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Right On Red, or, I Got Off Lucky This Week.

WaltBasilWaltBasil El Paso, TX Posts: 1,757 ✭✭✭
I can't even recall what day is was now as I'm typing this, but was Tuesday or Wednesday. I hop in the saddle of my 2009 HD Heritage Softail Classic and off I go. I make it to the main drag and I'm waiting at the red light to turn right. Traffic is heavy. Most people these days approach a red light with the full intention of going through, only looking to see if they have to stop - instead of the purpose of a red light which is having the full intention of stopping and then proceeding only if conditions allow.

So there I am, stopped. Waiting to turn right. I notice a silver car approaching behind me at a high rate of speed. Not unusual these days. They'll come right up on you and come to a dead stop. I wish I had the faith they placed in their braking abilities. But this one is different. I can't go forward any more to get out of the way if needed. On a bike, one learns to always be on the look out for an escape route if needed. Most of my thinking power while riding is spent finding these escape routes. What if this person pulls out in front of me? Where will I go? What if this guy changes lanes and doesn't see me? What my plan of action for that? Anyone who rides knows this constant scenario. 

In this particular case, my only out is to be prepared to jump off the bike and to the right. No time to try and get the kickstand down and then get off. But I don't want to jump prematurely and drop the bike for nothing. Waiting for it.... BOOM! She hits me. I jump. The force of the impact propels me somewhat right, at about a 2 o'clock position. I fly about 10 feet in the air and land mostly off the road, my left shin landing on the curb. That's the only scrape I get. Don't get me wrong, I'm sore all over form the impact and landing but only that scrape to show for it. The only protective gear I wear normally are gloves and boots. The gloves saved my hands on landing. No helmet. I don't believe in them. My opinion is that if I go down at a high rate of speed, I'm dead helmet or no helmet. And as if assuring me of this, I see the news all the time of dead bikers. They were wearing their helmets. i've lived by this and have rode helmet-less since 1989. The crazy decision is climbing in that saddle to begin with. You may not agree but this is my life and my decision. I'll live or die with the consequences. This time I lived. My second fall since 1989 and this time is wasn't my fault. ;-)

I managed not to get crumpled up in the bike. She said she assumed I had already turned right and she was busy looking to the left to determine if she cold turn right on red. She was cited for failure to stop-causing an accident. She was more shook up than I was over the whole thing. I think she thought she had killed me. Thinking of her point of view, she hits a motorcycle and sees a body go flying. LOL. Insurance companies will fix or replace my baby. I get to keep my life and live to smoke another day.


  • jd50aejd50ae West Gnawed Pencil, TNPosts: 7,900 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Glad you are able to tell the story.

    Right turns on red are scary in a car, can't imagine being in that position on a motorcycle.
  • YankeeManYankeeMan Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Smart to plan your escape beforehand.  Probably saved your life!

    I disagree with you on the helmet, but you're right, it's a personal choice. 

    In 40 years of riding I rode once without a helmet.  I went to a Blue Knights event in New Hampshire and  we took a ride to see the Clysdales and I rode out without my helmet.  Even though I had fairing on my bike, I did not feel comfortable.  I wore it on the way back.  But that's just me.
  • onestrangeoneonestrangeone Austin, TxPosts: 2,441 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Damn Walt, I hate hearing stuff like this, just glad your okay.

    As a kid and a teenager I raced MX and cross country, over the years I've had many different street bikes as well, I've been down hard on the street twice. The streets are a lot more dangerous than the tracks 

  • Gray4linesGray4lines KentuckyPosts: 4,691 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ugh. She should he shaken up! What a **** excuse for not looking. I never assume anything when I'm driving except that everyone else is a moron, lol!

    Glad it was not too serious!  It sucks that most of the danger is not really in your control, but in what other idiots do.  I don't ride, (I wish) but every time I talk to those who do they always say, like you, it's key to be beyond careful and always alert of your surroundings.  
    LLA - Lancero Lovers of America
  • Bob_LukenBob_Luken already sucked before joining forum,.....just sayin'.Posts: 9,304 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Glad you didn't get seriously hurt.

    Also, thanks for reminding me to widen my eyes a little more and be alert for the bikers. 
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 7,480 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow!  My assumption was that she was texting, that's how my wife got hit.  Fortunately, she was in the Explorer instead of on her Sportster.  Don't have the Sportster anymore, her back is still jacked up.  We should have sued, but we're not those people.  Glad you're OK. 

