The Lure of the Motorcycle


October 17th, 2015 was a new adventure for me.  I crashed and totaled my brand new 2015 BMW 1200GSW.  Some were hoping this would be my wake up call hoping I would not want to ever ride again.  I wonder if those same people question those who have been in a car crash?  I digress.

My life with my bike(s) has been full of LIFE.  Exploration, going places I would never dream about going in a car.  Meeting so many people who don’t share my passion about bikes but want to know “how do you do this alone?”  What is it like to ride in bad weather?  Don’t you get scared?  Aren’t you worried you will crash and die?

My life with my bike(s) has been about meeting people who share my passion and want to exchange stories.

Well, the later question is easy, not one I hope many experience but was I worried I would ever crash and die?  Yes.  It’s the truth.  Always in the back of my brain, somewhere was that thought but I was never scared for that day if and when it happened.

What scared the crap out of me on October 17th was the fact I had precious cargo on board.  I never envisioned myself jeopardizing another life all the while doing what I LOVE and know can be dangerous.  I mean pretty much just living can be dangerous into today’s society but we all know riding on two wheels, exposed to many things makes us more vulnerable to  “accidents” and injuries.

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Reality of my injury, broken tibia and multiple fractures

Riding means so much to me.  Maybe too much.  I get depressed when I can’t ride, like now.  I don’t even have a bike to replace my beauty BLUE yet.

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I did the best I could under the circumstances on this day to keep us alive.  I did.  I have received many messages telling what I must have done wrong and I need to learn from this accident.  Won’t go into details again, did that on a previous post about the specifics of this accident but that is why they call them accidents – some things are not in our control as riders.

One thing I remember well is everything about the sequence of events.  My partner blacked out after I told her to hang on.  Making split second decisions when you are faced with imminent danger and threat to your life is what I remember.  Where can I go to avoid death and minimize injuries to my partner?  I wasn’t worried about me to be honest but her.  So, I did what I could…got off the pavement while my bike was in a full fledge  wobble.  Jumped the shoulder into a drainage ditch only to be surprised again that the ditch was full of old telephone poles and logs.  Now, that I was not expecting.  Thought it would be easy to high side the bike into the bank and voila we would be safe, bike would maybe be scratched and we would need help getting the it out of the 3 foot ditch.  Instead, we hydroplaned tight roping the debris and that was it…head on into a culvert and 20 feet later of flying in the air we landed as well as the bike.

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My view after we crashed and all I could do was to make sure my partner was OK, and she was and then I looked over to my left and asked, “is my bike totaled?”  Oh and I also warned anyone who tried to touch me that I knew for sure that my right tibia was broken and NOT to touch my boot.  😌 The bike landed about 8 feet from me.  Not thinking at the time it could have landed on top of myself…now that would have been something eh?  Not in a good way.

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So many good Samaritans stopped to assist us and to make sure we were OK.  I remember 2 nurses checking me out and one being my advocate to listen when it came to my leg.  She even insisted that the ambulance crew not take my boot off because we both knew the pain would increase.  OH, that pain, worse than anything I have ever felt even though I have broken many bones.

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I have 7.5 more weeks in this full length cast.  I’ve been thinking abut so many things.  I have been back on Long Island for 6 months and still have not found myself career wise.  That’s stressful.  Healthcare here has been stressful trying to navigate…compared to BC, Canada.  Money? What’s that?  The exchanged rate killed me.  I feel as though many of my posts have a negative tone to them.  Like I am missing that spark I used to have and I think it’s true.  So, that is also something I am working on. I feel a bit beaten down, and I know the world and people have such bigger concerns than my little own worries but change can be discouraging and it’s subjective as to how one deals with adversity.

I dream about getting a new bike or buying back my “old” bike.

LI Ferry

It’s has everything I want on a bike, new tires, 24,000 mile service done and she used to be mine.  I think I would welcome her back into my life and a part of me wants to ride away after this cast comes off.  Take another trip, go explore, rejuvenate myself and figure out this new Long Island life.  It’s obvious I have not been able to complete my transition moving from Canada to the USA, something is missing and it’s not just a job.  I need to appreciate everyone in my life here more….I need to change up my attitude because I am not who I want to me right now.

The LURE of the MOTORCYCLE is what excites me even after this crash.  The freedom, the intensity, the speed and excitement a bike gives me is the LURE.  I will do my best to become a MSF instructor…many hurdles to tackle here in NY even before can take the MSF test.  I believe in my riding skills and I suppose once I recover the real test will be revealed after I get back on a bike.

I want those who don’t understand why many of us ride, take chances that many find senseless to relax a little on us.  We all do risky behaviors and it’s up to the individual to minimize them as much as we can, IF we CAN.

Why the LURE…look at these pictures from my past trips…thousands of miles (KM’s) of riding….I mean thousands…the beauty I have had the privileged to see…time spent with myself…many don’t do that enough I think.  I ride because I love it and even now…since I crashed, been on the other side I still want to ride.

