Motorcycle Crash Postmortem 2

This is a postmortem on a motorcycle crash which occurred on .

Background

I’ll preface this by saying I have been riding my motorcycle more and more. Gas has become insanely expensive. Nearly a $1.20 cent increase a couple of weeks. My truck gets 16 miles to the gallon while my motorcycle gets 51. The decision is easy. Ride the mortocycle as often as possible.

The day of the crash I went for a run around Town Lake. I did my usual route, but stopped on the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge because 3 guys were doing some freestyle music. After listening for a bit, I continued and finished my run.

My run concluded around lunch time. I decided to take the scenic route home which goes past Red Bud Isle and through Westlake. After I graduated college, I worked for Expero in Westlake. My coworkers and I used to go for lunch to a place called Texas Honey Ham Company. I always thought they were pretty good, and I hadn’t been in a while, so why not stop there for lunch. I ate my sandwich and went on my way back home through Barton Creek Boulevard.

Barton Creek Boulevard is a nice windy and hilly-ish road in southwest Austin. I was riding on it like I usually do, which happens to be above the speed limit in order to exaggerate the thrill of the ride. As I crested a hill near the Barton Creek Country Club, I noticed a nice white house on the opposing hill. I began admiring the house in the distance. Apparently I focused on the house too much because when I turned my focus back to the road, my motorcyle was headed straight, but the road was turning left. I tried to correct the turn, but was unable to do it completely and undershot the turn. Because of this, I ended up jumping a little drainage ditch, losing control, and falling off the bike.

After coming to a stop, I pulled myself out from under the motorcycle to realize that my left knee was a little scraped up and I was bleeding a bit. I let the motorcycle kill itself, and I just stood for a moment with my hands on my knees to gather myself and refocus. During this exercise, 2 cars ended up stopping to help. One was a nice elderly hispanic couple who lived in the area. The other was two middle-aged men. The elderly man got out and made sure I was ok while his wife handed my some tissues to try to clean up the blood on my leg. The middle-aged men also made sure I was ok before heading on their way to an appointment.

The elderly couple stayed with me. Eventually the husband offered to ride my bike home for me. He happended to be a motorcycle rider himself at the age of 76! I eventually relented not wanting to burden this couple anymore than I already had. I hopped in their Porsche which the wife drove. She ranted her husband’s own crash in Patagonia. Nice to know you’re not alone sometimes! A couple minutes later we were back to my apartment and the couple was on their way.

Problem

So where did I mess up?

I think my biggest mistake was just becoming too comfortable on a motorcycle which caused me to let my guard down. My focus wasn’t on the road in the instance of the crash because it was a road I had ridden so often, and I thought I could just mentally coast through. It is hard to say whether this type of mistake will happen again. One can only hope that this is a teaching moment for myself.

Aftermath

Luckily for me and my motorcycle, we both came out relatively unscathed. My knee wasn’t broken, only scraped. Scabs quickly formed and are currently in the process of healing. My motorcycle obviously ran immediately after the crash, but I ended up with a busted front fender, a dented gas tank, and some broken/scratched-up components composing the headlight. This week, I took the motorcycle to the shop, and they quoted me $600 in parts in addition to about $200 in labor. I ended up not getting a new gas tank because I didn’t want to spend the 1.2 thousand dollars for a new one. Parts are due to come in 2-3 weeks from now. For the moment, I’ll just live with the dent in the gas tank because at least it provides character and a reminder of my past mistake.

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