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Old 11-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #1
der_saeufer OP
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I hate gravel.

Gravel on pavement is evil. Having grown up in Colorado, I should know this. Today I found out the hard way and moved from "those who will" to "those who have." On the bright side, at least it took me 12 years, but that's small consolation for a faceplant that I should have been able to prevent.

The scene: Angeles Crest (CA-2) just west of Wrightwood at the intersection with Pines Hwy. A nice, wide left hand turn, good sight distance, etc. Chipseal pavement with some same-color gravel and some tan gravel on it. Round marble-sized gravel from the chipsealing operation on the shoulders and intersecting roads.

The mistake: there was way more gravel in that curve than I first noticed. I had room (so I thought) and wasn't going that fast so I let it go a little wide and scrubbed some speed. The road was very wide and no one was coming, so there was plenty of room (so I thought).

The faceplant: The second I transitioned from the chipseal to the old pavement with marbles on it, that was it. The front and back washed out within the first foot and I was sliding on the right side. I was down to <15mph by this point and came off the bike within the first couple feet of slide.

Bike damage: '04 DL650 with (old) SW-Motech crash bars, skid plate, etc. Broken right blinker, probably a broken handguard. Brake levers and peg were all OK. The plastic got some light scraping, probably because the gravel was big enough to fill the space between the plastic and the ground as the bike slid on the crash bar. Total damage: prolly $50. The bike is chilling in Hesperia because the tow co. didn't have my AAA info and didn't want to risk towing it to LA and not getting paid. It's headed here sometime this week, hooray for AAA Premier! No hurry cos I can't ride it for a couple weeks anyway.

Human damage: I was wearing an XD3, good gloves, a Dainese textile jacket.... and "regular" pants. Shit. I hit my shoulder and knee at the same time; the jacket has a spot about 1/4" across on the arm that's worn through; my upper body is completely painless and undamaged. Helmet never hit the ground. Gloves did some sliding but barely show the wear.

Pants got worn through in a couple spots, and although I have no road rash whatsoever, I got a 6.5cm cut about 1cm above the top of my patella that went all the way through. 18 stitches later at the friendly hospital in San Bernardino it's intact but I'm stuck gimping in a knee immobilizer for 10-14 days :(

Lesson learned: WEAR REAL RIDING PANTS. I am not even going to the goddamn grocery store without riding pants from here on out. Had I not been wearing a good jacket, I'd probably still be at A&E in San Bernardino. Had I been wearing REAL F@#KING PANTS, I probably could have gotten up and ridden home. Goddammit. At least this happened after I got health insurance and not while I had none over the summer.

Question presented: how the hell did I get a huge gash on my knee without road rash? Either a) the skin below my knee pulled on the pavement and the skin ripped above the knee or b) the nut holding the crash bars somehow sliced it on my way off. Either way, the answer is, of course, PANTS.

Major thanks: to the two 40-something guys (one on a BMW, one on some other sport-tourer) a minute behind me who stopped, called for help, helped me patch my knee, stood my bike up, sat with me until EMS got there, etc etc. I owe you guys big time; if you're inmates, PM me and I will buy you beer. Same goes for the guy on the HD and the couple people in cars who stopped later. Thanks! Also, mad props to the San Bernardino Co. Fire Dept and the nice people at A&E in San Bernardino who patched me up!

tl;dr: gravel lowside, inappropriate pants, 18 stitches in knee.

der_saeufer screwed with this post 11-25-2012 at 11:35 PM
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:19 AM   #2
GusinCA
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Good write up.

Basically wear what you want to crash in.

If you're only boppin along a dirt road at 5 mph, jeans and a shirt are fine.

Anything more than that and you'll pay for it in stitches...
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
jordan325ic
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When you say "regular" pants what exactly are you referring to? Jeans or something else?
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
der_saeufer OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordan325ic View Post
When you say "regular" pants what exactly are you referring to? Jeans or something else?
I was wearing cargo pants, but they're similar in material and thickness to jeans.. same idea. Might have fared better with my double-kneed Carhartts on but not sure. Definitely would've fared better with REAL PANTS ;)
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:27 PM   #5
livo
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Dress for the slide, not the ride

Glad to hear that you got out of it ok and that it wasn't more serious
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:19 PM   #6
der_saeufer OP
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Update:

Bike is home, no thanks to the idiots at the towing company who couldn't be bothered to call Auto Club to find out I'd gotten approval for AAA to pay for both the tow to their yard and from there to my place. Eventually I was able to convince them to call Auto Club again, et voilà, covered. Funny how that works. It's cool, I wanted to spend 2 hours on the phone instead of learning about the insanity defense in class today.

Jacket and gloves were in the topcase, and I got a good look at them today--the jacket has two holes the size of cigarette burns on the elbow and the rubber coating is scraped off a snap. The right glove is scuffed but completely intact. Not replacing other gear means I have money for good pants. w00t!

