Feb 4, 2008

Why rearset's blog's been down

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.

43 comments:

--xh-- said...

man, that was scary. thank god you are back on teh saddle again...

rearset said...

Not back in the saddle yet. But won't be long now...

Yugesh said...

As the aussies say - 'good on yer, mayte'. Hope you get better and back on the saddle soon.

- Yugesh

PS: Respect to The Wife! :)

greySith said...

Gah I know how you feel. Was crossing a green light in december. Stupid noob of a 15yr old on an activa broke the signal... Hard brake + Fall. Still not back on the saddle :(

rearset said...

greySith, you have me worried. Why are you not back on it?

SKS said...

Had an accident myself too some 2 months back and though was wearing full riding gear (protective jacket/pants et al) the accident has had its effect on me.

Though I rode a bike again yesterday. I will be sometime before I can say that I'm 100% recovered.

Take care of yourself and your wife. As you said no one is invincible. All must fall someday :)

greySith said...

Part of it is physical. I sprained my left wrist during that accident. Then the doc put a temporary plaster. Then the hand got all frozen due to immobilization. It's slowly coming back to normal... It was such a beautiful day today... And I couldn't ride *sigh*.

The other part is psychological. The aforementioned fall was the second of three falls I had in fifteen days. The fact that I was riding pillion during the other two falls significantly reduces my confidence :(

Nair said...

All the best for a speedy recovery...

Hope, 2008 brings bikes with ABS (and lots of Tata NANO's so that - the commuter segment of bikers upgrades to 4 wheels and - there are only serious bikers on 2 wheels.)

Take Care :)

Sneh said...

et tu Rearset?
this can't be true but i forget that we all are citizens of 'Mera bahrat mahaan'.We do get punished for other's faults too.Lanes, zebra crossings, indicators are for psychos only.
Take some more rest and get new gears first then think of the the ride.
Wish you and your better half speedy recovery.

GP said...

Was wondering why the usual M-A-L posts were not showing up in Reader from the past few days.
Heck, was even beginning to miss them ;).

Glad to have you back.

Gladder to know you and The Wife are safe and (almost) sound.

Keep riding;
and writing
-GP

vagabond dreamer said...

was missing your posts id check every two or three days but now i guess i know the reason. well yeah in crashes my priority goes like this 1st pillon 2nd bike 3rd then me
helmets and gloves have saved my lives countless times so good for you mate. cheers and get well soon both of you

vagabond dreamer said...

well crashes happen there are lot of morons out there but this one i guess was pure mistiming and pure chance well nothing lost other than a few layers of scrapped paint. glad that your both ok. and get well soon both of you

Sankoobaba said...

good to know both of you are fine.....
wishes to you to get well soon and back on the saddle...

even I have had the feeling last year....when i scraped my knee during a crash and could not ride for 2 months(thanks to self medication which made the wound septic)....

had to go to office(ran out of sick leave) in train and bus(even got into handicapped boggie once to avoid rush hour crowd)....

was low on confidence after those 2 months but now its back to normal

....
just 2 weeks back I fell...nothing big....but the same thing..riding in dirt..lockup on a flat(gripless) concrete slab fixed in middle of the dirt track along the IIT(mum)route...and dump...luckily I was very slow..dirt didnt allow shoes(office) to get grip to gain balance...and was left with just a loose fairing ....
---
take care....missed you@

road-yo said...

Scary stuff man. Glad both of you are fine.

The BATFAN said...

Just like you say : "S*** Happens"

Glad to know you and "The Wife" are both fine. Have a speedy recovery. Regards for "The Wife", Her injuries mostly should have heeled now right. I guess you would be pressing on more armor on her now. And thinking about patching up some of your own. So is cramster fitting your grade or is it going to be newenough. I guess DSG would be in the reckoning too. Liked some of their jackets.

praveen said...

Get well soon...
I was checkin every 2-3 days for new posts,but after auch a long period of unannounced inactivity, I knew somethin was wrong...Good for u that u were both wearing protective gear.
The worst part of such crashes is that we get hurt for the mistake commited by some duma$$- believe me. I was involved in a similar type of crash about a year ago(minor one though)- a lady on an Activa turned abruptly in front of me.Front locked up and next thing was that I was lying down on the opposite side of the road-Had there been traffic on the opposite side I would have surely been run-over..Scares u a lot u know, when u think of it later on-how worse it could have been

vibhu said...

hi man,

Sad to hear about your knock - missed . Get well soon. Which bike were you riding.

how about joining us for some ride in the near future :) . Just back from Guaghar ride.

