Ah, the joys of winter. Lovely balmy days, pleasant rides in the countryside, nice roads, friendly policeman....Hang on, someone wake me up... So, it's pouring with rain and it's a Saturday. Do you: a.) Get the Xbox out and try to work out MotoGP6 b.) Complete the Desert warfare campaign on Call of Duty c.) Watch TV/Walk the dogs/Housework d.) Go out with a friend for a ride to a cafe for lunch Yup, any sensible person would have picked a/b and maybe, if you were desperate c. But I picked D! But the company was excellent, the prospect of food was enticing and it's only rain eh? Nice little run out to Yarra Glen, revelling in the newly found grip of the Pilot Powers, the tuned suspension that now seems to provide handling rather than some form of medieval torture and we end up in Healesville for a really nice lunch. Open fire (nice and toasty), good service and excellent food (I can recommend the poached eggs and mushrooms on toast - yum!), coupled with 2 lovely lattes made for a great afternoon. Alas, time has marched on and I needed to get back to get ready for the Fire and Ice party at Deyagos (way to go Jake!). Riding back along Maroondah Highway I am in the outside lane of the small sectiion of dual carriageway heading towards Coldstream and opposite St Huberts winery. The bike is upright, I am upright, there is no steering input or body input, just a pleaseant 100kmh and nearly home. Have you ever experienced that feeling when you go 'uh oh, this don't feel right'? Given that I am upright, the involuntary change of direction that the bike is now making is confusing the hell out of me. The bike starts coming to the left, the front starts going away from me and then BANG! I am on my (little) arse, tumbling and watching in vivid technicolour my bike sliding away from me (thank God) and the car that was behind me now sideways on, sliding and then BANG! They crash into a tree on the embankment. After stopping (and it didn't take that long) I have this overriding sense of fear that I am going to be collected by the cars behind and approaching. You have never seen anyone stumble up an embankment so quickly. So there I am, sitting on the embankment and my ride partner for the day comes towards me with a look of calm on their face. Mmmm, I think they've done this before! 1/2 dozen cars stop and everyone is so helpful, none more so than a lovely lady called Shannon who was wonderful, calling the police, ambulance etc...A quick turn to the right the Pulsar that crashed is now facing the right way with it's left rear quarter pretty well mangled. Suddenly the euphoria of not being run over is replaced by an real desire to vomit. I need to get the helmet off and have a little bit of a lie down. In the rain, but the rain was cooling and the wet of the grass made me feel just a little bit better. Still, my hands were sore, my elbow was killing me but everything else felt fine. Now the ambo's arrive and with them, the police. First reports are that there is a diesel slick about where I came off and then CFA are called. 3 crews turn up and the road is closed for 20-30 minutes why they use detergent to wash off the crap. I'm in the ambulance having a check up and other than an irregular beat my rate was calm and not bad for someone who's just had an off. Blood pressure a nice 150/80 is not too bad either in said situation... The 3 people in the Pulsar are shaken but ok and seem more concerned as to my wellbeing than anything else. No acrimony, just an exchange of details and some real concern on all sides. Police are not interested in me at all, observe the condition of the road and once the PBT is complete, they are happy for me to go on my way. The bike is loaded onto the back of Scumbags trailer and sent back to my place for a very sore, sad and a little depressed Cejay to both ponder his good fortune and bad luck in equal measure. The elbow suffered friction burns from my clothers, not from the gravel. The Dri-Rider has armour in the elbows and the impact resulted in some swelling in my arm and a small tear in the fabric. 10/10 I used my old Dainese jeans. Good move. They have Kevlar knee and shin protection. I know I went down onto my knee (scuff marks and some soreness) but no other damage. A small tear in the stretch panel. 9/10 Gloves and boots worked perfectly. Hands were realy sore and tingly afterwards. No abrasions or hand damage. Gloves/boots 10/10 Helmet. This is weird. My visor is scuffed and scratched, but my helmet shell never touched the ground. But the visor stayed attached and didn't break. 10/10 Bike. Er, well, if anyones wants a mint condition Fireblade I know someone who might be able to sell you some parts! The bike is stuffed. At least the left hand side is stuffed. LH fairings, front fairing, rear section, gear level, swingarm and frame are all either broken, gouged, scraped or scuffed. Alternator cover is ground away, radiator hose was ground down, raidiator has a dent, clutch reservoir is ground, basically, if it's on the left, it's buggered. Insured with Shannons, so I need to call them tomorrow, contact a bike doctor and try to get a preliminary evaluation on the repair status of the bike. One part of me says, fix it, it's a great bike, the other part says it'll never be the same, half the parts will be long back orders and I might not see it for months. I don't know what lessons I can take from this experience. I was doing nothing other than riding in a straight line on a wet day. I wasn't exceeding any posted speed limit, was relaxed and happy but alert and aware of the situation. Really, I can't think of what I could have done differently to change the outcome. And that's always a little scary. My last accident was 21 yrs ago when I was a teenage male with an RD250LC and no skill. I could see what I did wrong back then and it's easy to correct that. But when all you're doing is riding in a straight line? Positives are that good gear helps. I hit the deck at 100kmh. There was no retardation prior to hitting the ground. All I have is a sore elbow, some damaged pride and a broken bike. As they say, any accident you can walk away from is a good accident. Photo's here or here DAC = Diesel Appreciation Club. Rob is #1. I am honoured to be #2.