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Thread: Surviving bad crashes

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonu View Post
    I notice you don’t mention the person that clipped you. What happened to them? Did they come and say sorry or anything else? Do they even know how serious and long term your injuries are? Or do you prefer to forget about them and move on.
    He didn't clip me. He saw me, and slammed on his brakes, leaving me nowhere to go. To the left, a culvert. To the right, traffic.

    I slammed straight into the side of the ute, dead square on the passenger right hand side. Flew into the air, cartwheeled a couple of times, and landed on my head.

    Apparently.

    I don't remember a damn thing about that, just the seconds leading to the crash, where I was shouting at myself to brake, and remembering the emergency braking I'd done on the RiderForever course a few weeks previously. Shameless plug - do a RFE folks!

    As for the other party, we had a restorative conference. He's a nice guy. Local Scout leader. Father of two. It was his 11 year old's birthday. Normally at that time of night he takes his 13 year old to footy practice, and the 11 year old goes with him to Scouts. That night, his parents had stopped by to celebrate the 11 year old's birthday. So he'd left the 11 year old to have a bit more time with his grandparents, and took the 13 year old to footy.

    He admitted to me that he was distracted due to the change of circumstances and the rush to get one kid to footy so he could get back for the other one. There was vegetation growing obscuring the view of the road I was coming from. The sun was low in the sky, causing sight issues too.

    He thought the way was clear. Saw me, instinctively slammed on his brakes.

    If he'd gapped it it would have just been a close call.

    But here's the thing. Normally, the 11 year old sits in the passenger seat just behind his dad. Had he have been sitting there that night, he would have been killed in the accident.

    He was charged with careless driving causing injury. It was a fairly big deal. He drives for a living, and a conviction would have resulted in him losing his job.

    He made attempts at reparation - paid for a bunch of DIY work at home that I wasn't able to finish to be done as I was too injured, and stocked up my shed with firewood.

    He was found not guilty due to the mitigating circumstances - the vegetation overgrowth, the sunstrike... I was a bit pissed, but with the benefit of time I've grown to accept that this was probably the right thing to happen.

    I mean him no ill. It was simply a sequence of events that led up to a nasty day. But it could have been a whole lot worse. For both of us. We're all moving on.
    And I to my motorcycle parked like the soul of the junkyard. Restored, a bicycle fleshed with power, and tore off. Up Highway 106 continually drunk on the wind in my mouth. Wringing the handlebar for speed, wild to be wreckage forever.

    - James Dickey, Cherrylog Road.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffer View Post
    I don't post on here as often as I used to. The rise of social media has a lot to do with that, but also I've been a bit away from motorcycling.

    Two years ago today I slammed into the side of a Nissan Navara at a speed between 60 and 80 km/h when its driver pulled out of a driveway into the path of my motorcycle.


    I broke my left fibula just below my knee and cracked it half way down. I broke the malleolus of the tibia in two. I broke my sternum and smashed the acromion and back of the shoulder socket and tore the ligaments in the rotator cuff.

    My head was forced nearly on to my left shoulder, damaging the nerves C5-C8, tearing the axillary nerve and paralysing my right arm.

    The following day I had an operation to put my leg back together.

    As I recovered in hospital and at home (three months before I could return to work part-time) I regained - through sheer bloody mindedness and pain - the use of my left leg and left ankle, and gradually (in this order) the fingers of my right arm, then the hand, then the lower arm (mostly), then the bicep, then part of the tricep, then the teres minor, the supraspinatus, teres major and triceps brachii long head - but not the deltoid and the infraspinatus - as the nerves slowly regenerated (1mm per day).

    In April last year I had nerve transplant surgery, sacrificing the triceps brachii long head to regain the use of the upper part of my arm again. The surgery was a success.

    I had to learn to play guitar again. Last February (before the operation) I started learning to ride a motorcycle again.

    In October 2018 I returned to playing in a band. I play in Wellington rock band Mister Unit.

    Life nowadays is different.

    I struggle to walk much as both my ankles aren't right. I am waiting for an operation on one of my ankles as it's near the point of collapsing. It's caused me to put on weight which I'm not overly happy about. Exercise is difficult.

