Death and destruction…Averted

By | 27th May 2003

I had an incident free weekend. Oh, yeah, except for the RTI I was rather central to.

I was riding back to the house, having just popped home to pick up a few things we’d forgotten.

I was passing the Hilliers garden centre on Romsey Road, and there was a car parked on the road outside it. I started to go around it, and as I was alongside it, realised that there was a car coming out of the exit; directly behind it. I’m not entirely sure what my thought processes were, it was all rather too quick. I think it was something along the lines of:

Car at exit, think they’ve seen me
They haven’t seen me!
They’re coming out anyway!

Basically I braked hard, skidded, tried to go around the end of the car, smacked into the wing/indicator sort of area and ended up lying in the road with my bike on my left leg. I lay there for a few seconds, assuming I’d really damaged myself. I then did a mental limb check, and realised I could move my leg, although it hurt a bit.

I managed to get the bike off my leg, and then some people came and helped me lift it up and move it off the road. The woman I’d hit came over and looked almost more shaken than me. I was pretty shaky, and I had grazed my knee, but I could move my leg OK and was more concerned that I might have bent my newly-straightened forks. Then an ambulance turned up, called by Hilliers. They gave me a cursory once-over and said I seemed OK. Then the police arrived and took down my details. I had to take my insurance and MOT documents to the local station.

I swapped details with the woman, and took the details of two witnesses and went home. The stupid thing was that I didn’t have my mobile, so I couldn’t let Hannah know what had happened. The bike started up OK, and seemed OK to ride, so I rode home. Hannah took it a lot better than I was expecting, although we have since had a bit of heartache as she didn’t want me to ride it again. We have decided, however, that it is still really the only viable way for us to live together in Brum. The train would just be too much hassle, and I don’t think we could afford to get a car and run it, even if we sold the bike. We called the RAC to come and check the bike over, and they said it seemed OK to them. There is a little cosmetic damage to the fibreglass fairing, but it is very minor. I don’t know how I managed to avoid anything greater.

I’ve been thinking about the accident a lot. It’s been running over and over in my mind in the last coupld of days. It was technically her fault, because she pulled out when it wasn’t safe to do so. That doesn’t stop me feeling stupid about it. Having read some stuff about advanced motorcycling, I know that I should have seen the potential for a hazard and slowed down. That being said, I’m pretty sure I was within the speed limit and would think well within it by the time I first braked. I don’t think I’m going to claim anything from her at the moment, although I might take the bike to a garage to get it properly checked out.

So, that was fun. My knee’s still rather sore, but it’s only a graze and will heal eventually. My leg feels like someone’s taken a bat to it, but that too will pass. I think I’m very lucky, and I’m treating it as a warning. I think I was perhaps getting a little complacent. A routine journey like that can be just that. You can get into “cruise mode” and forget that there can be hazards. Reminding me of that is a valuable thing. If I let my concentration lapse again, it could be more serious.

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