I have crashed motorcycles twice in my life, the first time I was 17 years old. I went too fast into a roundabout on a wet Liverpool road and found myself sliding along the road, following my bike, until we came to an abrupt halt up against the sidewalk.
I got lucky.
The second time was a Friday night in 2006 … once again too fast for conditions, this time on an off-ramp from the highway. A similar kind of experience, that “Oh S***” moment when you realize what you have done, then the decision point about how to handle it, followed very quickly by a visit to meet gravel, earth and eventually ditch. The immediate reaction was a mental check of the various body parts … the head took a good whack, the ribs were a little bruised, there was some road rash to be discovered under ripped jeans but everything seemed to be working OK. The bike looked to be scratched up but no obvious serious damage there either. So after a little help from a passerby getting the bike out of the ditch and a few minutes to stop my head ringing, I jumped back on and headed home.
Again I got lucky.
The time for lessons was later!
So … later! What did I learn?
1. We human beings forget; and often have to relearn the same lessons again!
2. If you live your life to the max you will have the odd issue to deal with, but the alternative is just too boring!
3. If you take adequate precautions you can minimize the issues. In this case the helmet was banged up, the leather jacket and boots seriously scuffed … but my body was mostly saved. (If only I had been wearing my motorbike pants!)
4. You learn more about yourself in tough times than you do in easy times.
5. One time events can be a time for reflection, but they do not need to change your life.
6. Sometimes technology gives the answer and sometimes it needs the right human inputs. My bike was state of the art and well capable of taking that off ramp faster than I was traveling, the problem was all me!
7. Sometimes you need a little luck in life! The outcome could have easily been very different!
8.Strangers can be very kind! Thanks to the gentleman who stopped, inquired about my health and helped me pull the bike out of the ditch!
9. If you have a passion for what you are doing then you won’t let a little adversity get in the way … I’m still riding and loving it!
10. It is much better to keep the rubber on the road!
“Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.”