In a somewhat ironic turn of events, not 36 hours after my safe winter riding stories went online on Driven.co.nz I was staring at my bike as it lay on top of me in the middle of rush hour traffic.
While statistically having an accident causing injury on a motorcycle is supposedly quite high, this was the first time I’d come off in my 7 years of riding.
Something that I didn’t believe was likely however was the kindness and care from fellow motorists that came to my aid in my time of need.
While I can’t go into details of how I ended up in such a position (insurance is still to come through etc) I can say that my position wasn’t at all one to be envied.
There I was, lying on the centre lane of Auckland’s Southern Motorway, a large truck stopped feet away, with all 200 + Kgs of my motorbike lying on my right leg.
The first thought going through my mind was ‘damn, I’m holding up the motorway, I’ve got to get back on my bike’. Looking back it was a weird thought but at that stage I knew nothing of how damaged the bike and I were.
As I struggled to free myself a number of gents - I don’t know exactly how many as I was in a state of shock - helped me free and lifted the bike up.
The staff at Auckland Hospital's A&E department were great and I was checked over promptly.
With coolant spilling everywhere it was clear that I wasn’t getting back on my bike so my new temporary friends helped me and the bike to the side of the motorway before one gave me his number as a witness of what happened and I struggled to find the phone number for my insurance company.
While on the phone I started to notice a pain in my leg where the bike had broken its fall and decided I’d better sit down while I tried to organise transport for my bike and myself.
This is when the heroine of the story showed up, driving a bright red Fiat 500C Abarth.
Asking if I was alright and if I needed a lift I meekly replied something to the effect of ‘yes, to the A&E please’.
Normally a complete stranger would drop you off at the door to the A&E but my new friend who went by the name Sarah, not only helped me in with all my now ruined gear, but stayed with me until I was seen by the doctor. I definitely owe her a couple of drinks at the local for her assistance.
The post accident damage to my leg.
As for me, the doc said I was lucky to get away with no broken bones and only “soft tissue damage” which is doctor speak for major bruising and swelling.
To me though, there was no luck to it and the key to escaping without any broken bones or cuts was I was wearing all of the best protective gear I have. With a helmet, gloves, boots, jacket, and trousers, all with built in shock absorbing armour, I was well protected when I hit the road. I’m in no doubt that if I was wearing my usual Kevlar lined riding jeans and a leather jacket I would have broken at least my leg, if not more.
I guess the moral of the story is wearing all the right gear all of the time is definitely worth the slight inconvenience of putting it all off and changing out of it again. As my experience suggests, you can also count on the generosity and compassion of your fellow Kiwi motorist when you find yourself in a time of need.