Well, apart from a minor off on the Rotterdam ring road in 2009, it was my first road bike accident. A guy in a Mazda RX8 (never liked them) came out of the sliproad from the M5 to the A417 east of Gloucester, crossed two lanes and didn’t see me.
He hit the bike side on, putting me down the road and the bike into the central reservation (at least it wasn’t the other way round). You can remember the feeling of ‘dread’ (in the Kierkegaardian sense) and then in my case the hard shoulder with a couple of people picking up the bike. The bit in between is a little vague.
That I managed to get up and then walk across the road seems to indicate that it was my lucky day. Apart from a cut thumb, I’d got no obvious injuries at the time. My Alpinestars waterproof top was in shreds, but the one-piece leathers seem to have taken most of the impact and done a very good job. The Bell Moto7 helmet, though a lightweight model also stood up well, with the peak being smashed, the integrity of the helmet was good.
The bike lost its front wheel, I think when it hit the central reservation, as the bottom of the forks broke away. The main impact was at the front and bike went down the road on its left hand side. The pannier on this side broke off, and the fuel tank, fairing was badly scraped, but no fuel leaks.
The driver stopped and was a bit shocked, but at least he admitted to me (and another witness) that it was entirely his fault (not sure it could have been anything else). I must have been a bit in shock, as it took me 3 or 4 attempts to get through to the Carole Nash breakdown recovery people and he stayed around. Also grateful for another motorcyclist stopping, as well as to the witnesses who left details.
– that despite Jamie Theakston’s attempt to persuade everyone who watches police documentaries that all bikers are twats, that it is car drivers who make biking dangerous for the sane majority of us
– that the KTM is a well built bike, including when its going down the road sideways. There is something to be said for having pannier on a bike also
– spending £500 quid of a set of leathers is worth every penny. My single-piece Alpinestar Monza leathers did the job they were intended for. I’ll be wincing everytime I see someone riding in jeans. Without wish to be morbid, or wishing for a repeat, I wonder whether my textile jacket and trousers would have had the same resistance to impact and abrasion. The latter I think not.
And now for the acknowledgements;
– to Andy Janes on his brand-new GS1200 who stopped and hung around until SOS recovery turned up
– to SOS recovery for a really quick arrival time (about 20 minutes)
– to AMS Motorcycles for taking the bike and doing the repair estimate
– to Carole Nash who seem (so far) to be really on the ball and I phoned through my quote whilst on the way to AMS
– to Helen, for picking me up from Tewkesbury