Had my first 'injurious' crash Oct 12th. - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Had my first 'injurious' crash Oct 12th.

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."
Specifically,
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!


Fall colors.

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.

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post #2 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 06:37 PM
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OUCH!

Glad your Ok for the most part! take it slow, and hope you get better soon!

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post #3 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 06:37 PM
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Man! Sorry about the crash Mike. Take your time getting back on the bike. You will know when you are ready. I hope you heal up quick.

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post #4 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 06:48 PM
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Man! Sorry about the crash Mike. Take your time getting back on the bike. You will know when you are ready. I hope you heal up quick.
+1! Heal up quick!

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post #5 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 06:48 PM
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Ouch sorry to hear this, glad you faired fairly well. Take it easy and heal up quickly.

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post #6 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 07:29 PM
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Wow, Mike. As soon as I saw the thread title I realized that you hadn't been around here much. Now we know why.

Your doubts are completely normal. If that happened to me there is no doubt that I would have to hang up the helmet until the kids were grown up. The pressure from them and my wife and my consience would be too much for me. Too close a call.

Good luck with your recovery and keep us posted.

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post #7 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 07:39 PM
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Damn... that f-in blows man. Glad you're okay tho. Sort of the nature of the beast for the sport we love. Football players get concussions, we get broken ribs and thumbs and mashed up gear. Heal up soon.

"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it" ~ Ayn Rand
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post #8 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 07:46 PM
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Hey Mike,

As a fellow recent crashee, welcome to the club!

I'm glad to hear it wasn't worse...and I'm sorry to hear how bad it is! You've got some balls on ya to ride as far as you did after the accident. Riding away from the scene wasn't an option for me with my ruined front wheel, but I doubt I could have with my busted collarbone anyway.

Heal up quick! It sounds like you'll be back to work well before I am!

Well, fire the engines! Spur this iron space-pony on!

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post #9 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 08:18 PM
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OUCH MAN! Those ribs and thumb look like they hurt!

I hope you heal up quick... Glad you are safe!

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post #10 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 08:21 PM
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jeeez mike..... we're all just glad ur ok!

the doubts you're experiencing are normal. the key is to not get carried away doubting yourself. wait until you're healed and back on the bike. when you're at that point, then you'll be able to better assess where your mind/heart is at and decide if you should continue at that point or not.

meanwhile, remind yourself that it only takes a split second of letting the guard down for something to happen. doesnt mean its your fault, that's just how the motorcycle life works, and as such is the risk of such a life. indeed it could of been much worse but you were paying attention and doing the best you could which prevented it from being much worse.

heal up brother!

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post #11 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the kind words, guys.

The insanity of staying at home and not really able to get out and do stuff is starting to take its toll....

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post #12 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 08:42 PM
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Mike I hope you get better real soon! I also hope you hop right back on a bike real soon too!

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post #13 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousmike View Post
Thanks for all the kind words, guys.

The insanity of staying at home and not really able to get out and do stuff is starting to take its toll....
I guess you'll be the next thread resurrector on here, won't you, lol...

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post #14 of 47 Old 11-03-2011, 11:42 PM
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I'm glad you're ok. Heal up soon. Back in 03' me and my friend we're riding around that area. I remember crashing about 1/2 a mile after Monitor Pass. My CBR literally flew into the river and I wound up with 3 broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Spent 2 days in the hospital but I healed up. Anyway don't quit riding.

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post #15 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 03:10 AM
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Good on you for wearing proper gear. I recently added chest armor into my a-star riding suit and upgraded to a knox aegis back pro a while back. No gear can save you from a BIG one, but you can manage/minimize the risks. Accidents can happen while driving a car, while crossing the street...heck even while you're asleep in your bed. Riding is a life-affirming experience, get back on the bike, be safe and enjoy. Riding let's you know you're alive. Heal up, glad you're ok.

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post #16 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 03:41 AM
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Did the sand look like a spill, or is it common to dust over the roads over there? Those xrays look shitty. Get well.

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post #17 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 04:15 AM
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Glad you ended up without any more serious injuries and that you got some help at the scene. Heal first and THEN decide about your future in riding.

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post #18 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 04:26 AM
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Wow you went down hard. I'm sorry to hear it. I have to admit my first thought was critical: "First gear wheelie king" was maybe pushing it too much but then I thought no, he is an experienced rider and was only out sport touring in the mountains. No advice from me other than maybe don't be too quick to jump to conclusions about future riding. A lot of us on this site grew up with lead based paint, no bicycle helmets, etc and are still around. You're a tough old SOB to get back in the saddle and ride that thing down the hill.

