No matter how careful and safely I operate my Harley, something quite unexpected happened yesterday while riding to work…
…someone driving a car in front of me decided that she wanted my lane and cut me off. I really don’t know what happened next, but I felt myself sliding down the road. A cop said that I slid about 300 feet (90m).

Good samaritans stopped and called for emergency services. Within a minute or two, two cops, a fire truck, and an ambulance were on scene.

I knew enough not to try to move, so I lay there in the middle of the road. At first I was thinking that I just had the wind knocked out of me, but I soon realized that my condition was worse. I was numb, but could feel pain setting in, so I just lay there, bewildered.

EMTs on the fire truck initially assessed my condition and were shocked that I was coherent and not bleeding. With a fall at road speed, estimated at 40mph (64kph), they were looking for severe abrasions, a concussion, and broken bones.

I described that I was feeling pain in the center of my chest, so I was suspecting a fracture or bone bruising of my ribs.

The medics carefully assessed me again, and restated how they were amazed that I was not injured more severely. They unzipped my chaps, and then cut my pants apart to check for abrasions, road rash, or hidden broken bones. None.

After X-rays and a CT at the hospital, it was confirmed that I have 3 cracked ribs — but no other damage to my body. Why?

I truly believe in ATGATT — all the gear all the time. I was wearing Chippewa harness boots, thick leather motorcycle chaps, ballistic nylon jacket, long motorcycle gloves, and my DOT-approved SuperSEER helmet (like cops wear.)

When I looked at my helmet later, its paint was scraped off all down the left side. Imagine if that were my head — no, don’t! But that’s why I would never wear a “beanie” or no helmet even in states where helmets are not required.

I looked at my chaps, and again, I could see huge scrapes down my left leg. Imagine if I were not wearing them — my dress slacks would have torn and the skin on my legs would have been ripped off. But what do I show? A little yellowish bruising, but that’s it.

I looked at my jacket, and it appeared to be none the worse. It has built-in armor in the elbows and shoulders, so I am sure that armor helped protect those joints.

I looked at my Chippewa harness boots when the nurse in the emergency room took them off. The toe box on my left boot was torn and damaged, but did not break through. Again, those boots saved my feet and ankles.

Now, back to the ribs — man, broken ribs hurt like hell. But it really could have been worse considering that I hit the ground at 40mph and rolled/slid a long way — yet lived to talk about it.

My spouse is taking care of me. I am beginning physical therapy to walk and keep breathing… step by step toward recovery.

BTW, my Harley was rideable. The guys at the responding fire station rode my Harley to their parking lot. A couple buddies from the fire house where I am a life member went over there and one of them rode my Harley home. I haven’t seen it yet, but my spouse says that the damage is cosmetic. Whew!

Life is short: wear appropriate full gear when riding a motorcycle — each day, every ride. ATGATT!

11 thoughts on “Crashed

  1. Glad to hear that you only sustained 3 broken ribs. These can heal fast. Take care I ready about you daily and am admirer even though I don’t wear boots anymore Good luck to you both

  2. I’m glad you are not hurt as badly as it could have been. I am not a motorcycle rider,but my experience on bicycles makes me suggest you recheck your helmet and jacket. Even if the helmet only looks scraped it may need replacing due to the internal padding having absorbed such a shock. Same with the protective jacket.
    Did the driver of the car stop?
    Hang in there a keep safe!

    • The helmet did its job and is a goner. But better the helmet be a goner than my head. I will replace it. The armor in the jacket is also being replaced. Thanks for your well-wishes.

  3. I’m sorry that you had that accident but I’m glad that you are OK and like you said, things could’ve been much worse. You have stated many times in your blogs about the importance of wearing boots, leather, protective gear and etc while riding a motorcycle and wearing them not only saved you from further damage but it may have also saved your life. It also proves why, despite being a fan of biker movies and biker clothing, I’m scared to death to riding a motorcycle and will never ride one, EVER!!!

  4. Sending you well wishes for your quick recovery. Today is hard and painfull, but will be sunshine soon.
    A hug (not very tigth)from Montreal.

  5. BHD, Holy crap! I’m very happy you weren’t killed or badly injured by that sightless driver. I read your story and all I can say is that the most important thing is that you are OK. What a blessing that is and even more importantly, that you have a really good hubby to help you convalesce.

    I hope there is a very good police report which will greatly help with your medical insurance claim and motorcycle repair bills. And why do I think you two will be able to take “being” nurse and patient to a new level?

    In any event, get well soon. Here’s hoping you have a full and rapid recovery and that you’ll be up and on your feet-and on your ‘hog’-quickly.

    Best to you both, always.

  6. Wow! Just goes to show you never know what’s coming! Glad that you made it through relatively unscathed except for the ribs and bruising. When I see the guys zipping by at 80MPH wearing a tee shirt, shorts, and flip flops, it makes me cringe to think what would happen in an accident!

  7. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. 2 years ago I bruised a couple of ribs crashing on my bicycle so I can’t imagine how painful an actual break must be. Get well soon.

  8. Wishing you a speedy recovery! Glad you are ok and were well protected. I must say the gears looked great on you and am glad they saved you too. My state is one of those states the went backward and repealed helmet laws. I encountered crazy bikers without helmet, boots or gloves on a daily basis. “Tsk tsk tsk” is my only reaction to them.

  9. Sir,

    Get well soon. It’s always sad to hear a rider’s gone down, but it’s always great to find out that they’ll be back up soon. ATGATT really does work.

    Your blog is a great resource, especially for us city slickers who are just figuring our way around the world of classic American footwear. Hope you will be back up and about in your favorite pair shortly

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