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SteveFord

A Cautionary Tale

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Many years ago I read an article on motorcycle safety and they found that the majority of the accidents occurred within a few miles of the rider's home. Some people drew the conclusion that it was because that is where the majority of the riding is done, I feel that it's because you're in familiar territory so you let your guard down.

DO NOT LET YOUR GUARD DOWN, EVER!!!

 

After work I put acid in a new battery for a Buell and started fooling around with fuel injection adjustments on my 2004 Triumph Sprint. Typical motorcyclist unwind after work behavior.

Adjustments completed to my satisfaction I put on my helmet, jacket and gloves (already had boots on) and went out for the all important test ride. The test ride is always the best part!

 

I live on a shaded, residential street atop a small rise in the road and the speed limit is 25 MPH. My driveway is pretty long so I get going and pull the clutch in look ahead, all clear, look right, all clear, look left and HOLY ****!!! here comes an SUV doing about 40 and he's about to run me right over!

I grab the front brake and I'm on a small patch of dirt so I skid for about 3' until the front wheel hits nothing but pavement and it decides to throw itself on top of me at the end of my yard. Luckily, my fat (but hairy) body prevented any damage to the motorcycle but my left foot and both shoulders sure took a good shot.

To his credit, the teen aged boy who was driving the SUV stopped and helped me right the bike. Everything looked okay, I was crunched but not broken so I told him it's okay and he can go, I'll just soak everything in ice. I was battered, he was shaken, kind of like a martini, ha, ha.

Of course, I had to complete the test ride before everything tightened up. Yes, everything worked fine.

 

The moral of the story is: do not EVER assume that you're safe on a motorcycle no matter where you are or how slow you're going.

Learn from my mistake and take the extra second to stop and be damned sure that the coast is clear.

Even at the foot of your driveway they are out to get you.

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generally good advice. the stat you mentioned though, applies to autos as well. most accidents occur close to home. there are various reasons for that, one of which you mentioned. another one is probability. home is one of the places you always return to, and is your base of operations. wherever your home is, is also withing 3 miles of the grocery store, the convenience store, the gas station, your kid's school, etc.

 

but either way, you're right that we should always be vigilante, especially on a bike.

wear your gear

all of the gear, all of the time.

this is one thing i have been guilty of not doing in the past, but will not make this mistake in the future.

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I rode for twenty years before being nearly killed in a bike wreck. A guy did a U-turn in front of me, I ended up with three broken ribs, a shattered jaw, lacerated liver, three ruptured disc in my back and two in my neck. My bike was totaled.In the past week we have had 5 fatal bike crashes in the Boise area, last Friday it happened to an acquaintance, a man I know through work. He had been riding more then 40 years. It's not if, it's when....Without a helmet you will most likely die from brain injuries, with a helmet most fatalities are the result of neck injuries or damage to internal organs.There is one unsurpassable fact, your body at momentum stands very little chance against steel, concrete and asphalt. You are the airbag. I loved riding, but after my crash I couldn't enjoy myself anymore.

Cautionary tale indeed.

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I finally gave it up - sold my last Harley a few years ago. Counted myself lucky to survive the reckless youth and middle age. Damn straight about being careful. And if you doubt your reflexes or eyesight, don't wait to decide - quit riding!

Horses can be just as risky, but don't tell my wife😄

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I've never owned a bike but that is so true! My Uncle put me on his bike as a small kid, he wrecked his bike twice with me on the back and we both flew off. But that was just him being stupid with a child on back and playing Evil Knevil. Jumping creeks, going up steep dirt hills. Probably good thing, made me hate bikes ever since because of his being so dumb. Actually, I love looking at them, just don't want one. My son has had some. He says Riding one here is very dangerous. People don't look out for bikes, way too many potholes in the streets and if you hit a bad one it can throw you. Then sand on the streets they don't clean off till almost summer time here. I've had lots of friends involved in serious bike accidents.

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I've been in and out of biking since the late 60's.....:blink:

 

The freedom and adrenaline for a young man, if inclined, can be compelling.....always ultra cautious, I've tended to conform to road restrictions and speed limits....unlike the many reckless riders I observe on a daily basis....

 

The 'most embarrassing day of my life' happened about 15 yrs ago when I started up my Aprilia 1000 V twin and rode off a little too soon....

 

About 50 metres from my front door the rear wheel locked during a gear change and I slewed sideways....coming to within an inch of wrapping the bike round a lamp post.....

 

My current BMW suggests riding off immediately after starting up....no doubt due to improvements in fuelling technology.....[thumbup]

 

Modern bikes IMO are very 'GAS-worthy'.....and the riding kit is better than ever.....easy to be protected as well as a superbike racer for reasonable money....

 

Careful choice of UK roads and luck with the weather can remind a person....

