geekonabike (Addict) View all posts in this topic  
Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:08 am
Saw a common throttle mistake in a scooter mishap        

Easy to grab a handful of throttle when going down. Bad idea.

So I was awaiting the start of a car show in my town, when I saw a lady I know as a cashier at a local store coming down the road on the other side on her 250cc Hyosung scooter, one of the larger ones. I didn't think anything of it, and she somewhat disappeared from view behind the roadblock to park it on a little, slightly slanted parking area off a street perpendicular to the main drag. I'm chatting with friends across the street, when I suddenly hear the scooter throttle up and see it spinning tight circles and go down. After realizing this probably wasn't some guy friend of hers stunting, I ran over there and saw her sitting on the ground a few feet from it, with her left shoe off and stuck between the center and side stands. She seemed mostly OK except for a couple scuffs, on one leg and on her thumb, though her knee kept giving out whenever she tried to walk. Fortunately her sister was meeting her there with a minivan with one middle seat gone, so she could sit in the van without having to get up onto an actual seat.

From what I can tell, she was trying to turn it to better park it when she had a foot down that got caught in the stands.

But as she was falling she probably tried to pull herself up by the throttle hand, causing the throttle to open hard, causing the quick circles and eventual crash. The scooter of course went into a very short gearing and spun with authority in a tight circle, throwing her off. Maybe it was a good thing this time that she didn't have on foot gear that would not come off. On the other hand her tennis shoes were kind of wide in the treads, and quite new and grippy. Hard to say.

The scooter just looked a little rashed up, better than most in Taiwan that just get scuffed from people crunching them together to get more parking room. There was some fluid that dripped out when they put it back upright, but it didn't have much if any smell so I'm thinking it might have been some nasty water that had been pooling in the plastic somewhere. It might have been a weak antifreeze mix, maybe from the reservoir, since it didn't just evaporate, but it stopped so I tried to reassure her that her scooter was probably fine if a little scarred. I bet her knee will be weak for a week or so, and give out randomly in the meantime, as it did after she took a couple steps. Even if she were not injured, I told her sister she should not ride it home. I offered to if they would take me back to town, to help check it out too, but she said her husband would come with a trailer.

When I took MSF, I pulled back on the throttle accidentally many times, usually when I was trying to stop. I guess that's the motion I used as a kid riding bicycles or something. (Pull back on the brake--pull back on the throttle? Not good.) It made me a little paranoid about not doing that. This lady wasn't exactly a total student of riding, but had been riding for a few years on her scooter. She lives maybe 7 miles from her work place so it's a good match for her in that sense. But I guess we're always learning, sometimes the hard way.


In fact I rode home carefully because it seemed trouble was following me around last night. An hour after the lady had her scooter mishap, a guy who manned one of those big smoker grills had the lid drop on him, catching him in the head a bit up and forward of his left ear. He got up and walked around, and I saw he was bleeding out the side of his head and gave him some clean napkins I had since I was chowing down a messy hot dog: ketchup, mustard, relish and a bun that had difficulty with all that. He was becoming a pretty bloody mess, so I gave him more napkins (hey, it's what I had!). I wasn't part of his group that was doing the hot dogs (youth professional subset of the Chamber of Commerce). I later heard from someone who took him to the hospital that he was still waiting to be seen quite a while later (gotta wonder about small-town hospitals, but I may have heard wrong), and that he was more and more covered with his blood as he waited. I sure hope he was eventually OK. Later I wondered out loud if I should have given him some of the ice they had for the drinks to keep the bleeding down a bit, though I guess it should be wrapped in plastic or something, which we might have been able to do. The blood came out slowly and then more quickly but then they took him away. Somehow I didn't eat another hot dog after that. In fact I planned to give him my cold drink can if he had been burned be he said he wasn't. Oh well, hindsight.

This was after one of those bouncy inflatable things kids were jumping around inside had started collapsing, with kids inside, because the inflating fan came unattached. I helped put that back on too, and better secure it. I'm not sure if the kids thought that was scary or cool.

Oh, and someone knocked my helmet over and it dropped a couple feet onto the concrete. I'm glad it wasn't my new Shoei.

Hopefully today is a new day.

-Mike D.

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