It was a Sunday morning, and I was on my way to visit my Mom for breakfast, little did I know what was going to happen in the next 30 minutes…
I was on my CBR 600 rr, taking a casual ride to meet up with my Mom at her place, it was still fairly early in the morning and there wasn’t much traffic on the roads. Also I had not ben drinking the night before which was a little unusual. I was feeling confident like the world was my oyster, everything was going right.
There had been rain the night before, so the roads were a little wet but nothing to be too concerned about, I started to loosen up on the roads. Anyone who has ever had a bike will tell you it is one of the best feeling to just ride. You, the road and the speed machine. Now bear in mind the CBR 600 rr is the fastest production standard street bike or it was at the time I bought mine so when you are riding you have to respect it or you will end up being the bike’s bitch. And in a disagreement between you and the tar, the tar will always win.
That morning I was semi kitted out, I had my leather jacket and gloves but was riding in a pair of three quarter baggies, not the best choice but I didn’t want to rock up at breakfast looking like a tool. Yes, even I can be fashion conscious sometimes.
I was halfway to Mom’s house, riding on a back freeway which has a couple of robots (signals). I had stopped at one and was waiting for it to turn green so I could play a little bit. It turned green and I let rip. Everything fell back, cars and buildings, all that was left was the road ahead. Changing fast through the gears, the high revving whine of the engine, the thrill of the ride was awesome. The excitement was unreal. Leaning into the corners and accelerating out of them in one fluid motion, it was bliss!
I noticed my revs where higher than normal, almost redlining, my clutch started to slip. I glanced down at my speedo, yeah something wasn’t right. What is the worst thing you can do in this situation? Well let me tell you the facts.
In a long but not so gentle corner, where there is gradient going from the left up to the right, plus in the middle of the corner there is a bridge joint. Plus the I’m not watching the road cos I’m checking out the clutch action and I’m going pretty fast. Tsk, tsk. I should have known better.
I hit the bridge joint unexpectedly, and the worst possible thing happened,I got the dreaded tankslap! Had I seen it coming I would have braced myself and had a firmer grip on the handlebars, but this wasn’t the case. I shat myself. With the handle bars shaking left and right, it reminded me of Shakria doing one of her hip gyrating dances. I managed to right it and with a sigh of relief I thought I was ok, I wasn’t. Still in the corner I was still leaning to the left. I slowly made my way down and kissed to the tarmac. It wasn’t the kiss of a gentle young lover, no it was an angry I hate you and I hope you fucking die kiss. This is where it gets a little fuzzy. I felt an intense burning sensation starting on my left calf, rising slowly to my thigh to my back, nano second by nano second. I was in the most unreal slow motion. After what seemed like an eternality I stopped skidding which had to end with my helmet against the pavement. My ears were sick of hearing myself slide against my friend the tar.
And although this post is a tragedy, this is the part which makes me laugh.
I managed to stand up and try assess the situation. If I could stand then I wasn’t hurt that bad. Dazed and confused the first thing I thought about was, is the bike off the road and am I off the road. Yes on both accounts. Next I gazed at my legs to see how bad they were. Yes, they were in pretty bad shape. No need to go into details but my left calf and thigh were messed up but thank god, just the skin was missing, It would heal. Moving upwards my first concern was my tattoos. Ripping off my biker jacket I checked myself out. Left arm, left shoulder, right arm, right shoulder, all ok! Seriously after just having a major bike accident I was worried about my tattoos, I realized how vain I was. Was I still gong to be handsome.?
By now a crowd had formed, I noticed them and took into account where I had crashed. It was next to a squatter camp/ township. Not the place you want to be. I took out a smoke and tried to be cool. Play it down. The smoke didn’t help. It make me more light-headed than I already was. I took a look behind me and in the squatter camp I saw a lot of people running in my direction.
Fuck, Today is my lucky day, I thought.
Someone gave me their phone and called my Mom to give her the good news. Credit to my Mom, she has 4 boys, and she has had multiple calls like this one. She took it on the chin like a champ. She knew the drill.
“Mom, don’t freak out”
“What happened, are you ok?”
“Yeah, I wiped out.”
“Can you walk and where are you?”
“Yes i’m ok but you gotta come get me. I next to the squatter camp and these guys have spears and are running towards me.”
“Ok, I will be there in 5 but wait for me and don’t let anyone take you anywhere .”
“Sweet, just hurry and I think we should forget about breakfast.”
My mom was there in a flash, but in the meantime the ambulance had arrived. I told them I was ok and they were a little shocked. But this was a double call. What had happened in the squatter camp was a guy had been caught stealing. The mob had gone public justice on him. They were chasing him around with assegais’. They had got hold of him and let him have it. So actually I was the one in better shape. My mom arrived, we sorted out the bike and headed straight to the hospital.
They sorted me out, stitched my popped forearm and proceeded to scrape out all the mud and dirt out on my roasties. That was painful as hell. I couldn’t really walk for 3 weeks after that. It was sometime before I got my repaired bike back but the first ride was sweet.
Although you might be reading this and thinking to yourself what the fuck, that’s the thing about a bike. Yes you will crash, everybody does, but there is no better feeling than riding a high performance machine. It’s just that good.