Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Death came oh so close...

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by Maetrik, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Alright this thread has been spurred on by the death of a rider i know only as "Jono", the thread regarding his sad passing can be found here:


    The poor bloke died somewhere on Launching Place-Gembrook Rd which i had read about the day after it happening. Everytime i read about a rider passing i always chuck a little RIP status on my facebook just to remind myself that the sport im engaged in does actually kill people.

    It was a beautiful day yesterday and i knew a really good 2-3 hour ride using the same road the bloke died on. It was in the back of my mind but i was focused on what i was doing and didn't think about it much. Not out of disrespect more so i could focus on my own riding than anything else.

    Now i was going through Upper Beaconsfield and started to realise i wasn't really "on the ball" as much as i would have liked to have been. I'd stuffed up a few tight corners and even overshot one which scared the bejeesus out of me. This is where the error was made. My mind was telling me today was not my day. I've read on many forums and heard from many people that when riding your subconscious will pick up on things that your conscious mind won't. LISTEN TO THEM. Mine were telling me to turn the F^!@ around and go home as it simply wasn't my day. I continued on, foolishly.

    I can't remember exactly where it happened by i'll illustrate below how much of a rookie mistake it was by indicating the line i took through a corner that caused me to come off:

    As i hope all the newbies have seen, robsalvv has put hours into cornering threads and how to enter a corner at the correct point, so that your line tightens at the apex rather than spreads wide. My mind was off with the fairies as i've described earlier. It was quite an open corner, i think the recommendation was 65km/h and i hit it at 95km/h which would have been fine had i been on the ball and concentrating.

    Long story short i unfortunately was on the line as illustrated above. SR's kicked in, i looked exactly where i didn't want to go, crossed over to the other side of the road. The minute i hit edge of the road the front wheel dug in (the ground was extremely soggy) and smashed to one side, catapulting my face into the bitumen. From here on in is a bit foggy. I had incredible sorness in my face and neck, and was pissing blood from my mouth DESPITE a full face helmet. I cautiously rode home (stupid i know but i was in shock and wanted to at least be closer to a hospital in case something were to happen).

    Ended up getting home and was violently ill (a sign of severe concussion to those who haven't experienced it). Got to the hospital and was immediately put in a neck brace. 3 shots of morphine and i was still in agony, so im tipping my face hit the deck at a considerable amount of G's. Suspected facial fractures and potential upper spinal fracture. Was immobilised in the hospital for a good 5 hours until i was given the all clear. As i was leaving a bloke got wheeled in, motorbike helmet on the end of the bed absolutely covered in blood screaming. Yet another reminder of my luck.

    This is the second time ive put the bike down in 6 months due to stupid mistakes. This one nearly cost me my life, or at least my mobility. I'm taking a break for a bit, or at least taking it very easy if i decide to spend a few bucks to fix up the bike which luckily isn't bad at all.

    I nearly ended up in a morgue with Jono, so it's hit home a bit, im still in a bit of shock about it all but another lesson learnt. If you don't feel with it, are tired, or don't feel right for christs sake turn around and GO HOME. Ignoring this nearly cost me my life.

    Be safe.

  2. Far out mate, that is intense! Sorry to hear about your off. Glad to hear it was not any worse.
  3. WOW. Thanks for sharing mate. Very glad you came out of it in 1 piece (relatively). I've had days like that too, where I just feel, like I'm not really with it. I also stupidly continued on, but, thankfully, was not harmed at all. You're lesson is a reminder to me that I too should listen to that voice telling me to turn around.
  4. Wheres the pics?
  5. That's certainly sound advice which I won't at all disagree with. Let's put it at the top of the list of advice for this situation. However, if you spend a lot of time in the saddle you'll find yourself in this situation regularly enough where you want to - or have to - push on. There are ways to do so. Breaks, caffeine - all the external stuff - but I will say you can successfully manage these situations through your riding style as well. For instance, I'll make a point of slowing down so that absolutely no corner is technically challenging in terms of getting through it. Another way of saying that is that I will reduce my speed to the point where I only need to draw on 50% of my skill level. Then I will really engage myself in a slow speed skill focussed on smooth riding - for me often a focus on taking corners without any braking other than the engine's (a bit easier on a big single) - and focus on taking lots of pleasure in it. You're then in a slow and very controlled situation which you're taking pleasure from. The pleasure can revive me and I enter into a good zone where I'm very much in control and responsive to challenges, taking them in my stride.

    So I'm not disagreeing with you're advice, but I think it's very good to develop skills for dealing with a bad headspace - they will also save you long-term.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. :( Ben, bugger mate. Thanks for sharing and commiserations.

    Hope you heal well. SR's are a biatch... and you'll have stronger ones to chip away at when you get back on the bike.

    FWIW, when I feel like you were feeling and are pushing on, I slow down and hammer the basics hard: Pointing the chin, vanishing points, rolling on, weight shifting etc. I might look like a cock doing all this at slowish speeds - it doesn' matter, the point is that there'll always be another ride and locking in the muscle memory on a bad day helps when you're having a good day.
  7. SNAP! Mattb!!
  8. It happens to the best of us,
    Doing stupid things, when your just not with it,
    All I do is slow right down and be a tourist,
    I go round corners at a speed a learner will leave me for dead on,
    I dont go home, I continue riding, Look at the trees, What ever,
    I know I am not riding well, so I dont even think about pushing it,
    Tomorrow I will be right again, but today, I just putt it,

    When you come off, put your arms up in front of your face, It saves your head hitting the ground,

    Glad your all right tho,
  9. i'm not saying anything.
    you're no doubt getting enough anguish from mum, wife, gf.
    they never forget and you will never hear the end of it. never.
  10. Sorry to hear about your off Ben.

