The biker's view ... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 6:59 am Thread Starter
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The biker's view ...

Around ten days ago my son was involved in a serious bike accident. Apart from the trauma of the crash I also suffered from some serious mental anxiety ... HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!

A few days after the crash I went and retraced his steps. Now let me make this very clear, I retraced the route doing exactly 80 km/h which is the legal speed limit on that stretch of road. To bring things more into perspective it is necessary to note that the road climbs up towards the bend that is on the ridge and most people do exceed the limit in this area. This road is also well built and the bend can accommodate high speeds quite easily. This road is also a main route out of town and there are no legal access roads or paths into it for about 2 kilometers.


As you can see the view is good and the road surface is good. The presence of a solid center line is also an indication that you should be safe if all road users obey the law.

The next series of shots will take you through the bend up to the moment when it would have been possible for Wiehann to see that things are not safe for him any longer.








As far as I can imagine it, we are now very close to the moment that it first became clear to Wiehann that the truck was going to obstruct his line travel. This leaves him with less than two seconds in which t evade the accident.






At this point he had no more time to evade the truck and he hit it on right hand back corner.


In this shot it is clear where the pieces of the bike is on the dirt and where he ended up. The contractors that made this access did not think about the danger that they are putting road users in and the local Traffic Department chose to ignore the illegal access.


The bike's front wheel did not impact and that is an indication that Wiehann was in the process of evading the impact. Six inches more to the right and he would have missed the truck ... six inches to the left and ... I don't want to think about it.

If you think about it and look at the images it is clear that we all take a lot of chances when entering a bend and imagine the speed 50% higher than 80 and you can see that there is not much time to react if things go wrong.

Maybe we should all think for a few moments how much road do we cover on pure luck and on the assumption that things are clear.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #2 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 7:10 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Great job on the investigative work. How is your son doing now?
I 100% agree with you that we make many assumptions while riding and or driving. We trust that others follow the rules and all will be well, but what if they don't?

Keep us updated on your sons recovery.

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post #3 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 7:41 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Thanks for sharing this information and photos. Very enlightening! Hope your son's physical and psychological recovery is short-term.

Best to you and yours!

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post #4 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 12:46 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Chilling !
I hope he gets better soon
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post #5 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 1:07 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Great job, Colyn! Outstanding t/c reconstruction. You'll notice that I DID NOT use the word "accident." There is NOTHING accidental about this. The truck driver nutted up hard and made an illegal and dangerous turn right in front of oncoming traffic!

Best wishes for your boy's full and speedy recovery.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #6 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 2:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Thanks for the comments. Here is a summary of the events.

I received a call from an ER official at around 09h20 ... he called me from my son's phone. Imagine the chills that went through my mind as the guy introduced himself and then informed me of the incident.

I arrived on the scene at around 09h30.


It was with mixed emotions that I got out of my car and walked up to where my son was lying on the road. Most probably one of the most dreaded things for a father to see ... your son on the tarmac and his blood slowly forming a puddle around him.


It is my eldest son that is holding his neck steady. The ER guys on the scene worked fast and efficiently and all I could do was to stay out of their way.



It appears that the load box of the truck nearly sliced his arm off. On impact he was flung high and came down in a steep angle and basically plopped into the tarmac with out much sliding. Sadly he did not wear his riding jacket nor gloves. The lack of roasties is what makes me think he stuck to the spot where he fell.

I am convinced that had he worn his jacket the laceration could have been prevented or at least severely minimised.

He also broke his left femur clean off. I talked to him all the time as they prepared him for transport and did not see the extent of his shoulder injury as it was already bandaged when I arrived there.


At 12h30 I spoke to the surgeon after all the scans and x-rays as they prepared him for the theater. The surgeon was brutally honest and told me that there is a more than realistic chance that they will have to amputate the arm. The arm was physically hanging by a few threads of skin and muscle.

All I could say was ... "Please do what you can ... he is only 20 years old and needs both arms."


In ICU after 10 hours in the operating theater.


Earlier today.


The next shot is of his brother ... after they took him from the ER to the theater.



Here is a shot of his friends when we received the news that they managed to save his arm.


A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #7 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 2:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

We left the hospital at 23h30 with Wiehann in ICU and the medical staff happy with the blood flow in his arm. It was a miracle and so many prayers went up for him all around the world that day. The two surgeons performed a miracle in restoring his shoulder and arm. Some veins were harvested from his right leg to replace that which was damaged in the accident.

