With the temp here in south GA today at 70°. I snuck in a ride on the LT. That's by no means a revelation to anybody but it was a large victory to me. Here's why.
To back track a bit in this story... on Sept 26th at 1:38 in the morning I was coming home from a ride on my Dual Sport KLR-685. I had been doing a dirt ride called the Trans Eastern Trail South. I started on the 21st and rode from Valdosta over into Alabama and then up through Alabama mostly on dirt roads and trails and eased back into Georgia near Cedartown and worked my way up into the Ga mountains on some really nice clay and gravel roads winding around the base of the Smokies. I had a great time and saw some wonderful sights. I camped out on top of Cheaha Mt in Alabama. It's the highest point in that state and I laid out on a picnic table next to the tent on a clear night at that high altitude and no lights around and with the naked eye could see the Milky Way like I've never seen it.
The only time I had much of a problem in the mountains was a little way out of Clayton, GA. They have something up there on the county paved roads that that they call 'Chat'. Wiki says it's a "Limestone or Dolomite Waste product". It's a little tiny rocky looking material they put on some of the roads. I found mine on the inside of a rather tight blind right hand curve and my front knobby didn't like it a bit. I probably wasn't doing 35, but it wasted me and I went down pretty hard on the pavement. I got up and the right ankle hurt a bit but a guy with the highway dept came by and stopped to check on me and he was the one that told me about 'Chat'. He said, "Did you git into that Chat"? Yeah I did. Now I know it's really a Waste material. Well I went on into Clayton and stopped at a CVS and got more pain pills and an Ace Bandage and popped two Tylenol and sat on one of their benches and took off the boot and sock and wrapped up the ankle and put it back in the boot. Nothing was hurt on me or the bike but the ankle.
It's about 5 pm by now and the ankle is starting to hurt pretty good so I'm thinking, "Well at 76 years of age, I might have already had as much fun as I'm going to have on this trip so maybe I might best go home to Mama". I did that right away. Gassed up the KLR, got me a pack of Nabs and a big Mountain Dew to put in the tank bag and told Margaret (Zumo 650) to go Home. A few seconds later she told me to hit 441 to I-85 to I-75 and then I'd be home after 405 miles. No problem at all. I went through Atlanta at about 10pm with almost no traffic... things were going good.
I stopped and refueled near Perry, GA and ate a bite and then back on I-75 south. I was running about 70 most of the way and having a good time knowing there was a hot shower waiting at home and I was getting close to that. Then the second and much larger event happened, I looked into the mirror and saw the double Fed-Ex truck I'd passed way back was still way back and I changed to the outside lane. I glanced at Margaret and she said I was 18 miles from my shop door, it was 1:38 am and I was doing 72 miles and hour then 'Pow'... what the... Wham, and I hit the pavement. Front tire had blown out. God was that a blow... I didn't pass out as I saw the two flashes of the newly installed CREE Trail Lights on the KLR as they flashed right into my eyes two times as I spun around on my right side. Then somehow I started rolling. It must have been 10 plus times as I rolled across 3 lanes of I-75 into the center median where I came to rest. I lay there very stunned and then realized I was in the grass so I wasn't going to be hit by the traffic. Thank you Lord. The Fed-Ex truck went by but in just a minute or so I saw light pulling in behind me and a guy got out yelling, "I've called 911" and then there were 3-4 people there and flashlights were shining in my eyes. I thanked them all for stopping. Someone said they saw my bike with the lights on in the grass on the other side of the interstate. Like a good biker I asked someone to turn off the bike. Shortly I was being put into an ambulance and I do remember the pain when they put me over on my side to put the board under me and also remember a remark by one of the EMT's, "We don't get many of these type of calls". I mumbled why? He said, "Most motorcycle riders out here are already dead when we get to them". That was reassuring wasn't it.
The damage to the KLR was a broken right mirror. Broken right turn signal and the upper right cowling piece where the turn signal goes was broken. About $185 bucks. The full Wolfman saddlebags and the SW Motech crash bars had saved the bike. I, on the other hand, didn't fair that well as I had a badly broken right ankle and a broken left index finger along with 3 ribs in front and one in back. Back of both hands had the gloves almost eaten off. Right leg bruised from crotch to below the knee and both knees cut really bad. Doctor put 3 pins through finger, and in the ankle a plate with seven screws. I got the finger piece off two weeks ago and the cast on the ankle cut off yesterday, Nov 12th and Lord that felt good to get a full shower and not have that 3 pounds of fiberglass on my foot. As an after thought, the doctor told me when looking at the ankle XRays said, "You break this ankle before"? I had not, so I told him about the get off in the Chat. He said I probably fractured the ankle then and it really got broke in the crash. Something about a dark line around the breaks.
So today, after the wife left to do volunteer work at the Garden Club, I decided I had done about all the laying around the house I could stomach. I knew the Dish Network schedule by heart, and my butt was so tired of laying around slowly healing. So I dressed out, wrapped the ankle up with an Ace bandage and managed to get it in the boot and went out into the shop to help the healing along. I pulled out the 2007 LT and off we went... a ride that almost equaled the day that I brought her home from Baton Rouge. It was bright, the temp was perfect and I tested the ankle several times in the neighborhood to be sure that I could hold her up at a stop light.
As the wife and I were checking out at the doctors office yesterday, the thought hit me that I didn't ask when I could drive again. The nurse went to ask the doctor and came back to say, "You can drive in 3 weeks". Wow... not the answer I wanted to hear. This morning I thought, He said I couldn't Drive... nothing about I couldn't Ride. So I rode and it felt wonderful.
It's good to be among the living and have a new perspective on life. PTL.