    The head injury I suffered has left it's mark. I don't have the ability to remember things as easily as I used to. Short term memory is terrible. I have to practice and repeat musical parts way more than I used to for muscle memory to remember. But I can do it.

    Pain is a constant companion. I have no feeling in the skin in a large part of my upper body due to the nerve damage. However I can feel pressure - and the nerve pain is ... interesting... and ongoing.

    But I'm alive. And I've had things happen to me since the accident that have been amazing.

    My darling wife has been an incredible support and I don't know what I'd do without her. Seriously.

    My band mates keep me going through thick and thin - it's so hard to get a good band and I'm truly blessed in that way.

    Just this week a friend gave - gave me - a motorcycle.

    My work continue to support me as much as possible.

    Despite the fact that the pain and the lack of movement get me down sometimes I'm profoundly grateful that I'm still here - and enjoying the things that make life living.

    And do motorcycle training - its a huge part of why I'm still alive!
    I know how you feel
    March 2016 I was coming home from the Mothers Day races at Manfield. I was doing 100kmh going round a sweeping right hander and a car coming the other way turned across my lane to turn into a driveway. No signals, a row of trees to the left, an oncoming truck to the right. I hit him mid grill, a glancing blow. I flew through the air, grass, sky, road, grass , sky road and landed heavy on my back.
    Bike landed in some trees, on the rev limiter in 5th gear.
    I got up on my elbows, took my helmet off and I was staring at the sole of my right boot just under my chin with a bone sticking out of my Sidi boot. Rang my wife and told her I was 5km from home and not likely to make it.
    Long story short, three transfusions later, amputated right leg above knee, compression fractures to C5 and C6 spine, two rotator cuffs blown out and puncture wound to right arm where the brake lever stuck me.
    I'm all good now but living life on a prosthetic leg, back pain but mobile.
    Just fell over last week because it's just a byproduct of losing a leg, lost over a litre of blood, shit loads of stitches in the head.......

    It's good to be alive

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffer View Post
    Yeah, followed all that with interest on the Facebook Kick, that was fucking brutal. You really had us all worried there mate.
    Yeah a near death experience, not long ago I found a photo I'd sent of a selfie in the hospital bed the night I went in to the trail bike group I belong to with the quote "trail ride didn't go as good as I hoped", it was four days after that they woke me up

    While my injuries were severe and life threatening they were in a lot of ways a lot less than yours as unlike you I have no lasting effects apart from a bit of pain

    Quote Originally Posted by skippa1 View Post
    It's good to be alive
    I can remember getting up from my crash and thinking "I'm going to die on the side of this fucking hill" before I walked 150m or so down a cunty steep slippery hill to get to where they could transport me out
    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough power."


    Quote Originally Posted by scracha View Post
    Even BP would shy away from cleaning up a sidecar oil spill.
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Zevon
    Send Lawyers, guns and money, the shit has hit the fan

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffer View Post
    He didn't clip me. He saw me, and slammed on his brakes, leaving me nowhere to go. To the left, a culvert. To the right, traffic.

    I slammed straight into the side of the ute, dead square on the passenger right hand side. Flew into the air, cartwheeled a couple of times, and landed on my head.

    Apparently.

    I don't remember a damn thing about that, just the seconds leading to the crash, where I was shouting at myself to brake, and remembering the emergency braking I'd done on the RiderForever course a few weeks previously. Shameless plug - do a RFE folks!

    As for the other party, we had a restorative conference. He's a nice guy. Local Scout leader. Father of two. It was his 11 year old's birthday. Normally at that time of night he takes his 13 year old to footy practice, and the 11 year old goes with him to Scouts. That night, his parents had stopped by to celebrate the 11 year old's birthday. So he'd left the 11 year old to have a bit more time with his grandparents, and took the 13 year old to footy.

    He admitted to me that he was distracted due to the change of circumstances and the rush to get one kid to footy so he could get back for the other one. There was vegetation growing obscuring the view of the road I was coming from. The sun was low in the sky, causing sight issues too.

    He thought the way was clear. Saw me, instinctively slammed on his brakes.

    If he'd gapped it it would have just been a close call.

    But here's the thing. Normally, the 11 year old sits in the passenger seat just behind his dad. Had he have been sitting there that night, he would have been killed in the accident.

