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Old 08-22-2011, 08:44 PM   #1
toolhorder OP
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Bullsh$t

Some of this was in my TAT ride report but a couple of months have passed and I thought I’d update.

On June 21, I came around a corner in a section of the TAT between Nowata and Cherokee Oklahoma. I accelerated out of the corner to get back to 40mph, the speed my new friend Klaus and I had agreed on. The area was clear of cattle to my eye and I looked down to check my GPS for the next turn. When I looked up I saw two bulls (at the time I thought they were cows but these were bulls with their horns removed) jumping to their feet to my right and fleeing into me just a few feet away from out of tall grass near a little bridge I had just gone over.

If you look behind the GS you can see the corner and the bridge.





There was nowhere to go and I knew I couldn’t stop in time. I thought maybe I could gas it and get in front of them and out of harms way. I wasn’t in the right gear and a KLR isn’t exactly known for its blindingly fast bursts of power…….I abandoned that idea as soon as I twisted the throttle and then hit the brakes hard and tried to steer to the rear of them. Too late. The two bulls were right in front of me. I saw brownish gray hair and then red.

The bike was on top of me and I couldn’t breathe. A few seconds later, Klaus was lifting it up off me but was straddling me to do so. I managed to get out from under him. I passed out again. I assume that I never let go of the bars after the initial impact and kept it upright because I ended up off the road and in the grass, 20 yards away.

I woke up standing in the road, smoking a cigarette and talking to some guy in a Nissan truck named Brian who was driving this road and we’d passed a few miles back. I asked how long I’d been talking to him and they both agreed it was about 20 minutes. I apparently asked for the cigarette (I had just recently quit again). I have no idea what we talked about.

I walked around for 30 minutes or so gingerly. Nothing appeared broken. My helmet looked like hell. There wasn’t a mark on me. My gear did what it was supposed to do. I had some pain in my ribs and my right arm was tender but I felt pretty good considering. We rode west another 150-200 miles…it’s a bit foggy. It was difficult to ride and I didn’t have much strength in my right arm. I crashed at least 2 more times at very low speed and once I just fell over at a dead stop.

I only turned tail and Uhauled my bike home because I discovered that I couldn’t pick my own bike up and couldn’t change out a flat. I was just in too much pain. We both got hotel rooms in Cherokee Oklahoma after spending one night next to the highway because of my flat, and I rested up. The Farmers Co-Op there graciously mounted my new tires and drove me back to the bike and helped me mount the wheels while Klaus scored us the only 2 rooms left in town. We both assumed I had some bruised ribs and we’d take a few days in a hotel for me to heal a little. It never dawned on me to seek medical attention. I was fine. I was sore, rightfully so, but I was fine. Only a bruise on my left calf to show for all the drama.

On June 24 I finally just rode to Alva and rented a Uhaul. I drove it up the ramp, strapped it down and drove 14 hours home. I slept for a couple of hours seated in my couch, got up to go to the bathroom and passed out.

I actually did bruise my ribs. I also have 20 fractures across 8 ribs on my right side, one so badly that they just took it out. I punctured my right lung multiple times and had lacerated my diaphragm and had bled almost 4 liters internally. It feels like they scraped my insides out with a serving spoon. I had a concussion too. If I hadn’t had my cell phone in my pocket when I passed out and hadn’t have been able to make one call, I don’t know if I’d be alive today because I couldn’t move or get up. I don’t even remember making the call.

I don’t have a high pain threshold so if this can happen to me it could happen to anybody. I honestly was in more pain AFTER my surgery than I was before. I’m now off all pain meds and walking around town. I’m working part time and getting ready to go back full time when students return in September.
When you think you’re “fine” after an accident? Seek a professional opinion.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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Around unpredictable animals I think the strategy has to be to try and lose speed. Yours is the second story I've read in the short time I've been on here about trying to get ahead of or outmaneuver roadside animals...it's definitely a warning that I might have the same idea if I encounter such a situation. That and to get medical assistance in a situation like yours with the blackouts and the falling afterwards...thanks for telling it.

Also, that totally sucks and glad to hear you're recovered.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:12 AM   #3
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Glad you are ok,despite all. It is sometimes hard to remember that there is no logic in an animals repsonse as there is no logical explanation for something like you(in their mind or physical world).Reactionary thinking at it's finest.RUN!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:50 AM   #4
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Glad you made it!
You had a lot of damage to your body!

You know, if I was you, I would ditch the gps, or unmount it and stop, pull it out and look at it, then put it away and ride, don't look at it when riding.
Just like people who think they can text and drive, or fool with a gps and drive, its wrong, you cant.