V.

snapper said...

seemed odd... that there were no posts for long...you had me checking in twice a day :-)

get well soon(both of you)...
and keep us hungry for more posts

InTeGeR said...

That was scary. Glad to know you're fine!

Cé$âr said...

Hope you both get well soon.

And you gave me a BIG reality check.

Harshad said...

Take care and get well soon!

The Biker Spirit never dies! Keep riding, keep rocking!

:-)

Trini said...

Glad to have u back, Rearset, get well soon..

Naren said...

Good to know you are fine.. had just started wondering there were no new posts.

Hope you get back on your saddle soon.

Anonymous said...

Gald your back buddy. Crashes are inevitable..they are always at the back of your mind. I know mine is going to happen this year...i'm reluctantly waiting for it happen and get over with. Hope The Wife has recovered. Hats off to her. Anyways take care, get well soon and get back on the saddle soon too.

Anonymous said...

U almost got me saying "Basta!!! How could you?", but then I realise what has happened to me also on couple of occasions. Buddy, 2 things I have to say. Though you and I may not know each other, but I can still say very matter of factly that you are more than just another interesting blogger. Secondly, what the hell are you doing with your wife at 75kmph at 20 feet away from another STOPPING vehicle!
I guess u need to think what went wrong and put it on the blog, so fellow bikers like us dont make the same mistake.
Kudos to you for having your gear on at that time. Double kudos to the Wife who has the spirit to let you on d bike again...
I'm still a little angry at you and its not just for not writing the blogs but take care, and get roaring louder than the bike again :)
- Concerned well-wisher

Navendu said...

Sad to hear about the crash but good that you both were able to walk away with minor injuries, thanks to the safety gears.

Ignorant Dumb F*****s are all over the road, you are safe until either your skill or luck runs out.

As Vibhu said, looking forward for a ride with you ;-)

EvolutioN said...

What the????

I had a crash only 2 days back... Was travelling on the left lane, slow, at around 50 or so, there's an auto rickshaw in front of me, and there's a BMTC bus (killers, them all) on my right, and to the left is the pavement. Some bugger in the middle of the road decides to flag down the auto, and the f*****er just stops in the middle of the road without a signal! took me some time to realise that it had stopped, cuz the rear brake lights were not working, instead the bugger had some psychedelic lights going on and off all the time :( Braked, felt the front wheels locks up, gently released the pressure, felt the engine engaging, trying to weave in between the auto and the bus and move out of the way, felt the tires skidding because the tilt was too sudden, and resigned to fate, allowed the crash... nothing broken, a bad bruise on the left knee, and an angry welt on my arm where the protective gear inside the jacket scraped against skin... Man was that scary!

Thank god you are OK rearset, and hope u and your missus get well soon... many good wishes

huez said...

Missed ur posts till 2day. Happy to see u back.

Get Well Soon.
-huez

Julian Paul said...

Holy Crap!

was away for a while too, just saw this. heart skipped a few beats when i read the start of the post.

i am soooo glad both of you are ok. hope the two of you have a speedy recovery and start riding soon. i kinda know what it feels like; the two steel plates and dozen screws in my left leg remind me.

everybody falls ...

Revhard said...

Ahh, that explains the inactivity.
Glad you & the wife are alright. With the Nano coming, even the regular commuters on 2 wheelers will become careless drivers driving the Nano and drive with utter disregard for the safety of other riders. Hell's coming, you hear . I say, if its proven that these low cost cars increase accidents substantially, we oughtta make them pay for our riding gear & crash repairs !

I crashed just before New Year's , got back on the bike 8-9 days later , with a wrist ligament injury (still hurts a bit) and scraped knee. Time to cough up for an armoured jacket.

first_synn said...

Holy f-c-u-k, dude... glad to hear that both of you walked away unscathed.