    He was charged with careless driving causing injury. It was a fairly big deal. He drives for a living, and a conviction would have resulted in him losing his job.

    He made attempts at reparation - paid for a bunch of DIY work at home that I wasn't able to finish to be done as I was too injured, and stocked up my shed with firewood.

    He was found not guilty due to the mitigating circumstances - the vegetation overgrowth, the sunstrike... I was a bit pissed, but with the benefit of time I've grown to accept that this was probably the right thing to happen.

    I mean him no ill. It was simply a sequence of events that led up to a nasty day. But it could have been a whole lot worse. For both of us. We're all moving on.
    Blimey - That's quite some context right there. Your approach to this is admirably pragmatic and is a good reflection on you. I also get the car driver's circumstances - We've all been in the situation where we've been driving or riding when our minds aren't on the job in hand. In your case you were the victim but it seems like you're managing to move on - Well done mate.

    Just goes to show you I guess.
    Navy Boy

  5. #20
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    Im grateful to the contributors of this thread for sharing.
    Ive been fortunate enough to have never spent a night in hospital as a result of motorcycle misfortune, which is in part due to good fortune.
    This thread is a reminder that when it goes wrong theres some nasty forces involved & its made me have a think about that when im getting about on my bike.
    Thanks for sharing guys.

  6. #21
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    I include watching a healthy amount of bike crash / dash cam footage on youtube, when I feel like doing something stupid on the road these images inevitability flash before my eyes and usually results in a bit less speed

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Boy View Post
    Blimey - That's quite some context right there. Your approach to this is admirably pragmatic and is a good reflection on you. I also get the car driver's circumstances - We've all been in the situation where we've been driving or riding when our minds aren't on the job in hand. In your case you were the victim but it seems like you're managing to move on - Well done mate.

    Just goes to show you I guess.
    Well said, that man. Very well said.

    I travel that road quite often, and can recall cringing when I read Riffer's
    first accounts of his crash. And I was impressed by his last two posts
    (the first one about his post-crash recovery, and the second about his
    response to the other driver).

    All the best re ongoing recovery and riding.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidecar bob View Post
    Im grateful to the contributors of this thread for sharing.
    Ive been fortunate enough to have never spent a night in hospital as a result of motorcycle misfortune, which is in part due to good fortune.
    This thread is a reminder that when it goes wrong theres some nasty forces involved & its made me have a think about that when im getting about on my bike.
    Thanks for sharing guys.
    2nd that opinion, but I've just had my 2nd wrist rebuild surgery, and it was the result of m/cycle misfortune last year getting high-sided onto tarmac @ 80kph, and spent the first night in hospital due to it, took 7.5hrs surgery to remove broken screws in my wrist implant, and install some new ones, now just need a few months rehab to get as much movement in it as possible, hoping it will be good to go b4 the next cliffhanger hillclimb !

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by riffer View Post
    He didn't clip me. He saw me, and slammed on his brakes, leaving me nowhere to go. To the left, a culvert. To the right, traffic.

    I slammed straight into the side of the ute, dead square on the passenger right hand side. Flew into the air, cartwheeled a couple of times, and landed on my head.

    Apparently.

    I don't remember a damn thing about that, just the seconds leading to the crash, where I was shouting at myself to brake, and remembering the emergency braking I'd done on the RiderForever course a few weeks previously. Shameless plug - do a RFE folks!

    As for the other party, we had a restorative conference. He's a nice guy. Local Scout leader. Father of two. It was his 11 year old's birthday. Normally at that time of night he takes his 13 year old to footy practice, and the 11 year old goes with him to Scouts. That night, his parents had stopped by to celebrate the 11 year old's birthday. So he'd left the 11 year old to have a bit more time with his grandparents, and took the 13 year old to footy.

    He admitted to me that he was distracted due to the change of circumstances and the rush to get one kid to footy so he could get back for the other one. There was vegetation growing obscuring the view of the road I was coming from. The sun was low in the sky, causing sight issues too.

    He thought the way was clear. Saw me, instinctively slammed on his brakes.

    If he'd gapped it it would have just been a close call.

    But here's the thing. Normally, the 11 year old sits in the passenger seat just behind his dad. Had he have been sitting there that night, he would have been killed in the accident.

    He was charged with careless driving causing injury. It was a fairly big deal. He drives for a living, and a conviction would have resulted in him losing his job.

