, there was about a 3 or 4 foot long skid. I hit the deer square in the front quarters just where you would aim to shoot. I think I went over the bars and the deer, bike and I were entangled for a few feet. The deer and the bike both decided to ride me across the road to the right hand lane. I stumbled to me feet and made my way off the road surface to the ditch and collapsed.
I was laying there face down in the grass for about a minute. I rolled over and I had intense pain in my left hip. There were people standing around, but I couldnít hear what they were saying, I had ear plugs in. I took off my helmet and took out the plugs and they were all asking if I was ok etc. There were parts of my bike all over the road and cars were smashing them to smaller and smaller pieces as they drove by. The paramedics arrived quick and started cutting stuff like they do. I felt great except for my hip which I could not seem to move. They put me on a board with all that head gear crap and hauled me off to the nearest hospital.
I got the full x-ray treatment and was cleared with no broken bones which was a relief as I didnít want any backwoods doctor trying to set my broken pelvis bone. 2 hours later my wife came and picked my sorry ass up and hauled me home. I still havenít seen my bike yet, but Iím guessing it is in terrible shape. I am really pissed about that. I was just thinking about how cool it was going to be to ride to Alaska on that bike. I am not sure of that right now. That bike is just a machine and can be replaced, but it is very, very special to me. I will bring it back to life, one way or another. Iím sure the insurance company will not be willing to fix it, so the expense will fall on me. Oh well, that will have to wait until I go back to work. For now Iíll amuse you guys with some destroyed gear photos.
I cannot say with 100% certainty that if I was not wearing full gear I would not have survived, but I can be about 99% sure that I would still be in the hospital being lined up for skin grafts, or suffering from severe head trauma. ALL THE GEARÖ ALL THE TIME. I cannot stress this enough. I kissed my helmet this morning and thanked it for saving my head, now it can retire next to the other helmets that have done their job.
Here ya go;
Arai did itís job beautifully.
Boots took a lot of abuse. Ground down the metal tag.
Jacket took most of the impact.
Shoulder armor held up.
Jacket wore through. I would be pissed about this, but with a deer and bike all tangled up on top of me Iím glad it wasnít worse. The concrete surface was grooved as well, making it very, very abrasive.
glad it was chilly out. This was my outer shirt.
The cut from the paramedics.
I ground the zipper pull down nicely.
Hole in the pants. I donít know about this one. I donít have any marks or anything on my leg.
I ended up with 2 quarter sized spots of rash on my left shoulder. They just barely went through the first layer of skin, like a rug burn. Not bad at all. I also have some kick butt groin pain, which I assume is from slapping the boys against the tank on impact. Other than that I feel good. Iím pretty lucky to have such minor injuries. I declined the pain meds, but they gave me a bottle of vicodin anyway. I took 2 tylenol at the hospital and I took 3 advil this morning. So far so good. I am gimping around pretty good because of my groin pain, but Iím sure a few days will do wonders for that.
Iím hoping to go and get my bike today, but it is 2 hours from here so I donít know if Iíll make it until next week. Iíll post up pics of that when I can.
Stay safe out there!