Way back in 1971. I was on my way back to college after spending a weekend at home. Going through an intersection, I had the green light but a lady turned left in front of me. Didn't see me, she said.
I hit her car about even with the rear wheel. The bike stopped but I kept going, flying through the air like superman. I landed on my face and broke three teeth, tore my chin open, and my knee, and broke a small bone in my foot. Nothing really that serious or permanent.
She knelt next to me and held my hand and cried until the ambulance came. Her name was Dolores, which I reminded her, meant 'pain'.
My parents 'convinced' me I would give up motorcycles, and I bought a car, but a few years later I wanted another bike. And I've been riding ever since then with no major problems. The accident taught me to be paranoid, to always expect stupid people in cars to pull into my lane or into my path. I think it's this paranoia that's kept me safe. Every few weeks I read about some old, experienced biker who was done in by some idiot backing out of a driveway or making a left turn in front of him.
The driver always says "I didn't see him!" Which is true. Because they don't LOOK! This is definitely the worst hazard for motorcycles.
About five years ago, in my car, I was rear-ended by a kid in a big van. My car was hit so hard it actually flexed in the middle, there were wrinkles in the top of the roof. He hit me so hard my seat went back and wouldn't come up. I hurt my neck (a little) but I got to thinking how bad it would have been if I'd been on my bike. But then I realized that if I'd been on my bike I wouldn't have been there. It was stop-and-go traffic and it's legal here in California to split lanes, so I would have gone up between the columns of stopped cars and I wouldn't have had the accident at all.
· 9 years ago