Thursday, March 17, 2005

Motorcycle Safety

(or Motorcycle Risk Management... right Bruce?)
When asked why I decided to teach Motorcycle Safety, I usually say that Kerry talked me into it, “so blame him”. He is an instructor I've known for years.
Kerry had tried for a long time to get me to take the MSF Certified prep course. I had every intention of doing it but in 2000 I had "MY" motorcycle crash. It wasn't the typical crash either... no, nothing ordinary for me. Single vehicle (me) crash... I was turning onto a road out in Charles City County, VA. Obviously, an oil tanker truck had just been through the intersection and left a path of FRESH oil. I hit the oil and started a low side slide. Now, if I'd maintained that low side... I would have gotten some road rash but probably would have been otherwise okay. No, as I left the oil and acquired "good" pavement the bike straightened momentarily, I thought "aha, I'm gonna make it" Alas no. That entire thought process must have lasted... oh.... 2/10 of a second? The bike high-sided.

For those of you who aren't familiar with that terminology, we describe bike crashes thus:
Low Side - the bike goes down on the inside (side closest to the ground), it slides and you slide after it.
High-Side - bike violently slams down on the outside (the high side), THROWS you off and then chases you down the road. Trust me... if you have to crash at all, try to go with the low side.

Slam me down it did!
When I realized I was down, I remembered traffic was coming in the distance. I popped into a sitting position (must have looked like Wile E. Coyote); saw that they were NOT going to run me over and I fell back again. In the meantime, my hubby had made his way back to me and a cardiac tech (traveling home presumably) had stopped to help. Shortly after, a Virginia State Trooper came along. After looking over the scene and speaking with my husband, he came over to me. Looming over me (still flat on my back with the Cardiac Tech yelling to any and all “don’t move her, don’t move her”, the rescue squad had not yet arrived) the Trooper says, “Welp, there’s not a damned thing you coulda done”. Thanks very much!
Turns out, I broke my left elbow and my right collarbone… ouch!

Long story short… about a year later I take the course and start my career as a Motorcycle Safety Instructor (now we’re referred to as RiderCoaches) with the Virginia Rider Training Program. And in 2003, I became a staff member (my cards say Administrative/Marketing Assistant... so there!) with the Motorcycle Safety Center of Virginia, Inc. which now administers the program for the Central Virginia area.


Anonymous said...

lonesome biker bitch
climb on hold on throttle up
feel my motor throb

Anonymous said...

Very nicely written. Lot's of good links. Now, tell us the story of you came to writing haiku. I know you didn't wake up one morning and say to yourself..."I'm going to start writing haiku!"

So, tell us. Why?


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