Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Beat Up -- but Up Beat
At approximately 7:45 yesterday morning I was on my motorcycle traveling north on Rt. 140 from Taunton to Norton, Massachusetts. My speed was 40 -- 45 miles per hour. I saw the blue Hyundai to my right, stopped at the red octagon sign at the end of Old Taunton Avenue, with its nose pointing south. Suddenly the car lurched out in front of me -- I had nowhere to go. I hit my break, but I knew I wouldn't get stopped in the few feet that separated my front wheel from the driver's side corner of the car directly in front of me.
If you are a bike rider, you, too, have probably thought about what you would do if you were unfortunate enough to be in that kind of situation. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to do just that. I was traveling too fast to lay the bike down, so at the last second I raised up on the pegs -- my only chance was to get my body over the top of the vehicle, rather than slam into the side of it.
According to the police and the newspaper article, I was launched over 20 feet beyond the impact point. I never lost consciousness -- even when I hit the ground. I don't know what height I fell from, but I do know that I landed squarely on my back. I was wearing a Joe Rocket riding jacket. It is made of woven kevlar (the stuff they make bullet proof vests with), and has kevlar plates designed to protect the back, kidneys, chest, and elbows in a collision. I didn't skid -- there were no raspberries on any part of my body -- I just splatted on the highway. Apart from God's miraculous protection, the kevlar and helmet most likely saved my life.
Just above my tailbone the jacket ends. That is why my L4 was fractured. Also, there is immense swelling in my lumbar area, a good gash on my left leg, and one-thousand aches and pains. Significantly more so today than yesterday. Vicodin every 4-6 hours helps, but I can't imagine how I would feel without it.
My knees crushed the gas tank
The front wheel and forks are pushed under the bottom of the frame
How the windshield survived is a mystery
The blue Hyundi is curled up at the impact point -- the airbags deployed