Screeccchhh…Crash!!!

Broken Fairing

If the post topic was not enough, I assume the picture would have given you a complete idea, what this post is about. Now you must be wondering what kind of a person would like to write a blog entry for a crash of his. By God’s grace I’m not a fast rider and hence don’t tend to fall too often (Remember the saying, “If you aren’t crashing, you aren’t riding fast enough”? – Though I don’t belive but many “fast” riders do belive in it).

Like all my falls in this one also I coudn’t have done much to avoid it, except for not riding in the first place, and this was probably the fastest off all my falls.

Today morning I leave my house on my Fiero for office. Its 7:30am, roads are almost empty and fresh after a small ride on Sunday I was keeping the needle between 60-80 as I approach my favourite section of ‘S’ curve. After negotiating it safely at 80+, I start to slow down as I’m approaching a bit bumpy section of road which also happen to have some human population near by. Speed must be around 60 when all of a sudden I see a dog coming on the road few feets ahead of me. For no reason we call those creatures dog, instead of walking across he decides to stop in middle of road leaving me with no choice but to brake as hard as I can, as it was too late to dodge him (with no guarantee that the smart boy will not start to move into my path again forcing me to crash in a leaned position).

Next thing I remember is that my front wheel has gone over him and the bike has lost its balance. First I almost flies off the bike over the tank, landing on the road on my stomach with my face, inside helmet, hitting ground. I slide for a feet or so before the back side of bike falls on my legs. What happen to bike during this time, I had no idea. A few seconds later when i gain senses, I see people running towards me and lifts off the bike off my legs. Dog has ran to roadside and is joined by his friends, as I limp to road side.

Time to inspect the damage. My right knee is paining but the pant hasn’t got torn. My right elbow is also hurting but the leather jacket is all well at that place as well. The right shoe has lost a layer or so of leather at my toes position, trying to protect them successfully. About bike, the brand new fairing is cracked and badly scratched (as you can see in the picture), handle is bend but a few hits and it gets back to normal.

No way I could ride ahead so I ride back home where my little daughter is similing as she finds her dad back at home. Too young to realise that her dad has just come down after kissing mother earth. Well the right knee and right elbow is bruised a little bit, thanks to the jacket. Helmet has got a deep scratch at the forehead position and the air vent switch in front of mouth is broken. Right leg from back side is burned a little bit due to hot silencer. Neck is strained at left side and upper side of back is also paining.

On giving it more thought I realised, had I was not wearing my leather jacket (wearing it in Summer many people find it odd) my stomach would have got hurt, as there are lot of visible scratches on the leather jacket. Also if I was wearing anything less than a full face helmet, from mouth to full face would have badly got hurt, as I landed on my face. Had it was not the shoes I would have lost a few nails in my right foot. Had it were not my pathetic gloves, my hands would have also dripped some blood.

Buying knee and elbow guard is a long pending item on my list. Well I’m buying it this weekend, no matter what. Time to buy a new helmet as well as its already over 3 years I’m using this helmet.

One thing I would like to thank God is that it was a dog that came in front of bike and not a object of a superior species called “Human”. My past experience has taught me that there are lots of people who can give such dogs a hard time when it comes to score the lowest of IQ points. Had it was a human instead of dog to come in front of my bike, it would have been difficult for me to escape the accident scene. As opposite to all friends of dog who gathered for him and then walked away peacefully, few well wishers of that human would have beaten me down trying to teach me how to ride on road, instead of teaching their dumb friend how to walk on road.

So a small request to God, if I have to go down in future. God, I’ll prefer a dog over a human because though low on intelligence, animals do accept when they are wrong, unlike humans who will fight till the end trying to prove that they are not wrong.

Now let me just take this as an oportunity to list down all those instances when I went ahead and kissed mother earth.