 

There is no better place to be.....dry.gif

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Im in the UK and the standard of driving is abysmal now. I gave up riding a few years back after I came back from the TT races. It brought home how dangerous British roads are. On a different note, since last November the area yjay I live has been blighted by youths riding bikes/quads etc around with no exhausts/popping wheelies/no helmets/total disregard for anyone. The police have been called numerous times and are not sorting the problem. It will take one of these youths dying to get anything done, which is a sad thought. But common in the UK now.

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I've been a serious cyclist for around 45 years but, much as I love two-wheels transport I will never own a motor-bike. Far too dangerous here in the UK.

As a youth a friend of mine was absolutely crazy about 'bikes. Couldn't wait to pass his test and get his licence. Then he started work as a porter in a hospital and gave up the idea of ever owning a 'bike after 6 months of "hauling dead motorcyclists to the mortuary" (his words).

 

...the area (where) I live has been blighted by youths riding bikes/quads etc around with no exhausts/popping wheelies/no helmets/total disregard for anyone. The police have been called numerous times and are not sorting the problem. It will take one of these youths dying to get anything done...

Unbelievable, perhaps, and certainly ludicrous to hear but the police are absolutely forbidden from going in pursuit of anyone riding a 'bike / scooter if the rider is not wearing a helmet. We have reached the ridiculous position where these a-holes know this full-well and can - and do - behave in just as inconsiderate (at best) a manner as they please.

 

Pip.

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I've seen the dirt bike guys carrying on in our seedier portions of the cities, I guess they're skate boarders who have moved up a notch.

 

One thing for sure, from now on my driveway will have an invisible STOP sign on it. My wife was saying she has nearly been hit dozens of times backing the car out as the locals just floor it coming up that little hill and you can't see them until they're right on top of you.

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I went up through the ranks over the years and in 2011 I got my first Harley, a 2000 Sportster with 7709 miles. As of this writing I believe it has 8107 miles.

 

Yep, about 400 miles since 2011.

 

I haven't even taken it out of storage this year. No desire. I don't know what's changed in me, but there's no fun in it.

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I'm glad you are okay, Steve Ford.

 

I too ride motorcycles, and we also live near the crest of a hill on a street with a 25 MPH speed limit.

 

There but for the grace of God.....

 

[unsure]

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Guest Farnsbarns

All bikers look after yourselves. Don't take this as an attack, just an interesting statistic here in old blighty..

 

The federation of insurers released a statistic a few years ago stating that motor cycles were involved in 15% of RTAs, this is disproportionately high compared to the number of motorcycles. No surprise there, less visible and all that. The bit which surprised many bikers was the finding that the biker was at fault in 95% of those accidents.

 

Don't take risks, while a lot of that 95% will be at fault on paper only because they took a small risk which was exacerbated by a poor car driver, who is it who feels the pain?

 

Be safe everyone, enjoy your bikes. Don't ask me to get on the back! :D

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Couple of hours ago the rescue helicopter came out to the village (you know it cos it sounds different to the usual drug squad chopper...). Appears a local kid borrowed his mates bike, headed off, maybe still had the stand down and went to turn left and ended up a tree apparently with his leg bone sticking out the side of his leg). No idea how it'll work out - ambulance just called the chopper in to get him across the border quicker to help.

 

Today I'm walking and a guy roars past on a quaddie - no helmet...

 

Gotta be less painful ways to kill yourself.

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My younger brother had a fatal accident on his BSA in spring 1978. 39 years ago.

He was in a coma for a week; arm smashed, his brain and the brain stem were swollen and bruised from the impact - and he was wearing a helmet.

My mother never really recovered from the loss - he was 19 years old at the time. I still think about him.

 

Unfortunately as one member says it is more a matter of 'when', not 'if'.

 

Pete Conrad was the commander of Apollo 12. He flew incredibly dangerous missions and eventually landed on the Moon.

And after all that, he was killed in a motorbike accident.

 

Take care out there.

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Been riding for over 40yrs, only been down once when a deer walked out in front of me 10 mins from home. Road rash on left butt cheek, slight damage to bike.{rode it home}. When I got my first bike at 19, my Dad gave me some advice that I've always remembered, he told me "if you ever think you know how to ride a motorcycle.....it's time to get rid of it". 64 now and I still hear his voice telling me that everytime I get on my Harley.

TC

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I've seen the dirt bike guys carrying on in our seedier portions of the cities, I guess they're skate boarders who have moved up a notch.

 

 

First off, I'm glad you got off with minor bumps and bruises. I've never owned a bike, but many of my friends have over the years. Almost all of them have been in some kind of "incident" at some time.

 

Regarding the dirt bikes. That is a big problem in Baltimore. They take over entire areas of the city in packs of up to 50 and weave through traffic, run stop signs, do wheelies all up and down the road etc. To top it off, many (if not most) of the bikes have been stolen.

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What is the connection between guitar players and motorcycles? So many of us seem to enjoy both. I started riding bikes at about age 14 in Belgium. Even did some dirt track racing in my late 20s (with no success but it sure was fun).

