Wednesday, July 15, 2009

motorcycle accidents are no fun

Monday morning at about 6:00am I was in a motorcycle accident for the first and hopefully last time.

It rained Sunday and overnight for the first time in weeks, leaving the roads wet and slippery as I well knew. I decided to take Lake City Way in to work, in order to avoid the visibility issues caused by fast vehicles and water spray on the highways. I rode down Meridian and turned right onto Lake City Way, and just past the bowling alley is where construction is still going on. Due to the conditions, I was in the right lane doing about 40 in a 45 and watching my following distance in order to maximize my safety cushion.

Just before 68th Avenue, there were plates in the road - several hundred feet of them, many more than were there last Friday, and they were not even. I was on them and holding steady until I hit a slick spot or a seam or something, at which point the bike went down - it was less than a second from upright doing 40 to on my back sliding down the road. I have one flash in my memory of the control panel going down and to my left, but didn't recognize what had happened until I realized I was sliding. The bike went down on its left side and I landed on my butt, and the bike and I both slid on a slight angle away from each other through the intersection at 68th and to a stop about 50 feet later. The bike stopped perpendicular to traffic in the left lane, and I stopped on the right side of the right lane next to the construction barrels on yet another steel plate.

After ensuring I was indeed stopped, I got up and went over to the bike which was still running and hit the kill switch. A couple guys pulled over and helped me get it into the Jiffy Lube parking lot just to the side, then left me there with it. I found the footpeg which snapped off and the laminar windshield lip which came off as well, but the turn signal was in the intersection and already in dust by the time I realized it was gone. My helmet doesn't show any marks (don't know how) but the entire back of my gear is covered in grit and scrapes, including inside the jacket and on my liner and fleece where it rode up a bit.

I am uninjured, but have a good bruise on my butt (I think I hit part of a plate when I went down). My neck is a little sore/stiff but it always is after a tournament (and was the morning before I left for work) so I don't think that was caused by the wreck. The bike has lost the left footpeg and left turn signal, the clutch assembly snapped off, and the shifter is wedged up against the body of the engine. The lower left faring is damaged and there is skid damage on the upper left faring and on my left saddlebag.

The tow guy helped me force it back into neutral (it was stuck in 3rd) so we can move it without damaging the drivetrain, so I am hopeful that the bike is fixable without too much expense. The bike is back in my garage and will be taken to Ride West this morning when they open. I got a police report and the insurance claim has already been started as well. It could have been so much worse, but I wish it hadn't happened at all.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Honey, I am glad to know that you are well and safe and only have minor reminders of this event. I've never been involved in a "bad" car crash - several which had damage and one when you were little and my main concern was your safety. Every time I think of this, I shake my head as it could have been so much worse. I love you always - Mom