The bike has a lot of scraping on the plastic, a mostly-destroyed handguard, a bent bar end weight, a busted blinker and a missing footpeg. Oil level is the same as before and it lights right up. The bars might be bent, but that'll be an excuse to swap them for ProTapers. Mirror did NOT break! Not gonna fix the scrapes--they're a good theft deterrent.

I am a convert to militant ATGATT fascism. As soon as my knee is healed I'll be requesting my special armband and membership card. I hear it gets you discounts at the grocery store for wearing armored pants when it's 100º

der_saeufer screwed with this post 11-26-2012 at 10:37 PM
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
acejones
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Glad to hear you're OK. Ride safe and wear the gear.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
German Trick
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Cal Trans “repaved” Highway 2 from Wrightwood to Dawson Saddle a couple of months ago. I don’t know why because the pavement was in great condition and a lot of fun to ride. I was just over 2 and back from Wrightwood on Friday and the road was particularly nasty in that section. Cal Trans put down cinders from the recent rain/snow but I think the pavement is breaking up pretty fast. My understanding is that the road will be repaved all the way through to La Cañada and a smoother layer will be put on after that. I’ve been riding ACH for the last 25 years and this is the worst I’ve seen it.

Glad you’re ok and it wasn’t worse.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:03 PM   #9
dukedinner
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Quote:
Basically wear what you want to crash in.
+1. Here is a test to all nay-sayers. Would you run across a paved parking lot in a t-shirt and jeans and do a full on sliding belly-flop going as fast as you can? Bet you won't do it. But get on a bike and now its ok?
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
der_saeufer OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by German Trick View Post
Cal Trans “repaved” Highway 2 from Wrightwood to Dawson Saddle a couple of months ago. I don’t know why because the pavement was in great condition and a lot of fun to ride. I was just over 2 and back from Wrightwood on Friday and the road was particularly nasty in that section. Cal Trans put down cinders from the recent rain/snow but I think the pavement is breaking up pretty fast. My understanding is that the road will be repaved all the way through to La Cañada and a smoother layer will be put on after that. I’ve been riding ACH for the last 25 years and this is the worst I’ve seen it.

Glad you’re ok and it wasn’t worse.
Thanks!

I'd just ridden the whole highway from west to east a couple days prior, and I actually pulled over a couple miles east of Dawson Saddle thinking something was up with my tires only to find out the pavement was just that weird. Who the hell chipseals a state highway, especially with such huge "chips"? It makes it all the more embarrassing to me that I knew that pavement sucked and I crashed within 2 miles of it starting (for some reason, the new "pavement" stops at the LA/SBD county line). I'd never ridden it before; what a great ride where the pavement was good! Hopefully they do make it nice--it'd really be a shame if such a beautiful road were stuck with such a crappy surface.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:15 AM   #11
jgsatl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedinner View Post
+1. Here is a test to all nay-sayers. Would you run across a paved parking lot in a t-shirt and jeans and do a full on sliding belly-flop going as fast as you can? Bet you won't do it. But get on a bike and now its ok?
i heard a couple guys talking (they happened to be harley riders) and saying that they don't bother with too much gear because they're dead anyway so why be uncomfortable.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #12
Recker1
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Glad you're alright - although that get-off was probably better than sitting through crim law! ;)

Seriously - glad you came out alright. Like you said, ATGATT.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #13
acejones
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Originally Posted by jgsatl View Post
i heard a couple guys talking (they happened to be harley riders) and saying that they don't bother with too much gear because they're dead anyway so why be uncomfortable.

Well, there you go. Darwin was right !
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #14
der_saeufer OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgsatl View Post
i heard a couple guys talking (they happened to be harley riders) and saying that they don't bother with too much gear because they're dead anyway so why be uncomfortable.
I'm sure I'm not the only one here who can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that that's BS.

In this crash, had I been helmetless, I likely would've gotten, at worst, a scrape--my helmet doesn't appear to have hit the ground. I can promise that I'd have survived the crash even had I been riding naked, though I shudder at the thought of road rash on my man-parts just typing that.

Had I not been wearing my jacket over the sweatshirt, my arms and upper back would be completely SHREDDED. I don't even want to think about how painful that'd be. And, like I've said probably 80 times by now, had I been wearing armored Cordura or leather pants, I'd have been able to ride home and skip the trip to A&E and the accompanying 18 stitches.

Also if your gear is uncomfortable, you're doing it wrong.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:47 AM   #15
lineareagle
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One of the reasons I like my 'stich' You put on the jacket, the pants are right there as well.

Plus when you slide your jacket, or your pants don't slide apart and leave you exposed and

You can don it over anything and strip it off in 30 seconds at stops Plus

Who the hell would steal a 'stich'? You just leave on your bike or at worst run a cable through it and lock it n the bars.
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