Happy to be here

It had been a gorgeous day yet again with temperatures in the 90s all across the region. Mornings were in the 60s, perfect for an early start. For a Sunday, traffic was light, with few cars and lots of motorcycles. The ride was uneventful for the most part, with nothing to interrupt the serenity.

At about the 250 mile mark, it all went wrong. Something – I don’t know what – broke my concentration. It wasn’t a car coming the opposite way across the yellow line. It wasn’t another motorcycle speeding towards me. It wasn’t a too-sharp corner. They had been just like this one, all day long.

It just happened. For whatever reason. I lost concentration. I screwed up. And there I was, headed for the boondocks, on my way to certain death and destruction, I was sure.

It all happened in slow motion.

There was a wide paved shoulder on the right side of the corner. I straightened the bike up out of the cornering lean and hit the binders. I knew I could get it stopped. And I almost did.

Almost.

When I saw that I was going to go over the edge and into the rocks, I bailed.

I hit the ground at low speed. My helmet smacked the pavement and did what it was designed to do. I landed on my left shoulder and elbow, finally ending up on my back. Gloves and two shirts worked to my benefit too. I escaped with a scraped elbow, a broken shoulder, and sore ribs from the elbow caught between my ribs and the pavement.

Thankfully, I was well off of the road on the edge of the asphalt shoulder away from traffic. My bike was leaning on its left side, caught in the rocks that I had avoided by bailing early.

When I finally got my shit together I stood up. Shaken. Bruised. A little unsteady. All parts connected and working.

With help from some passers-by I was able to get my bike out of the rocks and back on the road. It was a 70 mile ride home, and I wanted to be there before the pain started big-time.

Damage to bike: minimal.

Damage to self: minimal, but I will be in pain for a while.

Damage to ego: substantial, but I’ll get over it.

The bottom line: I’m just happy to be here.

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