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Thread: Had a bad ride

  1. #1
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Had a bad ride

    Hi everyone,
    I've been away from our fora for wayyyy too long, and figured I should check in and let you know what I've been up to.

    So OK, the ride itself wasn't so bad...it was the end of the ride that I wish could have turned out differently.

    On August 8 I was riding in western South Carolina on my way home from the BMW MOGA (Georgia club) meeting/campout and managed to get myself crashed. I'm pretty sure that the main cause was dehydration and heat making me a little spacey. A pickup truck had slowed in front of me and I was very suddenly very close to it...got on the brake, but not soon enough to avoid disaster. I didn't hit the truck very hard, as it took no more damage than a small ding in the plastic trim on the bumper...but of course that was enough contact to send me down.

    It was over in the blink of an eye. I went down to the left and tumbled a bit but it was over so fast that I don't remember what positions I went through.

    After standing up I found that my right hand wasn't working very well. It didn't take long to figure out that my arm was broken. This made me unhappy, as I'd managed to reach age 42 without ever breaking a bone and was really hoping that I never would break any.

    The shock I went into on the roadside was rather unpleasant, and the heat (about 98F) didn't help.

    Funny the things you notice and do at moments like those. I did manage to very calmly switch off the bike's engine, as well as the GPS which seemed not to have been harmed.

    The air conditioning in the ambulance felt amazing, and felt downright heavenly when the IV started working. I think I absorbed about 600cc of it in the 15 minutes it took to reach the ER.

    At the hospital it was confirmed that I had broken the arm, specifically the radius a few inches above the wrist. I did receive praise from the EMT's, the ER staff, and the orthopedic doc they called in, for having worn good protective gear.

    The ortho-doc turned out to be a fellow BMW MOA member who said that he has a K1200LT and a silver-smoke R90S in his garage. He even remembered an article I wrote in the BMW ON. He put my arm in a temporary cast and advised me to seek further treatment (probably including surgery) closer to home.

    A friend drove up to bring me home. We stopped by the towing-yard to get the rest of my personal effects off the bike, and it really didn't look all that bad. I did notice that the handlebar was rotated way forward in its mounts, and my friend and I theorised that that was how I broke the arm, since all my bruises and scrapes were on my left side.

    Eleven days after the crash I had surgery to repair the break. I'm told that I have a bit of titanium and six screws in my arm, which seems to be healing quickly. After surgery I'm wearing a splint and a soft-cast (bandagey stuff covered with elastic wrap) that goes from just below my elbow to just past my knuckles. I can wiggle my fingers and thumb, but can't really use the hand or rotate my wrist until all the stuff comes off. This means that I can't safely drive my car (manual gearbox) or work (I'm a field service technician) for a while. And yes, I'm typing all this with my left hand.

    Tomorrow will be a week since the surgery, and a week from today I have the first follow-up appointment. If everything is healing well (and I think that it is), I should get the soft-cast removed then and will go to a small brace that will allow use of the hand (as long as I don't put much weight on it). Healing should be totally finished sometime in September.

    The bike is totaled. It didn't look all that bad, but it had some frame and suspension damage that added it up pretty fast. The good news is that I'll get a bit more for it than I owed.

    My medical insurance wasn't great, so I've got some deductibles and other expenses to pay. That financial priority may well keep me from buying another bike for a while, but I can accept that- it sure beats a lot of far-worse outcomes!

    My friends among the BMW community have been so wonderfully helpful and supportive- what on Earth would I do without you? I'm eternally grateful to all who've helped in any way, including the get-well wishes.

    I'm already having thoughts about what bike to get back onto when the time comes...another GS? Or maybe a GT? Who knows?

    Anyway, my left hand is getting rather tired now...but I'm thinking that I really should check in here more often.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  2. #2
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Well day'm Ben that's a shame but you're relatively in one piece and alive.
    We can always get more "stuff".
    You'll have a story to tell now working your way through security at airports. ("Honest, it's a plate and a few screws!")

    Rest easy now.

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon in training alzyck's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your accident. Best wishes on the recovery.

    The titanium plate may let you qualify for the new TSA full palm pat downs .

    You mentioned your gear, but didn't get into specifics. If you feel up to it and get a moment, it's always good to hear what protective gear you had on and how it held up.
    BMWMOA #143326

  4. #4
    2 Wheeled Troubador oldhway's Avatar
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    Ben, Dude, say it ain't so! I am glad you weren't hurt worse but I wish you were'nt hurt at all.


