Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Close Call on the Vulcan

I had to run out to mail a package today at lunchtime. I was on the bike, so took off from my business park and headed down the road. It was a nice sunny day today, so I was enjoying being out on the bike.

I was tooling along about 25 or 30 mph when the BMW I was following decided to stop short. He saw some ladies approaching a crosswalk (mind you, they weren't there yet!) and decided to bow up in the road. I don't think I was following too closely, but in a split second I was skidding to a stop. My brakes locked up and I slid, but I didn't want to hit the car. As I finally came to a stop my front tire was turned a little to the right and the bike started tipping over. I couldn't stop it so I flew off on the right side and the bike rested on its engine guard. They've saved the Vulcan twice now from tipping all the way over.

I was fine, other than a little stiffness as the day continues on. The bike was fine but we noticed a little fluid on the ground from underneath. I think it was gas or coolant. One of the ladies ran over and said, "I'm a biker, and I'll help you get it upright." What are the chances of that happening? We both couldn't get it up, as it is quite heavy. So the guy jumped out of his car and stood there not knowing what to do. I think he was more shook up than I was. Between the three of us we stood the bike up, having to tell the guy to put down the kickstand so we could all let go of it. He obviously doesn't ride.

They made sure my bike and I was OK and then we all went our merry way. My adrenaline was pumping for a few hours later. By the time I rode home from work I was stiff, tired, and felt like I'd been through the wringer. I was surprised how such an event can take so much out of you. I'm still hearing the screech of my brakes in my head as I slid along towards the back bumper of the BMW. I will probably have nice dreams tonight.

18 comments:

mrs rc said...

So glad you made it through OK. Things like that are completely scary. I've never a call that close, luckily, but any time I have to break quickly for a sudden changing traffic light or something i can taste my stomach in my throat. So I can only imagine the dreams you'll be having tonight.

Have you ever been shown the technique for righting a dropped bike? I haven't personally tried it but I've seen several videos of small women successfully lifting large bikes on their own. (And the theory, using your legs for power instead of your arms & back, makes a lot of sense) If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out.

Becky said...

Mrs RC: Actually I have the instructions for righting a bike in my archives, along with the video. I have studied it, and the lady who helped me seemed to know what to do, but we just couldn't get it up. She kept saying,"She's a heavy one." I know it can be done but how many times do I want to tip it over to practice?

Bikerchickz

BumbleVee said...

glad to hear it was just a small slide Becky.....

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Very glad you are doing alright!

Lady Ridesalot said...

Glad you came out of this okay. I locked my back brake once when I first started riding the Electra Glide. The noise alone will scare the crap out of you. I release my brake quickly and started fishtailing. After three or so left and right whips I got it stopped, still upright. I was shaking like a leaf though. Lessons and situations like these is what gives us our "experience". Ride on and ride safe.

Dean "D-Day" said...

Whew! Glad you're alright.

I've had a couple close calls like that myself. It can be a real heart-pounder!

B.B. said...

I'm glad you're okay!

"Joker" said...

I'm really glad you're ok Becky!

These close calls are a good thing though I think; they prepare you to deal with a real emergency. They give you a moment of pause and make you re-evaluate the way you ride. Sometimes, they even help a rider to develop safer habits.

I wasn't so lucky - my first 'close call' was also my first crash. Since then I always leave plenty of room in front of me. I find myself now covering my brakes and horn instinctively at the slightest hint of encroaching cages or approaching blinds.

Chalk it up as experience, and be glad you were smart and added that engine guard!

Sangfroid said...

Hey ... this is my first visit to your blog and unfortunately you had a mishap.

Well, roads are never certain. Glad that you came out of it unscathed and hoping that you didn't have bad dreams either :-)

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Hey Bec, I'm really glad you are O.K.! It is a scary thing going down. You never know what is going to happen, and it all happens so fast. Anyway, glas you are alright.

As they say in Minnesota.... It could have been worse!

mrs rc said...

I'm not exactly wanting to intentionally lay my bike on the ground either...that's why I have never practiced either!

Becky said...

Bumblevee: Thanks. It could have been alot worse.

Iowaharleygirl: Thank you for commenting. I wasn't sure you were a reader...

Ladyridesalot: I keep running it through my mind trying to learn what I could have done differently. You're right about chalking it up to experience. I hope I don't have an event like you describe!

Dean d-day: My heart sure was pounding and by the time I got to the Post Office I broke out in a sweat. I'm sure it was the shock of it all.

B.B.: Thanks. I hope things like this don't keep you from learning to ride. You have a good teacher.

Joker: I hope I learned something from this experience. I think I will practice stopping short in a parking lot, and stay further back from cars if possible. No hurries...

Sangfroid: Amazingly I didn't dream about the mishap, I dreamed about work! (I hate that)I'm already over it now. Thanks for stopping by.

Mr. Motorcycle: Thanks. It did happen so fast but it seemed like it was in slow motion when I think back on it. I really was lucky.

Mrs. RC: I've seen Harley classes for women where everyone practices picking up a bike. I just can't get into the group thing.

Bikerchickz

B.B. said...

Becky, it definately won't keep me from learning to ride, but it does reinforce my desire to put engine guards on my bike. :)

Becky said...

B.B.: The engine guards are the best invention since sliced bread! Definately worth it.

Bikerchickz

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Yep...I do read your blog...It's great to find out other women's perspectives in this male dominated way of life. Your Vulcan is a sweet looking ride. My heart is with HD but sometimes I find myself cheating a little bit and checking out what the others have...lol. :) Keep up the great blogging...I really enjoy your site!

Tinker said...

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want. Good job avoiding the bogie!

FLHX_Dave said...

You know what I do? I go out on a back road that is straight and get the bike up to 45 or 50 mph and I brake as hard as I can without locking up the rear. I kept doing that until I got it. Now I never lock up the rear brake. You might hear it chatter slightly but I have managed to train myself not to lock up. It has made a huge difference. I have to retrain myself on every new bike I have ever owned because each one is different. (Now someone is going state that it is hard on your brakes and tires and all that. I would rather be hard on my bike than hard on my head. Can't get a new head but can always get new pads and tires.)

Glad it wasn't worse and that you are alright!

fasthair said...

http://pinkribbonrides.com/dropped.html

Not sure if you have seen this post or not. But it is how it is done.

fasthair