A little over 3 weeks ago I was involved in a rather bad accident. I was merging off from an arterial road onto our main national highway here in Cape Town and there was a step in the road (new tar [or asphalt as some would call it] on top of old tar with no warnings signs indicating that there is a step and that the road was left partially finished. My front wheel slid off the new tar on the old and I was still busy turning somewhat, leaning into the direction of the higher new tar. This situation, unfortunately, left me with one choice, and that was to try and climb the front wheel onto the new tar in order to avoid crashing into a barrier. Unfortunately my front wheel just slid against the new tar, the same way it would had I banked into a curb stone. The fall was inevitable and I went down at about 110KM/H.
I ended up barrel rolling shoulder over shoulder until I came to a stop on the left hand side of the road. Luckily there were no other vehicles around me at the time as they could have also impacted me and made matters worse. Some folk saw me lying on the side of the road and stopped to help. They called an ambulance and I was rushed off to hospital. Unfortunately I broke both my shoulders as bad as they could possibly be broken. My left shoulder has 3 breaks and also some crushing of the bone. My right shoulder has 4 breaks, crushing of the bone, and it was badly dislocated. I also broke 3 ribs on my left hand side. I was in hospital for almost a week. Both my shoulders were operated on and now have more titanium in them than a T1000 Terminator. Fortunately the only other injuries were a few roasties from the tar, nothing serious. My gear made sure of that. My custom leather jacket seriously did its job, although it had to be cut off me at the hospital. My helmet took a few heavy blows and is now useless. It also did its job I might add. My gloves saved my hands from being totally mangled. They were also a brand new pair I bought a few weeks prior. My guardian angel was on my shoulder for sure.
Anyways, I am back at home and busy recovering, albeit there is not much more that I can do for myself yet other than type a little here and there so I am pretty much out of action for at least 8 weeks. Then I have tons of physio to look forward to in order to regain the use of my arms which I may or may not fully regain functionality of but I am going to give it my best shot.
On to my ride....Here is where I just wanna cry. It's got quite a bit of damage and I have a friend busy looking for parts in order to try help and fix it. It turns out South Africa is not the best when looking for parts for the 9 so I expect my bike to be out of action much longer than I am going to be. What a bummer as I am going to miss the entire riding season.
Other than the above, I am really glad to be alive as this accident could have tuned out to be much worse. I am still with my wife and kids and that is all that really matters to me all things considered.
I thought I would share the above with you all in the hopes that my experience raises a little bit of awareness when it comes to properly inspecting the road surface ahead. I am a very experienced rider and this was the dumbest accident I have ever heard of and it happened to me. It goes to show that no matter how experienced you might be, anything can happen that can end up being a life changer for the worse. Please be careful our there guys and gals. The proverbial .... happens to the best of us.
Lastly, I attach a few pics of my experience. The first pic shows a bit but not all of the damage that my bike sustained. The second pic clearly shows the step in the road that ultimately caused me to go down.