    Don't want to have a go at you but just a few things really stood out in your post.

    Hitting a corner at 30kph over the recommended speed limit after knowing that you weren't really on your "game" wasn't the best move I think.

    Were you riding with anyone when you came off? Because if you were I would be seriously looking at finding some new friends to ride with. You should have called for an ambulance straight away as any accident where your head get's "catapulted into the bitumen" is pretty serious. Lucky you didn't black out on the ride home and I am rather astonished that you even made it.

    I know that you stated in your OP that you continued to ride on foolishly, that it was a rookie mistake etc but I thought I would just put in my 2 cents and if my post comes across harsh it's only because I hope that it helps out other riders or even yourself for future knowledge.
    I know you are probably in a world of hurt at the moment and I hope that this post doesn't seem like i'm a cold hearted prick. I had a couple of off's last year so I know what it's like to hit the road. Since then I have done numerous courses (CSS) and track days that have really assisted me in getting my confidence back up and more importantly, getting the knowledge and real world experience of cornering properly - still an ongoing learning process might I add!

    I could have always just posed the question, "So what have you learned from this" but guess I was/am after just some specifics from you.

    Hope you have a speedy recovery mate.

  11. good advice on not continuing/slowing down. Your so lucky all things considered. glad you came out ok. Take a breather and get back in the saddle when your mind is 100% into it.
  12. Wow mate, thanks for sharing. It is a sad but important reminder that although being on two wheels is one of the most rewarding things on earth we all need to take care beacuse it really is dangerouse.
  13. I reckon the statement below is pretty telling.

    You were road riding not road racing and that's the reason why so many come unstuck while riding on the road.

    It's a road not a race track.
  14. you might have learnt that if you don't treat those roads with respect they bite you on the bum. its not a manicured tourist road. bit of cow poop or an old bloke in a ute and you'd be completely cactus. I ride it a bit and its been hairy since Xmas with riders running wide a bit too often for comfort.
  15. To all who made the points regarding slowing down when feeling "out of it" and just focusing on the basics, i now know this. It has been learnt the hard way but sometimes this is the case in life, unfortunately we can't all have a whiteboard in front of us and a Valentino Rossi running us through these scenarious. It's definitely on board now.

    Thanks for your messages QV. Hitting a corner 30km/h above the advisory was completely foolish given my state of awareness, thats the point i was making, maybe i wasn't very clear. I wasn't riding with anybody, i intended on a nice quiet yet moderate ride on my own, on a route i'd done 5+ times. I have no one to blame but myself.

    It was stupid to ride on, but i was in shock. Not until about Seville did i truly realise how delerious i was. The whole time i was in the far left lane doing 10km/h under the limit, ready to pull over at any time. We can all say "you should have called an ambulance" but i was in that much shock that all i wanted to do was get home.

    I just want to stress again to the newer riders not necessarily the experienced guys, pay attention to your headspace. Your brain is the one keeping you on the bike, and interpreting the information coming at you. It is also the thing that can cause you to come undone, so listen to it.

  16. Glad you're ok.

    I think MattB's advice is spot on, if you're 300+ kays from home & you're not feeling 100% there's bugger all you can do about.

    I find too, if I do slow down, I tend to get back into the right headspace & I can build my pace back up naturally & safely, get back into the flow.

    I always ride better after lunch, too.
  17. Yeah this comes with experience i guess, after all i've only been in the saddle 8 months.

    I have to laugh at your last line, everytime i've been pulled over by the police they always say motorcyclists turn silly after lunch. We ''relax too much'' and that is the period where they see the most fatalities.

    Goz, photos to come, my camera has shit itself so i need to use another one that i can't find.
  18. Light lunch (not too many carbs), one beer & get your head back together ;)

    Works for me.
  19. Hey Maetrik,

    I don't know you, but two crashes (serious ones too) in a couple of months is probably worth learning something from.

    My advice would be to not take some time off the bike, but to ride more and to dial it down. If you are anything like me, you'll probably have trouble dialling it down, so find a seriously advanced rider and get them to ride with you. Have them lead, tell them to never exceed the speed limit (boring, i know :D) and practice your basics.

    I think you've got the basics down, but need to spend some time just drilling them over and over without trying to push yourself to allow some natural growth as you seat some good basic techniques deep in your riding abilities.

    95k/hr on a 65k/hr corner should have been possible to get around, even on that line had you managed to conquer your SRs. I've only just started to come to grips with mine (still a looooooooong way to go there :D). I find my two biggest ones are target fixation and being tight on the bars. I've found the two best ways of conquering them has been practicing at slow speed like I mentioned above and gradually having to conquer slight SRs whilst riding along normally....

    Stay upright mate! Keep riding! Make sure you are around to tell your grandkids what a sik-**** you were back in the day.
  20. I agree with Mattb and Rob, but sometimes, when you're not with it the safest thing to do is to bale out. I went out on Saturday morning, mind just not with it all. I consciously took every corner slow, thought about what I was doing but the more I thought the worse it got. I've been riding long enough to know when to call it a day (well, morning, it was early).