Beginner bike is toast
Well, I finally had a pretty serious crash.
This past week I was riding to work one morning at around 7a. I'd checked all the local and national weather TV radars, forecasts and the like and there was no sign of water or temperature hazards so I opted to ride off to work.
Having gotten 3/4 the way to work, I turned off a state route onto a back road. This intersection is in a small town and about a mile out it winds up a hill with three fun but pretty wide turns. Posted 45 for cars, safe for bikes easily at 65. As I headed up at my usual speed, half way through the second turn I felt BOTH tires start to go out from underneath me. It seemed my options were two:
1) Give it more gas and push more, hoping for a re-grip instead of a low side.
2) Give it the same or slightly less gas and try to straighten out for better grip.
I opted for 2) for a couple of reasons. The upcoming front yard had a variety of very dangerous antique farm equipment on it. Additionally, there was a deep culvert and the concept of sliding personally at a high rate of speed into it didn't appeal to me.
Well, I had hoped to keep the bike along the edge and just minimize the turn radius. Didn't happen, of course.
So, I went off, down the culvert (which was concrete at the bottom), back up, and launched over the gravel driveway that was perpendicular to the culvert. I believe it was at this point I separated from the bike.
I tumbled a bunch and came to rest in the front lawn of a house. As I stood up, I saw the male owner come out (retirement age) and a pickup truck pull into the driveway, both staring at me. The p/u driver had saucer eyes and a gaping mouth. I presume he was shocked that I wasn't only alive but walking toward them, ripping off my gloves and helmet.
I declined an ambulance and sherriff after taking personal stock and realizing I only had a cut in my left hand and a lightly sprained right ankle. The driver left and the owner asked me in where he and his wife entertained me until my wife picked me up.
My race boots' plastic vertebrae saved my ankle from serious injury. Jacket and pants saved my skin, most definitely. Helmet's shot but did its job. My head was completely unscathed and didn't hurt a bit. Thanks Shoei! Gloves got a mysterious cut in them that's straight, short and looks like a razor had done it, yet my snowboard gloves (for water wicking) underneath were NOT cut. This still bugs me.
The root cause is my failure to follow a personal Golden Rule: don't ride tired. I simply didn't have focus to note that when I turned off the state route that the pavement was moist. On the hill, it was VERY wet. My wife noted these things when she came to pick me up, so my failure to recongize a change in environment was ultimately the cause of my crash. I'd certainly appreciate constructive criticism about how I should've handled a two wheel slide, though. There's always room to learn, esp when you've been tossed so far. I estimate distance of my off-road experience at about 100-150 yards.
The bike was $1k when I bought it and I've just got too many things going on to even consider rebuilding her.
As for continuing to ride, my heart's screaming to get back on, but I promised to allow my brain to mull ALL the options over the next six months, which is probably the soonest I'd have funds for a new ride anyway.
My best to all and when my workloads decline I'll see you about more frequently.
Dragging knee is for the track, and dragging tail is for the lot. --Kane Friesen
When you're in a car, you're watching a movie; when you're on a bike, you're in the movie. --Robert Pirsig
Identity theft is not Fun