Sunday, 10 January 2010

PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME



I have plenty of goals for this only slightly-used year. (See the previous post for the breakdown.) I am adding another, namely, to make it through the whole thing. It was "touch and go" for a handful of seconds earlier this week.

I've been called "nuts" by some family, some friends, because of my marathon exploits. Even more voices joined the chorus when I bought a motorcycle in September 2008.

It was a matter of practicality at the time. Our 2001 Saturn had served us well for years, but it was getting a little tired. Financial limitations were such that buying a new one was possible, but not too smart. However, if I continued to use it to get to and home from work, its' life span would be seriously shortened. Enter, my first ever motorcycle, a 2009 Honda Rebel. It's a little bike, but it does what it's supposed to.

I've known a bunch of moto riders over the years. Some of them ride like "hot dogs" and take pride in the dings and scratches they've inflicted on their machines through encounters with various other objects and unfriendly surfaces. They have never impressed me. I have also known another group of riders who take it real easy out there, fully cognizant of the inherent perils of the activity. I told myself, and my wife, that when I got the bike I would be one of the latter. I have lived up to that promise.

However, the best made plans...sometimes go wonky.

Tooling across the San Rafael Bridge last Thursday night, I had ocassion to brake more quickly than I would have liked. I was far enough behind the fairly heavy traffic in front of me that I knew, if I had to stop fast, I was not in danger of rear-ending anyone. However, the more likely scenario was that I could get smacked from behind.

As it happened, I braked, the front wheel slid left, dumping the bike and me onto our right sides. We slid together for about 20 feet. The bike went a few feet more. No one hit me, and I got up, dazed, to survey the damage. My fear was that it was more serious than it was. I picked up the 325 lb bike, moved it out of the traffic lanes and she started right up. After thanking the driver behind me for calling in the accident, told him I thought the bike was fine and that I could make it home. That's just how it played out. I've since been told by other riders that this practically "never happens". I broke a bar-end off the right side of the handlebar, and scratched my windshield. I also ripped the knees and elbows out of $300 worth of "gear". The bar-end cost $17 to replace. And a new jacket, pants and boots set me back about $290. You know when someone says "It coulda been worse"? This was one of those times, really.

What does this have to do with my running blog? I'm thinking, quite a bit, simply because, I'm still here, I can still run. I dodged a serious bullet. I can still dream about where I'd like to run next...and then choose to go.

It can all go belly-up, folks, ever so quickly. It can go so quickly that you might not even be aware of just how quickly it ended.

Happy to still be able to say...

Gotta run!

9 comments:

rUntoNamAste said...

Jesu Christo! That must have been scary experience indeed, but I'm so happy to hear that the worst-case-scenario did not play out. The running gods were definitely looking out for you because you've got some incredible running to do this year! They know the deal :) I'm glad you're ok! Be safe!

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TokyoRacer said...

You're getting some weird comments.
Anyway, glad you're still in one piece — and that the piece is as big as it used to be.

Cristiano / Sky One said...

First of all: I'm a motorbiker too, so I know how you feel.
Anyway you're writing about the fall, and you're doin' it with all your pieces in the right place. That's the good news. You'll repair your bike and you don't need to repair yourself. So good.
Here in Italy we say that there are 2 biker's types: those who have fallen and those who have yet to fall (pardon my Google translation - I don't know if it's correct). Welcome to the club! :-)

Jocelyn said...

Wow. Glad you are ok!!

kara said...

Lucky you! Still must of hurt.

I want a Vespa...

Denise said...

eeek. Motorcycles scare me.

Just read your goals for 2010. sounds like an INCREDIBLE year!! You really kick butt!!

leslie said...

Michael -- You have MUCH to be grateful for! It's easy to take life and movement for granted, isn't it?

Right before Christmas I got sick (NOT from drinking, I might add!), passed out on my way to the bathroom, and came to on the ground, bleeding from where my head hit the bathroom counter on my way down. All I have is a cool Harry Potter-esque scar. Felt lucky, but felt even luckier when I heard of people who'd had seizures after similar experiences.

Life is precious. We are blessed.

Hugs to you!