Twice this year, I’ve seen motorcycle crashes, and I also came across a third that had just happened. I don’t know the details of the third, since I didn’t see it, but the other two are on a slow-motion reel permanently in my head. As a motorcycle rider myself, I know there are precisely two types of riders: those who have crashed, and those who are going to. I fall into the latter category; I’ve never had a significant crash (although I was rear-ended once in Waikiki, but it was mostly a hard tap at a red light).
I’ve seen the crashes photographed by Killboy, 129Photos and others on the Tail of the Dragon. People get killed up there, and not exclusively on motorcycles. It’s a dangerous road, and demands respect. I’ve ridden it more than once, and taken the SCP Jeep there several times. I’ll probably never ride the bike there again – just too dangerous, and too many loonies that think it’s their own personal race track.
Anyway, people crash, and I’ve seen it first hand. The first time this happened was earlier this year, and it was a kid I know a little bit on a Honda CBR600 sport bike. He wasn’t going fast, wasn’t messing around; just leaned a little too much for his slow speed, and caught the muffler on the asphalt which kicked the rear tire out. Lucky for him, he had (mostly) good gear on, and was just scraped a little (because of regular blue jeans, not riding pants). I carry first aid stuff in the SCP Jeep, so my friends and I patched him up, and sent him on his way. Next time I saw him out there, he had proper riding pants on. Lesson learned.
Now, the latest incident was similar. Sport bike, natch, but the rider wasn’t screwing around or even going fast. Just took the curve a little wide, and didn’t correct in time, so he made friends with the ditch. Like the other kid, he had good gear on, and was unscathed, other than his pride. He had a crew with him, and they were able to help him get the bike out of the ditch and get a trailer out, because the bike was done.
Now, what I’ve learned is that people love crash pics. Both of these got lots of likes and comments, but there’s a few things I want to address. In both cases, the riders OK’d me posting the pics. If they didn’t want me to, I wouldn’t have. If either had been hurt, or had there been something gruesome, I wouldn’t have posted them. Posting pics like this is more of a teachable thing for other riders – wear your gear, pay attention, respect the road.
One person said to me “Was taking pictures more important than helping?” Of course not. Both crashes only took maybe 2 or 3 seconds. It’s not like in the movies – crashes happen fast. Once they started going down, there was nothing I could do until they came to a stop. I know this is gonna come as a surprise, but I’m not quite in good enough physical shape to run 50 yards in 2 or 3 seconds. So, yeah, I kept shooting, and I will next time, too. But in both cases, my friends and I ran over as fast as we could once the crash had stopped, and rendered whatever assistance was necessary. And in both cases, the riders were glad to have these photographic trophies. It’s one thing to tell people you had a crash, but it’s another to actually have the proof.
So, if you’re planning on crashing, by all means, come crash at my place.
“Bones heal, chicks dig scars, and the United States of America has the best doctor-to-daredevil ratio in the world.” – Captain Lance Murdoch