He might as well have been wearing a T-shirt that said, 'I'm clueless.'
What say Kj, make one? Gift item only, heh heh.
He was apologising, all right, but he clearly had no clue what for. In his eyes, it would have looked like this.
Should I go up the flyover? Or left under it? Damn, I'm lost. [He had no clue where he was on the road either, so was drifting all over the left most lane going up the flyover at the time]. F*** it, I'll go over it and see. [Opens throttle]. No wait, maybe I should ask someone... [hits brakes, starts to pull left to the side. No, never looked in the mirrors at all]. As I slow to a stop, feet coming down off the pegs, I feel a rather powerful bump from behind. The Thunderbird picks up another 15 kph, seems to become higher in the rear and then settles down. WHAT WAS THAT? I pull over to the side and see carnage behind. Two people, in shiny helmets are down. The one in the middle of the lane is wearing a dark, padded sort of jacket and a salwar kameez... must be a girl. The other one is sitting up on the road... nice helmet... rather awkwardly. His right leg... oh fook, looks broken. Shit.The crowd arrived instantly. In that instant, I relive the event. We were riding home, briskly, but without any major urgency. A friend waited near home, for us to roll in and take him in. We took off from the previous traffic light as we usually do, surely and rapidly pulling away from the crowd and catching the next platoon that was climbing the flyover at the time. I saw a truck, I think, in the middle lane, and decided to join the flyover from the left lane. I spotted the grey t-shirt on the Thunderbird and realised he looked unsure. I slowed a bit, to about 75 kph, I think, waiting for him to decide. I spotted him rolling on, and rolled on, and then I saw the sudden flash of brakes lamps and the bike beginning to pull left. I wasn't worried, actually, I was a good 20 feet or so behind then. But when I hit my brakes, I felt the front lock up.
Dirt? Here? No way? Even as the thought flashed through my head, I knew that the bike was tilting hard to the right and that we were now character actors in a slow-motion movie.
Enough crashes in my past to not blank out. Or do stupid things like stick hands or knees out. So I simply feel the front wheel dragging stubbornly over a greasy carpet of dust. The lean angle deepening and then we're down. I don't feel The Wife on me, so she must have fallen clear... I look up to see my jacketed arms dragging on, my palms are up out of danger and my lid is no danger of being smashed either. Phew!
Then I spot the motorcycle, screeching along ahead of me, on its side kicking up dust in my face, heading for the rear wheel of the Thunderbird. That's going to hurt.
I close my eyes moments before the twain meet, but here's what I think happens. The T-bird is still rolling, and on impact, it flips my bike up. The bike lands, fortunately for me, on its right footpeg and the tail end crashes down on the padded part of my riding pants, cue giant bruise. But it also pins my knee in a very awkward fashion. Damage done, it untangles itself and slides off, taking another 10-15 feet of space before coming to rest gently in the plastic poles that the traffic police usually mount in the space before the beginning of the flyover railing begins.
When I open my eyes, the right leg hurts. I look down, its twisted the way I've seen a million times on sick YouTube videos. Oh shit. Where's The Wife? She appears over my right shoulder, screaming. I realise it's at me she's yelling, 'Are you okay?'
'Think I broke my leg.' I tell her optimistically.
She proceeds to vent her worries, cloaked in the instant anger of a concerned loved one on Mr T'Bird. He clearly is clueless. She rains blows down on him, and despite the pain, I'm loving this. Wish I could get up. Then, I hear the traffic catching up behind us, and the murmur of the concerned crowd.
They lift me up and take me to the side and then I realise that nothing's broken. The Wife's busy at the thrashing, so I try to put weight on the gravity-straightened leg. It holds. I've twisted it really, really badly, but I can't feel the sharp pain of a torn ligament, or worse. Just a twist.
Some concerned citizen-type offers us water. She takes some. I limp, with help, to the bike. Someone hands me the keys. Someone else has parked the bike on the center stand and recentered the Cramster tankbag I usually carry. Thanks, whoever you are. The bike seems okay. No fluids leaking, a slightly cracked fairing. Yeah, its all right.
The Wife comes back and asks if I am bleeding. I'm not. And I drop the riding pants to convince her. The crowd takes unusual notice of my legs. One's mine, definitely, the other looks like Schwarzenegger's after he stopped working out. She has two skinned knees, a hurting, bleeding ankle and a sprained wrist. Not good, but could have been a lot, lot worse.
I remount, she climbs back on... you gotta love adrenaline... we continue on. I see a couple of very amazed faces in the crowd. Protective gear works, okay?
Ten minutes later, I am feeling every gearshift as the thigh obstructs every movement of the toes. Thankfully, you can grimace inside the helmet and no one's the wiser. Then The Wife asks me to pull over. When we stop, she sits on the pavement. She's slightly claustrophobic, and a bit nauseous (she tells me later).
Composure regained, we head home. Later, the doctors pronounce us lucky, minorly injured. Bed rest, painkillers, sleep, novels...
The Wife still has scabs, but has agreed to wear knee protection and probably gloves too. I've written the right knee of my pants off. The road's worn shiny patches all over the knee and holed the sturdy nylon in two places, leaving scars on the hard plastic armour below it. The left knee bears signs of a more pointed sort of violence. A force that aimed to break but was thwarted, rather than one that aimed to wear out. The jacket only has a shiny right forearm, showing clearly the outline of the Knox armour it has inside.
Lucky we were fast, that night. The gap to traffic was a boon. The Wife fell clear in the middle lane and rolled over twice. If there was someone speeding behind her... I was scared shitless for a while, but we're definitely riding together again.
All the parents duly recommended we upgrade to cages. But it isn't gonna be. I am limping, but I am back.