My opinion on many things related to motorcycling has changed quite a bit since I started riding in November 2006. As my riding skills evolved, so too did the perspectives through which I viewed motorcycling. On this very forum I have argued passionately based on my views and attacked harshly those who disagreed with them. I was so convinced I knew the answers, you see. I falsely adopted the mindset that my perspective equalled reality. As if the two things reflected each other perfectly, like a mirror. Perhaps it was more like a reflection on the surface of a pond. It's not solid, and if you disturb it the ripples will distort it. On Saturday 4th May at around 6pm, a minute from home, someone threw a rock into that pond and now there is confusion where before there was clarity. Doubt seeps its way into things I was so certain about. What exactly am I talking about? A minute from home, I crashed. I broke Rule 1 of motorcycling, the rule I worked so hard to avoid breaking since I first got my license. I read books, I read things online and, of course, I spent a lot of time on Netrider, trying to learn and better understand these addictive and beautiful two wheeled things. I watched crash videos on youtube and told myself I would avoid making those same mistakes. I practiced emergency braking, and laughed inside my helmet at anyone with a quizzical look on their face as they passed me by as I measured stopping distances. I read the "I crashed" threads of other members here on this very forum, and many times I wondered how they didn't do this or that differently. If they had, they would have gotten home like nothing happened. A minute from home, four nights ago, I got my answer. Maybe things did go differently 99 times before. All of these things we do to better ourselves as riders do help, our skills do grow. Yet even if they get us through near disasters 99 times, it only takes that single one where everything doesn't go according to plan for us to pay a heavy price. My perspective shaped me into believing that I could avoid things 100 per cent of the time. Reality doesn't seem to work that way. She had plenty of time. The lady waiting to make a right hand turn. There was a car ahead of me that she waited for and the gap between us was probably sufficient enough for her to turn after that car passed and before I was too close. For whatever reason, a reason I will probably never know, she waited. And waited. I rolled off the throttle just a little as usual when there is an oncoming car waiting to turn across my path. "Just in case". And at some point I decided that the danger had passed, or lessened. She hadn't pulled across my path, I was almost past her. And then she turned. It happened so much quicker than I imagined it would be like. In my mind, imagining the scenario, I would brake hard, wipe off some speed and then try to swerve around her as she realised her mistake and stopped in the middle of the road. Perspective. Opinion. The Universe laughs at such things. That's not reality. It felt like I had 1 second to react, and I reacted with 1 second of sheer disbelief. I managed a pathetic attempt at moving further left before reality's version of "snap out of it" greeted with me with the loudest, most violent CRUNCH I can remember. And then the unpleasant sensation of being kicked off and over my bike was followed by the peaceful, quiet and calm of flying 10 metres through the air. All that braking practice? It helped avoid trouble in the past, this time there wasn't even anything for the police to measure for their reports. I never even touched them. One of the many jarring contrasts between my perspective and reality that I am trying to deal with. Thanks for bearing with me. I now come to the core point of my little thread. The reality is I hit that car once in the physical world, but I've hit it a hundred more times in my mind at night. I don't mean nightmares or anything like that. I'm pretty positive and feel ok, I just keep dwelling on it and running it through my head. Over and over again. I have to distract myself to avoid focusing on it. The physical fractures will heal with time, and I was lucky in that regard, but to those of you who have crashed, how do you deal with it mentally? A week ago I would have laughed at anyone who asked if I would ride again after a crash. Now there is fear. I cannot remember ever feeling this way before. My mind is drifting toward track bikes. It's one of the many things within me that I was so sure were solid that have turned out to be just like that reflection in a pond.