 

Had similar experience to Steve's going about 4 blocks to lunch one day from work. A car cut me off and forced me up onto a low median. In the US we have some medians that are smooth concrete for 15 feet or so and then a stretch of ridged concrete for another 10-15 feet. I guess the purpose is if you fall asleep at the wheel, the sound of the ridges under your tires and the vibration may wake you up before you go into the opposite lane.

 

I locked up the rear brake and went into a controlled skid with my left foot down, no problem until my front tire hit the ridged portion of the median which of course flipped the bike and me right over the handlebars. I was not wearing a helmet at the time. Was only going 15-20 mph, but if you want to know what it felt like, get in your car, get up to 15 mph, open the door and jump out. No major injury, but was an eye-opener. I thought about how many times I had been going 80-100mph where a stone in the road could have caused an issue.

 

I continued to ride another 6 or 7 years until they started making convertible cars again in the US. Insurance costs for convertibles had gotten so prohibitive from about 1976 to 1985 that manufacturers stopped making them. But once I got another convertible that seemed a more comfortable way to go. Kept my 750 Honda Magna stored for another 20 years or so but had given up riding it. Got it running and sold it for about what I had paid for it originally as it had become a bit of collector item and was a really excellent bike.

 

The small incident like Steve's may be a good thing in a way, sort of gives you a perspective on the risks involved and hopefully make you a little more aware and safer in the long run.

 

Glad you escaped unscathed. [thumbup]

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I've never owned a motorcycle but rode friends bikes a bit when I was a kid. A bit of off road and some street bikes. I've never felt more vulnerable and mortal in my life than riding a bike on the street. Sitting on one of those things with literally tons of rolling steel all around you in the form of cars and trucks and the very hard pavement below, all just waiting for someone to make a mistake... My mere flesh and bones are no match for that, I thought.

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Steve,

I'm really glad to hear that you're ok other than some road rash. yes, it's dangerous out there. Had my big accident 23 years ago, some guy decided to just pull out in front of me. 17 broken bones. I have many residual issues. and with everyones addiction to cell phones it's even more dangerous out there for bikes. and yea, I still ride.

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My brother and I had some dirt bikes when we were young teenagers. Nothing much over 100cc.

And I loved them. We had a blast growing up in Georgia and riding out in the country/woods.

 

But for some reason, those years led me to the conclusion that I never wanted a street bike.

I have ridden some of my friends. But I just have never had any urge in the slightest to own my own.

I'll stick to the dirt.

Glad you are OK.

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Tomorrow I'll be good as new and at least the down time was spent playing a Lucille.

This was a good lesson for me: concentrate on what you're doing not what you're GOING to be doing later on.

Stay focused on the task at hand, it's less painful that way.

 

Thank you for all the well wishes and for those of you with motorcycles, keep the shiny side up!

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1499336798[/url]' post='1866612']

My younger brother had a fatal accident on his BSA in spring 1978. 39 years ago.

He was in a coma for a week; arm smashed, his brain and the brain stem were swollen and bruised from the impact - and he was wearing a helmet.

My mother never really recovered from the loss - he was 19 years old at the time. I still think about him.

 

Unfortunately as one member says it is more a matter of 'when', not 'if'.

 

Pete Conrad was the commander of Apollo 12. He flew incredibly dangerous missions and eventually landed on the Moon.

And after all that, he was killed in a motorbike accident.

 

Take care out there.

 

I was out of high school, must of been around 20? Anyway, a biker came flying from the water power plant in CB Iowa and had to be doing 100. He flew over the hill where a gas station was with an older lady pulling out onto the street. Yep! Bike hit her and he went through the cars windows taking his head off. It had to be fast and painless but what a gory site. I still see young folks riding bikes here totally careless and with a attitude that nothing can happen to them. I watch for all bikers and give them their room. I have been on the back of some bikes going to work and couldn't believe how impatient they were going around cars and down between them on the line.

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I've been a serious cyclist for around 45 years but, much as I love two-wheels transport I will never own a motor-bike. Far too dangerous here in the UK.

As a youth a friend of mine was absolutely crazy about 'bikes. Couldn't wait to pass his test and get his licence. Then he started work as a porter in a hospital and gave up the idea of ever owning a 'bike after 6 months of "hauling dead motorcyclists to the mortuary" (his words).

 

Pip.

 

I, as a nurse who worked the hospital for years, think the dead ones are lucky.

Hanging out with handsome paralyzed men who have colostomies and can't even scratch their noses...just awful.

Putting yourself in extra danger over a thrill seems terrible when so many are forced to put themselves in danger just to feed families and survive.

 

All my young friends in the heart of the city ride bicycles. They all know kids who have died doing so. When one of them winds up amputated they may learn.

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All my young friends in the heart of the city ride bicycles.

 

when i lived in toronto alot of folks rode bicycles everywhere, including me, for a while. i got my worst injury so far, riding a bicyle

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