 

 

 

21 Comments

  1. Rob Hyndman says:

    It’s what we do. So we do it. 😉

  2. Paul Baker says:

    Following your posts last year, when you rode around the U. S., made me say, that’s what I want to do. You have inspired me to do more riding, and to go farther. So, I look forward to seeing more of your posts when you get back on the road.

  3. Maria says:

    Hang in there sista… my mom use to say “life is about peaks and valleys”. Do the best you can and strive to be happy… that’s all any of us can do. Believe you’re going to be okay and you will…. How’s your partner coming along?

    • advgrrl says:

      She’s great..doing well and yes I am getting to know that saying quite well…thx as always for your comment

      • Maria says:

        Oh good, glad to hear she’s doing well…. Sorry for the cliche quote…but it’s so true! I’ll send you good vibes so that you heal faster! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  4. bmwgrrl says:

    there is more danger in not living your life.

  5. Been there done that… It was hard. I hurt a lot and considered giving up riding… but I loved it so much. The physical healing was painful but the mental healing was just as painful… Only yourself, me and others like ourselves will fully understand.. Get well and get back to riding soon… her is my story. I hope it helps… http://www.thetexasrambler.com/2012/05/23/yes-motorcycling-is-dangerous/

  6. Britt Runyon says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    Be well.

  7. DRF says:

    I hope you have a speedy recovery and are back on a bike soon.

  8. Gary says:

    Leslie – reading your post reminded me of the Rush song – Roll the Bones – specifically, the lyrics ‘why are we here…because we’re here’…just transform it to ‘why do we ride…because we ride’ – and that is all the explanation needed. 😉 You’ve got quite a few years before you swap two wheels for a Unimog type adventure vehicle. 😉 You’re right – it’s all about meeting the people out there on the road and seeing sights and having adventures never possible in a car. 😉

  9. Gurpal Singh says:

    Leslie live your life as truly close to how you imagine. Can’t live someone else’s life. We all age in a blink. Don’t let overthinking come in the way of your true action. That is RIDING. Period.

  10. kierk1 says:

    Take care and heal well. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living but the opposite is true too: the unlived life is not worth examining. Hope you are back on the bike soon.

  11. ranksg says:

    Les…I have been there 2. Went down on my Wing at 60+ MPHIL 4 yrs ago. 5 broken ribs, broken collar bone, knocked out, flight 4 life helicopter ride, 2 days intensive, 2 days guarded and yet I still ride. Then a year later, a woman on a HD crossed the centerline on totaled my replacement event Wing…torn rotator cuff. 

    I have a 2015 F800GS, 2007 KLR 650 and a 2001 1800 Wing. Ride almost everyday, unless black ice, snow.

    Just won’t take anyone w/ me anymore. That is the price I pay now.

    Hang in there…as u said nothing reply es the em feel ofthe em bikeunder rmy u…take care and heal well.

    gary-paul

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Tablet

  12. If you stop riding you will need to find a new therapist. And I’ll put money on it that no human therapist will be anywhere near as good as two wheels.

    Heal well, stay well

    EG

  13. Mitty Gallo says:

    Good morning, I understand completely your worry over your loved one on the back, I too had this fear. My daughter was always my passenger. We logged many miles throughout the States and Canada, in all different weather, did I worry or fear for us, yes, yes, yes. Sure we could have went all those places by car, but like you, there is an “inherent” need to ride. Having a passenger makes you feel far more vulnerable and you are ultimately responsible for them. It’s just not you anymore. Your passenger makes a conscious decision to ride with you and understands the risk, because all you have to do is look at the bike and one realizes what could possibly happen. For me, I think I instilled in my daughter that she could do anything that she wanted and her sex should not decide what her abilities are. She also had her own dirt bike and had own her own dust-ups(term used lightly). Gabriella beamed when I would drop her off at school on the bike. It gave her a sense of pride that she still carries with her today. You will continue to second guess yourself, but keep this in mind, you rode that bike the best way you could, looked to take it down with the least amount of damage, took a bad spill, worried not of yourself but of your partner, then bike, then you. You did a great job, no worries. Soon enough you will be ready with a “new” bike and looking for your next great adventure or just a great ride. Just remember that you could be walking and get hit by a bus, get an incurable disease, or even be on a ferry that sinks (I’m not the Harbinger of Doom). You have to do what you love to do, because life is too short not too. You need to do what fuels your soul. I can hear the siren(HD RoadGlide) song calling me for a long ride. Happy Thanksgiving. P.S.-Sorry a bit long winded I am.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have followed you for a few yr I have a tiger because of your post, I live in n. ca been riding for ever, work in orthopedics 27 yrs. I want to tell you to relax with compassion , like you said accidents happen don’t beat yourself up. Riding 2 up scares me for the same reason my gf of 5 yrs is precious cargo. You will heal and then get over the mental stuff and feel the wind in your face yet again! Be kind to yourself sister!

  14. Kevin Brent says:

    You haven’t lost your spark. You wouldn’t be sharing any of this with us, or writing at all if you had. 😉

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