Sad Father's Day
Well, sadly,my little CBR is totaled.
I was riding solo around 9:30 am on June 17th, a gorgeous Sunday, Father's Day in the U.S., in North Central Illinois heading down to the area around Starved Rock state park. I came to a 4 way stop, and things went bad.
All four stop signs had vehicles at them. I proceeded to go straight through the intersection when it was my turn to go. I glanced at the other vehicles waiting their turns, and noticed that the vehicle on my right was also moving, coming directly towards me. In the very short amount of time that I was afforded to make a decision, I instinctively steered to my left, I guess in an effort to position myself parallel with, and moving in the same direction as, my perceived threat. I also, unfortunately, applied WAY TOO MUCH got damm front brake.
I think everyone knows the consequences of doing that idiotic thing.
After doing what must've been an excellent imitation of Superman, my helmeted head and gloved hands struck the pavement much harder than would be expected from travelling approximately 12 MPH. One of my lasting impressions is of how amazingly hard my head hit the ground while going so slowly. Without a helmet, I'd be missing a lot of skin from the right side of my face and scalp, and probably wouldn't be typing this out right now. After the dust settled, I managed to get to my feet and do a quick once over of my condition. The first injury I noticed was a small patch of road rash on my right forearm that managed to make it's way through the mesh sleeve of my Joe Rocket jacket, a little blood, no biggie. At first, I thought that might be it. Nope. While undoing the fastening devices of my helmet, I noticed that my fingers on both hands didn't really act the way I was used to while unbuckling my helmet. Anyway, I was able to get my helmet off but not without some difficulty. After the helmet fell straight out of my hands to the ground, I looked down at my wrists and noticed that both of them had managed to acquire a few very oddly shaped angles that weren't there just a few hours earlier that morning. Dangit.
By this time, people were all around me asking me a hundred questions at once. It was slightly overwhelming and luckily one samaritan kind of took charge. He quickly noticed my wrists, grimaced, and had me go sit down on the roadside. He and another bystander were kind enough to lift my bike up and get it off of the road. 911 was called, and soon I was in the care of some of Kendall Counties finest EMT's, and on my way the the Emergency Department.
To wrap this up, my scaphoid bone is fractured in both wrists and my right wrist also has a fractured capitate and pisiform, along with a broken rib on my right side. I'm scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, July 3rd to reconstruct both wrists. Along with the wrists and rib, the only other injuries are two bruised knees and the tiny bit of road rash on my forearm.
I'm going to get a new bike as soon as possible, and I'm for damm sure going to continue to ALWAYS wear gear - I'm absolutely shocked by how hard my head struck the ground. I wish everyone out there who rides without a helmet had some idea of how, even in a "slow" crash like mine, such enormous forces are developed. My helmet, in my mind, saved my life. I didn't even have a headache or sore neck afterwards, and the rest of my gear performed amazingly as well.
I've taken from this wreck a much healthier respect for the braking characteristics of a motorcycle. I DID take the MSF course, and I DID know the theoretical consequences of using too much front brake. I also had practiced what I thought would be useful panic application of the front brake, however, practice and actual situational deployment are two very different animals. But, I sure know now.
Please, PLEASE gear up - at the very least wear a helmet. What happened to me could happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. It's just not worth the risk to go without one. Be safe, not sorry.
-dreaming of beautiful weather and empty roads....