I'm a blessed man.
Let me say it again: I'm a blessed man.
On July 27th, 1:30PM EST, my bike went down. My wife was riding along as a passenger.
Here's how it went. I was riding up Cumberland Blvd in Smyrna, GA after a church service. I was making a legal u-turn to the left, an as I exited the u-turn, I started to accelerate to get up to speed with the traffic that was approaching. As I accelerated, the missus shifted rearward, and she instinctively held tight to me. I shifted with her, and my throttle hand pulled. Hard. The front wheel went up, and as soon as I realized it, I let go of the throttle. That's when things got really, really ugly.
The front wheel came down hard and fast - right on the sidewalk. Then the Versys slammed my wife and I over onto the sidewalk, where I somehow (thankfully) let go of the bike and it slid away from us. My wife landed on top of me (she was holding on tight) on impact and we slid on my left side initially for about 10 feet. She rolled off of me onto her back, and I continued to slide on my right side. Finally, I stopped, with her about 5 feet from me to my left.
I sat up, dazed, and then stood up, feeling light-headed and woozy. My wife was conscious as well. By this time someone had stopped and called the police, who responded within about 10 minutes, followed by the fire department. My left arm was in great pain and unmovable, but overall, aside from a broken arm, I was ok. My wife also came through ok, since she had me as a cushion. She has a pretty good-sized bruise on her left knee, but otherwise is ok. No neck injuries and no head injuries, and we were both conscious as well. My wife has nothing broken anywhere.
So, here I sit typing this up with one hand, with no road rash and an intact body, giving thanks to Jesus that my wife came through almost unharmed and that all I have is a broken arm, scraped up bike, and a bruised ego. My wife wore almost identical gear and she came through with no road rash much the same way I did.
Now, I went with textile, which I thought would be ok. It did the job (and did it well) but I wonder about the real durability of these textiles in an accident. This wasn't a mesh jacket, but I think mesh would have been even worse. So, here they are, the pictures of my gear:
Left knee panel ripped - right knee had split open 2 weeks before the wreck:
Left shoulder and right breast:
Right breast close up:
Left glove (THIS COULD HAVE BEEN MY SKIN!!!):
Helmet (Note that it's where 1/2 and 3/4 helmets DON'T protect - this could have meant a wired jaw):
Boots (These are $99.00 Belleville leather flight deck boots that come a good 4" above the ankle - do flip flops, sneakers, or sandals protect your feet like this?):
I'm here today thanks to Jesus and my gear. Now, think about this: I was going maybe 20 mph when I landed. If I hadn't been wearing all the gear that they cynics, rebels, mockers, and teasers mock me for wearing, would I be typing the day after the crash, with no road rash and minimal pain?
If you're not wearing the gear, you need to look at mine, think about it, and tell me whether or not discomfort is worth walking away with a passenger in good shape and having only a broken bone.
I'm sorry, but I can't stress enough how important this gear is. *EDIT* Nope, not sorry come to think of it.
On the bright side of things, I can't wait to get back on again - this time with full LEATHER, ARMORED gear. This gear was textile and armored, the next set WILL be leather AND armored.
And, as I said before:
Wear. Your. Gear.
It will save your skin and potentially your life.