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post #19 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 05:43 AM
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bummer, dude, glad you are ok. it is beyond admireable that you got that far on the bike after the crash. i understand you on the kiddo perspective. I have 2 at home and a wife i love to pieces. thoughts of not being able to provide for them, or worse, frequently cross my mind. such a tough balance.

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post #20 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 05:46 AM
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Wow, glad you are all right! Take the time to heal correctly - May 5th, 1980 I was in a bad car accident. My passenger broke his leg, and he never took the healing seriously. He would go out drinking (drunker than a skunk) and dancing, now, however many decades later, his leg is all fucked up -

Pain pills always seem to make the healing process take longer for me, and your oh so right about them blocking you up.

You're in California, take a little toke from time to time rather than the pills, just a suggestion.

Best of luck!

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post #21 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 06:11 AM
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Shity luck Mike. Heal up fast!

Spoiler:

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post #22 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 08:09 AM
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Damn that sucks! I wish you a speedy recovery.


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post #23 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousmike View Post
Thanks for all the kind words, guys.

The insanity of staying at home and not really able to get out and do stuff is starting to take its toll....
Sure it's not the "sanity of staying at home.." that's driving you nuts? Every man needs some insanity every now and then. Ribs and thumb look ugly. Heal up fast.

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post #24 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 10:15 AM
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Good luck healing Mike. Sorry to hear about it.

I can't believe how tore up your boot is. Glad I bought those Sidi's....

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post #25 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Did the sand look like a spill, or is it common to dust over the roads over there? Those xrays look shitty. Get well.
It was a 3" wide line of sand that went at least 30-50 yards thru the corner, directly in the middle of the lane. It had snowed in the area the prior week, but I seriously doubt the sand was from that.

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I have to admit my first thought was critical: "First gear wheelie king" was maybe pushing it too much
Fair enough. And if I was on my 919 on a familiar road, you would have been accurate. There's really two sides to my riding; the guy who likes to drag a knee ever so often and really use the motor ... and the guy who likes to take a moderate pace on a longer ride.
I guess I wonder if I was hauling ass if I would have been more alert?

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post #26 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 11:06 AM
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heal quick, i swear I think around this time of a year are crash-prone. Like you, me and Shadow all went down within a month of each other.

You need to hope back on the bike to stave off fear and doubts, I had second thoughts too after I went down too and thought about not riding for a while. Just got to push the fear.

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post #27 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 02:10 PM
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Wow Mike, hope you heal fast, can't believe you were able to get back on that bike and ride after seeing those X-rays.

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post #28 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 02:50 PM
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Broken ribs suck big time! You probably looked f-ed up for the highway patrol to whip back around like that. You're a bad ass, dude. Lol.

Hang in there. Taking a break for a while isn't the end of the world. If you're going to be preoccupied with thinking about daddy-less kids while you try to ride, probably best to sit it out till your mind is clear again. There will be plenty of bikes and plenty of rides waiting for you when you decide to come back, however soon that may be.

Take care and heal up quick.

And for everyone else reading this thread -- YOU GUYS STOP GOING DOWN. All these WT guys rolling around on the pavement is not giving me a good vibe!

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post #29 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 06:01 PM
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Damn dude! I can't believe you got back up and rode after those injuries, you're a madman. Heal up quick man, and get back on the bike!

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post #30 of 47 Old 11-04-2011, 06:23 PM
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^+1 and get well soon Mike

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post #31 of 47 Old 11-05-2011, 03:55 PM
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Sorry to hear you went down. i was just out that way a few weeks ago, beautiful country.

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post #32 of 47 Old 11-05-2011, 04:31 PM
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Yeah your story like many other I keep reading has made me decide to stop rideing street bikes for good, yeah its fun,but in the end its not worth dieing over, and you have kids, something I dont, I just want to keep on living.

Glad to see you made out pretty good, just think next time there could be a car coming the other direction and splat...

BTW you get the name of the guy who helped you out? you also mention riders pulling your bike out of a ditch and saying nothing....thats strange.

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post #33 of 47 Old 11-05-2011, 06:28 PM
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I am very sorry you got hurt and glad you are on the mend. It's impressive you were able to ride part way in an altered state!

This year I rode my bicycle over both passes on the "Death Ride". One cyclist crashed very badly on Ebbets. It was much more technical than Monitor, but any road with sand aka "ball bearings" all bets are off.

Get well soon!

