Shortly after the Super Bowl I wrote a post to answer all the questions I was asked about the results. It saved me lots of time so I’m going to do it again regarding my recent lack of attendance on social media…
It all began on Saturday April 1, 2017 – and this not an April Fools’ Day prank…
It was a perfect morning for a ride.
Layla (my 2002 Harley Davidson Fat Boy) and I met a group of friends at the Oceanside (http://oceansideflagler.com/) for breakfast before riding through “The Loop” (http://ormondscenicloopandtrail.com/) to Destination Daytona (https://www.facebook.com/DestinationDaytona/) for a “Biker Block Party”.
It was one of those days where the joy of riding and the company of good friends made the actual event irrelevant. We could have been at an insurance seminar and we would have had a good time.
It was a fun time, more so because of the people in attendance than the event itself. When the time came to hit the road, my brother and I began the twenty minute ride home. We live within five minutes of each other so we took the same route – US-1 north to Belle Terre Blvd.
About a mile from the intersection of US-1, Belle Terre curves sharply to the left – it’s a curve I’ve navigated more times than I can count. It’s actually one of those nice stretches of road where you lean your bike into it and really appreciate the fact that you’re on a motorcycle…
Ordinarily, when I approach this curve, I keep Layla closer to the double yellow line so when centrifugal force pushes us out to the right I’ve still got plenty of lane available.
Not this time…
This time, for some reason, I was closer to the right edge of the pavement when I entered the curve at about 50 mph.
The laws of physics being what they are (non-negotiable) Layla moved further to the right…
I watched my front tire cross the yellow line and it was immediately obvious that getting back on the pavement was not an option due to the aforementioned centrifugal force. I was about to find out exactly how well an eight-hundred pound Harley handled on grass and sand.
Not surprisingly, it didn’t do well at all.
For about ten seconds (which seemed like an hour) I tried to slow the bike down to a more manageable speed while I bounced along on the worst amusement park ride ever. At some point in the process the front tire hit a rut filled with soft sand and the ride came to an abrupt end. Layla went one way and I went the other. When I stopped rolling and tumbling I was about thirty feet away from her.
I picked myself up, not even entertaining the thought that I might be injured, and saw my brother running toward me yelling “Are you all right, are you all right?”
Then I noticed the pain.
It seemed to radiate out from my right shoulder…and it announced its presence with authority!
I shouted a few obscenities and waved to my brother to let him know I was, at the very least, not dead.
I walked/staggered around in aimless circles, still shouting obscenities, until another guy (whom I didn’t know) stepped up and started talking to me. He asked me if I was okay…to which I replied something to the effect of “Yeah…no…I don’t friggin’ know.”
He explained that he was an EMT (off duty) with military training and he wanted to assess my situation. After making sure I was intact he, along with his buddy and my brother, stood my bike up and got it back up to the road.
After taking a few minutes to collect myself, I assured my brother and the EMT that I was okay and ready to go home.
Layla was already running and waiting for me.
My brother and the EMT gathered up things that had gotten thrown around in the chaos (my sunglasses, Layla’s mirrors and a few odds and ends that had flown out of my saddle bags) before he and I rode home.
By the feel of the handlebars I deduced that they were bent when Layla hit the dirt. The clutch handle was broken but useable and both front blinkers were hanging by the wires (but still functional!).
We took it nice and slow for the three or four miles to my house and I told my brother I’d call him in a couple of hours to discuss our plans to go to a friend’s house for dinner later that afternoon.
I went inside and tried to relax a bit, but that wasn’t happening.
All of a sudden the pain I had originally thought was just a nuisance had become nearly incapacitating. My entire upper body was engulfed in a throbbing soreness the likes of which I had never experienced. I didn’t even want to take a deep breath. When I moved I heard/felt an odd clicking coming from my right shoulder and when I tried to take my shirt off I was treated to a fantastic new adventure in knee-buckling pain.
My initial thought that I just needed a hot shower and a nap was fading fast.
When I broke the news of my mishap to my girlfriend she told me I should go to the emergency room for X-rays – even if it was only precautionary.
So – to make a long story short – the X-rays showed a broken right clavicle (collar bone).
The two bones above my ribs are supposed to be one…
A subsequent visit to an orthopedic specialist resulted in the decision to surgically repair the break due to the way the two halves of the bone were misaligned.
So…after fifty-six and a half years without a single broken bone or major medical mishaps, I now find myself facing surgery to repair a broken collar bone.
It would be easy for me to complain about such bad luck…but I don’t see it that way.
From my perspective…I’m lucky to be alive.
I’ve always felt that I had something, or somebody, watching over me. There have been many incidents in my life where I should have been killed, or at least seriously injured, but I came away virtually unscathed.
This is another example.
I’m not saying a broken collar bone is a picnic…but it could have – should have – been much worse.
It’s only been four days and I’ve already told this story dozens of times, and the reaction I get is almost always the same…
“Oh, man, that sucks!”
To which I say “No. It doesn’t suck. Not only did I walk away from a motorcycle accident…I actually rode away.”
Layla an me on a better day
It would be easy for me too piss and moan about my crappy luck, but my guardian angel works too hard keeping me out of trouble for me to insult her (or him) by complaining.
So there you have it…I’ve been sidelined for a while. Just writing this post took about three times as long as it should have.
Thank you to all who have called, texted, messaged, etc asking if I was okay.
I’ll be back in full swing before you know it!
As always – thank you for reading