Lnewqban (Enthusiast) View all posts in this topic  
Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:45 am
Thank you much, BobA        

My last fall was in 1991 in Cuba, when the output shaft of my Russian motorcycle snapped and locked my rear tire at about 40 mph.
I still have some scars in my ankle and elbow from that event (there was no protective gear to wear over there, only helmets).

Here in USA, I cannot allow myself into or afford these type of things; reason for which I am extra cautious and alert while riding.

However, I have became complacent with this specific intersection, which put me completely at fault in this fall.

This intersection is in my apartment's development, two blocks from my garage.
I only go through there around 6:30~7:00 am each working day, and at that time, I only have coincided with crossing cars a very few times in one year.
It allows free path in my direction, but it has a stop sign for traffic coming from the left and right.
The buildings and bushes on the left hide any car pretty much until it is at the stop line (the right side allows an open view).

For those reasons, I have been using my ears to sense the rarely left side approaching cars, but at the same time, I have became more and more confident with the lack of traffic, increasing my speed onto that fun first left turn in the morning.

This van was not familiar, and the driver was at the apartments just to drop someone, which he did right after crossing the intersection; then he made a left turn, took a look at me and just took-off (the passenger, a young boy, came to offer me help when I was already up).
The guy would have crashed into a car as well, since he did not stop or slowed down at the sign; I was pretty visible because I was wearing a neon vest over the jacket, but I cannot tell where he was looking at since I was just looking at the front bumper of his van (maybe target fixation, but it was a very important target at that instant). Smile

I did not hear the van coming and it passed that stop sign at around 30 mph, without any hesitation.
I had just reduced from third to second gear and was initiating the bank into the left turn when I saw the van emerging from behind the buildings and bushes.
I only remember doing a quick conscious calculation of the point of head-to-head collision.
I don't know what my hand did with the front brake because I never commanded it to do anything; all I remember is that I was dragging on the street as soon as I concluded that I was going to run onto the front of that van.

For sure I locked the front brake and did not touch the rear brake; a panic reaction indeed.
It seems that the bike was coming to a stop just before the front tire skidded, because the tar stain on the left knee of my over-pant and the grooves in the asphalt are around 6~8' long.
The grooves were made by the front's tire bolt and by the shift lever.
There are no marks on my jacket or helmet, only on my over-pant and left boot.

I am very happy about the fact that the bike came to a stop around 4' clear from the path of the van and that I had no pain latter on or major damage to the bike (I did continue on to work).

I should have known better that putting my bike and myself into that mess.
The asphalt is as new as my front tire (couple of weeks), which was absolutely cold.
If somebody could run that stop sign, my approaching speed was way too high for the particularly limited visibility condition of that intersection.

Overconfidence is the only reason for so many accidents occurring in a few miles radius from home.

Regarding the panic reaction, I believe I had no way to control it: the many years of accumulated experiences riding motorcycles were over-ridden in a split second by the sub-conscious part of my brain.

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