Almost to the minute one week later I was sitting in the cafeteria court yard when he walked through the door ... I was so overwhelmed that I almost did not get the shot










He has more control over his hand and fingers now but still nothing in his upper arm.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #8 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 2:35 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Colyn,

My best wishes and prayers for your son'r recovery. I have a 20 year old who now rides a crotch rocket and I know the fear of a father who's son rides one.

Best of luck to you and your son.

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post #9 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 2:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KIC
Colyn,

My best wishes and prayers for your son'r recovery. I have a 20 year old who now rides a crotch rocket and I know the fear of a father who's son rides one.

Best of luck to you and your son.
Well maybe you should get him to read this

On that morning the last words I said to my son was ...

"This naked riding is going to get you into sh!t one of these days." ... referring to the fact that he did not wear his ATGATT ... his reply ... "It is too hot."

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #10 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 2:54 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colyn
...."This naked riding is going to get you into sh!t one of these days."....referring to the fact that he did not wear his ATGATT. His reply ... "It is too hot."
Two words: "Mesh Kevlar."

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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post #11 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colyn
Well maybe you should get him to read this

On that morning the last words I said to my son was ...

"This naked riding is going to get you into sh!t one of these days." ... referring to the fact that he did not wear his ATGATT ... his reply ... "It is too hot."
Colyn... our prayers and thoughts are with you and your brave family.

Reading this took me back, 4 years ago to a similar moment when I, too came upon my eldest son, laying in the road after being rear-ended. He did have boots, Vance & Hines jacket, but since it was a short ride to meet his mother and I for supper that he did not wear his helmet... (something he NEVER DID)... except this time.

Fortunately he did not have the "extremity" damage your son is enduring... but did whack his head on the road pretty good as the bike was knocked from beneath him and he began to roll on the roadway. Today he's "fully recovered" but hasn't ridden since....

Our hope is for a full recovery and that he gain a deep appreciation for the tenderness of life as well as the wisdom of us "old farts"....

...............
J.M.J...
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post #12 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 4:49 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

duplicate.. disregard..

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post #13 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 5:16 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Colyn,

Words fail me right now. With respect, I hope I am never in your shoes as you got that phone call and then as you arrived at the scene of the crash. Only those who have been through that can understand it. I don't want to, if you know what I mean.

I am so happy to see that your son is doing well. He faces much therapy and physical rehab but he is strong and it sounds like he has a positive mental attitude.

Thank you for sharing this. It makes us all pause and think about consequences.

Best wishes to you and your family.

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post #14 of 44 Old Mar 16th, 2008, 5:24 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

I have a 23 year old son, does not ride; but I can only imagine what you must have felt on both ends of this series of events.
Take care Dad.
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post #15 of 44 Old Mar 17th, 2008, 12:40 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Thank you all for your words of support ... I will convey it to him.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #16 of 44 Old Mar 17th, 2008, 7:08 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Send my thoughts to your son. I was in a similar crash (scenario) a couple years ago and can identify with the rehab he will face. I was not injured as badly, but know that it is a long process and hope he fully recovers.

Let it be a lesson to all of us. We must learn from the misfortune of others. It only takes a moment to find yourself in this kind of situation and you have to be ready to react to save yourself from someone else's lack of attention. I can no longer dive in to a "blind" curve with the same bravado I had before my crash. Lesson learned.

My best to your son as he recuperates.
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post #17 of 44 Old Mar 17th, 2008, 2:57 pm
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Coyln, Many best wishes to you and yours I rejoice to see him looking so well so soon, it looks good for his future him doing so well. He is a good looking young man and I'm sure he will overcome the trials his injuries will cause him and make him that much stronger and thankful for all who were there to help. Family is to be cherished for we to soon must part at times.
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post #18 of 44 Old Mar 17th, 2008, 10:57 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

I celebrate with you and your family...how did you ever have the presence of mind to take pictures? I've seen more accidents than I can count...but with my own son on the ground...I would have been a basket case.

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post #19 of 44 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 2:56 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrmoss
I celebrate with you and your family...how did you ever have the presence of mind to take pictures? I've seen more accidents than I can count...but with my own son on the ground...I would have been a basket case.

