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  • Big Red Mark

Strike Two

I woke up Friday with the warm sun shining through the window. I grabbed one of my favorite Hawaiian shirts and started getting ready for work. After getting dressed I stepped outside and felt the warm temperatures. Checked the weather - yep no rain going to ride the bike to work today. No fog this morning either. The bike is a 2006 Harley Night Train. I grabbed my gear and looked down at my work boots. They were covered in body filler dust from my 1973 Chevy K-5 restoration project. Not wanting to clean them I just left with my sneakers on.

I unlocked and opened the garage door. Hit the start button and the Harley roared to life. I was excited as we don't get many warm mornings. I let the bike warm up as I closed the garage and put on the heavy leather jacket, leather gloves, helmet, and sunglasses. I took off down the road to work thinking yep it's Friday and I'm taking a half day. Going to get home early to finish the bodywork on the Blazer and maybe I can get the epoxy and urethane priming done if there is enough time.

The route is the same one I have took for nearly twenty years. I live in a rural area so there s minimal traffic and great scenery. You feel more riding the bike - the wind in your face, the smells, the sounds. I was alone on the road riding up a hill at about 55 MPH. It was a section of road where there isn't much distance at all from the shoulder to the treeline. Out of the corner of my eye I can see a deer coming out of the woods ahead of me. Before I could even touch the brakes I "T-boned" the deer with my front tire. The next thing I remembered was sliding down the pavement with the bike sliding in front of me. It was like slow motion - I could feel and hear my helmet scraping down the asphalt road. Physics was taking over and I couldn't do anything to help protect myself. I came to a stop near the the shoulder of the road next to the bike. I got up and did some initial checks as I felt a breeze through my now ripped blue jeans. I was walking with a limp but tested all of my limbs and they seemed to be working properly. I felt blood on my face and my butt was raw from road rash. I called 911 and told them I needed to get someone here for an accident report. They asked if I needed an ambulance but I said no I think I will be ok. My next call was to my wife to let her know what happened and that I would need a ride.

It has been a week now and I am healing up well. Mostly road rash and a lot of soreness. This was the first time I have ever gone down on the street. As of now I plan to get back on the bike but I do plan on revising some of my protective gear. I didn't seem to take the same same lessons I learned on the dirt to the street. I have wiped out and crashed many times on my motocross bike and now I have all the gear including neck and knee braces. Some kevlar or more protective jeans seem to be in order for the street and yeah I'll wear the boots next time.

So you may be wondering what this has to do with BIG REDS? Well not much directly. I just wanted to share an experience because you tend to reflect after an event like this happens. Not going to get into the gear debate. Strike two? Yeah first strike was in Afghanistan. I feel lucky to walk away from this but don't know how many more chances I got. No need to spend time worrying about it. Too many cool things to do, see, and accomplish. Life is good and it's good to be alive.

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