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One of my best riding buddies had a bad close call last week. A cable tv crew left a low-slung cable hanging across the road. He saw it at the last moment and wisely slid under. Was doing about 40mph, bike flipped and is trashed (SG) and he was lucky with just some fairly minor road rash. But he could have easily not been so lucky. Thinks his helmet may have really saved him. He's a seasoned rider with no previous falls. Had over 100k on this last SG.

I'm curious from anyone who has been through a wreck before . . . any good advice on how to get the crash out of your head and get back in the saddle? Anything beyond climb back on that horse that threw you???
 

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I would just say to him it was his skill and quick thinking which saved him from an otherwise worse outcome. I’d remind him of that, but the choice to ride again or not is his decision and I wouldn’t try to influence it one way or the other.
 

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Anytime you're able to ride again in the future is always a good thing. My last terrible was when i was a teenager. Family doctor picking gravel out of the meat of my thigh like grit from a gizzard, lecturing me about the danger of motorcycles. Manholes, who knew they would be slippery when wet eh?

Sounds preachy but suggest he take a course. Obviously with his experience a "newbie" course isn't for him. Find an advanced rider course somewhere that you can take together. Always helps to have buddy along and we can all learn something we didn't know before. It will help him get his confidence back by starting at slow speeds and building on those skills that save his bacon last time in a controlled environment.


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Yikes. Shitty to hear about your buddy. But ya it could have been a lot worse.

I was in my first reck this summer and for sure it shakes you up and the thought crosses your mind, is it worth it to keep riding, but at the same time that thought quickly passed as I knew before the accident that I was putting myself at risk every time I put a leg over. Everyone is different on how they see things, if your buddy makes up his mind that the risk is no longer worth the reward then I really doubt someone could change his mind.

It may also depend on how other people around him react to the accident. If some close to him are making a big deal of it and urging him to stop riding then that may make him not want to continue. My family and friends were concerned for me but nobody questioned me when I got back to riding two weeks after my reck. My wife rides horses and has broken a couple bones from falls but it is her passion and nothing is going to change that, I have some dangerous hobbies and don't plan on giving them up anytime soon.

I would say the best advice to give him is to take his time and get back on when he is ready. He will know within 5 minutes of riding if he wants to be on the bike or not, and if it is not them turn around and park it till he wants to try again.
 

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I have had 2 life changing evebts. I was riding on a 4 lane hiway and got boxed in and run off the road into the gravel at 65MPH ny a church bus. I didnt go down but almost died as there was a raised sidewalk that I almost. I took 20 years off from riding. Being a life lomg rider the passoin got me bacl on a bike. Number 2 my couson/brother crpssed the centerline and died in front of me. I took 6 months off and his brother called and ralked me ibto going fpr one more ride before I sell my bike. My cousin would not want that to have been the last time I ride, It was not easy but we take risks everyday in life.
 
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I don't think you ever get a crash out of your head. I contacted cars twice in my life over 25 years ago, and wrecked my dual sport about 8 years ago. Those events changed my riding behavior.

I had a very close call with a wire hanging down across the road after a storm I never saw it but was lucky someone stuck a cone in the road that made me slow down wondering why the cone was there. I was thinking pot hole and then finally saw the wire.

Whenever I see the remains of a tree that fell into the road I always wonder if the first person who came across it was able to stop in time. Probably fell at night during a rain storm.

Tell your buddy to replace the street glide with a road glide. He will be much happier. Hopefully the company was cited for not having a safety person directing traffic and your buddy gets a big payout for the bike and his pain and suffering (including mental anguish)
 

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Been in 28 accidents in my 58 years of riding. None at fault. I'm still here. Got 4 Harley's I rotate riding,my RGC has 107k on it and never wanted to stop riding. I do watch traffic more as I age but practice avoiding idiots on the road. My advice is to not let it get into your head. Their not out to get you. As my motto, just ride.
 

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Do not push or even encourage him to get back on a bike again. That would only add to his frustrations and fears at this point. Just tell him what a terrific job he did in minimizing his injuries and tell him you're ready to ride with him whenever he feels ready. Then let that subject go for a few weeks or maybe a few months. He needs to make this decision 100% on his own, or the chances of failure will be decidedly against him.
 

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If you ride a motorcycle enough wrecks happen. Been in many myself, most were the fault of the other driver. I have had a few where my excessive speed and lack of ability to know how to control the motorcycle were factors. The reality is it can happen to anyone at any time without any warning. My wrecks have always been in teh blink of an eye. Faster than any human can actually react to anything.

So, if you are going to ride make peace with the fact that shit happens and there is always a possibility that you can get in a wreck, get hit, get killed. IT's a fact of life. I'd rather go out doing what I love than be dreaming about it and letting fear rule my life and decisions. This is obviously a very personal decision taht only you can make.

