I have been riding motorcycles for many years, and with every ride comes its own set of risks. Accidents can be caused for many different reasons including poor motorcycle maintenance, bad road surfaces, distracted drivers, and several other variable factors.
Since passing my motorcycle test back in 2009, I have been involved in 3 major accidents involving my motorcycle, and I've learnt a new lesson on every occasion. Motorcycle accidents are always an unpleasant experience, and in some cases they can be life changing. We take a risk every time we go out on two wheels, and today I am going to be talking about my first ever motorcycle accident. I have obviously had many close encounters, dropped bikes, and slid off on the odd occasion, but this is the first accident that involved another vehicle. So lets begin....
I had just passed my A2 motorcycle test (7th October 2009) and I had already decided on the bike I was going to purchase. It was sitting in a garage called "Ramoto" in Bournemouth. A biker friendly garage with a decent salesman who knew everything about the bike (and it's history). The following week I was ready to collect my new shiny machine straight from the showroom. A naked grey Kawasaki ER5, one of the most reliable commuters on the market, with a 33BHP restriction kit (to match my A2 license) - It was perfect!
I took it for a spin that Saturday and spent several hours riding around the New Forest. It felt like a super-powered sports bike with no restrictions... Well, it was my first big bike! There was not a scratch on the bike, everything was perfectly maintained and it had that "new engine" smell (even though it was several years old). I couldn't wait to show it off. I was doing loops of the town, revving it up and making it very obvious that I had a new toy.
Day 2, It is now Sunday afternoon (11th October 2009) and less than a week since I passed my test. I had planned a small fishing trip with a good friend of mine - Brucey. It's a shame how some friends just drift apart over time, but the list seems to get smaller as you get older. I can count on one hand the friends I am still in touch with, and the way it's going I will soon have nothing to count.
Anyway, we were heading down the Christchurch road towards Ringwood at around 16:30 in the afternoon. The weather was fair, no rain with a very slight breeze. We had spent a good couple of hours looking at lakes in the Sopley area, and finally decided it was time to head back. We were now on the Christchurch road.
For some time we were stuck behind a car doing between 40 and 45 miles an hour, in a national speed limit zone. Finally the bendy roads came to an end and we were on a straight stretch of road (with perfect visibility). The weather was still calm with no rain or breeze, and no oncoming traffic as far as the eye could see.
We began to overtake, slowly revving up between 55 and 60mph. I was performing a textbook style "overtake" with dipped lights, plenty of room, clear indication, and no reason to think anything bad would happen. Suddenly the car driver made a screeching turn in to Rod Lane. The driver was obviously not prepared for the road she had planned to enter, and performed a last second "dangerous" manoeuvre cutting in to my path.
No warning, no indication and no time to avoid the inevitable. The car was now at a 45 degree angle in our overtaking lane. There was nowhere to turn and a collision was guaranteed. I slammed on the brakes and began a sideways skid.... We hit the car side by side crushing mine and my pillions left leg. My head sharply hit the rear driver side window, momentarily entering the car (I thank my "life saving" helmet that I had no head injuries), I did however have one hell of a headache!
The ambulance arrived shortly after, where we were checked for serious injuries. I was in some considerable pain, but completely refused to go with the ambulance. I don't like wasting the time of the emergency services, and I didn't feel too bad at the time. I knew I could still walk and therefore I didn't want to take an ambulance off the streets. They eventually/reluctantly left, but strongly advised that I should go straight to hospital.
First thing on my mind was how to get my bike back home? I called the RAC (whilst sat in the back of the ambulance) and they showed up within the hour, however the driver was reluctant to pick up the motorcycle-trailer from Southampton. He was adamant my motorbike was safe enough to ride home, and suggested it is the most viable option. The police on the scene said it was entirely up to me if I felt safe enough riding it, the ambulance crew were strongly opposed to the idea, and the RAC guy had no intention of getting the trailer. He even suggested there may be a waiting list for the motorcycle trailer, and we could be waiting several hours for it to be returned. So with the thought of potentially waiting 6 to 10 hours (as he suggested) to return with a trailer, we decided I would ride the bike back.
The RAC guy followed closely behind with his flashing lights, and I never went above 25MPH. I was unsure of the bikes condition and I was still very shaky. After a 20 minute ride with no indicators and what felt like spongy brakes, I was finally home.
The car was completely written off (as far as I was aware) and my bike was a catergory C write-off. I was now sat by my bike in the front garden, with it's smashed front caliper, no indicators, bent gear shift lever, twisted yoke, and a load of scratches!
A couple hours later the adrenaline and shock were starting to wear off, and I was beginning to lock up. My parents drove me to hospital where I was admitted almost immediately (I have to thank both Bournemouth and Poole hospital for their great service). I was examined and within seconds found myself strapped to a stretcher with blocks of foam taped to my head, neck and legs. For the next few days I remained strapped to this stretcher unable to move. I was transported to and from hospitals in the back of an ambulance, where I would undergo many X-rays, CT scans and blood checks.
Finally I was released after several days of "strictly" no movement! The foam blocks were removed, and I was booked in for months of Physiotherapy. It took several hundred pounds and many weeks to fix my bike, but I finally restored it to its original condition. It was a 50/50 split on responsibility and I gained nothing. I still remain very thankful that I am here to tell the tale!
Thank you for reading my Blog!