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Hooker
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Haven't gotten my first bike yet - doing some reading and preparation before I even start the MSF course. But I'm curious to hear about some of your worst spills (even if your worst wasn't horrible).

What happened?

Whose fault was it?

Was it preventable by you (regardless of whose fault it was)?
What could you have done to prevent it?

Any damage to your, your bike, other vehicles/people/property?

Thanks for your answers. I'm curious to see what kind of responses I get from what seems like a surprisingly safety-orientied community. :)
(edited - I forgot how to spell)
 

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I was 15 years old. I had been riding (and racing) for over 5 years and was quite good on a bike.

I was riding a stripped down Honda 160. It ran well but was quite beat up. I mostly rode it on trails, but this time....

I rode about ten miles away to see a new girlfriend. I had, shall we say, one of those "first experiences" with her that day. She was really beautiful. :)

On the way home, it was raining lightly. I was riding pretty fast on local roads, about 60 mph.

On a long, sweeping turn, about 1/4 mile from my house... there were some slick spots on the pavement... my tires were pretty worn out.

I do not actually remember the accident itself. When I regained consciousness, briefly, I was lying in a pool of blood. My left leg was twisted up in a way it should be able to go. I left arm had bones sticking out of it. I didn't feel so good.

There were cars everywhere and I could see flashing lights and police. The oddest thing was, there was a dump truck turned on its side on the road. I remember thinking, "How the hell did I knock over a thing that big?"

I recall some guy saying, "I don't think he's gonna make it." I lost consciousness again.

I regained consciousness briefly when they were putting me in the ambulance. As they were closing the door, I could see my mother running up the street screaming. They took off without her, couldn't waste any time.

I broke many bones that day, and had extensive internal bleeding and lots of other things that I don't even remember. I nearly died, several times. I have a rare blood type and only my father was able to give blood. They nearly drained him dry.

I missed the entire coming school year. Spent a couple of months in the hospital, then months longer at home. About half that time, I was in traction of some sort or other, with ropes lifting and lowering parts of my body.

When I finally was able to "get up", I had to use various kinds of walking aids for months. They told me I would likely never walk without a limp, and may require a cane. I was very thin, my once thick and long hair was thin and weak looking, my skin was pale white. It was a long time before I could even come close to being "normal" again. At 51 years old, today I still feel the effects of that accident.

How could it have been avoided? Count the ways!


Edit: I forgot to mention about the dump truck. Apparently, when my bike lost traction, I slid into the other lane and hit an oncoming car head-on. My body broke through the windshield, then flipped over onto the top of the car, then rolled and tumbled down the road, not sure how far, but quite a ways. I was laying in the road, when this truck came barreling around the corner from the other direction. The driver saw me lying in the road, and faced a choice: run over me, or flip the truck. God bless that man! He came to see me in the hospital (as did the driver of the car). I'll never forget that as long as I live.

Further edit: I would be dead if I had not been wearing a full coverage helmet. The entire face of the helmet was basically scraped down and destroyed.
 

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Hooker
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Discussion Starter #3
Holy hell... wasn't expecting something that hardcore for the first reply. Glad everything worked out as well as it did. Thanks for the reply, too.

I assume you still ride, and with a full helm?
 

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Knees 2 the breeze!
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WHOA! Man JMark! Glad you're still with us brother....amazing....no one will be able to top that one!

The only time I ever dropped a street bike was over 30 years ago....I had a sweet little Yamaha 250....I was drunk....wearing shorts & short sleeve shirt....no helmet ( I told you....I was drunk!)....riding down a side street in town.....late August....the asphalt was so hot it was liquid....I hit it....not very fast thank goodness & got lots & lots of road rash.....broke my glasses....but unfortunately didn't knock any sense into me. My one & only spill....caused by a very poor decision to ride after drinking. DON'T DRINK & RIDE!!!!!

Just sayin'....
 

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I probably shouldn't respond after jmark....

My second day of riding, I was doing loops in my apartment's parking lot. I drove this straightaway, did a tight u-turn and so on. On one of the u-turns, I lost my balance and dropped the bike at 1mph but I was sortof pulling the bike up as it fell so it didn't hit with full force. That's my only accident.

But, I had many close calls where I could've easily died over the past 2 months (people cutting me off, etc.)
 

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Hi guys,

Just got back from a day-long ride with my wife up into Northern Westchester County here in NY. Beautiful day and beautiful territory!

And yeah, I wear a full coverage helmet (as does she).

Maybe sometime I'll tell you about my "second worst accident." Hint: full coverage helmet saved my life that time, too (although it wasn't nearly as bad).

