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Old 12-03-2012, 01:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
AMC
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So I fell yesterday....

I was leaving my driveway in front of my house doing about 3-5 mph and I loss control on some gravel and laid myself and my bike down. I am mostly ok, scraped and bruised knee, sore wrist (currently in a brace/support) and hurt pride. As for my bike (which I've had for three weeks) I bent the right brake handle and broke the right front turn signal. I had on a jacket, so fortunately my skin is ok.

These are the things I've learned.

1. I was feeling a bit too comfortable with the bike and my skill level. I should have walked my bike into the street and taken off on the straight-away, but I decided to ride it onto the street. This was an error in judgment on my part. I am not good enough to make the turn that I was attempting to make especially with the gravel that sits at the front of my driveway. This was stupid and I've learned my lesson.

2. Glad I wore a jacket. It was relatively warm outside (about 75), and I thought about not wearing the jacket. Glad I did.

3. My bike is pretty heavy, but I was able to get it up by myself with relative ease. This makes me feel little better about the potential for having to pick it up in the future.

4. If you fall, take a few minutes to get your bearings. I didn't feel any pain or any injuries, so I picked my bike up and continued to go where I had planned. When I got to the gas station, I noticed a little spot of blood on my pants. It was that exact moment that I felt a small stinging sensation on my knee. I raised my pants led up and discovered I had scraped my knee a bit. Not badly, but it surprised me that I hadn't noticed it before that. My wrist started hurting about 1-2 hours after I had made it back home.

5. Ride to your skill level.

Now a question for all of you experienced riders out there. What should I have done differently, and what things should I check on my bike after a fall like this? The bike seems relatively unscathed. The only damage was the brake lever and the turn signal. Other than that, I didnít even see any scratches on it.

Thanks and ride safe!
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Glad you and the bike are OK. It happens to all of us.
One statistic I always keep in mind from the insurance companies is the likelyhood of a rider having an accident is DRAMATICALLY higher the first 6 months you own a bike.

Not the first 6 months you start riding: the first 6 months you own a bike. Any new bike to you.

Glad you re Ok.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you able to keep that gravel clear or will it build up again and be a waste of time? If not, maybe you can keep it swept clean.

Loose gravel the worst and something everyone needs to keep an eye out for. You always gotta be careful on it and dont touch the front brake! That will cause a fall, use the rear only on loose gravel.

Just keep riding and practicing. Like you said, you felt like you should have walked it, so keep doing that until you wanna give it a shot again. Slow speed maneuvering is the most important skill you can have. Practice it in a parking lot.

As for the bike, at such a low speed its probably OK. An easy ride around the block should help feel out any problems but im guessing its just scratched up.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sorry for the fall but it happens. Sounds like you learned from it. Kudos to you for picking yourself up and proceeding on...
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A lot of us have already been through that sort of incident. It sounds like you did the right thing, except for perhaps waiting a few minutes to check yourself.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't know how many years you've been riding but like MAR said there's a learning curve on any new bike. And if you have gravel to contend with where you park your bike that learning curve gets steeper.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It sounds like you've given some thought to this and have learned from your fall. Not to worry, a low-speed fall usually bruises your ego more than your body.

Now that you've skinned a knee at 5 MPH, would you consider riding pants in the future for all those times you're in excess of 5 MPH?
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Out west they tell ya to either shot the damn horse that threw ya or get back on and ride. Glad you didn't get to badly hurt.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The reason I bought a 2nd bike was to gain dirt experience. I'd read a bunch about how riding dirt will improve your road skills and it's a good point. I picked up a DR650 last year for that duty. I'm still a relative newb (5 years of daily riding) but the last 8K on the dual sport have really helped a ton with the slipping and sliding aspect of riding. I've slipped on the Tiger since and held my own fine and I'm sure I owe that to riding more dirt and gravel roads with the DR. We tend to panic when the back end kicks out but if you get used to that happening it makes a world of difference. You need a dual sport in the garage.
Glad you're basically ok. Sh!t happens.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In a very short time on the roads in NOLA you will have achieved expert status! When you add in the creative drivers - my daughter, a motorcyclist, lives there so I have experienced the Big Easy - a few miles in that traffic and on those roads will prepare you for anything! Be safe!
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