  • In 1999 I was riding back to Pune from Pirangut on my LML NvSpl. I was very new to the world of two wheels and hence was wearing only the helmet and a thin wind cheater for protection. While I was negotiating twisties of Pirangut ghat, right after a bend, I see this dog in the middle of road. In panic I pressed the front brake before the rear brake and doing this on scooter was sure enough to call for trouble so there I goes down for the first time in my life. Result was damage to scooter body and bruises on my knee and hand. Since I was climbing the ghat the speed was thankfully under 40km/hr.
  • In 2000 on a Monday morning, I was riding down to office after watching MotoGP the previous night. I decide to lean harder into one of my favourite curve I take daily on my way. I forgot that it had rained last night and hence there was a small puddle of water right in the middle of curve. Too late to do anything and I goes down in a slow motion. Speed was under 20km/hr and hence no injury to me but a minor scratch to the bike fairing.
  • In 2002, on the ocassion of Holi, I’m riding down to my friends place when I find myself on the edge of road as a six seater is racing with a Honda City on a empty road, coming from opposite direction. With no space left for me, I had to get off the road but it was all loose surface there and hence me and my bike goes few feets down the slope. Front fairing of bike is damaged beyond repair and I’m covered all over in mud, no physical damamge to my body. Again the speed was under 20km/hr.
  • In 2003 the rains have just arrived. I was riding down to meet some friends on FC Road in Pune on my Fiero with worn out tyres. Knowing the tyres need replacement I was riding really slow, in 3rd gear at 20km/hr as the road surface was a bit slippery. Next moment I find myself down with no one near me to knock me down nor have I applied brakes. After I get off the road, I see traffic coming and next moment few more riders go down. First round of showers combined with oil + mud has made a nice slippery paste over the road.
  • In 2004 on my way back from Rohtang Pass, I’m crawling through frozen water on road. Speed is under 5km/hr and trying to balance my bike. I loose the balance and go down on frozen ice.
  • In 2005 on the way to home in night, I’m blinded by the powerful headlight of a car standing on the signal in the opposite side. I was not able to see that a old lady is crossing the road, ofcourse thinking that she is walking in her private park and hence not thinking about the traffic on road. By the time she and me get out of car’s headlight focus, its too close. With worn out drums to stop the bike, it didn’t happen in time and we all three go down. Bike handle, levers, fairing suffered damages with me and lady some minor bruises.
  • In 2006, as I come out of my house a car which was parked on the other side of lane suddenly takes off for a ‘U’ turn and comes and hits me from side taking me and my bike down. After the crash I land up on a layer of bricks, thanks to the leather jacket not much damage is done. Bike’s fuel tank is dented and mounting of side pannels are broken.

I know its already said many times but let me still say it one more time, “Ride Safe” :-)


21 Responses to “Screeccchhh…Crash!!!

  • 1
    Ashish
    March 13th, 2007 16:18

    Good that u are safe, buddy. Your child was happy for that only. 🙂

  • 2
    Prashanth M
    March 13th, 2007 16:35

    Good that you are safe.

    on a lighter side – From ’99 till ’07, you forgot to kiss Mother Earth in 2001 😉

    Take care & ride safe, Nav.

  • 3
    vasanth
    March 13th, 2007 16:51

    Glad to know that you came out unscathed. These dogs are a big nuisance, so are those 2 legged dogs who cross the road with out any thought. Kneeguard is good but how do you plan to use it for daily riding?
    Gotto be more cautious on roads now on.

  • 4
    Navendu
    March 13th, 2007 16:58

    Thanks guys.

    @Ashish: I didn’t consider that as a reason for her to smile 🙂

    @Prashanth: Unless I missed a fall, it seems mother earth was not too in love with me that time 😉

    @Vasanth: If I can wear thick leather jacket during the whole Summer, I guess knee and elbow guards will not be too much of a problem. Yes it will be a nightmare to manage but then one fall = one pant gone. Well I’ll prefer wasting few minutes putting guards on and off than letting one pant and some skill to be gone in each fall.

  • 5
    rearset
    March 13th, 2007 17:08

    That, as far as I can tell, is one crash a year. Which is a good score. Keep it down. The rubber side and the score, that is.

    Also, I do believe that the crashing-going fast thing was about racetracks, without exception. The other, is that I’m rapidly beginning to believe firmly that speed has nothing to do with safety. As in there is no empirical or statistical construct that says more speed equals less safety… oh shoot, here I go again…

  • 6
    rearset
    March 13th, 2007 17:10

    As far as wearing kit regularly goes… I’d rather have fifteen minutes of convoluted inconvenience bookmarking each ride, than a short/long stint at the doctors/hospital getting ready for the next one…

  • 7
    Rajiv
    March 13th, 2007 17:15

    Hmmm… serious stuff it is… why do you sayy its not Nav?

    Take care of yourself and the bike. Its good to remember these falls , some where they make you more responsible.. well at least more careful riders

    and thanks.. I got something to add to my blog too.. always hunting for good content. I’ll let people know of my fall-stories too 🙂
    -RAJIV (herohondacbz/zma grp)

  • 8
    Navendu
    March 13th, 2007 17:17

    @rearset: Thanks and totally agree with spending time before ride to get ready. Its like after one falls, he realises. I was to get the guards last sat but lazy me 🙁

  • 9
    Rocky
    March 13th, 2007 17:33

    Glad that you r ok. My personal opinion, don’t buy in parts ( knee and elbow guard ), instead buy a riding over pant. Invest in a proper riding gear

  • 10
    Biswa
    March 13th, 2007 18:34

    Nav,
    Good to know you are fine and not much hurt. Its humbling to know that Great riders like you still take each fall as a learning experience. Regarding intellectual levels of common humans and animals carelessly strolling on busy highways, I agree with your comments 200%. I am feeling bad about Kalia, she took the brunt after such an excellent makeover.

