I had my first ride in 5 months this week.....talk about apprehensive Trev!!
On 5th May I had a rather nasty accident that wrote-off the old bike thanks to a brief encounter with some black ice. I was extremely lucky to come out pretty much unscathed...at least on the face of it with no blood and no breaks, but it did arouse an old bike injury whereby a ruptured disc caused a bit of sciatica in my right leg. That in itself was pretty minor, but combined with a good dose of post-accident paranoia?? Yes, well!
I got my bike licence in 1974 and I've had my share of thrills & spills, many much worse than my most recent endeavour (although I haven't written a bike off before) but one can usually review the situation and circumstances leading up to the event and, if not justify it, at least recognise the causes and learn from the experience. In this recent situation, I misread the situation, but the worst thing was, if put in that situation again, I would likely come off 9 out of 10 times because there were no indicators for icy conditions!!??
I guess there was never any real chance that I wouldn't get another bike, but quite frankly, I haven't missed riding and there were times when I couldn't care less either way if I didn't ride again or not....a few very respectable credit card statements certainly didn't help the situation by reinforcing how much I've actually been spending on fuel, tyres and servicings!! Strangely enough, I did keep a regular eye on Trade-Me and had a replacement bike was viewed by Gremlin in June.
Anyway, with not having a bike, the Grand Challenge having been waived for this year and having had arthritis in my left hip for the past 6 years which had deteriorated to an assessment of 'significant' (that's bone on bone) in March...I returned from a trip to the Gold Coast in July and thought, “Bugger it, I might as well get it done”. I was referred to one of the best local surgeons and in front of him within a week, then booked in for the op within a month (on 24 August).
Prior to the op I asked the surgeon, “I'm a biker, how long before I can ride again?” to which he replied, “I've never been asked that before...6 – 8 weeks I suppose.”
I must admit, along with all the other excuses for not riding again, the thought of handling a 300Kg truck on a tin hip didn't do much to instill more confidence in me, but I did continue to keep a weather eye out on Trade-Me.....and I just couldn't seem to bring myself to look at anything else but ST1300's....well....the one Gremlin had looked at anyway.
After the op, I was standing with a frame that night, walking on crutches the next day, going up and down stairs within a few days and out of hospital on the Tuesday, fours days after. I rested up on the Wednesday...got bored as hell and started going to work for half days from the Thursday (6 days), got the staples out after 2 weeks, started managing on 1 crutch after 3 weeks, then dumped the crutches altogether after 6 weeks (along with the foot washer paddle, grabber thingy, sock-putter-onerer thingy, extended shoe horn and extender potty seat) because that was when the rental expired and I was too much of a tight arse to pay any more! (I had a walking stick from the pre-op days so that was more convenient anyway)
I started driving again at 3½ weeks and about that time, I was almost relieved to see that the bike I had my eye on had sold! Well it dropped off Trade-Me for a few days anyway...only to reappear with a few dollars knocked off the price....Damn!! No excuses left! There was the bike I wanted so I had to buy it!!...even if I couldn't ride it!!
I ordered a few farkles online on the Sunday, paid the man on the Monday, arranged to have the bike freighted and it arrived on the Friday, tucked it away in the garage at work, then although I probably could have managed it, I arranged for Hitcher to ride it out to RayzSignz in Wainui' for pin-striping on Monday last week. Ray rang to advise it was ready on Thursday...so D-Day had arrived and Ann dropped me out to pick it up.
Talk about nerves Trev!...apprehensive, tentative, chicken-shit.....you name it....I was finally about to swing a leg over again, 5 months out from the accident and 7 weeks out from the op!!
A nervous grin and a gulp to Ray and I was on the road...but definitely didn't feel too comfortable....but I'll blame that on the different feel of the Rider Seat!? I got home OK and Friday night I set about fitting the GPS and old topbox which I had salvaged from the old bike because it had a spoiler with hi-stop light fitted. That took much of Saturday and I fitted the new headlight armour as well, then today was my first outing.
Ullysses had a club ride to Herbertville and I was never going on that, but I did figure that the WIMA Pink Ribbon ride would be a nice, short and tame affair to reaquaint myself with the joys of riding. Yeah right....that's all good in theory but the weather yesterday was pissing down and it was still drizzling this morning. “Never mind”, I told myself, “it's not that bad and they'll need numbers with this marginal weather.” so I kitted up and hit the road around 1000.
Wet roads did nothing to make me feel comfortable and that this was 'fun', but I made it into town OK and enjoyed chatting to a few mates. Fortunately, the weather cleared and we were on our way by 1100, so I was starting to feel more comfortable. I was even finding the molded feel of the seat quite good and by the time we were cruising over Haywards and Greys roads, I could almost say, “I was in the groove”, bopping, tapping and dipping to the music and downright enjoying the feel of the bike!
I rode for the Pink and I'm back in black, old the Old-Beaut-Black-Beauty! (It's slightly older then the New-Beaut-Black-Beauty was)....bring on the C1KC (1,000Km) on 10/11 and MDA run (1400Km) on 30/11!
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.