One Year Ago Today
I was found lying unconscious in the middle of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
My GPS log from the day:
167 10:12:33 AM 3041 ft 359 ft 0:00:05 49 mph 109° true N36 49.932 W80 20.123 168 10:12:38 AM 3019 ft 0.1 mi 0:00:08 49 mph 116° true N36 49.913 W80 20.053 169 10:12:46 AM 3000 ft 67 ft 0:00:05 9 mph 111° true N36 49.872 W80 19.948 170 10:12:51 AM 2998 ft 0 ft 0:10:48 0 mph 0° true N36 49.868 W80 19.935
49 mph to 9 mph to 0 mph. The 67 ft I’m guessing is the distance my bike and I skidded, tumbled and bounced down the parkway.
I never saw the deer. I’m guessing he didn’t see me either, until it was too late for both of us.
I remember nothing about the accident. A blur coming from the right? Maybe.
I opened my eyes to see three older men standing around me asking if I was OK. I’m guessing at this point the answer is “No”.
The rest was a blur…
- Being strapped to a board.
- A brief ambulance ride.
- Hearing a helicopter.
- Being loaded into the helicopter.
- Realizing the paramedic in the copter was VERY cute.
- Being disappointed she wouldn’t honor my request to tilt the chopper so I could see out the window.
Hospital. X-Rays. Pain medication.
At some point Brenda and my father-in-law showed up (I was in Roanoke, VA). The next day I was bandaged up and sent home.
At home it was another trip to the hospital. Some pins in the hand, a plate on the collarbone and a few weeks (months?) sleeping in a recliner.
Lots of physical therapy! My shoulder feels fine although it still is weird feeling the plate in there. My hand is probably back to 90%. It is stiff and I’m still exercising it. One of the good things to come out of this is I do try to stretch and exercise a bit every morning.
- Collarbone - broken in two places.
- Hand bones - mangled.
- Bike - totalled.
- Riding suit - not too bad but the paramedics cut it off me - totalled.
- Gloves - missing one (from my mangled hand?)
And I can’t remember anything that happened at Easter (lots of Percocet)
Have I mentioned how great my wife is?
- New bike: BMW R1100GS (w/ABS)
- Helmet: Same as the last one. I figure it worked so why change? Shoei RF1100
- Gloves: I did get some better gloves with more protection. I’m still not sure what I did to cause the damage to my hand, and if better gloves would have prevented the injuries.
- If I had not been wearing a helmet I’d be dead. ATGATT
- If I had not been wearing my Aerostich I would have sustained worse injuries - I had no road rash!
- If I had left the campground 5 minutes earlier or 5 minutes later none of this would have happened.
- Whoever found me on the Parkway.
- The paramedics who got me to the hospital.
- The cute girl in the helicopter.
- The folks at the campground who gathered up all my gear and got it back to me.
- The guy on my motorcycle mailing list who brought my bike home from the mountains.
- My doctors and physical therapists.
- Friends, family, neighbors who supported my family.
- My wife.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!