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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was 24 and riding home after a day of sailing. Headed south on I-5 through the downtown "S" curve in San Diego I took the eastbound highway 94 ramp and twisted the throttle of my CL 350 Honda. Unfortunately the rain grooves on I-5 had given the bike a bit of a wobble and the transition to 94 included a 2" lift from the rain grooved concrete to the asphalt of the 2 lane off ramp. Doing 75 I blew by a VW bus moving in front of him just as the wobble went mega...
I vividly remember going left - right, left - right and then left DOWN in the space of a second or two.

My right knee took the brunt of the initial impact as I clung to the bike as it slid down the ramp. My best friend, a very experienced/skilled rider had always told me to stay with the bike in this sort of event and fortunately I remembered his words. The accident report from the CHP stated that I slid for 110 yards and I came to looking up at the front license plate of that VW bus. The guy driving the bus said I stayed with the bike for most of the slide but near the end went limp {probably blacking out at that point} separating from the bike and tumbling like a rag doll. He was freaked as it was all he could do not to run my sorry ass over. Had I separated from the bike on the initial impact I would have probably broken every bone in my body but clinging to the bike clearly saved me. As it was I broke my shoulder, several ribs, ripped most of my knee apart with copious amounts of road rash. I ground three holes completely through my open face helmet and shredded the leather "earth shoes" {remember them?} along with the light jacket and corduroy pants I was wearing.

The SDPD finally showed and hauled me to the nearest ER in a Ford Econoline Van in lieu of a ambulance. Once I was stabilized they transferred me to the large Kaiser Hospital where I spent a few days in the ICU and managed to get sent home after a week. I spent the next 6 months moving from crutches to a cane as I relearned how to walk tended to largely by my 4 year old daughter. The bike amazingly enough was in pretty good shape as all it did was slide. The repairs were a few hundred bucks and my buddy picked it up and rode it home for me. I kept the bike and my license current for nearly a year but just could not relax and ride comfortably. Following my friends good advice I finally sold it and let my license expire.

Fast forward 38 years... my neighbor had a nice 87 BMW R80 RT he had just restored and was looking to sell, yep, just had to get back up on 2 wheels as the itch just never went away. I scratched it by taking the MSF Basic Rider Course and started logging some serious miles. Eight months later I traded the Beemer back to my 80 year old neighbor and bought his 2010 HD Dyna Super Glide. Rode the the Dyna for 40K miles and 3+ years and took the Advanced Rider Training {.com - check them out} Advanced Rider course. Did my Iron Butt - 1,071 miles in 18 hours at age 65 and 2 years ago sold the Dyna and bought my 2017 Springfield and have not looked back.

For the record since getting back on I have been a 100% ATGATT guy. Ironically had I been wearing what I wear now I probably would have limped away from the crash with relatively minor injuries...well maybe. The point is mute as the quality safety gear of today simply did not exist by in large back in 1976 so draw your own conclusions. In the last 6 years and 70K miles I have not been down and have only had one or two close calls. I attribute this to the training taken and riding with a couple of excellent buddies who made it their mission to bring me along safely and flatten the learning curve {one of whom is a 27 year retired veteran motor officer from the CHP} not to mention a fair amount of luck.

That's my tale...be safe out there my brothers.

(y)
 

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That is great story! Lucky you came out as well as you did!
 

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I was never in that severe of an accident, so maybe my words are hollow, but I am glad you made it back to 2 wheels. I couldn't imagine scrapping the whole experience for a mistake - too many great memories. In fact, I had a doctor shake her head at me one time for riding to my 6 month check-up for a fractured c5 (lower neck vertebrae) I got during a low-side slide into a vent pipe in a field.
 
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I know that I-5/94 southbound transition well. Even worst in heavy traffic considering there's 2 freeway on ramps and 2 highway off ramps in an area of about 1/4 mile. Glad you're here to tell the tale.
 

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Holy Sh!t ! ! !

This July 14th will be my 44th Accident Anniversary as well, and I was riding the exact same bike as you were. Mine was a '71 that I had made a very amateurish attempt at going Cafe Racer.

In my case a woman turned left in front of me in green Ford Maverick. I ended up flying over her hood and if my left foot had been about 3" higher in the air, I would've walked away. Instead I shattered all of the metatarsals and, after surgery, was in a cast for six month. My bike didn't make out any better.

Glad you're back in the saddle, too ! ! !

Stay Safe !





BD
 

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My big wreck was on Father's Day of 2001 when I got rear ended whiled stopped to make a left turn. I used the turn signals and gave a hand signal but no use as the 19 year old driving his grandma's Pontiac Parisienne locked the brakes up at the last second before hitting me. It knocked me out but I flew over the handlebars and cleared the windshield landing about 35 feet ahead of the bike. When I came to the bike was stuck in the grille of the Pontiac with gasoline running on the hot engine. I told the cop to go shut off the petcock as I lie waiting for an ambulance. I had a broken right shoulder and a couple cracked ribs, a badly bruised right hip & knee and multiple small fractures in my right foot and ankle. In spite of all the pain I was very thankful that I was alive. P.S. I went and bought another bike two weeks later even though I needed a cane to walk. I got back on and rode it home.
 

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Interesting... I was stationed in San Diego in 1976.... crashed more than once in the few monthes I was stationed there with the Canoe Club.. Good insurance I had!!!! Rode an old 650 Yamaha home to MI ... then on to a new Duty station on East coast. By '96 I was almost recovered from an unfortunate Incident in 1993... Broke me real good... didn't walk for a couple years!!! Still had 3 or 4 Harleys Including my Dragbike... which I set numerous National Records with... 2 in 1993, and 4 more on 1996 and 1997...
Hell... I crashed my SuperGlide [in the yard on the Grass thankfully] when I had a collar and steel cage onto me!!!
I been riding since I was 5 years old Continuously.. Harley exclusively, from Discharge in '81 until I got the 2015 Indian with Hack..
I do wear a Helmet, most of the time!!!!
I hope to have a Street Type DragBike ready for the Upcoming [tho delayed] Season!!!

Ride all ya Can... while ya can... our illustrious Governor has decided we are in Lock-Down,and not supposed to Ride our Motorcycles... only Bicycles.. spaced 6 feet apart of course!!!!

of course... Golf courses and Nurseries are closed... while Walmart and Burger Chef are open!!!!! Sheesh!!!!!
 
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