Motard - First ride in 8 months
Posted June 04, 2000 - 02:59 PM
Some of you may be aware why I have not ridden a motard in 8 months, some of you may not. In october last year I had a near fatal accident that left me hospitalised and in rehab.... Bad memories. These memories have been plagueing me of late. Particularly as the bike is ready and I am contemplating some serious practise sessions for the SUper Motard series this year here in Australia.
Anyways, the update..... I picked up the bike thursday evening. Dragged her home and then played hookey all friday (dont tell me wife) so that I could make her road ready.
- Tail light
- Head light
- speedo, we dont need no stinking speedo..
- Oil and oil filter
- Shave the edges off of the tire. Rear tire clearance from the chain is always an issue when you run 160/60's on a dirt bike. So, the most delicate tool is taken from the tool box. A large wood file. Raise the bike on a centre stand and have a friend run the bike in first with a very STEADY throttle. Then, as the rear wheels spins, grind the edge off. A smokey burn out withoput hurting the bike or the tire. The rubber burns are free..
Friday afternoon, new, greasy tires that have never seen pavement. Approaching a roundabout vey hesitantly. Then, all the memories came flooding back. He high speed high side. The impact with the hill. Unconsiousness, gurgling blood, pain, lack of oxygen... Everything, WHAM, like a tone of bricks being dropped on my chest. Fear started working it's evil magic. Afterall, I was just wearing a helmet, jeans and a jersey. Then, the pucker factor came in. Every muscle in my body froze. Like a man facing his greatest nightmare, the thing that was considered only in his imagination suddenly confronted him. Sweat beeds miraculously appeared all over my body, my arms became pieces of timber and my butt squeezed so hard that I thought I would swallow the seat. Yes, the worst came true. Pitching into the corner, non aggressively and the front began to push out dramatically. That feeling of your bady slowly falling was more than I could bare. Without really thinking, my right leg (which was extended) came to the side of the bike as the front began sliding out from underme. I right angled my leg and made it rigid. As the bike got lower and lower, my foot made contact with the ground with a painfull thump. Keeping my leg rigid made like a balance point and the bike all of a sudden stood up. That sinking feeling was all of a sudden gone and I managed to correct before flying off the edge of the road into the bay.
thump thump thump..... My heart was beating 120 beats a minute after that one. The rest of the afternoon was spent at home scrubbing the edge of the tires with sand paper to get that sticky slimy solution off.
Saturday. This time, I let the rubber warm up, ALOT.... Riding down some opf the streets were spent zigging and zagging, building as much heat into the wet weather rubber as possible. Well, it seemed to have paid off. I am here... Although, my confidence is still very bruised. My back has not yet healed and neither has my confidence. The rest of the morning was spent building up speed and confidence. I found that chewing gum helps. It detatches your mind from fear as you focus on chewing and riding. And not on the familiar moan of an Ambulance siren....
Time will tell in more ways that one. I know how to ride fast and I know I can overcome the fear, but what I dont know is how long it will take.
Wish me luck all. And if I sound like a candy ass, I appologise. The accident was pretty horrific and I dont want to be in that situation again. Dying for three minutes tends to wake you up a little. I am not concerned about dirt riding, no fear there. Maybe when I get my leather on with the full protection I will feel a little better. Riding in jeans and sliding on the road is always very painful.
I will keep you all posted and I will win the series, no matter what demons reside in the closet.
Love you all
Posted June 04, 2000 - 03:31 PM
You had better keep your ass healthy. I am very much looking forward to meeting you in Moab. Take Care my friend, and ride SMART!
Posted June 04, 2000 - 08:40 PM
One week later I was in the same hospital (NO WAY!!!) getting internal stitches and 32 staples closing up the cut in my leg. (NO WAY!!!)Trying to start my brothers bike in running shoes and sweat pants, my foot slipped and the end of the kick start (which doesn't look sharp) cut through my shin.(THIS SUCKS!!!)My second emergency room visit in 30 years of riding. This time it was in my garage with no protective gear, a freak accident, but I should have put on my riding boot. It never would have happened if the boot was on my foot. Bad judgement...
I hope you use good judgement and wish you the best of luck,
Posted June 04, 2000 - 08:58 PM
Thanks for sharing that nasty story about the shin... Damn, that must have certainly hurt alot........Cool scar I bet...
Posted June 05, 2000 - 04:01 PM
The injury is above the left end of the left eyebrow and into the temple area. Missed the eye completely so it was fortunate in that regards. Jaw muscles work in the temple so can't open as wide just yet, get halfway into a yawn and just stops!! Not a good sign when the doctor asked me "Do you think the stick went into your brain?".... , but since I was able to say no, he agreed, and had the CT scan anyway. No complaints overall. Looking forward to getting the 5 inch metal zipper off of the shin so I can get back out riding.
If you're ever in Seattle WA, look me up,
[This message has been edited by James Dean (edited 06-05-2000).]