As people progress in skills and seat time, we get used to avoiding the type of typical hazards that can trip people up. Not to say we can avoid everything, fate is what it is. But its interesting as when I meet someone I don't know and they drive in my truck, they quite often comment about how aware I am of the road and all of the potential hazards there are. This is solely due to being a biker and and being aware of of potential hazards that could easily kill me when I'm on my bike.

A while back, I would ride the same exact route to work everyday at about 6AM. My ride was 25 miles, about half on the Southern California freeway, the rest on surface streets. I would go early as I prefer to be at work before most people get in their car with a cup of coffee in their hands as they are not watching for me. The two most vulnerable spots I identified on teh way to work was the driveway that led out of the McDonalds drive through window, and the driveway that led out of the Starbucks drive through. Nearly every day I would slow down quite a bit as I passed both of these as I had continually watched cars come barreling out of both of these driveways with nary a glance.

Life has no guarantee's, however if you choose to ride a motorcycle whether it e for recreation or transportation or both, educate yourself in every way that you can. Pick whom you ride with carefully as many people have no business being on a motorcycle much less behind the wheel of a car.

I moved to another state in the last few years and the roads here are empty and the drivers are pretty courteous. This was all new to me. I'm used to splitting lanes like a mad man and yelling at people to keep myself safe. Now I need to be more wary of the lazy driver whom doesn't look for bikes. Almost got pummeled by a big rig soon after I moved on the highway. Apparently I was not moving through his range of vision fast enough. Had one of my friends son break my footpeg off as he was trying to keep up with us and we had a last minute turn. That could have been much worse. Had another friend (whom is older and should probably hang up his leathers) run into the rear tire on my motorcycle although I was visibly stopped with my brakes on as were another 5 people with us.

I've been riding over 25 years and since I have relocated these are the only two times I have ever had anyone with whom I was riding hit me. I have since been riding alone as I feel that I value my life more than people whom obviously don't value mine or theirs.

Riding is a deadly serious activity and I couldn't imagine life without it. It takes time to get the crash out of your head, but I'm a get back on the horse right away kind of guy. The more you ride without crashing, the less you think about it. For me, riding is about getting out my head. The best part of riding a motorcycle is that it requires all of your attention to be able to do it successfully. I don't put a phone on my bars. Yeah I got the GTS system on my new bike aznd frankly, it's extremely distracting. When I see people fucking with their phone while they are riding...all I can think is it's only a matter of time for them.

But, I digress. Just get on your bike and ride. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. We are only in control to a certain extent. And I am firm believer when my time comes, it comes and I won't be able to do anything about it. So, in the sort time that I am here, I will continue to do what I enjoy and accept the risks that come with it.
 

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A good friend bought a SG last year. His first motorcycle ever at 71 years old. I was shocked. I have ridden my whole life and never considered that he would become a rider. He took classes, and practiced at the small local airport before spending time on public roads. Some friends invited him to go on a three day ride in the Sierra mountains. Predictably, he went into a corner too hot trying to keep up and crashed. Broken collarbone and totaled SG. I asked him what his future plans were. His response was, “ I have been bucked off of horses and crashed two airplanes, I’m buying a new Harley.” And he did buy a 2020 SGS and has 2k miles on it.
 

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I have had only one serious accident on the pavement and one on a gravel road 50 years ago on a dirt bike .. The dirt bike , I was too young to know any better and kept on riding , with a big knot on my forehead ..

The pavement was getting on the interstate one Sunday afternoon , just as I crossed the white line at the light , an azzhat turned in front of me , I hit the rear quarter panel of the car and they kept going .. Wasn't hurt , but totaled a perfectly good Super Glide in the process ..

That one shook me a bit , but in a matter of a few weeks I was back at it ..

Everyone is different , my brother was hit on his BSA 650 and totaled , and never rode again , the few times he tried other peeps bikes after that , said he was "just shaking" , he's gone now , but he was one who wasn't skeered of any man ..

JtB
 

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Do not push or even encourage him to get back on a bike again. That would only add to his frustrations and fears at this point. Just tell him what a terrific job he did in minimizing his injuries and tell him you're ready to ride with him whenever he feels ready. Then let that subject go for a few weeks or maybe a few months. He needs to make this decision 100% on his own, or the chances of failure will be decidedly against him.

Exactly. Same thing I was saying but you put it much better.
 

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Back in my teens I had a friend that rode my enthusiasm for motorcycles and shenanigans all the way to the dealer for a brand new Honda CB125. 6 months later he was decapitated by a telephone pole guide wire while trying to pull a stunt of his own.

40 some odd years later...I still haven't quite managed to forgive myself for that.

So I figure it's always best to let folks make their own decisions about accepting the risk factor that our types embrace.
 

