It is said that there are only two types of motorcyclists: those who have crashed, and those who will. I joined the former group on St. Patrick’s day, March 17, when I skidded off the Reeder Mesa road south of Grand Junction on a pleasant evening ride with Larry Johnson, someone I hoped to go riding with in the future.
We crested a hill with an unexpected turn to the right and gravel on the road. I lost control, the bike skidded over on its right side and came to a halt part way down a ditch. Fortunately, Larry was able to come back and make sure that I was OK, but I wasn’t, and my bike sure wasn’t.
This is my helmet afterwards. I heard from two doctors and the State Patrol officer who investigated the accident that but for the helmet and the heavy jacket and gloves, I wouldn’t be here today. We called 911 and the AAA; paramedics showed up promptly, and I rode to the emergency room in the back of an ambulance. My bike got towed to a junkyard. After much poking and prodding, the ER doctors said I was one very, very lucky person and had no permanent damage except for a cracked rib and abrasions on the elbow and ankle. The worst damage was to my ego: this shouldn’t have happened! Oh, and my motorcycle was totalled by GEICO. They said that when the right-hand crash bar bent, it also bent the frame.
Motorcycling has been a big part of my life for several years, but this crash made me realize just how quickly a pleasantly exhilarating experience can become a near disaster. It’s almost 3 weeks since it happened, and I’m still sore. The insurance money is likely to go to buying a car, not another motorcycle. It was a good run and I really enjoyed meeting a lot of good friends along the way. I’ll miss it. And you.