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Old 06-29-2014, 09:51 PM   #1
TinyBear OP
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario
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Positive story for this section.

Just figured I'd share my experience here and hope others can get something out f it.

I got hit on September 2012 by a car driver who as all ways "didn't see me" and turned into me when I had the right of way. I supposedly was only doing 40-50km/hr at the time (I say supposedly because I have lost the memory of the incident). In fact for me the lack of recollection bothers me most as I wish I could recall if there was more I could have done to avoid the incident or at least learn from it.

The accident partially severed my left leg splintering the tib and fib. I also gashed my right shin wide open to the bone damaging some muscle and injured my left shoulder along with light road rash on my back and an obviouse concussion. I battled with 5 surgeries to keep my leg and several bouts with major infection that threatened to claim my leg regardless. But after a year of being wheel chair and walker reliant and a further 6 months before I could reliably function enuff to return to working I'm back to things I loved so much.

I still have many limitations and my one legs now a bit shorter. Things I once found easy I struggle with now, and I often find myself in significant pain since retuning to work 6 moths ago (licensed diesel mechanic). I fear I may not be able to continue in my chosen trade for very long due to limitations. But at the end of the day I realize I'm alive and have two legs and ability to enjoy things I have always loved once again.

Many questioned me throughout it all if I'd ever get on a bike again. And always I answered with little hesitation with a solid YES. I did have me moments of anger, frustration and fear were I considered selling off my remaining bikes. But then I would remember how I felt when I rode across Canada to tour the Rockies with my brother. The freedom from every day life I get every single time I strap on my lid and touch the magic bottom on my choice mount for the day. The cleansing away of stress and worry as the clutch is released and the wind begins to wash it all away. And it all made me realize. If I endure and fight all this to survive why would I ever choose to stop LIVING.

I love riding my bikes. So this summer I finally built up enuff strength again to slide my battered leg over the seat carefully raise the little honda off its stand. And off I went for a very very nervous SHORT first ride back in the saddle. It felt great, though I found shifting very difficult (the once perfect ergo's on my Honda just didn't agree with the legs new um requirements lol). But I been keeping at it and eventually last month picked up a used DR650 to have as well as its narrow neutral ergo's fit my limits nicely. It's lighter weight was also welcome. And riding it has actually help rebuild the mobility and muscle to allow shortish rides on my honda.

And now nearing 2 years since my accident I find myself mostly looking forward to the next ride appose to dwelling on the pain or limitations. I find myself planing to take dirt rider training (once I build more strength) to truly take advantage of my new to me steed on dirt roads and light trails with friends. And I find myself back to the stress melting freedom of riding with only that healthy nervousness I dreamed about through recovery.

I hope some here can read these thoughts and if ya on the fence about continuing in this great hobby or sport after injury to at least give it a go if you can. Because it truly is freeing to get out and ride and it be a shame to allow fear to steal that away.

But enuff rambling by me just figured I'd try putting my thoughts to words.
2010 Honda CBF600SA
2008 Suzuki DR650SE
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:28 AM   #2
Bill Harris
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Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:17 AM   #3
Still learning
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Welcome back. Very well done.

One of my coworkers suffered an injury like yours, he was able to convince the docs to rebreak the leg a few years later and get it back closer to the length it used to be. It's made a big difference to him, not that I'd ever suggest that you should subject yourself to another operation
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all." - Oscar Wilde
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:37 AM   #4
Joined: Apr 2014
Location: Cambridge Ontario - Canada
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Welcome Back! You have good spirit.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:51 AM   #5
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OP, you fucking rock.

I'm just too damn lazy to hold a grudge. The time invested isn't worth the aggravation it takes to stay mad.

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Old 06-30-2014, 10:31 AM   #6
Some call me...Tim?
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Fantastic post. I'm certain that it will help some of those who need to believe they can make it through, whether that means riding again or not.
'01 plated WR250F | '03 plated KTM 565 | '12 990ADV
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Southern New Jersey
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Great you are back, but do not ruin it by dirt riding a dr650.
Get something much lighter for dirt riding.
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:57 PM   #8
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Op......inspirational...good to have you back at safe.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:06 PM   #9
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great post, congrats on the recovery and getting back on a bike.