Well I am rarely without my camera and when I arrived on the scene there were a few moments of silent terror but then I just started snapping ... I rarely look through the view finder ... I just point and shoot and on this day it worked well for me because I think if I saw the scene confined in the viewfinder only I would have freaked out.

Thank you all for your good wishes ... I will convey it to him.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #20 of 44 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 5:13 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Here is a good quote from a poster on the Tripwired Forum ...

"Superior riders uses common knowledge to actively avoid situations that require superior handling skills"

... and this is also very true ... from RANDO ...

I can no longer dive in to a "blind" curve with the same bravado I had before my crash.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #21 of 44 Old Mar 18th, 2008, 10:26 am
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Exclamation Re: The biker's view ...

It never fails to amaze me at how people look right past motorcyclist even when we are in clear view of their sight. Your son as you so perfectly demonstrated had no chance of avoiding this person even though he made a grand effort to do so. Sometimes I wish I had a Tow Missile Launcher or 50 Caliber Machine gun on my LT to clear out the mindless drivers who seem to care not who they injure by thier lack of focus or concern. I've read many threads which gives the perfect mindset we who ride must maintain and that is to treat each oncoming car truck or sad to say other riders as a possible accident looking for a place to happen.
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post #22 of 44 Old Mar 19th, 2008, 1:27 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Colyn, you have my deepest respect. Best wishes to your son. I have to agree, how could you possibley have the presence of mind to take pix while enroute to an unknown senerio involving your own flesh and blood, a son no less. I would have been a complete basket case. Thank God I've never been faced with any thing that bad. I have twin sons 25 and both ride the proverbial crotch rockets. But, they are very saftey consious and never ride without all the PPE. That's biblical. One lost his speen in a dirt bike accident, and that set the tone on safety early on. My prayers are for a speedy recovery and unfailing use of his arm. God bless you and your family.
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post #23 of 44 Old Mar 19th, 2008, 6:46 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

It's not just m/bikes who are targeted by these idiots. There was CCTV footage on TV recently showing a cement truck pulling out to pass a cyclist and then deliberately turning right in front of her. She was completely squashed under his rear wheels...

My philosophy - 'they're all out to kill you', sometimes even other bikers given their crazy riding...

Glad your son is on the mend. I still worry about mine when he goes out as I've seen him take a few silly risks - and he's 36 with a family to think about!

Objects in mirror may be disappearing faster than they seem...
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post #24 of 44 Old Mar 19th, 2008, 9:05 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Wow!

Colyn, I am glad your son is doing ok - I can not imagine how upsetting that must have been for you.

Please let him know we are hoping for his full recovery...

Thank you for sharing this valuable, and personal, lesson with us Colyn - it wasn't lost on me as I sit here and think through some of my lax habits and assumptions...

Thanks,
Shawn

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post #25 of 44 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 10:44 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Ok Wiehann suffered a bit of a setback. On Wednesday he completed the Antibiotics and by Friday night his knee was badly swollen. On Saturday my wife took him to the ER and the doctor decided open the knee up again. He was running a high fever and his blood pressure was sky high.

They operated late yesterday afternoon and fitted a drain to his knee. He is now receiving antibiotics IV.

Thanks for all the well wishes.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #26 of 44 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 3:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

It has been a while since I posted some shots. It is now almost one month since the accident and both me and my wife are showing signs of stress. The current relapse came unexpected and my wife is very upset.

On the 21 of March Wiehann asked me to make some Chicken wings for him. This is one of his favorites and one of my specialties.

The following shots was taken during the evening.












It was a great evening and it was good to hear him joke and laugh.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #27 of 44 Old Mar 30th, 2008, 4:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

On the 24th I treated him to another one of his favorites ... Seafood ...




Here are a few shots of his recovery path ... some shots of the wounds may upset some but I am posting it so that we can all be reminded how frail a human body is and why it is vital that we stick to ATGATT.












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post #28 of 44 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 10:18 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Colyn,

All I can say is that you are a brave man to be able to take the photos whilst under so much stress. I very much doubt that I would have been able to under the circumstances.

Like everybody else I hope your son has a swift and entire recovery. Also look on the bright side of this. He is still alive and will have learnt a lesson about wearing protective gear that will last all his life.

Although it may not be "cool", this hi-vis jacket gets me noticed, which, at the end of the day, is what itīs all about.

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post #29 of 44 Old Apr 1st, 2008, 4:38 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

UPDATE:

The drains have been removed from his knee and he is mobile again. He is also in a much better mood today.