Any time I took my eyes off the trail to check something, I crashed or had a close call.

I don't have a gps, don't need one, but understand they are useful in the vast spaces out west.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:09 AM   #5
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Wow...crazy story...glad you are OK. You are lucky to be alive.

I agree with the advice about the professional opinion. Just this weekend I was working security at MIS and this drunk camper stumbles out into the woods to pee. He somehow slices his right shin REALLY bad. I arrive to see a 4-5 inch gash with the skin peeling back on either side. Some lady who claims to be a nurse wraps the cut and claims he'll be fine... I tell her I have medical response coming and I'll let them make that decision.

Turns out he gets 14 stitches from the infield care center.

Clearly not as urgent as your story, but I think it helps make your point.

Heal quick.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:32 PM   #6
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Glad you're around to write it up. The young and fit can compensate a LOT for a serious injury right up until their body loses too much blood and they're in real trouble. I've seen this even in the ER where somebody has an injury but seems stable only to find they have a ruptured spleen or something when they go down from blood loss.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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"I twisted the throttle and then hit the brakes hard and tried to steer to the rear of them."

Sorry...I know it's corny, but someone had to do it.
Glad you're OK though, man!

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Old 08-23-2011, 12:57 PM   #8
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Get better soon!
What sort of damage did the critter sustain?
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:19 PM   #9
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Yes, do you have to buy the dead/damaged cattle?
BBQ time!
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolhorder View Post
had bled almost 4 liters internally.
Glad you're "ok" and here to tell us this story. Never think "I'm fine" after a crash, especially if you have concussion symptoms.



That being said, I think your doctor tried to scare you a little with this part because, given the fact an adult has an average of 4.7L of blood, I can't see why one could survive with a 4L internal bleeding blood loss.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #11
toolhorder OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtDuster View Post
Glad you're "ok" and here to tell us this story. Never think "I'm fine" after a crash, especially if you have concussion symptoms.



That being said, I think your doctor tried to scare you a little with this part because, given the fact an adult has an average of 4.7L of blood, I can't see why one could survive with a 4L internal bleeding blood loss.
I actually called "Bullsh#t" when he told me that there was 4L of blood and clots removed. He said that over the course of 4 days it was possible and that, yes, some of it was other "fluid" mixed in. Maybe he was trying to scare me, not sure if he had any motive.

The bull I hit was gone when I came to. Klaus said they both ran away He was not far behind me and said he saw the whole thing unfold. We never really talked about what he saw happen so some of my explanation has a few theories in it, rather than observed fact but I've had plenty of time to re-live what my actions were and what I'd do differently.

So far, the only thing I could really change would be to seek medical care immediately. I wouldn't have traveled slower. That second I looked at the GPS may have made a huge difference in being able to stop and maybe I would have seen them sooner but if you've ridden the TAT you know you'd be totally lost if you weren't looking at rollcharts and maps or a GPS constantly.

I posted this because several people had contacted me and asked how I was doing and I see quite a few posts in Face Plant of "Had a pretty bad wreck, but I'm fine!". Just wanted to share my experiece of when I thought I was fine.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:00 PM   #12
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I am glad you are OK.

I am not trying to second guess you, but situation like this is why I no longer have a GPS mounted were I can see it while riding. I think glancing at the a GPS is just too much of a distraction and I need all my attention on the task immediately at hand.

I keep my GPS in my tank bag and refer to it only while stopped.

I hope you mend up soon - rib injury are painful and can take a while to fully heal.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
I passed out again. I assume that I never let go of the bars after the initial impact and kept it upright because I ended up off the road and in the grass, 20 yards away.

I woke up standing in the road, smoking a cigarette and talking to some guy in a Nissan truck named Brian who was driving this road and we’d passed a few miles back. I asked how long I’d been talking to him and they both agreed it was about 20 minutes. I apparently asked for the cigarette (I had just recently quit again). I have no idea what we talked about.
Concussion.

The smart thing for your friend to have done would be to get you into that truck and on the way to an emergency room. A second impact to the head while suffering a concussion is especially serious--riding was a really bad idea.

Do you have any idea why you got the concussion? Helmet old and liner deteriorating? Helmet interior didn't fit the shape of your head just right? Or the helmet pretended it was a missile nose cone as you augered into the ground at 40 mph?
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #14
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Glad you're on the mend. I've found the easiest way to use a GPS on a bike is to put it in my pocket and listen to the turn-by-turn using ear canal plugs. Keeps your eyes on the road and your hands upon the bars.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:18 AM   #15
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good questions on the helmet, I'd look closely at it and probably just go get a new one to at least move safety up a notch to "Safety Second"


But glad you are healing up
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