The traffic in our country scares me shitless. no, well... shit. It is THAT damn bad. Every bit of enthusiasm I felt after seeing the Expo pics were dampened by an actual stint out there (Oh yes, i DID ride in India lately. But more of that later). No R fifteens, no Ninjas, no nothing can make life better for the bikers of this nation if he is to take them out to the same old clusterfuck that is our land transport network.

Lastly, disagree with the guy who called the Nano a sign of the apocalypse. The A-word has been here for some time now and while we're fighting our way through it, I'd much rather see chunnu, munnu, mummy and papa in a cage than on a Chetak.

sathya said...

hi brother,

thank god u got away with minor injuries i am Sathya, biker from chennai i own a yamaha bike and i frequently visit ur site to know abt latest moto news,

take care also ask Bhabhi, i mean ur wife to take care.

Wish our super hero, that is U, back in action

Satyen Poojary said...

Oh what the fudge!

All through the post I was wondering about me and my to be wife as the main characters!
I am scared now.... my idea of a riding gear was
- Helmet (Fastrack for both of us ;) )
- Gloves ( ok let me admit, they aint carbon fiber protective.... just normal mesh gloves)
- Jackets or both of us ( not riding ones, but tough winter jackets for this season)
- Pants (Oh Ignorant me.... Denims do just fine dont they?)
- Boots that goes without saying

I want three favours from you:
1) Can I leech from this post and put it on my blog? Will give you a linky and credit for it...
2) Help me find a good place to buy stuff that the ignorant me is missing!
3) Get well and get riding soon!

Cheers!
satyenpoojary (a) gm41L

Nair said...

Just thought I'd add this....
Kudos to your wife for her support... (Moral support is many times much needed but noticed only in its abscence.)

Wish my Girlfriend didn't complain about my Bike (and my riding) each time I had a crash.

Wish my Dad stoped pestering me every fortnight to "upgrade" to a four wheeler (When i am saving money to upgrade to a decent 600cc middleweight.)

My Mom will have a BP problem if she got to know I am thinking of buying a bike for 4-5 lakhs.

see what i mean.. :)

Nyctophobia said...

You have been missing for a long time and i thot it was just that work caught up with you. nasty fall i must say. Get well soon to you and The Wife : )

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear that accident..i've been a regular follower of your blogs and was missing updates. Anyway, its great to know that you are back without any serious injuries.
Wish you safe riding.
Arun

nJ said...

I am not good with words, cant express what I felt after reading your post. It is one thing to meet with an accident alone and completely another when such a thing happens along with another person behind you, especially if it is someone so close to you as your better-half.
I have been through such things in my life. Hope you and your better-half get back to your normal way of life soon. All the best.

And I know and I hope you`ll learn a lot from this experience.

Take care. Get well soon.
Cya.

Prasanna said...

Great to hear you both are ok! Wish you a speedy recovery to get back onto the saddle!

now, just *what* were you thinking doing 75 two up - your brakes might be upto it, as your skills - but what about the other users following you?

rearset said...

I was going at 75 kph precisely because I knew there was only idiot out that night.

No, seriously, we were far, far ahead of traffic. Which turned out be one of the things on our side. Had there been traffic, we'd be going a heck of a lot slower.

Black Ice said...

Just discovered your blog today--I'm a 20-year-veteran biker piloting a ZZR-1200 in Arizona, USA. First off, glad you're OK!

This paragraph amazed me, though:
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.

Holy crap! If you'd wrecked in front of a crowd in most American cities, you'd probably have been stripped of your wallet, watch, wife, bike and underwear before you even knew you'd gone down.

How hard is it to move to India?

rearset said...

@Black Ice
Not too hard to move here. Don't think too many people are doing it at the moment. Might as well get in before the rush begins, eh?

eddie said...

You mean to say you guys fought with him with wife actually hitting him?? wow dude cool down. must have been some scene though. Somehow I can never understand why people get violent during accidents - not holier than thou- i have had my share of street fights too but i usually hit first only if the other person isn't willing to let go after i apologise. I hope ypu guys did not actually assault the other guy. Was just going through your archives when stumbled upon this. Good that you were not seriously hurt.

rearset said...

@Eddie
We 'guys' didnt fight. My wife reacted when I told her I thought I'd broken my leg. I never even yelled at the bugger.