Thank you for your well wishes.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #30 of 44 Old Apr 28th, 2008, 5:16 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

It is now almost 8 weeks since the accident. During these weeks there were some good days and some bad days. In general Wiehann is healing physically quite fast but he is frustrated with the slow pace of healing of the nerve damage.

I have switched modes and treats him "normally". In my mind he is now faced with the cold reality of his situation and life goes on. He needs to learn to function with whatever handicap he has and concentrate on doing what needs to be done to try and regain as much as possible function back.

So, I am not a very popular guy with the mother. The coldest and most cruel fact to accept by all parties is that it was his own two hands that were on the handlebars that morning and I am not going to take any blame for what happened to him. He is a very experienced rider and whatever the stupid driver of the truck did does not make me liable. I am sure many of you that went through similiar situations can understand the human interactions in this situation.

Here is a series of shots taken during the past few weeks. Every shot is dated and this is the last shots that will be published as "Crash" pictures ... life goes on.


The first day that he moved around without the sling.




Surrounded by loved ones.


Visiting the Orthopedic Surgeon at Six Weeks.








Some rehab ...


Not happy with me and my camera.


Trying to throw me a salute ...


To all of you that posted in this thread and prayed for him ... thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To Wiehann ... my son life is sometimes hard and the true steel in a man is only really visible when things goes wrong. I believe that you will recover and recover well ... hope that me and you can carve some curves again real soon.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #31 of 44 Old Apr 28th, 2008, 5:23 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

Thanks be to God!

Yes, prayers continue.... thanks for the wonderful update!

...............
J.M.J...
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post #32 of 44 Old Apr 29th, 2008, 8:19 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Your son's leg X-ray and my leg X-ray look the same. I had the rest of the metal removed from the hand and foot but still go "beep beep" in airports because of the leg. What that tells me is that I know in time your boy will get better. It's been 7 1/2 years for me and it was not an easy road but I did make it and so will your son.

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post #33 of 44 Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:12 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

I am curious as to the manufacturer of the intramedullary nail and screws because they look a lot like the ones the company I work for produces.

I had the unfortunate experience a cycle accident in January that broke my right fibula in three places plus a severely dislocated right foot. However, I was wearing ATGATT and everything stayed inside and I had zero other problems.

If my right leg was not trapped under the big LT, I may have been able to walk away - but I was carried away! I had only a plate and 8 screws installed and 3 1/2 months later (and one screw removed - guess it was loose!!! and a bit of physical therapy) I am back in action.

Accidents suck. I am so glad your son has made so much progress. I know something of that path he has taken.

Jon

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post #34 of 44 Old Apr 29th, 2008, 10:26 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

I'm glad to hear of your son's progress. Through grit and determination, he'll make it back to normal. He has my continued wishes for complete recovery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colyn
So, I am not a very popular guy with the mother.
When my son was born in 2001, a wise older father told me, "You'll be riding in the trunk of the car from now on. You'll get used to it."

I remember thinking, "That is never going to happen to me." Next thing I knew the lid slammed and I'm in the dark.

Lee
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post #35 of 44 Old Apr 30th, 2008, 2:58 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Thank you all for the wonderful responses.

I have no idea of the brand of pins used ... I will try and find out. It is surely not BMW because I see no branding.

@ Lee510 ... Man I had to laugh when I read your post ... I thought after 25 odd years the boot will open but it seems like the key was lost over the years

Thanks again to you all and I will get Wiehann to make a personal post here soon.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #36 of 44 Old May 2nd, 2008, 8:07 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

I just found this thread for the first time..
Wow..... It appears your son is doing great... The power of Prayer.
I have 2 sons 18 and 20. Neither ride, they simply do not grasp consequences of poor judgement.
I do not think that was the case with your son, but both of mine just don't stay focused enough to ride a bike.
My heart was breaking from your first few posts, then relief during the last few.
Your family will continue in my Prayers.
Jeff

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post #37 of 44 Old May 2nd, 2008, 1:10 pm
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Smile Re: The biker's view ...

Colyn, like "justlookin" I too have just stumbled onto this thread. Thanks for sharing. Makes me think twice about how I have ridden some roads around where I live. Don't sweat the your "tough love" stance, in the long run, it's the way to go.

Also, my hat is off to this forum for all of the support you have provided to Colyn & his family. S A L U T E!

Ride Safe.


