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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sure such stories aren't exactly new here, but if nothing else just wanted to get some input from people who have dealt with this before. We're currently roommates, actually just moved in together a few weeks ago.

In essence it boils down to the classic left turn scenario. From what I've heard my buddy was in the left lane of one side of the road (2 travel lanes each way, with a turn lane in center). He said traffic was very light around 9am in the morning going to work. Said he saw a white pickup coming in the left lane of oncoming, then suddenly cut to the right lane and swing a very wide u-tun in the middle of the road, cutting across all five lanes. He locked the rear wheel and slid, the skidmark is probably 200' long before being forced onto the gravel shoulder and washing out the front end. It's a 55mph road, though it's a stretch known for speeding(no turn-offs or lights for a solid mile), average speed is around 75 and he admitted he was pushing 90 when he noticed the truck. Bike lowsided to the right before sliding into the ditch and he ragdolled about 40' farther than the bike. One leg has a broken tibia and ankle, the other has a severely sprained ankle and several broken metatarsals.

His helmet and jacket were pretty beat up but no rash or other injuries. As you might guess, he was just wearing sneakers which of course instantly flew off. He has riding boots but doesn't wear them to work....too uncomfortable to wear all day. I'd kind of busted on him about this once or twice but didn't press the issue....now I wish I would have since I'm sure it would have helped or prevented the foot and ankle injuries. Gonna need surgery in a few days once the swelling goes down, then the doc says wheelchair for 2-4 weeks, then crutches for another 4-6 after that.

The bike isn't too bad, would have still been driveable, just the usual issues. Blinkers, footpeg, bent handlebar, brake handle, and some scrapes on the clutch case. With the parts it'd be fixable like new in a couple hours...just bolt on stuff. Too bad it was a brand new '14 FZ09 that didn't even have 1000 miles on it..he'd been riding an old xs400 for 7-8k miles before this. Of course I said I'd take care of the insurance and get the bike fixed for him in the meantime, but now he's not totally sure he wants to fix it.

He had one of the biggest passions for riding I'd seen in someone...we'd go for a ride pretty much every day after work, every weekend, ect. Couldn't get enough riding, how we became fast friends when I met him at an old job and later moved in together. Of course his parents are saying they're essentially going to disown him if he doesn't give up riding (he's 26), and everyone is telling him how lucky he is to get the chance to give up riding. I've been talking to him in the hospital and he says that while he wants to get back on the bike as soon as he physically can, he's afraid that his confidence will never return. It's understandable, I was a little gun-shy after I laid my bike down a few years ago, though I walked away from it. He's leaving the hospital today, but has to go home to his mom's house because our apartment is upstairs.

So I guess what I'm asking, for those of you who have been there or had friends there, how did you help them back on the horse? Or don't you? I don't want to pressure him back into riding if he's just not comfortable on it anymore, but at the same time riding was this kid's life, I can't see him ever wanting to give it up.
 

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hate us cuz they ainus
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if it was such a big passion of his i dont think he will ever give it up. hes probably just spooked right now like you said and needs some time to build up enough confidence to swing his leg back over the bike once he does that he will be back to riding everyday in no time
 

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UnicycleMode
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He has riding boots but doesn't wear them to work....too uncomfortable to wear all day. I'd kind of busted on him about this once or twice but didn't press the issue....now I wish I would have since I'm sure it would have helped or prevented the foot and ankle injuries.



So I guess what I'm asking, for those of you who have been there or had friends there, how did you help them back on the horse? Or don't you? I don't want to pressure him back into riding if he's just not comfortable on it anymore, but at the same time riding was this kid's life, I can't see him ever wanting to give it up.


Take this moment as a learning experience. He is still alive, encourage (and practice) wearing more gear. There is a level of responsibility of our own... and some may disagree but I feel to one another as riders as well. If they spout off some freedom of choice bullshit let it be. But, know you offered your concern. You can't blame yourself for the bad results of someone's decisions if you clearly tried to help.

