Dress For The Slide, Not The Ride

IMG_5642There are few things in life as humbling as not being able to take care of yourself. Not being able to do things as simple as getting a plate from the kitchen cabinets will show you how lucky we are to get around and do all the little things that we take for granted. Well thanks to a recent accident I have been humbled. I have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles on many bikes. I’ve been down a few times, but was always able to get back up and keep on keepin on, even if I had a few broken bones and some road rash. This time I wasn’t so lucky, and ended up with both shoulders broken as well as a broken knee and torn ACL.

The down side of this wreck, is that it was purely my fault. There wasn’t anyone to blame or be mad at other than myself. I screwed up. I got too comfortable and it bit me in the ass. I rode my bike into a curve at a speed that the bike wasn’t designed to go. I had two motorcycles, both of which were for the most part purpose built. One is my Dyna that is a blast to ride and will take most any curve I throw it in and the other was a Roadglide that was all set up to tour the country. I gambled that the Roadglide could do what the Dyna could and lost.

IMG_5644I was fortunate that I was wearing a full face DOT helmet or I wouldn’t be writing this, as I hit my head pretty hard. I also was wearing my TCX boots that kept me from any ankle damage. What I wasn’t wearing were gloves and a jacket or at least a Kevlar lined shirt or hoodie. I got lucky and my hands were barely touched, but I did get road rash that would have been completely prevented by wearing my flannel that was in the tour pack. Again, I got too comfortable. I had the gear I needed but neglected to take the time to put it on. Why??? Because it was a short ride and I’ve done it a hundred times, I’ll be fine. I wasn’t fine. I don’t know if any gear outside of a full racing suit would have saved my knee and shoulders, but I wish that I would have at least worn what I had with me.

I have been humbled. I have had to ask others to literally do everything for me. I couldn’t drive for five weeks. I have been pretty independent since getting my license at sixteen years old, so depending on others was hard. It was one thing to ask for a ride, but when you must have an old friend bathe you, you are humbled.

Will I ride again you may ask. I already have. Seven weeks to the day I got on my Dyna and rode to a swap meet on the other side of town. It hurt in several places, but I am reminded to not get too comfortable again. I will still ride on a near daily basis, but now it will all be on one bike. I lost lots of money, time out of my life, as well as brought on pain that I will deal with forever, and it was all my fault.

The point to me telling this story is to hopefully prevent others from making the same mistake. We all get comfortable, I got too comfortable. We all probably have the basic riding gear, we just need to take the time and wear it.

We can’t predict or prevent the actions of others, but we can our own. Ride safe, ride protected, and ride sober. The life you save could be your own.

See you on the road,

Pauly

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2016-04-29T16:04:02+00:00 By |Uncategorized|14 Comments

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14 Comments

  1. Emmett Padilla May 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Sorry to hear about your accident and glad you are okay brother, I enjoy watching your clips on new products and always look to each month for something new and crazy from you, but this is eye opening and I have riden from the age of 16 like you, you are so right we ride so long and feel it is second nature but we forget nature has a way of reminding us we are not invincible. Take care get well and glad to hear you are riding again.

  2. Mike May 30, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Glad that you are ok. Thanks for sharing your experience. We all know the risks we take riding but it is good to get a reality check now and again. Ride safe and for everyone in cages hang up and drive.

  3. charley fogg May 29, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Sorry about your bike, but so glad you’re here to tell us about it. I truly understand your message. I’m a lady rider, been riding only eighteen months. Fortunately all I know is full gear. It is what I was taught. Your message is loud and clear, I hope others heed what you’re telling them. It can’t get any clearer than that.

  4. Wallace Daffner May 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I believe in full gear. Many years ago I had a head on with a car. If I had not been wearing all the gear, I probably would have been severely injured. I was hurting, but broke no bones.

  5. Allen May 29, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Get well my friend.
    Always a cold PBR waiting for you at Will Henry’s next time I see you.

    • Allen May 29, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Follow up to previous comment, cold one waiting for you when you have a DD to drive you.

  6. Wanda Tesch May 28, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I know what you are talking about getting to comfortable with your ride. I recently had and accident and I hit the back end of a minI van and did not feel to good. I was lucky that I was wearing my gear. I had my chaps, my tall riding boots, vest , light jacket, gloves and a 3/4 helmet. I am so glad I had all that on because I would not be hear to tell the story. Now when I see people wearing shorts and short sleeves, I just squinch because they have no idea what can happen. That day everybody was asking g why are you wearing all that gear and are you not hot. I had told them that I rather be got than have no skin. I was lucky because I didn’t have no broken bones but my insides still feel like it is jumbled up and it hurts. I had a concussion and my head still feels like it is foggy. But I am back up on my bike, but I learn a very good lesson. I thank God for watching over me. Guys wear the right gear and be safe out there.

  7. Suuave May 5, 2016 at 6:57 am

    I got my license a few months ago but I’m still saving for my bike. Reading this makes me glad that I’ve already bought gear. To take the H-D rider course I had to buy helmet, gloves and boots, so I have those. Last month I found an armored mesh jacket on clearance at a gear shop. Now I’m convinced that I need to upgrade the back protector from the foam insert that came with to a CE level 2 armor. I’m looking forward to riding safely.

  8. David Pierce May 1, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Great advice I’m going to get gear over the next few weeks been putting it off for a while but it has always been in the back of my mind guess trying to look cool on my Harley Davidson like everyone else in Florida no more information getting to old for that mess I want to live to ride again thanks

  9. Chris Toomey May 1, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks cor sharing your experience. I am still recovering, almost 3 months after I went down – broken ankle, broken wrist, break in left hand, broken C1 (could easily have been fatal or debilitating) and C5, and a small brai bleed from impact. Thank god for my full face helmet, leather chaps, boots and leather jacket! No road rash, but breaks were at the joints and into the cartilage! FIRM believer in having all the gear on and your mind needs to be 100% on the road and obstacles!

    H-D Electraglide Limited totalled, but blessed to be alive.

  10. Christi April 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Aah, great message and thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sure a few will be reminded to take it easy. I myself am finally getting my license in a couple of months 🙂

  11. Mark April 29, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for this story. When I see newbie riders i often casually tell em leathers, gloves, boots, a comfortable lid are good stuff. Because it’s not a matter of IF you will crash, it’s just a matter of when. Even the most skilled/on their game racers fall off once in awhile, but they are dressed for it, get up and hop back on to finish the race, if the bike is intact.
    M

  12. Don Carlo April 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Sorry to read this blog. I hope you heal quickly!
    I always feel funny with my leathers or mesh jacket, chaps,boots and full helmet locally in MD. Many bikers look at me like it’s overkill, but I still wear my gear….
    Funny thing is many have never rode longer than going to a bar. I rode 3 times to the Smokie’s logging 6K miles on my VTX1300.
    The Dragon, Bootlegger,Rattlesnake,Skyline. ….be safe, get well soon!

    • Jeff James May 28, 2016 at 6:53 am

      Thanks for this article. At times I need a “reminder” to wear the proper gear and to ride my own ride. Some of my riding buddies often have to push the limits.
      Don C….I also have a VTX1300 and ride often, great bike.

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