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Bruce

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"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of All Who Threaten It."


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post #38 of 44 Old May 2nd, 2008, 6:41 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by justlookin
I just found this thread for the first time..
Wow..... It appears your son is doing great... The power of Prayer.
I have 2 sons 18 and 20. Neither ride, they simply do not grasp consequences of poor judgement.
I do not think that was the case with your son, but both of mine just don't stay focused enough to ride a bike.
My heart was breaking from your first few posts, then relief during the last few.
Your family will continue in my Prayers.
Jeff
Thank you very much for your post.

Reality is that Wiehann is really a good rider ... he has two wheel instincts that I envy but unfortunately, like all young bucks, he did not expect that one day his judgment will tested and the "oops" option will not be available.

This incident did not only bring pain and anguish ... it also brought home the realization that life can be frighteningly short. During past few weeks I have seen a general change in him that makes me feel good.

It is hard for a father to see his son go through the emotional stages of an incident like this ... it is heart breaking to see him sitting on the edge of the bed with tears running down his cheeks. It is especially hard for me because I cannot share in his pain openly ... he gets enough of that from his mother. For me it is important that he does not miss one single piece of "positive" side of this incident and that it makes of him a better man. Yes I say man because he is no longer a boy ... he has looked death in the eyes and survived. By the grace of God he was spared ... the big question is now ... For what ?

On that day prayers went up from all around the globe and I am so sure that it was those prayers that carried him through more than 10 hours in the theater ... a BIG thank you to all of you that spared a thought for him.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #39 of 44 Old May 2nd, 2008, 6:48 pm Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCVBeck
Colyn, like "justlookin" I too have just stumbled onto this thread. Thanks for sharing. Makes me think twice about how I have ridden some roads around where I live. Don't sweat the your "tough love" stance, in the long run, it's the way to go.

Also, my hat is off to this forum for all of the support you have provided to Colyn & his family. S A L U T E!

Ride Safe.
Thank you for your post.

Well one thing is for sure ... this incident has made me rethink my riding style too ... I am much more alert to the "3 seconds" view ... I catch myself measuring the view distance almost on every bend in the road and roll back on the throttle to increase my chances. I think we take far too many corners in blind faith that nothing will pop into our view with no time to react.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #40 of 44 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 8:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

Well today I have some good news to share ... Wiehann is busy regaining some motor function in his biceps and triceps ... I think the fact that I sold his bike two weeks ago has kick started his muscles Wink

Three weeks ago I decided to sell his Dakar because the recovery rate was really slow and there was no chance of him riding again soon. He got onto my LT wit bike on the center stand and took the handles ... telling me that he can hold it ... well needless to say .. a slight sudden jerk of the right hand bar by me and he lost his grip on the left.

He went with me when I collected my GS and he was really depressed. This morning he got onto the GS and called me.

"I want to show you something ..." he had a broad smile on hs face and had the handles in his hands. I tried the same maneuver and to my surprise there was real resistance.

He then proceeded to show me some of the exercises he has been doing the last week. I asked him why he kept it to himself and he answered ...

"I wanted the physio to check and confirm that it i snot my imagination."

Well guys and girls I thank you all for the prayers and good wishes that went up for him. I am going to have a great weekend ... same to you all.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #41 of 44 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 9:24 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Colyn,

I have been following Wiehann's progress as many others have been doing. Please give him our best wishes for continued improvement and a quick return to full health and mobility.
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post #42 of 44 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 10:56 pm
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Re: The biker's view ...

That is great news!!! Thanks be to God!

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #43 of 44 Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:31 am Thread Starter
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Re: The biker's view ...

I want to end this thread with a few comments ...

1. Thank you all for the support and prayers that followed this day.
2. Thank you for all the kind words posted here.

I did this little journal about the event.

http://www.photodex.com/share/colyn/89889mg4

... enjoy.

A bad day on the bike beats a good day in the office.
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post #44 of 44 Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 10:38 am
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Re: The biker's view ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colyn
I want to end this thread with a few comments ...

1. Thank you all for the support and prayers that followed this day.
2. Thank you for all the kind words posted here.

I did this little journal about the event.

http://www.photodex.com/share/colyn/89889mg4

... enjoy.
I'm glad everything worked out and your son was able to ride again!

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." (Some really OLD friggin' White dude who couldn't have possibly known what he was talking about!) WARNING: Official HATE speech!
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