Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lamest Bike Crash EVAR

Yup, it's busted!
It's a Suzuki DR650se dual sport. Very cool. The BF and I now have matching ones and we were very keen on taking the safety course, getting some practice miles on the bikes and then embarking on a daring life of on-road/off-road cross country adventure!

We took posession of the bikes on Thursday, October 25-- maybe that wednesday-- and our plan for the morning of Saturday, October 27 was to go down to where the BF works (where the bikes were) and get the hang of riding the bikes by puttering around the parking lot a few times.

It's been awhile since I road any sort of motorcycle and the coordination required to shift and break all in the right sequence was something I wanted a little practice with before braving any sort of open road.

Yes. I dropped the bike right away. These are dual sports-- they have higher clearance than the average on-road bike and their center of gravity is higher than I'm used to. So-- !!! -- over we went, from a dead stand still right there in the parking lot. Not too hard on my pride, I expected I'd topple it over pretty early in the game. The dang thing weighs 350 pounds, once it started to lean too far to one side, I pretty much let it go and just tried to get out of the way.

No harm, no foul.

We picked ourselves up, laughed it off and proceded about aforementioned parking lot puttering. I was doing pretty awesome-- got all the way up to 7 miles per hour a couple of times, but never out of 1st gear.

Which we had suspected would be a problem. So, Part 2 of our plan was to take the bikes down to the corner and spend some more time riding up and down the nearly-deserted-on-a-Saturday-morning side street which would give us an opportunity to work through the gears.

All I had to do was make a wide, sweeping turn to the left out of the driveway onto the side street. I'm not sure what failed to go as planned, but the bike didn't turn when I told it to turn and it didn't stop when I told it to stop.

About halfway across the street I realized I was not going to complete the turn in time. So I decided to just stop and start over.

I pulled in the clutch, and reached for the front brake lever. My best guess is that my gloved hand slipped off the brake lever, while revving the engine at the same time-- fun things that twist throttles are. So there I am, in neutral, with the engine revving and not coming to a stop, watching the curb approach and trying to assimilate all this data flowing into my brain. At about 11 in the morning. I maintain that if we'd started this project at 4 in the afternoon all would have gone much better-- my brain genuinely does not function at its most efficient before 1 p.m.

And thus I proceded to execute the lamest bike crash ever: The front tire hit the curb at less than 5 miles per hour and the bike stalled. I lost balance and, in what I imagine was a desire to avoid having the now hot bike fall on me, I made a rather sloppy dismount. Tripping on the sidewalk and landing with my knee on the sidewalk and my torso in the cool, damp grass of the landscaping of the Visalia Pathology building on Dunworth Street.

Unfortunately, in an attempt to avoid hitting my helmet hard enough against anything that would result in the cost of replacing the helmet, I tucked my left arm up underneath myself and proceded to break 3 bones in my wrist.
My left wrist. I have mentioned that I'm left-handed, haven't I?

So I have since had a fancy surgery and am now being held together with titanium plates, pins, and screws. And, as you can imagine, have amassed far more in medical bills than the cost of a new helmet.

Official word is that I am out of work till January 1, 2013.

And yes, I will be getting back on the bike when all is healed and moving normally again. And yes, we have every intention of taking the motorcylce safety course. And maybe in the future I'll tell the story so it sounds like I went down in a blaze of glory and was lucky to escape with a mere broken wrist... because the bike crash at 5 mph/falling off a stalled bike story is pretty lame and doesn't come close to earning the "motorcylces are evil" and/or "650 cc's is too much bike for you!" admonishments that I keep having to put up with.