I love my DR, it's a great bike. Sure a smaller, lighter dirtbike would be better for riding trails...but it's hard to be beat that DR for all around fun riding. I've taken it for all day rides that have 100's of miles of pavement, gravel, rocks, and single-track dirt. Not many other bikes can do all that without falling apart or torturing your body.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
-Hunter S. Thompson
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:15 PM   #10
Gnarly Adventurer
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Location: L.A. Lower Alabama
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Welcome back and thanks for taking the time to tell your story!
You sir are an inspiration.
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Old 06-30-2014, 06:38 PM   #11
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Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Its nice to hear of someone pushing through the crap that life can dish out. Best wishes on your further recovery.

"Don't get cruiser sloppy" Unknown Inmate
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #12
Rex Nemo
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As someone who banged myself up pretty significantly last year in a bike wreck, this is darn good to hear. BRAVO, sir.

I know it isn't easy--I have a taste of the significant chronic pain you're in, even after the more visible signs of the injury are gone. The PTSD about riding is something else, too...I have gotten to the place where I can shake off the cold shivers, but they're there. Fortunately I get bouts of sheer visceral joy on the bike (also a DR650, good ergos and easy to ride) as well. My trip up the coast last weekend had me rejoicing in life. A former mechanic, here, too; I was let go by the motorcycle shop I was wrenching at, and had to learn a new trade. My remodeled foot won't let me stand up all day without shouting about it.

May your journey on 2 wheels and 2 legs continue, and keep sustaining and enhancing the richness of your life--even when it isn't easy.
Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe. --Anatole France
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #13
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Bravo Sir!

I had a similar accident August 30th 2012, however not to the extent of yours. Pickup truck in the oncoming lane didn't see me in my hi viz jacket/helmet on my DR650, and made a left turn into my side. Shattered my tibia, somehow the fibula got out unscathed. It took me 10 months to recover to the point I was able to ride again, and the whole time I couldn't wait to get on a bike again.

The pain will get better the more you use it and slowly push it...just push it cautiously. Dirt riding is probably the best thing I ever did for mine. I found I was focused so intensely on body position and balancing etc. that I started to block out the pain, and as it healed further, it hurt less and less to begin with. Now it only really gets sore when there's a bad front that just went through.

Take care and have a drink on me!

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Old 07-03-2014, 02:26 AM   #14
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Way to go!

You are an inspiration to all of us.

Ride on........
'92 K100RS
'12 DRZ400
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Old 07-03-2014, 07:29 AM   #15
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Location: Bowling Green, Kentucky
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You are a gutsy person. I am not saying this without reason for I was in a bad motorcycle accident back in 1972 and almost died. I too decided not to give up riding just as you have. I couldn't ride on the street post accident due to me freaking out every time a car came from the side towards me (a car running a stop sign on a side road out in front of me is what caused my accident. So I rode off road just so I could keep riding. It took me years (about 15) before I could return to the street. I takes guts to get back onto a motorcycle after a bad accident, thus my telling you that you are a gutsy person.

If you love motorcycling (as it seems you do) then keep on keeping on. Every time someone gives up something they love doing, they die a little on the inside. We get this one shot at life, I am very glad you have decided to keep on living a full life.

As to the possibility of you having to change your job, this is just something we all face in life. I was an electrical engineer back in the late 70's. Due to changes in the industry, about half of us in the field had to change from electrical engineering to something else. I went back to college and changed to nursing as my wife was a nurse and it seemed to do well for her. Different reason for changing fields than you are facing, but valid never the less. You just have to do what you have to do. You have to do what is necessary to keep on having an income.

Doug from Kentucky
2009 Suzuki Burgman 650 Executive, 1980 Honda Express NC50, 2007 Suzuki Wee-Strom (sold)

USMC 1970-1978: HMH-463 Evacuation of Saigon - April 1975, Evacuation of Phnom Phen during the Killing Fields Spring of 1975
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