    On a side note, having worked ER and ICU for many years, I wear the helmet.  And as much gear as the temperature will permit.  Scooping brains up and stuffing them back in so the family can view the body will do that for you.

    Flip side, the media is crazy.  I knew a guy from the local shop in San Antonio, had just retired from the Air Force.  He was riding along, minding his business, when a Semi blew through a stop sign at 60 mph and obliterated him.  On the news, the story was:  "Motorcyclist killed in accident today, he wasn't wearing a helmet".  As if that would have helped.

    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  

    "There is nothing so in need of reforming as another person's bad habits."   Mark Twain
  • armyvetarmyvet Posts: 37
     I ride and think like you. Where do I go if this happens or that. I always look in the mirrors at a stop sign. Almost got hit exactly the same way last year. I moved forward enough to avoid being hit. The driver thought the same thing. I had turned moving out of the way.
     I don't wear a helmet unless its on highway. I like the back roads, less traffic. It may take.longer isn't that the point on a bike anyway? 
     Statistics show motorcyclists are 30x more likely to die and or be injured. Ride to live brother good to see you are mending. Bikes can be replaced, you can't. 
  • twistedstemtwistedstem jacksonville floridaPosts: 3,911 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Main thing is you walked away brother!! Very glad it was not as bad as it could have been . hope you feel better soon walt.

    no matter where you go, there you are.

  • jarublajarubla Posts: 2,329 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2015
    Glad you made it through OK on this Walt. 

    Cagers generally are oblivious/stupid. Though I do see folks on bikes occasionally acting like hooligans, the car drivers pose the most risk to a motorcyclist.

    As a side note, I don't ride motorbikes any longer. Despite that, I have kept my endorsement (makes me miss it a little less). I have also keept the biker mentality and am always looking for a line out/escape route when driving. There are just too many oblivious/stupid people out there.

    Again, glad you made it through OK. 

    “There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.” -Kevin Welch
  • First_WarriorFirst_Warrior N.C. MountainsPosts: 2,662 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Glad you are ok with only a little road rash. i learned to ride in the dirt so i always wore a helmet. Haven't been on a bike in years but i still drive a truck like I am sitting on a bike. I look behind me, to the sides, and the front. I hope your bike is loud so the cars can hear you. Stay safe.
    The Native Peoples of the Americas gave tobacco to the world.
  • jimmyv723jimmyv723 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 1,858 ✭✭✭
    That sucks but definitely glad it wasn;t much worse because it easily could have been. Never had a bike myself but know some people that do and they've all been in some kind of accident and it's always from other drivers not paying attention. I'm extra cautious because of that and even in a car you have to drive so defensively. It's just that much worse when you're on a bike and you have nothing around you to absorb any of the impact.
    Ken Light 3K MOW Badge - 8/14
    2015 Gang War - East Coast
    Enola Gay - Target #29
  • webmostwebmost Dull-AwarePosts: 7,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good for you, Walt. Left hand on the clutch, eyeball on the mirror... that right there has saved me several times too. An ounce of paranoia is worth a pound of protection.
    “It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” —Thomas Jefferson (1808)

  • Lee.mcglynnLee.mcglynn HahahahaaaaaPosts: 5,960 ✭✭✭✭
    Glad your ok! I don't ride but even when driving when stopped I'm always looking in the rear view. It's sad how many crappy drivers there are these days but never let your guard down
    Money can't buy taste
  • jgibvjgibv John G.Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭✭✭
    holy smokes walt. 
    that's scary man.
    glad you are ok and were able to walk away from the accident.

    a good friend has a bike, and always says his biggest fear is the type of accident you experienced; he's constantly worrying about someone not paying attention and blasting him from behind.

    that's nuts that she just assumed you had already turned and didn't even look twice for you.  absolutely ridiculous. 
    revoke her freakin' license and make her go back to traffic school. 

    * I have a new address as of 3/24/18 *

  • matkn293matkn293 O'Fallon, MOPosts: 3,565 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Glad your alright brother. That is a scary scenario for sure. People are morons behind the wheel these days. I am Leary In a Ford F-150 much less a motorcycle. 

    Life is too short to smoke bad cigars!!!

    Oh when the Blues, Oh when the Blues, Oh when the Blues go marching in!

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