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Everyone is different but most feel better about getting back on the saddle after time. I have a buddy that went down and was messed up pretty bad. He too was a skilled rider that had ridden most of his life. He had 3 bikes in his garage and when I went to visit him in the hospital he was telling me he was done and that all the bikes would be going up for sale. A month after the accident the bikes still hadn't been listed and he was saying that he was still thinking about it. It took him over 8 months to recover enough to be able to get back on a bike. His first ride was very cautious and as each ride passed he would get a little more comfortable. When the pain from going down is still there it is hard to think about getting back on one but as time passes and the pain subsides he may feel better about getting back on the bike. If he does he may be a much more cautious rider than before and that's not saying he wasn't cautous before. Going down can cause the most skilled riders to change the way they ride and highten their awareness even more.
 

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First, glad he escaped serious injury (or worse!) A lot of great advice coming from many years of riding experience. I'm a firm believer that being "too cautious can get you killed," but find myself becoming a more conservative rider as I get older (almost 56! That can't be right!) Wishing him well going forward regardless of his choice, as I know we all do.
 
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Do not push or even encourage him to get back on a bike again. That would only add to his frustrations and fears at this point. Just tell him what a terrific job he did in minimizing his injuries and tell him you're ready to ride with him whenever he feels ready. Then let that subject go for a few weeks or maybe a few months. He needs to make this decision 100% on his own, or the chances of failure will be decidedly against him.
This.

We can sit around the campfire and Monday-morning QB his decisions all night long, but right now that's the last thing he needs to hear.

When I got hit, I nearly died. I heard the paramedics call my wife and ask if I had a DNR/living will. The looks on their faces made it clear that they didn't think I was going to make it to the hospital. I kept babbling about how they couldn't cut off my left hand because I needed it for the clutch. Literally every conversation I had with any medical person in the aftermath of my wreck was how they had to put me back together correctly so I could get back on a bike.

But that was me, not anyone else. They're either going to do it or not do it their way in their time.

I had 2 months of recuperation.....Sitting on my ass, thinking about what happened, and getting back on a bike. Tomorrow will mark 9 years since it happened, and I still am feeling the mental, emotional, and physical aftereffects of the wreck.
 

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First; may God be with your buddy as he mends and bless him with both healing and strength. It's been well mentioned that he did the best in a bad situation. There's nothing you can do in preparation of a wire across the road. Car or bike, you're gonna have an impact of some level.

On-road:
I've been down twice. Both my fault for riding too fast and carelessly. I never even thought about not riding again. I just really enjoy motorcycling.

Off-road:
Same. Major crash that required plates & screws and many, many smaller crashes. I got back on my CR250 immediately once I was released from the hospital, had my wife hold the bike while I used a crutch to keep me stable on it as I assessed my bike's condition.

What's my point in sharing those two anecdotes:
I never even thought about not riding. I did change my super aggressive style both on-road and off-road and learned from my approaches to the incidents that led me to crash. Another anecdote; a vehicle stuck in traffic under an overpass [bridge] on GA Hwy 400 was struck by a small plane that fell out of the sky and burst into flames. Nobody can prepare for that and you have to trust in your faith that you are where you should be under God's blessing.

Summary:
Everybody will digest fear/anxiety in their own way. The remaining desire to ride a motorcycle after that digestion and personal reckoning is up to that person. In my experience; the desire to ride more sensibly was never in question, ever. My desire to ride like an idiot has gradually waned. Your buddy was riding like a pro to save his own life. Does he want to ride like a pro again? This is the reasoning I would share with him as others have mentioned. Fear the incident, not the motorcycle. He did nothing wrong.
 

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That's a point well made Dan.

I can't tell you how many times I dissected what I remembered from the wreck. How many times I sat on the side of the road where it happened and tried to piece everything together.

What did I do wrong?

Hell, 9 years later I still can't answer that question. I don't think I did anything wrong, but my brain stopped recording just before impact, and didn't restart until I was on the ground and had stopped moving.
 

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Tough call really - I have crashed more than I can even remember but 99.99% were all in the dirt or racing Supermoto - I have had (1) get off on the street back in my crotch rocket days and that took me a bit to get comfy again - For me, as soon as my leg healed and I had the bike fixed, I went to a parking lot (drove like a Grandma on the way there too) and got familiar with the bike again - Power (it was a 1000CC V Twin), Brakes, Lean, the whole thing - Prob spent about 3 hours or so until I felt that I was ready - Even then, the 1st Month or so, I was very timid

Everyone crashes and we all know the old saying, for me personally, it woke me the fuck up that I was not invincible and it made me a better rider

If he is REALLY struggling, have him rent a small bike for a weekend and get comfy again before jumping back on a heavy touring bike and as others have said, at his pace with no pressure to do so
 
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