    After you find good knee/ankle/elbow gear, do let me know; I am also looking for similar things for some time now.

    Take care and Ride Safe! Looking forward to see you in Chakan.

  • 11
    vibhu
    March 13th, 2007 19:05

    And just yesterday we were talking about elbow and knee guards and that you are gonna get them this weekend.

  • 12
    Akhil
    March 13th, 2007 20:17

    Glad you are safe… even i have had a couple of falls.. though nothing bad as happened.. the jacket took the blow…

    … we are bachelors.. no kids gonna be waitin for us buggers…u have to be an exception… so do get the safety gear…

    Ride Safe none the less..

  • 13
    RenuKumar
    March 13th, 2007 23:35

    Glad to know that you are unhurt. I know you are experienced and safe while riding, my only request with you is to ride safe…

    Take care and simply enjoy maadi 😉

  • 14
    Nikhil
    March 13th, 2007 23:43

    Nav, glad to know that you are safe. You made a good point about the helmet – full face or none. People hardly – if ever – fall on the top of their head. Still many people ride around wearing that ridiculous construction hard hat.

    Anyway, get well soon :).

  • 15
    bhuwan
    March 14th, 2007 10:23

    good that you are safe and thanks to you for sharing it, as i have learned from it that even i should go for a full mask helmet, no matter how safe or good rider you are – accidents do not inform and happen. keep riding pal but be more cautious.

  • 16
    Vishal
    March 14th, 2007 11:50

    nav, i am glad that nothing bad ha happened to you.

    i am absolutely with you saying that the fast is dangerous.

    my accident frequency was nearly once a month and sometimes 2. but i was on a splendor :). and that proves i was not riding fast.

    now i am on 150cc beast(at least for india it is) and i drive a lot faster, sometime touching 110 on bombay-pune old highway(that road is absoultely dangerous as far as 2-wheels are concerned). but i haven’t had an accident from the past 2 yrs.

    all i can say is i have nearly studied different drivers/riders attitude and now i can say that which drivers can prove dangerous for me on-road.

    don’t wait for the accident to happen just study the situation instantaneously and drive/ride according to the situation.

    if you don’t have a devider on the highway drive as if you aer having a scooty-pep and if you have a divider and not population arourd drive as if you are having a 1000cc bike.

    and one more thing:

    “KNOWING YOUR BIKE’S POWER IS NOT ENOUGH, MORE IMPORTANT IS TO KNOW IT’S LIMITATIONS”

  • 17
    Kamlesh
    March 14th, 2007 15:30

    Hey Nav,
    That was a bad accident, but good to know that you are okay. Yeah these dogs are a big menace – and so are those dog type human beings who take the roads to be their father’s private property; we need to be more careful. And yes, fast is dangerous 😉

    Ride safe bro!

  • 18
    Sandeep K Ram
    March 14th, 2007 23:40

    You were wearing protective gear . A similar thing happened to me – with a pillion – but inside the city in the twilight hours when a dog standing across the road decided to commit harikiri by running across the street to chase some other stupid dog.

    Co-incidentally , I was hurling down that piece of road at 60+ on my pulsar and down we all went . The stupid dog got hit at full speed – I didn’t even see it for gods sake ! All I heard was a dog barking – then yelping – next moment we were on the road.

    Instinctively , I pushed down on my palms and got them badly bruised . But it was better than getting a faceful coz I was not wearing a lid – a big mistake I made that day but thankfully not an expensive one . Neither did I have any full arm dress , or jeans pant . Left with torn clothes , cut open elbows , badly bleeding , banged up right knee which still clicks every now and then…

    Bike damage 5k+ …and the dog ? He ran way …unhurt …where is justice ?

  • 19
    Prabul
    March 16th, 2007 00:44

    WOW!! that is a bunch of falls you had!!!
    BTW, any of your daughter’s snap up online???

  • 20
    Rhishikesh
    March 20th, 2007 05:01

    Close shave Nav.
    Then there is an incident I cannot forget. I was cruising in my cage at 50 km/h. A Dog sees me and stops in the middle of the road, and a motorcycle rider with pillion go over him. In anticipation, I brake hard, but the rider escapes with a bad wobble, and carries on. Guess God also saves!
    Take care.

    Regards,

    Rhishikesh

  • 21
    Indraneel
    April 21st, 2007 01:54

    Nav! Good to hear that you are okay.

    Man, that is laundry list of falls. Barring 2001, you have maintained a steady rate of 1 fall a year. Hope this event is the last one for this year. Best of luck for the future (falls???) and be safe!! 🙂

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