From today:
 

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Biker for Life
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mine was no way as dramatic as jmarks, going down straight road, decided to overtake a car (I was late for work) I was speeding by about 10mph. car driver decided to turn right into a car park infront of me (I didn't know entrance was there). I slammed on, tried to avoid him, slow motion bit, did I hit front wing, driver's door or try and avoid him altogether? Tried last option, lost control, skidded and hit rear quarter, bike & I went down, luckily bike landed on me so saved him some damage. I ended up in middle of road with broken wrist, foot, coccyx & suspected back injury. Police & ambulance called, I was put on spinal board, taken to hospital, luckily no back injury. Wrist was manipulated, whilst I was under the influence of strong pain killers, many injections around wrist & gas & air, foot strapped up and I was allowed home. took several months to recover, but I couldn't wait to get back on the bike which needed new forks, headlight, nose fairing, clutch lever & fairing bracket. Only my bike & I were hurt and seeing my bike returned on a truck all smashed hurt me more than the pain from my injuries (I know, I am sad, but that was all I was concerned about as I was lying in the road)

Whose fault? In all honesty 50/50, I was going too fast, he admitted in court he didn't see me at all. If I was riding speed limit I would never have 'needed' to overtake, so accident wouldn't have happened, but if he had seen me he wouldn't have turned right.
13 months on I am still riding the same bike and have done 22000 miles since the rebuild.
 

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Dear God Jmarks, unbelievable story. I can only imagine how your mom must have felt running up there screaming, and the ambulance taking off. :(

My worst "accident" was dropping my bike while doing a u-turn on a narrow road which was rapidly turning into a repaving pea gravel construction zone. Broke the clutch lever. Two different ladies from different vehicles actually stopped to help me pick the bike up, bless their hearts (FEMALE POWER!). One wanted to call 911 (!!!)... all I had was a little bruise on my hip that came out later.

Could have avoided it by ??? knowing in advance that road was trashed, or taking my time on the u-turn in stead of rushing.

That's it, the worst I got. Even better, a passing motorcycle mechanic (I am NOT making this up) saw me pushing my bike up the street in full gear (did I mention it was AUGUST?) and stopped to help. He ran over to his shop (a few blocks away) and brought back a used clutch lever & tools, did a roadside repair, and wouldn't accept payment. I rode off happily into the sunset. So cost = $0 only hurt pride for dumping the bike!
 

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damn JMark, glad your still with us here. my first accident, wasn't even an accident, I was pulling into a parking lot, thought I was in first gear (parking lot was a slight uphill rise) wasn't in first, as I let the clutch out (at about 2 mph) it dies and lurched, then fell over, I caught it for the most part (it only outweighs me by about 150 lbs.) the floorboard (right side) and my right leg stopped it from hitting the ground completely, but I still got a small scratch on the exhaust, and my right knee was pushed a little sideways, but it only hurt for about 15 min. I was lucky (so far)
 

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Slammed my new bike into the back wall of the garage - too impatient to wait for day 1 of the MSF course! No damage, just felt like an idiot.
 

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i have ad/hd
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mine wasnt on the road but dirtbiking around on some public track/trails.
it was all my fault...
i went up a smallish hill but i wasn't as experienced then and i goosed it up the hill trying to be all cool. at the end of the hill it dropped about 4-5ft and i went over the handlebars and the bike ran over my back and broke my brannd new helmet visor.
 

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Stupid is as stupid does.
I used to get onto the freeway near my house by the same entrance every day. I was riding a 380 Suzy triple 2 stroke. Man that little girl could go.
So the game was to "See how fast I could take this corner" The problem with that is that there has to be an end limit and I found it.
I was accelerating into the corner, scraping my pegs and actually feeling the Gs building. What a rush.
I don't remember how fast I was going but coming out of the curve, right in front of me, a huge pool of oil. I only had time to think "Oh F#@k"!!!
I hit the oil, the bike spun and threw me off. The bike went skiding and spinning towards the guard rail, a huge shower of sparks,,, and I was following it.
The weird part is how it was all in slow motion and I felt soooo calm. As I was skidding along, it felt like I was on ice. I thought to myself, "This is not good. I am going through the gasoline and the old bike is skidding along looking like a hundred sparklers on the fourth of July".
I watched the bike plow into the guard rail, I plowed into the bike and lay there in a heap for a bit.
I staggered up, no apparent broken bones, not one car stopped. In fact the cagers were mad because I was blocking the road.
The bike was all bent up (I fixed it up later) and I had road rash on my knees, my knuckles had the tendons sticking out and I was bruised in places that I couldn't belive you could get bruises.I had been wearing a helmet but it was on the other side of the bike?? Go figure.
I gathered up the bike and pushed it about a mile back to my place.
What did I do wrong??
More like what did I do right. Nothing. Being a dick and going WAY to fast for conditions.
I'll let you be the judge.
 

