Friday, May 16, 2014

A Friend's Accident


I tweeted yesterday about my friend Jim.  Last Sunday, he got in a motorcycle accident.  He was riding down the road, minding his own business, when a car suddenly turned left in front of him and blocked his path.  This is the most common scenario of car/motorcycle crashes.  The driver always claims they "didn't see" the motorcycle but that's just a lame excuse for not paying attention.

I've known Jim for fifteen years.  He and his wife Jan are wonderful friends.  I've gone on long-distance motorcycle trips with them (e.g., Nova Scotia) and enjoy their company.  Jim is certainly one of the best riders I know -- he's ridden motorcycles for 45 years and this is his first accident.  He and Jan toured Europe on motorcycle and have visited almost every State in this country by bike.

Jim always has at least three motorcycles in his garage and, in this accident, he was riding the fastest, most technologically advanced sportbike in existence today (BMW S1000RR).  Jim doesn't mind spending $30,000+ on a motorcycle and he replaces his bikes every year or two.  Visiting his garage is an opportunity to check out the coolest machines on the market.

Jim takes his bikes to a professional racetrack a dozen times a year.  It was at his urging that I joined him at the track for the first time two years ago.  I had a blast and blogged about it.

Anyway, getting to the point...  when Jim realized he was going to hit the car, he instantly braked and scrubbed off most of his speed.  (The brakes on that bike are phenomenal.)  He'd been travelling the speed-limit of 40mph and was able to reduce his momentum to half of that.  Nonetheless, there was an impact and he banged himself up good.  Fortunately, nothing was seriously broken and he has only one area of bad road-rash (abrasion) which is the equivalent of second-degree burn.  Of course Jim wears top-notch gear and that protected his body significantly.  He spent a night in a hospital for observation because he lost consciousness and they worried about possible brain damage; that turned out fine.  Whatever brain damage he has was pre-existing.  :-)

I went over to Jim and Jan's house last night.  We ate pizza, drank beer and chatted about everything.  It was reassuring to see Jim is basically okay; he just needs to heal.  Jim joked about getting (imaginary) sponge-baths from his attractive nurse at the hospital.  Jan played along; their union is one of the closest I've ever seen.  They are two people completely in synch with each other.  They will be together for life.

Oh, did I mention?  The motorcycle I rode over to their house (BMW K1200LT) is one I bought from Jim a decade ago when he was impatient to buy a newer bike.  My motorcycle practically rode itself over to Jim's when it realized it was returning home.

I know many of you fashion-bloggers may not have any interest in motorcycles, but this is my blog and I want to share my day.  Before I saw Jim in person last night, I was genuinely worried about him.  As careful as we are when we ride, the potential for serious harm always looms over us.

Have you ever been in an accident?

21 comments:

  1. Happy to hear that Jim is okay! How scary! My husband was in an accident while riding his Harley a few weeks ago. Somehow he managed to walk away without a scratch, but the car that hit him had a lot of damage. I have to think there was some sort of divine intervention involved!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Bugsy's Box Giveaway!

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  2. I'm glad he was generally all right. I don't mind reading about motorcycle stuff either. I enjoy hearing about all of the stuff you have going on. Plus, my Dad and brother are both motorcycle enthusiasts and I'm a wanna be scooter rider.

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  3. I'm so glad to hear he was all right! My husband and I were in an accident with a deer once - nothing happened to us, but it was frightening nonetheless! It damaged our car a little bit, but we were ok and I guess that is what matters!

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  4. Glad Jim is okay; there are so many idiots out there on the road!

    I've been in three car accidents: two were rear-enders, one was a T-hit. I was hurt in one of them (my knee punched a hole in the dashboard), but was lucky not to have any lasting damage.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear of your Friend's Accident but Thankful that his injuries were not life threatening! Yes, drivers not paying attention is a big issue... that is how my DH sustained his catastrophic injuries in a collision last year. Texting and being on the phone while driving seems to be the latest scourge to distraction on the road. But you never know where a driver's mind is when they're behind the wheel... on the way to drop the G-Daughter off at School this Morning a School Bus Driver blew a stop sign and almost hit us... Thankfully there were no children on his bus since he had just dropped them off, but it made me grateful I drive my G-Kids to School every day myself since I know School Buses don't have seatbelts! Thank you for dropping by for a Blog Visit and thoughts for our Family during this difficult time. Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  6. I'm so glad Jim is okay! He and Jan sound like a lovely couple. Motorcycle awareness is an important road issue, and one that I care more about now than ever since buying my mini-moto. And for what it's worth, I love hearing about your 'cycle. I kind of want one of my own now ;)

    I've been in a couple fender-benders; most happened when I was 16-17 and were my fault. Got rear-ended once, and once I spun out on a snowy highway and crashed into a ditch...though that was better than getting flattened by the semi-truck that was immediately behind me. I still can't drive in snow after that one, and it was eight years ago.