First off, I'm going to be an asshole about bigger bikes for beginners, and gear use until the day I take my last breath. Don't fucking like me harping on you about it, stop talking to me. I watched far too many go before what would be reasonable in the grand scheme of how short or long life can be to just sit at the sidelines and keep out of it. Small bike, lots of gear, and many many many hours of practice at low speed and as many formally educating events you can attend on a bike are the keys to survival. Just because you ride slow or act in a safe manner (or even racked up a bunch of lucky miles) doesn't mean dick shit if you can't operate the brakes at the threshold in a panic situation or make an evasive swerve.




Best way to help him is if you have access to the bike and some tools remove the broken stuff, clean off the dirt and pick the grass out of it, clean up parts that may have oil or coolant on them too. Make it look alot less fucked up than it probably looks so when he does see it have some pics available of it fresh off the wrecker, but, make sure it doesn't transport him back to the moment he crashed.

My brother and my dad (RIP) did the same for me with my Bandit back in 2008 after I ate it at the top of 3rd gear in a tank slapper. I won't say specifically what that speed was, but lets just say it was north of the ton by a good measure. The fact I even ride at this point was due to the way my fellow riders treated me as a returning rider. After a major crash it takes alot to get comfortable again, and it takes alot of time.







If you want to help your buddy get back on the horse and ride, get a pit bike. Trust me, nothing makes a rider love riding again like buzzing around on a little four stroke beast popping wheelies and skidding it like a BMX bike. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. We were talking tonight and since he obviously wasn't quite "sold" on ATGATT, he certainly is now. Unfortunately had to learn the hard way. He's really kicking himself over it...since he bought the riding boots mostly at my suggestion because I always wear them, and left them at home over the inconvenience of having to take a backpack with sneakers to change into at work (he works at a shop where I'd rather wear boots anyway but that's another matter).

He's seen pictures of the bike fresh out of the ditch, asked me to go take some. The insurance is coming tomorrow to look at the bike...Progressive so they're really good about this. Once that's done I'm gonna get the bike (it's at his work since the crash happened only a few hundred yards away) and bring it back and start tearing off all the damaged parts.

I was a bit skeptical of him making the jump from his starter bike of an old 400 to a brand new 850 (with performance only a tick behind my z1000), and in the scheme of things one season and 8k miles is not that much, though if I said I did different I'd be full of it. Hell my "move up" bike was a 1200 Vmax, obnoxiously powerful coupled with truly frightening stability. At least his FZ09 has a solid chassis. I wasn't there so not going to speculate about if lack of experience with panic braking, evasion, ect played in, maybe more experience could have saved it, maybe not.


I have a pit bike, called a Grom 125. Bought it this winter. Soon as I saw them available I thought it looks like an absolute riot to hoon around town with and ordered one. and it totally is. 9 horsepower, a top speed of 60, and oh so many stoppies. And tail slides. And whoolies. And with a m4 exhaust, disturbing the peace. Setting car alarms off with a piston the size of a silver dollar.
 

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Sorry to hear about your buddy. Maybe a good track day, once he is healed up, for a confidence boost.

I leave my shoes at work and change into them when I get there. No reason to pack them back and forth.
 

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I just picked up an MT09 (FZ09 for you lot) as my company bike. Stick it in B mode, and it's be fine for a less experienced rider, as long as they can control themselves. Any bike will get you in trouble if you're ham fisted with the throttle.
I broke my femur tib and fib in a crash back in 2009. I remember the corner was smooth, then bumpy, then i came to on the side of the road. I was in an armoured jacket, back protector, kevlar jeans, boots/gloves/helmet. It could have been a lot worse. 5 weeks before my wedding; 3 weeks in hospital and married on crutches. I lost 15kgs in hospital and looked fabulous for my wedding though.

I had quite a few conversations with my wife about continuing to ride ( we had 1 kid then, now have 2).
I was back on a bike inside 2 months, just doing laps in the apartment complex carpark. My wife and i had a rather animated conversation about it, about why i shouldn't ride if i was still walking on crutches. I put the crutches down, and hobbled off to the carpark. We both new that i dont "Like" riding, I love it, its part of me. If i didn't ride, i wouldn't be me.

