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Discussion Starter #1
So earlier this summer I stopped in traffic and the car behind me stopped in traffic. The car behind her however did not, plowing into her at what I estimate was over 50 mph (80 kph for our rational measurement friends). And that's all I remember. I swear I saw tire smoke in my mirror but it may only be for a better story. Up until I say "I woke up.." below is all what was told to me and took about 10-20 seconds away from my life.

Unfortunately for me the car behind me was pushed into my K6 putting me on the pavement. I fell between the cars (losing my left boot because my foot was on the ground and the foot peg took it off of me as my bike tried to go through me). I stood up, walk across the left lane of traffic and laid myself down in the median.

I woke up screaming with a **** load of pain in my left leg (motorcycles trying to pass through flesh will do that) and more in my right shoulder collar bone area. The subject at fault did come over to me while I was on the ground and tell me she only looked down for a second. This part of the highway is notorious for stop and go traffic on weekdays during rush hour.

A nice dude named Joe, whom I never had an opportunity to thank, rushed to me and kept me calm while I waited for the ambulance. I also got him to call my wife to tell her why I was going to the trauma center instead of work.

Long story short, my injuries required two nights in the hospital (one in ICU): broken collar bone, lacerated spleen (minor), subdoral hematoma (even more minor [minorer?]).

I'm now out a motorcycle (her insurance did give me a fair settlement on it), a full set of gear (again her insurance paid), a summer of riding, and a guilty feeling for wanting to ride again.

My family has made its stance clear on getting another bike ("You're a grown man who can make his own decisions") but I hear the tone underneath it.

So, anyone who has been in a moderately serious crash, how long did it take you to get back to riding (after injuries were healed up)? Any advice for this 10+ year rider who had his first major accident?





Also, **** you if you text and drive. And Mazda CX-9s will save the life of the motorcyclist in front of them.
 

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Glad to hear it wasn't worse.

I hit a deer on the Interstate on my brand new '87 Ninja 750 and totaled it. Got my bell rung pretty good and banged-up a bit (even with full leathers), but no overnight hospital stay.

Another new Ninja was on the way by the end of the week.

I did hear about a friend's mother saying - "...so he's not getting back on one again - right?" If I didn't think crashing was always a possibility I'd ride in shorts, flip-flops, and a T-shirt...

I have broken my collarbone and fingers, and injured my back, in other accidents.

Give it some time while you heal-up, and you'll know when you are ready.
 

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Never had a bad street crash, but racing crashes I was always chomping at the bit to get back on the bike.

In the end, it's a very personal decision. If, afterwards, you still enjoy riding and aren't "riding scared", and if the risk/reward equation still works for you, then keep riding. If it doesn't, don't. No right or wrong either way.
 

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What Rich said. Don't go back to using the bike as daily transport unless you have no choice. Find what makes you happy, and do it.

If you haven't taken all the MSF courses, finish your education. There are tactics in the Advanced Rider Course, that deal specifically with what happened to you. I took it a few years back, and even after fifty years of riding I learned a lot.

And of course, in Pennsylvania the courses are all free:naughty:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I feel mostly ready. Still waiting for my collar bone to heal up.

I am curious what tactics I could have used to avoid the accident. I was in the left side of the right lane with enough room in front. The lady behind me was a bit close. There was no damage to the front of my bike because that part didn't hit anything.

I do plan on taking the intermediate course with a new bike as soon as I can. 1) To familiarize myself with it and 2) seat time!!!!!!

Thanks y'all.
 

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I am curious what tactics I could have used to avoid the accident. I was in the left side of the right lane with enough room in front. The lady behind me was a bit close. There was no damage to the front of my bike because that part didn't hit anything.
Sorry to hear about the accident, and glad you're on the mend. I don't think there's anything you could've done to avoid this situation: you and the car behind you were at a standstill in traffic. It was pure bad luck.

Even if you were in a car rather than on your bike, I reckon the car would've been quite damaged, with airbags deployed, etc, judging by the damage to your bike.

I really don't have any wisdom to impart: I've never had a bad off, just scrapes and bruises and the odd scuff / broken turn signal on the bike. All when I was young and stupid. Well, more stupid than I am now, anyway.

On a bike you're always going to be more vulnerable than in a car, so all you can do is hone your own skills. I think it's a great idea to do the course you suggest. Best of luck with what you decide to do.
 

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Sounds like one of those unavoidable things. You did everything right.

One year I had four accidents while driving four different cars.
All of them rear-enders while legally stopped!
Been driving cars since 1963 without any other accidents of this sort.
My dad used to say that I could get a 50% discount on collision coverage, since all my crash damages were in the front.
Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned this, oops! :naughty: Persevere!
 

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I ended up on a walker with a broken hand, broken shoulder blade, and knee split open to the bone. Guy pulled into the intersection as I was riding through it and dead stopped sideways. As soon as I was done with rehabilitation and healed up, I jumped on my brother's Ninja 500 and forced myself through the PTSD that intersections brought.

Then I got hit AGAIN a year later, this time resulting in all the prior injuries being aggravated (still), on top of a TBI which robbed me of the memory of the event.

I ended up hanging up riding in Portland and only rode in SF until the last few weeks when I brought my SV, roughly a year.

I'm still a little weary at major intersections on arterial roads, but for the most part I feel pretty comfortable. I don't have a wife and kids to worry about, and while I am more than aware that it could happen again (I wasn't at fault for either), I gotta ride.