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  7. So glad to hear that he was okay and that you got to spend time with him! He seems like an awesome person, just by your description. My mom was in a pretty terrible accident the year after I graduated high school, and she still has metal screws in her leg :(

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  8. I don't think I have been in one although I did get a motorbike exhaust pipe burn on my leg in Indonesia when getting off a bike once, didn't scar luckily. My sister AND brother in law both work in uniform and they've both had terrible accidents in the course of their work. Him because he cornered a criminal in a cul de sac and it rammed his car at 50miles an hour to escape! X

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  9. Really glad he's ok though x

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  10. Glad to hear your friend Jim is ok - I've been in small accidents, nothing serious thankfully :)

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  11. I'm glad to hear that your friend is OK. All I can say is ATTGATT has paid off yet again, and good on him. It sounds like he's a great rider so I'm sure that a lot of skill and those in grained automatic reactions that all good bike riders need to learn went into play in helping him too.

    It must have been nice for you to see him and just see for yourself that he was indeed ok :)

    Oh and the SMIDSY .. I hate that excuse, it's not an excuse, if there's a vehicle on the road that you didnt see, whether it's a bike or a semi trailer, and you didn't see it then you are just not paying enough attention to the road and need to go get lessons.

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  12. Fantastic news that Jim is OK ... I can understand why the hospital were worried about his brain ... although they could have called you for expert testimony i.t.o. the pre-existing condition!!! You are so cute!!!!

    Not being a fashionista, I love hearing about your day whether it involves clothes, your jaunts around the city or your motorbikes.

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  13. I'm so glad he is okay. Life is always full of risks, but you can't enjoy life without putting yourself out there. I'm sad that motorists aren't observant for smaller vehicles.

    I like hearing about whatever you write. I don't always get a chance to comment, but I read every single post and more than not learn something new.

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  14. Thank goodness that Jim was able to walk away from such a potentially life threatening encounter relatively unharmed. As a fellow motorcyclist yourself, I can imagine that the impact of hearing a friend has had an accident is intensified all the more, as you can picture yourself in that same kind of scenario with crystal clarity. Thank you for sharing about Jim with us. I sincerely hope you both have no further accidents on your bikes ever!

    ♥ Jessica

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  15. My friend's brother was killed on a bike in Tampa years ago in that exact scenario you described. That is the scary part of motorcycles for me.

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  16. Very glad to hear Jim is ok. It is a testament to his quick reactions (and experience) that he was able to slow down as much as he did. He is lucky, I guess, but it still is an example of how you can be the best rider in the best kit and with the best brakes, but things still happen through no fault of your own. It worries me when I'm out on my bike - we have to do our best to stay out of trouble and trust other road users to do the same!

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  17. so sorry to hear of his accident. motorcycles, specifically Harley's, are a big part of my family. but they've always scared me--i think it's partly due ot my dad's infatuation of the Allman Brothers. My sister is named Jessica after the song. Seeing the graves and finding the spots where they died freaked me out as a kid, but I still love their music.
    glad he is on the mend and in good spirits. just got caught up reading your blog!

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  18. I'm glad Jim is okay. It's good that he was able to slow down. I've had some close calls with cars, but haven't hit one yet. I did go down once, but I was at fault. And very glad I was in full gear. 😄

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  19. I'm so glad your friend was okay. One of the things I enjoy about your blog is the topics you choose. The fashion is fun and thought-provoking, the photography is beautiful, and the ones about your friends are interesting. You have a cool storytelling style.

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  20. Thank goodness, he came away relatively unscathed after that! Motorcycle accidents are usually very dangerous for the cyclist because he or she is usually exposed to so much danger without the protection provided by a car. So what happened to the car and its driver?

    Hugh Lambert

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