I've had a couple of minor crashes in my 19 years of street riding, with the most severe being a bruised hip.
Now, for my most recent ...
It was a Wednesday, and I was playing hooky from work.
The Sierra Nevada mountain passes beckoned, with perfect temps predicted and the snow staving off for how many more weeks?
I took my Triumph Trophy, and went over Ebbets Pass, enjoying the flowing->technical roads. There was snow on the peaks...remnants from a light snow that occurred the prior week.
I was 3/4 of the way up Monitor Pass when the following screamed out in my head: "Holy shit, I'm crashing ?!!?"
The bike slammed over in the left turn ... seemed to momentarily bounce back up (?), then threw me again to the ground.
I tumbled a bit, and distinctly remember saying "oomph ... aaargh... ummpph" in my helmet.
I landed prone in the middle of the lane... a somewhat blind corner.
I forced myself to get up and hobble over to the ditch, where I sat and tried to determine if and how badly I'd hurt myself.
I could see I lost a saddle bag about 15 yards behind me in the ditch, and the bike had travelled another ~15 yards ahead of me, resting on it's right side and pointing at me.
Great, the bike did me the favor of crashing on both sides.
Great, I'm almost exactly as far away from home as I was going to get, and in the middle of BFE. ( Still in California, but perhaps 10 miles from the Nevada border.)
I was feeling out of breath... I was feeling achy below my back shoulder blade.
My left foot/ankle was sore.
Goddamn my right thumb hurts... I can't move it(?)
A truck comes up and pulls in front of me; the driver gets out and asks if I'm OK. I say, "I think so. Just my foot, shoulder and thumb."
I ask him to kill the bikes ignition and fish my dislodged saddle bag back.
As he comes back he says, "Looks like you hit the sand."
I never even saw it -- but sure enough you could see how my front end plowed thru a 3" wide stripe of sand.
Another minute later and two motorcyclists come up.
They pull over, and are able to lift my bike, and pull it out of the ditch.
They take off without a word.
The guy in the truck asks if I think I can ride the bike to the bottom of the hill...I tell him I think I can.
He manages to bungie the broken bag (latch) onto the rail, and points me downhill.
Riding the bike isn't fun. My thumb hurts, and isn't letting me grip the throttle confidently.
The back shoulder area is making sitting up difficult.
My mirrors are holding on, but they're twisted at a weird angle. I'm incapable of correcting them.
No levers broke off... the Triumph is a Tank.
I get to the bottom of Monitor Pass, and see the sign that says "Markleeville, 8mi".
Fuuuck... at least it's straighter going now. But the pain is mounting.
I get to Markleeville, and see a sign saying "South Lake Tahoe 22mi" -- god, can I ride another 22mi to get to what is likely the nearest hospital?
I'm about 7 miles outside of Markleeville when I see a CHP Tahoe with lights blaring going the opposite direction.
My hunch was it might be for me?
I manage to lift my ass a few times to check the twisted mirror, and sure enough he whipped around and pulled me over.
He approached me and said, "I had a call for a motorcycle accident. You look like it."
I said, "Thank you for pulling me over. I'm losing it."
He called me an ambulance that took me to a hospital in Nevada (closest.)
X-rays showed a broken fibula (lower leg bone), two broken ribs and dislocated thumb. Also a contusion on my spleen (due to ribs).
God broken ribs suck.
I had surgery on the thumb last Wednesday to reconnect a torn ligament.
I'm heeling nicely, and should get back to work in another 1.5 weeks.
Right now I'm dealing with the doubts and the "what the fucks."
a) I consider myself to be a very good street rider
b) Gravel /dirty conditions don't bother me. I feel I have excellent vision and tactics for dealing with road conditions.
c) Dozens of other motorcyclists before and after my accident went thru that turn without incident. Why me?
Then darker thoughts
d) It could have been worse. Much worse. Hell, just look on this site and see how badly some of the members have been hurt this year.
e) Short term disability != regular salary
f) family = I have three kids at home. I've known the risks and have managed them. This wakes me up. Is it time to give motorcycling a break?
It started as a nice day!
Both sides. Bummer. $430 for three days in a tow yard. Three miles tow yard to where my bike was left.
Yay full face! Four month old helmet.
Deerskin. Both hands hit and slide. No holes, no busted seams. Lee Park Design gloves... highly recommended.
Six month old boots.
Broken ribs fucking hurt. Percocet as pain relief? No. Percocet as bowel blocker? Yes.
I wish I had a photo of my hand when they pulled the glove off.