jimja (guest) View all posts in this topic  
Sat May 23, 2015 10:39 am
Dropped the bike and learned a lesson (long)        

I cannot believe how lucky I am. I don't deserve it.

I was preparing myself to start commuting to work by riding the route over the weekend to familiarize myself with it from a motorcycle point of view. I've been driving this route every workday in my car for more than a year.

Which is probably why I wasn't paying enough attention when I pulled out across traffic from a left turn lane at one point.

Every morning when I drive it in a car, after the red a green arrow comes on indicating my lane can go left.

This morning I got a green, and I don't remember whether it was a green arrow or just a green. It was probably just a green, because as I accelerated out of there, I realized oncoming traffic was really oncoming -- they had gotten a green light, too, and were moving.

Nobody was going very fast but everybody was committed. I tried to "comb" the traffic (riding between the oncoming cars) and I braked. I may have braked too much because the bike went down just as the two first cars were passing me. I guess I highsided but it was more like tumbling forward and to the right as the bike went down.

I was stopped and all the cars were, too. I got up, went back and turned off the engine, picked the bike up and wheeled it to the side of the road.

Someone from one of the cars yelled, "Are you alright?" I said, "Yeah, I'm alright."

And I was. I was wearing my leather jacket and jeans over Bohn armor tops and bottoms as well as gel-padded leather gloves. I went down onto the road but I barely felt it. Just a little dust on my pants.

There was a filling station on that corner so I wheeled the bike over there and put it up on its centerstand. The mirrors were a bent, but not broken in any way. I did a walkaround and TCLOCS. Everything looked fine.

This bike (2004 250R) had been dropped by a previous owner, and I guess I dropped the bike on the same marks she left, because there was NO visible damage. So I got on and tried to start it up. Took a little cranking and throttle but it came to life and continued to run just fine, no funny sounds.

I was still feeling a little shook but I figured if the horse was okay I better get back on. So I readjusted the mirrors and very gingerly got back on the road and completed my ride.

Took me a while to figure it out, but it's simple: The light at the intersection didn't know I was there, so it didn't run the "left-turn routine". The green I saw was a two-way traffic green. And I was so habituated to going through that intersection in a car that
1) I didn't even consider that the signal wouldn't see me and therefore wouldn't run its left turn function, and
2) I just assumed/presumed that oncoming traffic would do what it always does, which was stay stopped.

I said I don't deserve to be so lucky because I made simple/dumb errors. I let my guard down and went on autopilot a little.

So I learned a valuable lesson, and all that got dented was my pride.

When I go out next time, I'll leave the pride at home and make sure I bring lots of caution... and humility, if I can find any.

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