martes, 24 de junio de 2014

My three motorcycling scares... so far.

In four years of riding, and about 60,000 miles, I've only had 3 scares braking hard on my bike.

First of all, I assume that the world is populated with morons, with murders in their hearts, and they're out to get me.
Second, I accept the fact that I will always be wrong, because not matter how right I am in a situation, I will end up the loser. I don't care if the other guy ends in jail, if I'm dead, or worse, maimed.

The first one came on the K12R. It was my fault. I was going about 120mph, and very new on my bike. A guys sees me, and without a care in the world pulls right in front of me. Those brakes are amazing. I ended up about a yard from the rear fender of the truck, and I definitively suffered from target fixation.

The second and third came on the same day, on my K12LT. I wasn't going fast. I was chilling.

Going on a three lane highway, on the right lane. About 70mph. I see a guy on a beat-up truck going about 30 mph in the left lane. Guy decides to turn right in front of me, across two lanes of traffic. I see him, pulled as hard as I could on the brakes, the truck is too close. See that I won't be able to make it, look for alternative path, decided to go around the front of the truck. Fortunately the guy stops that piece of junk in time and I barely made it around the truck. The LT goes in the dirt, and the rear goes out a bit, finds traction in the asphalt, tries to do a high side on me, but the bike is too long, too heavy and my GF is on back. Bike righted itself, and I stopped.
I'm beyond upset. The guy and his whole family started screaming, and I waved them to leave.
Get back on the bike, and I started laughing nervously. My GF is upset with me and tells me that for me everything is just a joke.
It's not. I have no idea how I pulled that off, and I didn't even think about a single decision/action. All that training with the LT, to practice hard stops, and avoiding target fixation finally paid off when it became "muscle" memory.

Coming back from the event we went. I see another truck going about 60mph, on a country road, one lane only. The truck signals to the left, and gets on the incoming traffic lane, and stays there right about to pass a semi. I assume he's gong to pass the semi. I'm all pumped up from the music blaring on the stereo. Get right behind him, but the truck doesn't overtake the semi, just stays there. Then suddenly the guy without slowing down enough makes a sharp turn left in front of me, and tries to enter a huge ramp up to his property. He caught me completely by surprise. Hit the brakes hard. Won't make it, still hard on the brakes, I turned with the truck, and the LT is very leaned over. The bike stops, after I dragged my left foot and miraculously the LT stops on its side, with me holding its weight on my left foot. I have no idea how I'm doing that, and right the bike with my left leg.
My GF is furious at the truck driver, and starts screaming loudly.
I get off the bike. Realized that I was very, very luck twice in that day.
Tell my GF that it was my fault, and that we should go.
She's now upset with me again, and she's hysterical about two incidents in one day.
We get home, and my left knee is on fire. The next day, is swollen and in constant pain. It's very touchy now, some positions when moving the LT make my left knee flare in pain. I realize that I probably damage something. But I always heal anything, so I give it time. It's pretty much healed now. No more pain, except when in certain positions, with weight, and when I don't exercise for long periods.

I decided that both were my fault. All three instances. My "sixth" sense (arachnid?) told me I was in a situation of imminent danger. I told myself I had the right of way, or the situation under control. I ignored the subtle signs that idiots were in the road at the moment (including me), and that they were about to do something really stupid, which they did.
I promised myself never to ignore my sixth sense again. It's been almost two years since. I haven't been in a scary situation again.
In a country of 5 million, with 2/3 motorcycle accidents per day, and motorcyclist death rate which is crazy (about 200 people a year) for this small country. I think I'm getting the hang of staying out of trouble.

I have sometimes a recurrent dream that I'm going in the zone. Very fast, sweeping the curves, and just having a blast, and then suddenly a semi crashes head on with me. Other times, I just lose traction suddenly and hit a wall. I wake up with all I see it's black. I'm shivering.

The next morning, I get back on my bike, and the world is right again. I intend to do this for a long time, and I won't allow myself an accident, if I can help it.

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