(originally posted to facebook)
On the scooter its always Ninja-level alert, 2-seconds to danger, and always wear a helmet, preferably my safety boots and jacket (which I left home on such a nice night).
First, I am fine; except for leaving one layer of skin, and a whole lotta dignity out on East Bay Road. It takes several events to add up to dropping a bike on the pavement. Here’s what happened as I turned from US19 onto East Bay (in front of Chilis):
Daylight Savings ended Sunday, so it was newly dark during rush hour; both for me and the little old lady in front of me. As I was exiting SB 19 onto the ramp, 2 cop cars with blue flashers were up on the US19 bridge, stopping NB traffic but causing confusion for us SB (and distracting me). As we exited and approached the East Bay light, an ambulance blared, crossing the intersection east bound, stopping all surface traffic, more momentary confusion. We were both turning right, into a long merge lane in front of Chili’s, with a now totally clear road.
They were tentative, and rubber necking, but I laid back. As they finally cleared the lane, East Bay was momentarily totally empty and I went to “pop out” and cross the 2 or 3 empty lanes, mostly focusing back. That’s when I noticed the black lane divider, normally covered in those stand up reflector posts (so you don’t hit them) but those were long gone. The divider bump is black, road is black, sky is black …
I almost saved myself, by only glancing the divider and pulling myself back, but my center of gravity went over, so I tried to jump it. Nope, the bike went out from under me, but only going 15-20 mph. We both skidded, but just 20 feet or so.
Scraped up the under panel pretty good (pretty bad?). Scraped up my right elbow (like I was 9). Put a hole in the knee of my jeans (like I was 9). Tore my famous red shoelace and ruined my right sneaker. Totally destroyed my dignity. Helmet, and safety gear, always.
Once again, you have to love the brotherhood of bikers. Within 2 seconds, someone jumped out of his truck from the red light on WB East Bay and shouted across “Are you OK?”. Stood there to watch. Another man literally RAN from the parking lot of the Chilis out to check on me while a third guy walked from the Dollar Tree lot and waved traffic around me. A fourth guy was turning like me, stopped his car to check, and helped me raise my scooter, then seeing the others drove off. The one guy left for his dinner but the other waited around while I rode down and back into the lot. He helped me check the bike, find scattered parts, we chatted a bit. He hung around, to make sure I didn’t have a concussion (without saying such), then said “take care” and wandered back to finish his errands. I took stock, then eventually took the photos attached here.
You know, I have never had a bike emergency (or even a roadside problem) where at least 2 if not 3 or 4 obvious bikers stop to make sure I have someone stay with me until I’m ok. Sometimes that guy will stay 20 or 30 minutes. THAT invisible support network that appears instantly and from thin air was the best surprise of getting my first scooter, just over three years ago.
For now, its the large economy size Bactine and as much pampering and fawning as I can milk from this thing. Thanks in advance for your well wishes … ALWAYS wear a helmet, always ride only when ninja alert.