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post #34 of 47 Old 11-05-2011, 06:43 PM
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You know strangely the fear of dying in a car crash or in a plane crash doesn't stop you from driving or flying does it? Or how about the fear of walking down the street and getting mugged or a car jumping the curb and hitting you? Jeez come to think about what about all the germs and viruses you can catch just by going out of your home or even in your home? Do all those things make you not even want to wake up in the morning?

The world is full of risk and if you don't go out there and embrace them you'll never truly live. Riding a motorcycle is a hobby for most and passion and way of life for others. If you don't have a passion for it don't bother getting on one you make it unsafe and unfair for the rest of us. If reading about an accident or two scares you from riding obviously your not passionate about it.

Being in an accident is a different story. I am sure if I get into one I will sit down and rethink riding but probably not. I totally destroyed my knee Feb 10 (LCL,MCL, ACL all destroyed and my PCL ripped) in a skiing accident. First thing I asked was when can I ski again and I'm not even passionate about skiing.

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post #35 of 47 Old 11-05-2011, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07919Dave View Post
The world is full of risk and if you don't go out there and embrace them you'll never truly live.
I've had 19+ years of the most fun and most adventure I've ever had in my life riding motorcycles.
I spent a lot of time building my skills up.
I've taken a lot of calculated risks with either speed, or track days, or other.

I'm not 100% sure where I'm at; I know as time passes and I heal, the attraction will return.
I'm not sure that I couldn't handle taking a break from motorcycles for awhile.
Maybe sell one of the bikes and get a nice road bicycle.
People die on bicycles, too.

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post #36 of 47 Old 11-06-2011, 03:55 AM
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Dave - risk management is all about odds. The impact and probability of something bad happening on a motorcycle versus a car or the other things you've mentioned are significantly higher. Each of us has to decide where our own risk tolerance is and whether the rewards are worth it.

Your statement that someone quitting riding based on second hand experiences is not passionate about riding is false. It's a personal risk/reward decision and it is a very hard one because we are passionate about riding. However, we are also passionate about living and our families.

I quit over 20 years ago due to stories, buddies accidents and close calls. It was a really tough decision. I missed it for many years before riding again. I was passionate about it, no question.

I was thinking the other day when riding how ironic it is that motorcycling helps you feel alive and that this is the primary reward, yet of all the things in my life it has the highest probability of ending my life.

Be safe out there everyone. Not being seen by cars is still one of the biggest threats. Mitigate that with a high visibility jacket. I have not been cut off once since I bought mine last year.

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post #37 of 47 Old 11-06-2011, 05:38 AM
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Fucking. Ouch. Thank goodness for no punctured internals ! Analyze but don't beat yourself up. TRY to enjoy the downtime.

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post #38 of 47 Old 11-06-2011, 05:44 AM
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sand is a b**ch

Sorry to hear about you and your bike, hope the healing goes well. I had a bought with that cruel B**ch sand while working on my gfs Harley, nothing like your accident the bike and myself are luckily ok, just embarrassment and disappointment hit me.

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post #39 of 47 Old 11-06-2011, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07919Dave View Post
You know strangely the fear of dying in a car crash or in a plane crash doesn't stop you from driving or flying does it? Or how about the fear of walking down the street and getting mugged or a car jumping the curb and hitting you? Jeez come to think about what about all the germs and viruses you can catch just by going out of your home or even in your home? Do all those things make you not even want to wake up in the morning?

The world is full of risk and if you don't go out there and embrace them you'll never truly live. Riding a motorcycle is a hobby for most and passion and way of life for others. If you don't have a passion for it don't bother getting on one you make it unsafe and unfair for the rest of us. If reading about an accident or two scares you from riding obviously your not passionate about it.

Being in an accident is a different story. I am sure if I get into one I will sit down and rethink riding but probably not. I totally destroyed my knee Feb 10 (LCL,MCL, ACL all destroyed and my PCL ripped) in a skiing accident. First thing I asked was when can I ski again and I'm not even passionate about skiing.

Life is only as short as you make it out to be. I am 28 and I know I've lived a lot more life than people older than me.
I new there would be a guy to say this.....what does passion have to do with it? and yeah we can die in any situation, but why take the risk? I love riding bikes, but I only know how to ride fast, going slow really bores me...after nearly dieing 3 times this past summer, I said to myself, its not worth it...out of those three times only one was my fault the other two were cagers trying to kill me... I have other hobbies that are not so dangerous.

"You live more in five minutes on a bike like this going flat out than some people do in a lifetime" - Burt Munro
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post #40 of 47 Old 11-06-2011, 02:58 PM
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Get well soon man!

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