And then IT happened..

What I’m about to tell you is something most bikers don’t want to hear about, but this is reality!

Twas a nice Sunday afternoon, temperature in the mid to upper eighties, clear skies and just an all around beautiful day for a relaxing ride. Headed north on state highway 85 from my house, through Florala, turned right onto fifth street and after the four way stop, kept going straight to Samson, AL, then through Geneva, AL then turned south on highway 185 until reaching hwy 83, turned left headed toward Defuniak Spring, FL.

Was such a beautiful day only had on a t-shirt and half helmet with fingerless gloves. No side winds, a more perfect day for a ride would be hard to find. No cameras running only “My Ride” app on my phone to track my ride. As previously stated that silly camera had come un-glued and flown off the fairing where I had it mounted a month and a half earlier.

Followed highway 83 until I reached highway 90, turned east and was my intention to go through Ponce De Leon, FL and then head back north to go home. I remember going east on highway 90, had actually gotten out of town and that’s basically the last thing I remember until waking up temporarily in the ambulance. Seconds before the accident something told me to go right and from what I’m told that happened but not enough as I hit the right rear of an automobile. For the next twenty four to forty eight hours, I’m only going by what I was told since still to this day have no memory of the accident, how it happened or why. Have tried so hard to remember but it’s totally blank. Sure wish the camera was still attached and running. πŸ™‚

Did have my phone app running to track my ride that day but sadly no camera, in fact it was still on apparently all the way to the hospital as you can see below it tracked me there. Since the riding time and the total time have a difference of over two hours the phone must have been still on even after the ride to the hospital.

Yamaha Last Ride June 14, 2020

Another discrepancy is the top speed recorded 115MPH, that did not happen, never rode that fast. Only explanation I have is maybe when the rear wheel came off the ground at some point it recorded the speed of that wheel spinning totally out of control. Maybe I was still twisting the throttle, have no idea? The back track on Hwy 90 to destination Ft. Walton was the ambulance ride to the hospital. Heck maybe the ambulance drove at 115 mph?

I remember asking the paramedic with me in the back of the ambulance what happened and after telling me, asked him to call my grandson to let him know where he was taking me etc. They must have had me medicated very well as at this time felt no pain but kept going in and out of awareness. Long story shortened, had my left leg broken in three places, collar bone broken and road rash on my left elbow. Glasses were broken but had no marks or scratches on my face or neck. Helmet had some deep scratches so that little helmet might have just saved me worse injuries. The Yamaha looked in better shape than me when I saw some photo’s of it, but never saw it at the crash site. I did ask about the bike but never got an answer or at least don’t remember one.

Video below shows some of it’s damage. By the way, it would still start, run and sounded like a champ!

Video was recorded by a friend of my Grandsons on the 21st of June, 2020. Was very nice of her to do this for me and she even visited me a couple of times in the hospital. She had to tell a slight fib to get in due to the Covid restrictions by telling them she was my granddaughter. πŸ™‚ Even though the damage didn’t look to severe, insurance company determined it would be too costly to repair so they decided to total it out and sent me a check for the bike. It was a fair estimation of value but it really depressing to lose that beast.

After four days in the hospital which incorporated what seemed like hundreds of x-rays, tests, pain killers, etc., I was sent to a rehabilitation center to learn how to manage with one leg during the healing process. Had to use a walker, wheel chair and good old common sense to pass their test before they would let you leave. Spent two weeks there and then was able to come home. I certainly have found much respect for people that have to use a cane, walker or other similar device to simply move from one spot to another. Simple things you could never imagine become difficult but with effort and practice you develop skills.

June 15, 2020 Next Day
After Second Surgery
My Precious Yamaha

Questions about whether or not I would ride a motorcycle again kept coming up and even statements like “guess that’s all for motorcycles” were rather depressing to say the least. Didn’t really think much about it until I got back home and had to see the Yamaha loaded on a wrecker and hauled off. That’s when the desire started building again but sadly wasn’t sure it would ever be possible. Have to tell you, the everyday pain was nothing but depressing. People kept saying you are so lucky, well it didn’t feel lucky at the time. Honestly though, I was lucky, God was watching over me for the second time in less than two years. It could have been a whole lot worse.

Many thanks goes out to the Paxton Baptist Church as their members were saying prayers for me every Sunday. My two lovely Aunts were always checking on me and saying prayers as well.

After a second surgery in September and some other minor complications things started to come together slowly. I’m pretty impatient so this whole process has taken what seems like a life time.

It’s been a long journey but with the help of my brother who practically moved in with me for a while, the help of my grandsons, and some friends checking on me and bringing food occasionally it went fairly well. Did have home health care for a few months which included nurses and physical therapists working with me to try and get back to normal. Before the accident was walking three to five miles each day without much effort. Right now walking around the property which is maybe a quarter of a mile is an accomplishment. πŸ™‚

Still not 100% as of this writing and have come to the realization that I might never be. You can bet I’ll never stop working hard to get there. I am able to walk without assistance and can throw my leg over a bike so yeah I’m back to riding. Not riding as much but gradually working my way back there also. You’ll just have to follow my posts to see the progress and whether I make it back all the way or not. πŸ™‚

FYI, have some camping trips planned this year and we shall see how that goes. LOL

Once again, thanks for reading/following, hope you will continue. Remember not an β€œOld Biker” by definition, just an old man (by birth certificate) that loves to ride motorcycles. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions. Stay tuned, hit that follow button to be notified when next post publishes. And if you feel the urge, you can share this on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Thanks for reading. πŸ™‚

See more Video clips of my rides on My YouTube channel.


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2 Responses to “And then IT happened..”

  1. Simon Says:

    Blimey you have been through the wars!! I really do feel for you mate but please keep going cos things WILL get better. Back in 2005 I was almost killed by a young female car driver who decided that she needed to drive down the motorway hard shoulder just as I was turning off (mirrors, signals, look behind and gently move over) and she was doing about 120 kph when she hit my rear wheel (I was at about 30kph cos of the very heavy traffic). Guys who then stopped to help me thought that I was Tom Cruise cos I flew up several metres into the air before landing on her car, smashing the windscreen with my elbow and ONLY THEN she saw me and therefore emergency braked to a stop, launching be face first down the motorway.

    But…….I survived, so I know all about the recovery time with 6 weeks in hospital, 4 operations and 2 years of physio, but I replaced my wrecked R6 with an R1 while I was still on crutches cos we all need a reason to get going again!!!!

  2. Ray Says:

    Wow, Simon seems you had a rough one. At least you can remember how it happened. I still cannot remember a single thing about it, only what people told me later. Sounds as if you were really banged up badly, much worse than me for sure. Glad you got back to riding again. I’ve got a new horse and riding some, taking it slowly and cautiously, lost some confidence but gaining it back. Thanks for your comments.

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