As others have said, it's pretty personal. My brother hasn't ridden since he had his daughter a year and a half ago, but I have always been a far more active rider.

If you're gonna ride, start with small, short, easy riding. I wasn't rising scared per se after my first wreck, but noticed intersections would raise my heart rate.
 

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I've had two get offs . First one my fault and target fixation and the second one involving a truck who decided to try a U turn on a blind curve. It took me more time to come back from the first one than it did the second, but each one left me with a bit of apprehension. Since you did ask for advice;

1. Don't come back from riding because you're concerned about how fellow riders (including here) will think about you. Only stupid people will think less of you and frankly...most likely people aren't thinking of you at all.

2. If you have children under 18 at home, unless your wife is totally behind your riding, then give that serious consideration. When I quit for a number of years I scratched the itch with cycling and buying a used Miata. Great distractions....but after ten years I started riding again. Good luck and God bless.
 

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After 2nd of 2 tibia/fibular comminuted open fractures along with neurological and tendon damage, plates and bone grafts, I didn't ride partly from not having a rideable bike for 7 years. Then the itch (to ride) kicks in. I guess the interval quelled the PTSD and I had no residual irrational fear. Enjoy but take extra care as far as the other drivers will allow.
 

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I was hit and injured, though not as badly as you, last November. After carefully reviewing it, I realized the only thing I could have done differently that would have reduced my chance of being hit was not to be riding in heavy traffic. My lane position, speed, etc. was all carefully chosen. I was hyper aware I could be hit in exactly the way I was and had the clutch and brakes covered and throttle hand ready to react if someone tried to turn in front of me. But when the car darted out, there just was no way to avoid them because there were too many cars.

I got back on as soon as my broken hand, damaged meniscus and tendinitis healed enough for me to ride comfortably (physically and mentally, that I had enough strength.) I planned a route directly out of the city, and went at a lower traffic time. I was still very anxious. I rode slower. I braked earlier and hard for turns. I was clumsy. But I really wanted to ride.

My wife understands how important riding is to me, so she just asked that I give up riding at night. Not because I was hit at night, but because she worries more at night. All other non-riding friends and relatives were astounded-nearly-to-the-point-of-offended that I would get back on a bike. Oh well. They've gotten over it.

I got back on the road by planning easy rides for myself. Short solo rides on roads I know well and enjoy with little traffic and few intersections. It felt rough at first, but I got comfortable again. I ride a little more conservatively now than I did, but I think I'm probably a better rider for it all.

Good luck. If you love riding like I do, I hope you can get back out there.
 

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Nothing really to add here, when I crashed I ended up with a bruised rib, and it took a little over a month to get the bike back to being ready to ride, and I was chomping at the bit.

Never had a bad street crash, but racing crashes I was always chomping at the bit to get back on the bike.

In the end, it's a very personal decision. If, afterwards, you still enjoy riding and aren't "riding scared", and if the risk/reward equation still works for you, then keep riding. If it doesn't, don't. No right or wrong either way.
What rich said really sums it up.

Don't go back to using the bike as daily transport unless you have no choice.
WTF? OP - make your own decision. There's nothing wrong with a bike as daily transport.

Yes, it increases exposure, but what doesn't? Spending more time on the bike is spending more time on the bike. If that is what makes YOU happy and doesn't make waves with the missus, then do it. Or don't. But don't let someone else make that decision for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the thoughts and comments. Sorry for making a thread where we all compare scars.

Me, I feel like I'm ready to ride (even went to a dealer last week just to sit on a bike).

I know it's a personal choice, etc. but I wanted to get "the wisdom of the crowd" on this one. My wife seems to begrudgingly coming to the idea I am going to ride again. My kids have only known me with a motorcycle.
 

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I felt I had to lay my bike over, in a bad traffic area to avoid hitting workmen...who were milling around in a un-coned zone...did what I had to do, totalling Suzie's nose....now prepping to go nekkid. Some scrapes, little swollen, in a couple of places, but I did my best, in a bad spot. I wish I'd taken a 'right', prior to all the traffic mess.
 

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I felt I had to lay my bike over, in a bad traffic area to avoid hitting workmen...who were milling around in a un-coned zone...did what I had to do, totalling Suzie's nose....now prepping to go nekkid. Some scrapes, little swollen, in a couple of places, but I did my best, in a bad spot. I wish I'd taken a 'right', prior to all the traffic mess.
Does your bike have ABS? If so, it must have malfunctioned.
 

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i agree- if riding is something you enjoy and want to do, then do it. If not, then don't. You don't owe anyone an explanation, much less to a bunch of people on the internet.

Somewhat related to the discussion here, my daughter recently bought her first bike which is a different kind of worry. It's a dual sport, older than she is. I hope I convinced her to stick to dirt riding for the foreseeable future, and hopefully forever. There's plenty of public land out where she lives so off-roading is great, and she doesn't need a bike for daily transportation. I think that because I ride, my advice has a little more credibility than people who just have a knee jerk opposition to motorcycles.

I'm interested in hearing from others in this situation of being both a parent and a fellow rider. My daughter is also an open water scuba diver, so I've long since got used to the fact that she engages in risky activities, just like I did and do.
 

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Daughters and granddaughters? None of mine ride, partly because I won't subsidize bikes (or cars, unless I am involved with the choice).
Also partly because I repeat this factoid every time they see me riding
"You are a good, careful driver. If you ride a motorcycle with that same level of skill and care, you are ten times more likely to have an accident"
 
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