The Crash of my Suzuki
Story circa April 10th, 2009 | View Post


A view of the cracked radiator and broken handlebars from my crash
I've been getting asked by lots of people so I thought I'd just add a little note about my recent incident. As it happened, yes, I was in a motorcycle accident on Wednesday night. I suppose fortunately (depending on your POV), the worst part of the crash was the damage to my bike.

I was only about 1-2 miles from my house headed up to Fry's, and fortunately wearing my boots, jeans, jacket, and as always my helmet. I was probably traveling at about 40-45 mph (the speed limit is 45) and there were three cars in front of me. Two of them evidently slammed on their brakes to make a left hand turn into an apartment complex. Technically you're not supposed to turn there, but there is no sign and admittedly, everyone uses the turn (myself included). Regardless, the Ford Explorer in front of me was forced to slam on his brakes sending his car into a screeching halt, smoke off of the wheels and that whole show.

I had been keeping a pretty reasonable distance behind him and as soon as I heard/saw his tired screeching to a halt I immediately started applying pressure the brakes. **bear in mind this next part all happens in a few brief seconds** I applied gentle pressure at first but quickly realized I just wouldn't stop in time. Likely a little panicked, I squeezed harder on the brakes, something you really shouldn't do on a motorcycle - but my options were pretty limited. This threw the bike into a tail skid and pretty much sealed my fate.

Evasive as I could be, I turned the wheel hard left to minimize impact, but still wound up smashing into the back left part of his Ford Explorer. ...turns out that steel is very hard =]

It's a bit of a blur, but part of me hit the side of his Explorer. I flipped over the handle bars, the bike crashed to the ground, and I landed on the pavement more or less in the fetal position with engine coolant pouring all over my legs. I was laying there for awhile (possibly knocked out briefly) until I started hearing people screaming to call 911 and all of that. I'm sure nobody could tell since it was already dark out, but I opened my eyes and saw some people standing over me. Even though I knew they were there, for whatever reason I just closed my eyes and laid there a little while longer. I was surprisingly comfortable laying against the pavement. It was the sound of sirens that eventually got me moving.

After what seemed like minutes but was likely seconds, I stood up (to the contrary recommendation of most onlookers) and observed the scene. I hated that I was blocking traffic (and didn't want to get a ticket) and so I picked up my motorcycle and walked it off of the street and sat it against the sidewalk. There was a grass field there and I hobbled over and sat down. There were four women helping me and they were all very nice.

All in all there were 6 police cars, 2 firetrucks, and 1 ambulance. It took me a few minutes, but I was able to get them all to go away - I just had to actively refuse treatment. Turns out that telling them you're uninsured is a GREAT way to do this.

Tracy came over and took me to the ER about an hour later but ultimately had to refuse treatment for the price. Clearly battered, bruised, and a little bloody, the nurses were angry that I would rather save what I was told would be upwards of $5000.00 than be treated for a serious motorcycle accident. I very calmly and politely explained to them I didn't need an emergency room and all of that, I just needed a caring doctor to take some X-Rays of my leg, wrist, shoulder, back, and neck. They said this just wouldn't be possible and that I'd have to pay the full price of admission. I looked at them, took a deep breath, and said - "ok, well thanks anyways" as I hobbled my bloody body out of the intake room.

Instead Tracy drove me around looking for all night clinics until about 1:30 in the morning when I finally decided to give up. We just went to Kirby Lane and had a late night meal, my leg dragging off behind me.

Finally, I got up in the morning (woken by my brother and a friend insisting I go to the hospital) and Mike took me to a regular clinic. The full exam and 11 X-Rays wound up costing me just $252 and it turns out there isn't a single thing wrong with me (serious anyways). My right knee is pretty swollen, but should be okay and I'm otherwise just sore as all could be.

Thanks for the well wishes and I'm looking forward to fixing my bike =]

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