15 May 2015 Crash

Typing on the keyboard has become very difficult with my left hand wrapped up with an ace bandage in-between it's baths in ice. My left arm is suffering from some very serious road rash. All of this plus the miscellaneous muscle pain; I feel as though I just finished going ten rounds with George Forman. All of this makes typing a bit difficult.

Friday, I rode the PC over to Surry to visit some of my friends. I left for home around 4:30 PM by the time I got over the JRB and into Newport News it was around 5:30 PM or so. I headed up Jefferson Ave, just as I have done thousands of times before. I didn't know then that three people would unknowingly conspire to hurt me; someone who enjoyed a good take out meal and threw their trash out the window, an inattentive driver, and me. My mistake, which added to this little drama, was being complacent and taking the situation a little less seriously than I should have.

I commuted back and forth to the shipyard on a daily basis for many years. I'm no stranger to heavy Friday afternoon traffic on Jefferson Ave. Riding in heavy traffic requires that you pay attention all the time to everything, and always try to keep yourself out the danger zones and blind spots. you have to stay on your guard at all times.

After passing the intersection with Ivy Farms road, I moved to the right lane to get past some slower cars, although PC never exceeded the 45 mph speed limit, I was traveling about 5 mph faster than surrounding traffic.

Dresdin & Jefferson Ave

Just as I passed through the intersection with Dresdin Dr, the car in the center lane decided to pull into the first driveway on my right. My front wheel was even with her rear wheel. The woman driving the car never looked when she turned and pulled right in front of me. I was very quick on the brakes, the PC's front end dove under the heavy braking; I felt the rear end rise, but as always the PC never felt out of control. Thanks to my quick reaction it looked like she was going to get away with her impromptu turn without us making contact.

I never saw the flattened aluminum-roasting pan lying in my path of travel. Once the front wheel which was still under heavy braking came in contact with the aluminum foil pan, my front wheel stopped turning and locked up. The aluminum foil pan immediately removed all of the tires traction. The now locked wheel on the foil pan slid on road surface; violently pulled the front wheel out from under the PC; sending me to the ground. I slid for about 40 feet and PC slid for over 100 feet before either one of us came to a stop.

Sliding along the road way isn't all that bad if you're wearing full leathers, it's not so bad if all your wearing is just an armored jacket; but if you're not, it can really suck. Unfortunately, for me I wasn't wearing my armored jacket or my full gloves. I was very lucky most of my injuries are just road rash and it seems my left thumb may be fractured I'll know more about that come Monday.

I haven't kissed pavement since 1969, I've been real lucky over the years. I have managed to survive many very narrow escapes. When you think about it I've gone so long without an incident that it was bound to catch up with me. After all, you can't ride around balancing a vehicle on two wheels as long as I have and not expect to fall over at some point. Remember there are only two kinds of motorcyclists, those who have crashed and those who are about to...

Would-a, could-a, should-a: I should have worn my armored gear and my full gloves, had I done that I would be almost road rash free. I should have never relaxed my guard; I was less than two miles from home... I should have seen that trash in the road, I don't know why I didn't; perhaps I was too focused on the car cutting in front of me.

It's amazing there's very little damage to the PC, but I discovered that there are a lot of places on my body that were involved in the crash which I didn't feel until a day or so later.

Fear not friends and family, I did manage to protect my pretty face during the slide on the ground and impact with the curb. I was very aware of sliding on the ground; I never did feel my arm being ripped up as I slid on it. However, I do remember pushing my helmet on the ground to keep my face from making contact with the ground.

I was very lucky, but still would rather have let some stunt man take my place; maybe next time. I figure It will be a couple of weeks before I get back on the PC and ride, the thumb really hurts; and working the clutch lever will be painful if not impossible.


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