I think my body is still shaking and it happened several hours ago.
Six of us went out on a ride today. I was leading. We were headed down a road and the guy in the Jeep in front of me veered off into the ditch and then did a U turn right in front of me. I clamped on the front and back brakes. The back slid several times. I headed for the left side of the road. He saw me when he was fully blocking my lane and about half of the oncoming lane. Fortunately he stopped and I skidded by just in front of him. At that point I couldn't turn back to the right and I went into the ditch. The grass was incredibly slippery and I slid some more until I finally came to a stop. I didn't drop the bike. I have no idea how I didn't drop it.
I turned to look at the guy in the Jeep and he was burning rubber leaving the scene. He went about 100 yards back up the road and headed off down a dirt road into an area where there is a lot of off road riding. I tried to follow but couldn't on the dirt and gravel road. I was shaking terribly. I had to stop and just get off the bike for a while. Several people stopped to see if I was okay. All my riding buddies had stopped and were making sure I was okay. It's probably a good thing I didn't catch him. I'm not a violent person but I think I could have ripped him out of that car and beat the crap out of him.
Several observations... I'm a fairly new rider. Been riding a little more than two years. I'm 44 years old. My brain was having so many thoughts while this was happening. I honestly was trying to think where the softest part of the car would be so I could hit that. His front bumper scared me. I actually remember thinking all of this while I was trying to get stopped. I figured right behind the front tire would be best... that way I would have a clear shot at flying over the car. There is no way I could have gotten to the horn. I can't believe I didn't pull the front brake hard enough to lose the front end. I locked the rear up several times but had the ability to release pressure and get it rolling again. I have no idea how I knew all of this, it just seems to happen and my hands and feet knew what to do.
Like I said before, I got off the bike and stood there for a bit just shaking. Finally got back on but I could really concentrate on riding. It was mentally extremely difficult to keep riding. I didn't enjoy the ride much after that. We stopped up the road and had some iced tea and just kind of hung out for a bit. That seemed to clear my head quite a bit.
I still feel my body shaking but it's more of an internal thing... hard to explain. I had all my gear on. Learned that on here. I always ride like everyone is out to kill me. When the guy went in the ditch I let off the gas and covered the brakes. Might have saved me. I am really curious how I was able to keep it all together... modulating the brakes and steering out of the way and keeping the bike upright the whole time, even in the ditch.
I'm sure I'm over thinking all of this. I'm an engineer, it's what I do. I just want to learn from the experience.
Other than that, I am really glad to be posting this from my couch and not a hospital bed.
Sounds like there was 99 out of 100 ways that situation could've ended bad, and you found the 1 to keep the rubber side down! And being a new rider, even more praise. On a lighter note... you must have some sort of spider-senses having the ability to think in the middle of the whole thing, 'which part of the car is softest to hit....?' Good to hear you kept your nerve and had great reactions.
I had a similar thing happen to me on city streets where a beamer decided to make a u-turn coming from oncoming traffic to head the same direction I was. Kept the bike under control and kept the bike from sliding out. Lets just say I was ready to beat the guys face to a pulp after I got my nerves back together. I felt a bit of that rage come on when I was reading your story.
yeah, lots of idiots out there,
I almost got hit by the huge couch at 60 mph that came off a pickup last week. I swerved around the couch but then almost rear ended that idiot pickup driver who slammed on his brakes when he saw that freaking couch flying out. crazy stuff.
glad you are OK dude, what type of engineer are you? EE here
glad you came out unscathed..... i ALWAYS tread super light when someone pulls off to the side of the road in front of me. i dont care if they wave me by i slow way the hell down because of the exact situation you experienced.
Good for you Doug for pulling your nuts out of the fire like that! Aside from today, I've had a hard time getting my mind "in the zone" when riding the past couple weeks...you know, that mental place where your just really on the ball and anticipating things well. Since I've recognized that, I've been riding much slower and much less aggressively than I might otherwise, because I know that without the right frame of mind, my reactions will be off.
Most times when an emergency comes up like yours, your body is already reacting before your conscious mind can catch up to what's happening. the time-dilation effect that allows you to think about things like the softest part of the car to hit is an interresting feeling to get to, when it's not terrifying!
I'm glad you made it through the experience, and hope you keep on staying safe!
Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!
Good job Doug! Like someone else said, you found the one way out of a bad situation.
When you wrote about finding the best area to hit I went into flashback mode. Back when it was worthwhile going to bike week in Florida I was there with my buddy. We left the flattrack races headed back to his motorhome. It was dark and had started to rain. We turned off onto the road leading to the motorhome and you have to cross back over the top of the expressway. I was leading following a VW that did the same thing the Jeep did. She pulled into the emergency lane, came to a complete stop with her right blinker on, then whipped a U turn. To this day I'm not sure how I missed her.
My buddy swears being at the flatracks helped. He said I dirtracked the bike around the front of her car.
"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike
Thanks folks. I appreciate the kudos. I would love to say all my training and practice for this event is what saved me but that's the part that really makes me wonder... I didn't consciously do any of the stuff that saved me... it just happened. Almost like instincts, you know. I wasn't thinking... I'm sliding the rear tire, let off the brake a little... it just happened. I wasn't thinking about pressure on the front brake, it was just happening.
I'm not complaining. I"m glad my body took over. Maybe it was self preservation mode. I don't know.
zaq123, I am a broadcast engineer. I worked for a radio station in Dallas for the first 18 years of my career. I now work for the Motor Racing Network, the Voice of NASCAR. If you have ever heard a NASCAR race on the radio, you have most likely heard our work. Me and the two guys who work for me take care of all the technical aspects of our broadcasts.
beefsalad, I don't need toilet paper but I will tell you... It took me about two hours to iron the pucker cone out of my seat.
A few years ago, I read in the paper about a guy near Little Rock that ran into a pool that came off a pick up truck. It happened at night and he didn't see it in time to react. Unfortunately, it killed him.
Glad you were able to see it in time. Nice reactions, too.
Glad to hear you're ok and able to tell your story from the comfort of your couch!
It's amazing how everything goes quiet and how many things go through your mind when in that situation.
When my first 919 was totalled, I was riding uphill at night and just as I crested the top a car pulled out in front of me from a side street. I had just enough time to get on both brakes before the impact, but it felt like a really long time as I was staring at the side of the car and thinking "This guy didn't stop and he's completely out in my lane. There's no way I can stop in time".
When I made impact I remember doing a slow motion flip over the car and thinking "Holy sh!t, I'm upside down flying over this car, this is gonna hurt!"
From the time I saw the car pulling out in front of me to the time I landed on my back on the other side of the intersection was about 3 seconds, but it felt like I had all the time in the world for these thoughts to swirl around my head.
Crazy stuff! Once again, glad you're ok.