June 30, 2003

Was out for a ride with James and the SocalSV crowd yesterday. I wasn’t riding as fast as the group, so I decided to call it a day rather than push or be left behind.

Right after we split off, about four corners past the forest service station, I lost it going into a right hander at about 40mph. Toad was behind me, said my line looked right, then he saw my front wheel go side to side and my front end tuck… Best guess is that I hit a rock… I dunno. James said he’s been riding for 200,000 miles and this is the first accident he couldn’t explain.

Toad said it was a perfect lowside, with me kicking away from the bike, then we went off the pavement and onto the dirt.

Bike and I cartwheeled. Toad said I was about five feet in the air, and the bike was about ten. Bike came down on my right foot, which hurts, but is not broken (Thanks to AlpineStar!).

I came to rest on the dirt lip at the edge of the embankment, bike went over, slid down 10-15 feet, upside down, facing back the way we came. Forest service guys later said it was still on and leaking gas… Good thing they turned it off and brought me the key, else I might be paying for a forest fire.

Toad was right there after the crash to check on me. We tried to wave the next passerby down, who slowed down to a crawl, got a look at me, and then took off. James gave him a two hand, two finger salute.

A nice old couple and a guy in a minivan came by next. Minivan went back to the forest station and got help, old couple brought water, helped me get my boots off, gave me a wet washcloth to keep the flies out of the scrape in my side.

Forest service showed up. I said I didn’t need airlift, but we left it up to dispatch… It would have probably been an hour wait and then an hour ride if we’d gone with ground ambulance. (I later learned that the pilot of the airlift used to fly with my dad.)

I got buried under dirt by the helicopter and james has holes in his t-shirt and probably some rocks in his back.

BTW, they don’t like it when you try to walk to the helicopter.

An expensive ride, a bunch of x-rays, some lidocane, vicodin and motrin later, I have rash on both my knees (wore a hole through the kevlar in my draggin jeans), my left elbow (wore through my jacket above the padding (this arm was being dragged behind me as I slid), and my right side, just above the waist where my jacket rode up on me. My fingers are stiff and sore but not broken, my knees don’t want to bend but aren’t broken, my ankle hurt like a SOB but isn’t broken.

James said from the cartwheeling my bike did, the frame is probably too bent for salvage. I was told the right side fairing was gone and the clip ons are bent out of place. I didn’t get a good look at it, it was in some shrubbery a bit down the hill.

My HJC CL-12 helmet has a nice scrape, my violator pro’s are scraped up and I have a small nick in one knuckle, alpinestar boots are scraped all to hell, toe sliders are flat on the right and well used on the left, I have holes in both thighs of my draggin jeans and a hole through the kevlar in the right knee… my frank thomas jacket is cooked, literally… zippers worn down, both arms shredded, hole in the armpit… and bits of nylon fused to other bits of nylon… that jacket didn’t fit me right, so I’m sorta happy with it.

All in all, I faired damn well. My gear is all toast, but it kept me alive. My bike has seen its last ride, I’m sure…

Thanks to James for being there, thanks to Kim, Tony and Barry, the airlift people, thanks to the docs at county, thanks to the forest service and the passersby (the ones who stopped)… You guys all were great.

pics are currently here and here