    He made attempts at reparation - paid for a bunch of DIY work at home that I wasn't able to finish to be done as I was too injured, and stocked up my shed with firewood.

    He was found not guilty due to the mitigating circumstances - the vegetation overgrowth, the sunstrike... I was a bit pissed, but with the benefit of time I've grown to accept that this was probably the right thing to happen.

    I mean him no ill. It was simply a sequence of events that led up to a nasty day. But it could have been a whole lot worse. For both of us. We're all moving on.
    That's one thing I can't grasp with the likes of the accident you were involved in and having been the recipient of a life changing accident myself; you quote that this chap saw you & panicked and in doing so caused your permanent injury you say it yourself that if he'd gassed it it would have been a close called but no due to incompetency he panicked braked & you piled straight into him leaving you with a permanent reminder.

    What I went through put me as close as a fly shit away from loosing my left arm; 11yrs, 7 operations, 3 sets of metalware & permanently restricted movement & permanent dislocation later I still bid ill will to the arsehole who changed my life forever due to incompetency & arrogance (was a disqualified driver), if I hadn't done what I did at the time I could've been a long time pushing up daisies by now.
    The only saving grace to the whole set of events is that if it hadn't happened the path of my life may have ventured completely differently but as to where I am now I'm happy enough garage full of bikes, no need to work other than making some pocket money and a great spouse & sprogs

    But at the end of it all his life went on uneventfully apart from a smack on the hand yet mine changed completely forever (as yours has) ; So don't be so PC, be realistic about what transpired and that's coming from a recipient of a 27% permanent disability via the ACC scale rating (you'll know how that works by now).

  10. #25
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    He saw me, and slammed on his brakes, leaving me nowhere to go. To the left, a culvert. To the right, traffic.
    I slammed straight into the side of the ute,

    How many times in our motocycling history have we heard those words ?
    By the grace of whatever I've never completed the last line.
    Ingrained experience,practice,LUCK ?
    Remember, even doing a rider training course won't guarantee you will be safe in some of these situations.Its in the lap of the gods and what you do in those vital split seconds.
    Just hope your reactions are ingrained and enough to survive.

    You'd never go hungry with Nigella Gaz.
    If it weren't for flashbacks...I'd have no memory at all..

  11. #26
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    You're gonna love these pics.

    My son went to where the bike was being stored while I was in hospital and took these pics. The front end has taken a fair whack. Those forks are well twisted. The wheel is buckled, the handlebars are totally twisted, and the frame has a crack behind the headstock. The back of the bike took a bash when it came back down again too.
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    And I to my motorcycle parked like the soul of the junkyard. Restored, a bicycle fleshed with power, and tore off. Up Highway 106 continually drunk on the wind in my mouth. Wringing the handlebar for speed, wild to be wreckage forever.

    - James Dickey, Cherrylog Road.

  12. #27
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    more pics of the bike ...
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    And I to my motorcycle parked like the soul of the junkyard. Restored, a bicycle fleshed with power, and tore off. Up Highway 106 continually drunk on the wind in my mouth. Wringing the handlebar for speed, wild to be wreckage forever.

    - James Dickey, Cherrylog Road.

  13. #28
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    and more pics of the bike ...
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    And I to my motorcycle parked like the soul of the junkyard. Restored, a bicycle fleshed with power, and tore off. Up Highway 106 continually drunk on the wind in my mouth. Wringing the handlebar for speed, wild to be wreckage forever.

    - James Dickey, Cherrylog Road.

  14. #29
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    and even more pics of the bike ...
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    And I to my motorcycle parked like the soul of the junkyard. Restored, a bicycle fleshed with power, and tore off. Up Highway 106 continually drunk on the wind in my mouth. Wringing the handlebar for speed, wild to be wreckage forever.

    - James Dickey, Cherrylog Road.

  15. #30
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    I have to admit - Aprilia RSVs are pretty tough. This one took a hell of a whack.
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    And I to my motorcycle parked like the soul of the junkyard. Restored, a bicycle fleshed with power, and tore off. Up Highway 106 continually drunk on the wind in my mouth. Wringing the handlebar for speed, wild to be wreckage forever.

    - James Dickey, Cherrylog Road.

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