Saturday, June 06, 2009

Crash Anniversary

One year ago today, I was riding at around 07:15 AM, just past the Loveland Pass exit heading towards the Eisenhower Tunnel on westbound I-70.

The roads had been steadily getting wetter and the temperatures dropping as I neared the tunnel where I-70 crosses the Continental Divide. I remember seeing a car with a boat in tow nearly jack-knife up ahead and started to slow down.

At that point, I looked down at my onboard thermometer and it read 37°F. At that point, I felt the front wheel start to turn sideways to the left, this while I was holding the handlebars in the straight ahead position. The back wheel started to slide out to my right and before I knew it, I was down and sliding along the pavement. The link describing the accident in full: LINK

Some notes that come immediately to mind as I think about that day, one year ago.

1. I tend to be more skittish when the temperatures approach 37 degrees Fahrenheit, I guess because that's what I saw before going down. It used to be that I'd start worrying at 32 or below, now the threshold is higher.

2. I will tend to turn back more readily now if things get "iffy" in terms of ice/snow than I did before the accident. This does not mean that I've given up on snow-chasing, just a bit more "aware" of the risks shall we say.

3. I trust my riding gear implicitly, the stuff from Motoport is top notch and I credit it with me only sustaining a separated AC joint after hitting the pavement at over 40mph. Needless to say, having a helmet is a good thing too. I'd be missing my right ear had I not been wearing one, and that probably would be the least of my worries.

4. Waiting for Maria to be assessed and repaired took so long that my loving wife granted permission to obtain a "spare" motorcycle, and so Brigitta, my 1987 R80 came into our lives. She was definitely the silver lining to this incident.

5. I know now to pay a bit extra on the motorcycle insurance to get the $5k medical cost coverage since my personal health benefits plan has such a high deductible since I am self-employed. Something to think about if your insurance provider offers it!

6. I still ride every day when possible, doing pretty good so far this year. You can see my riding log on the right side of the blog page.

7. Last but not least, I'm lucky to have the understanding and supportive wife that I have. She understands my motorcycling addiction and though I know it worries her, she still lets me have plenty of time on the weekends usually to ride.

17,617 miles since the accident, give or take a few miles, and I still enjoy the heck out of riding for pleasure. Commute riding is OK, I tend to follow the same routes now, and its definitely better to ride to/from work than doing it in my cage.


mq01 said...

WOW!!! i've had situations in weather too and realize timing and luck are always a factor. you just never know... thank goodness you were ok. i'm happy to see you're still riding.

Anonymous said...

Just went back and read about your accident. Great example for ATGATT, because the bike looked worse than you. Glad you came through it all right, bikes can always be replaced. Also, it shows how important it is it watch the weather and that the outside ambient temperature does not always tell the whole story. As an example, I was involved in an eight car automobile accident along time ago on a perfectly clear but cold day because a gas station had left some sprinklers on at night and it had frozen a large patch of an exit ramp. (Midway Rd. exit off East bound 635 in North Dallas Texas).