    Welcome to the Crashing Sucks Club. (I even used to have the tee shirt, wish I knew where to get another one.)
    Steve Marquardt, 2004 R1150RT

  5. #5
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Heal quickly!
    Ride Well, Ride Often, Ride to

    Charter Member "High Town" crew.

  6. #6
    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    DANG, Ben! Really glad it wasn't worse, and that you came out as well as you did. Here's hoping you heal well and quickly with minimal problems.
    F.O.G.Rider, Rounder #6,
    Ambassador, Biergarten co-chair
    BMWRA Wisconsin Region Rep, camping chair

  7. #7
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Heal well, Ben. Yup, crashing sucks, but you sure do find out how helpful the MOA members are. I am eternally grateful for all the help I received when I broke my ribs last year.

    Holly
    Volunteer for the 2014 Rally in St. Paul. rallyvolunteer@bmwmoa.org

  8. #8
    professor
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    Hey Ben, sorry to hear about your crash. that pickup musta thrown it into reverse when you looked away for a second.

    But seriously, it's easy for something like that to happen. Earlier today I was going to change lanes, glanced at my mirror, looked back to the front and the every car in front of me was braking hard. I got stopped, but it was close. My main fear in those situations is someone behind me driving up my tailpipe.

    Recover quickly and come visit when you can. We miss seeing you around here.

    Jim

  9. #9
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wezul View Post
    You'll have a story to tell now working your way through security at airports. ("Honest, it's a plate and a few screws!")
    Well, now that you mention it, I flew to St Louis this past weekend for the BMW MOA HQ open house and it never set off the metal detectors. On one hand I was almost disappointed, but then I realised that if that's going to be the general trend, I can live with it!
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  10. #10
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alzyck View Post
    You mentioned your gear, but didn't get into specifics. If you feel up to it and get a moment, it's always good to hear what protective gear you had on and how it held up.
    Prexport boots, five years old and very beat-up. Just an hour before the crash I noticed while stopped at a scenic spot that a big chunk of one sole was MISSING.

    Marsee mesh pants, six years old and still functional but getting a bit worn.

    Cortech GX Air mesh jacket, six years old and in pretty good shape except for the seam where the left sleeve attached to the torso; this seam opened up in the laundry when the jacket was a year old and I stitched it up with small cable-ties. The repair has held with no problems for five years.

    Cortech GX Air mesh gloves, five years old and fairly worn- these were living on borrowed time.

    Scorpion EXO 700 helmet, three months old. It has one abraded spot near the right temple.

    I should also note that I had already been planning to replace the suit and gloves after this summer, and the boots as soon as I could find some that fit my narrow feet.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  11. #11
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    Ben
    Glad you were not hurt worse. Heal fast.

  12. #12
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
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    Jeebus Ben.. that sucks!
    Looks like you have it under control, I hope the healing goes well.
    Mark

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Damn sorry you went down and I'm glad the injuries weren't real bad. Doing a long ride has it's dangers like fatigue and dehydration and they are usually not real obvious to the rider. Sometimes you get lucky and get away with it and sometimes you get caught like you did.

    Heal fast but take your time on a bike selection. Keep in mind that it may be a bit painful to put pressure on the broken arm as in riding bent forward. Been there and done that.

    Had to add something else to the post. Even in the summertime, if you are not having to stop once an hour to piddle, you are not drinking enough water and or gatorade like stuff. That should be an indicator to the rider that you should need to off load water at a rest stop each hour rather than rely on sweating it off. This comes from someone who has spent over 50 years in the desert and rode full time for over 11 years including the summertime at temps up to 118 degrees or so. Dehydration is insidious and by the time you feel thirsty you are already behind the curve.
    Last edited by Motor31; 08-24-2010 at 01:30 PM.
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  14. #14
    Registered User LENRT1200ST's Avatar
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    Sorry, Veg

    Sorry to hear about your accident. Best wishes for a complete recovery.

    Please be very careful w/ that wrist! Do not try to use it until your Doc gives you the "go ahead"!

    Don't ask me how I know, but I have permenantly deformed right wrist from my silly attempt at a save. (Details over a refreshing drink, if time allows.) I heard this little "snap" and the damage was done.

    Len
    Last edited by lenrt1200st; 09-01-2010 at 12:56 PM.

  15. #15
    Jim Bud
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    Glad to hear that you were not hurt any worse.

    I hope you heal quickly, at your young age, you should.

    Maybe after you are a bit more healed, you can reflect and share your experience on what led up to you becoming so dehydrated and what you would do differently next time?? It would do us all a bit of good to be reminded about this.

    Heal Fast......and I hear that there are some really nice new models coming out pretty soon.....
    Jim Bud...

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