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jmark has the worst/best story however you look at it. im glad you got back on the bike though.
lets hope my dad doesnt read these forums and see that story or i may never get to ride on the roads..legally
 

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Holy hell...
That about sums up jmarks story!

Mine is much less dramatic (thank god!). I misjudged a turn, panicked and hit the front brake. Thankfully I was wearing gear because my head hit the road fairly hard. I was only going 10-15 MPH, so no major damage to me or the bike. How could it have been avoided? Pretty obvious...don't brake in a turn, and if you have no choice, use the rear brake and try to straighten up. Live and learn...I hope.
 

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├•┤ Pew Pew
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Wow.. I probably haven't been riding for nearly as long as some of you (1.5 years only) but my worst is when I started riding with a ZX-7R I stopped at a light and put the wrong foot down (dumbass). The bike almost hit the ground and let me tell you, pulling that bike upright with just the handlebars while straddling it was TOUGH!
 

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Wow.. I probably haven't been riding for nearly as long as some of you (1.5 years only) but my worst is when I started riding with a ZX-7R I stopped at a light and put the wrong foot down (dumbass). The bike almost hit the ground and let me tell you, pulling that bike upright with just the handlebars while straddling it was TOUGH!
The wrong foot down? What is the correct foot to put down? I normally put down both, though I notice many people only doing one foot. Only if I'm stopped uphill, will I keep my right foot on the brake.
 

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My worst was nowhere near as bad as jmarks, but here it goes. I was riding to a friends house on my old '78 KZ650. I was going through a section of road with several wide sweeping S curves about 40 mph (the speed limit was 35). I was coming out of a right bending turn which went right into a left bending turn and a white utility van, going the other way, was coming around the turn in the middle of the road. I swerved wide right to avoid the head on and the road went left. I couldn't quite make the turn so I went a few feet off the road, riding parallel to the road in the grass. I started slowing down, but there was a ditch where a drainage pipe went under the road. I didn't have time to stop so I tried to cut back onto the road, knowing it probably wouldn't work. My tires couldn't bite on the soft ground so the bike laid down. I held on to the bike and hit the ditch sideways, flew out of it sideways and hit a 4x4 post of a barb wire fence. I broke the post, but it stopped me. As it broke, the bike straightened up for half a second and then fell over the other way so I was laying on my right side. I only had scratches, but I was pretty shaken up. The bike didn't fair so well. My right knee put a large dent in the gas tank, the right side of my handlebars were bent straight down, and my right side exhaust was pinched shut just after the "H" from where I hit the post.

About a week later a friend and I took the bike down to his Dad's body shop and did what we could to fix it. We bent the handle bars back and opened the exhaust pipe back up. We couldn't get the dent out of the tank though.

The next time I went out to where I wrecked I stopped at that spot and was amazed at the distances. The distances seemed way shorter than they were when the wreck happened.
 

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├•┤ Pew Pew
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The wrong foot down? What is the correct foot to put down? I normally put down both, though I notice many people only doing one foot. Only if I'm stopped uphill, will I keep my right foot on the brake.
when you lean the bike to the left then the left foot is the right one and visa versa. I usually just put my left down unless I put it in neutral (only for long waits). I had *started* a right turn and stopped to look... it of course was already leaning to the right a little so when I put my left foot down it didn't do anything to help :p
 

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sorry, but I still don't understand why you're leaning the bike to stop.. This is if you can't put both feet down flat (e.g., bike is tall for you)?
 

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I say always put both feet down. If I tried to put just one down, I would definitely fall over the other way. Maybe I just have heavy feet, though.
Nowhere should you lean the bike to stop. Stop only in the vertical position. Most roads lean a little one way or the other. Use both feet, one higher or lower than the other.
Knock on wood, throw salt over my shoulder, never say die, I haven't gone down yet.
And I'm an old man, but I'm slow and cautious.
However, 2 years ago I did a face first over the handle bars down hill in San Diego on my bicycle.
I forgot the rule "USE BOTH BRAKES" USE BOTH BRAKES, it was the motto of one of my mentors, years ago. Front and rear. My face was skidded and smashed, slight chip to front tooth (fixed by capable dentist lady 2 days later). My father laughed. But so did I after I realized my own stupidity.
Don't forget that rule for motorcycles AND bicycles use both brakes. Front and rear.
And both feet.
dc
 
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