I was back on the road about a month later, and it took a while (maybe 2 years?) to really get my mojo back - i also did a superbike school which helped.
Bear in mind that i had been riding for about 15 years before this crash, and didn't have a car licence. I'm ATGATT guy, because it saved my life.
Your mates family might be upset if he rides, but if he loves it, he can do things to minimise the risk. The best gear he can get, rider training, and some hard to come by self fucking control, a 200 foot skid mark on a dead straight price of road means he was way, way out of control. Always remember that we are invisible to all other road users, except cops. I wish it was the other way around.

Hope he heals up quick, and gets back on 2 wheels.
 

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As I read this I started going down the list of things that run through my mind every time someone goes down. I have been down really hard my self as well. Anytime you walk away still alive its a blessing because not every does. I as well as others here have lost people we dearly love. My uncle was killed in 1985 by a left turn driver. No wife no kids, alive one minute gone the next he was also 26 btw. No amount of gear would have save him. We bitch and piss and moan about wearing gear because it works. As far as getting back on the bike, only he can decide that. Just be there for him right now and deal with one thing at a time.
 

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Sorry to hear about your friend. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Some good news. The guy that whipped the u-turn did stop and there were several witnesses at a car lot across the street who talked to the police. It's still considered a one vehicle accident on the police report since they didn't actually collide, though I guess the driver was ticketed for it. Small consolation but at least he wasn't a chickenshit that took off.

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. I'll have to show him this thread.
 

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Some good news. The guy that whipped the u-turn did stop and there were several witnesses at a car lot across the street who talked to the police. It's still considered a one vehicle accident on the police report since they didn't actually collide, though I guess the driver was ticketed for it. Small consolation but at least he wasn't a chickenshit that took off.

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. I'll have to show him this thread.
Then ha must join us here and become CF family eh' ;)
 

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Is my bike ok?
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I saw a rider pull off an impressive panic stop today and thought about this thread. Oh, he avoided the accident and all is well. Anyway, I was thinking about how you were talking about if he'd ride again.

When I was 13 I got my first dirtbike (Thanks Dad) . I went over the handle bars after catching a stick in the front wheel and got banged up pretty bad. Lots of cuts and bruises, a sprained wrist and some nasty rash on my neck from where my helmet strap got tugged against pretty hard. I was shook up pretty bad. As soon as we saw that I had no broken bones or need of stitches, we sat the bike back up and Dad could tell I was a litlle shy. He told me "You knew there was a danger involved with this. If you don't want to ride anymore there's nothing wrong with that. But if you want to keep riding you have to get back in the saddle before it intimidates you ". Paraphrased, of course. Well ,I thought about that for a couple minutes. Then I kicked the bike over and took off riding for the rest of the day. I was sore, so I took it easy, but I'm glad I got back on the bike right away. Pavement is different, I'm sure.

The danger is out there. We know that before we come off the kickstand the first time. Maybe for some a crash is needed to make the danger a reality for them. If he just got a danger/mortality/reality check and has decided to hang it up...nothing at all wrong with that. Otherwise, I think my Dad gave me pretty good advice at the time.
 

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hey guys thanks for all the well wishes. WEAR BOOTS! at least thats one of the lessons i learned from this episode. home from surgery, all went well now just gotta wait to recover/get some hardware removed/fix the bike then ill b back to ride with everybody.

cheers and safe ridin everyone,


fuzzy
welcom in mate glad yer healin up :knucks:
 

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Welcome to your new home-away-from-home fuzzy! Glad you made it & hope you heal up really fast & 'repped' you for becoming a part of our CF family. :D

 
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About 8 years ago I was T-boned by a minivan running without headlights. Crushed hip, torn ligaments in ankle, dislocated shoulder, ruptured bicep, and an unrideable bike. The answer is simply get back on and ride. We all accept the risk the instant we sling a leg over and start it up. If he doesnt, that's his call. I never fault anybody who makes the decision not to ride. It's their life, so it's their decision. If he De ides to ride, encourage him. If he decides not to ride, support that fully. Once the shock wears off and the itch comes back, he'll ride again when he's ready.
 
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