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Shark of the Month October 13
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was at Laconia Bike Week from Wed. til Saturday. Friday a.m. I had just gotten onto Rte. 106 N headed to Laconia HD. They had a special on doing fluids and filter for all three holes for $129. and I was due. About 2 miles up the road I came across three bikes from CT. They were behind a car that was doing about 40 on a road that you'd normally do about 50 on. No one is in a rush and no one tries to pass the car. It was a bright sunny day and Rte. 106 had just been paved and was like silk.

The next think I know I see bike #1 make a move to the right and then it looked like a bomb went off. There was pieces of fiberglass, plastic, metal, and a few personal items 'raining' from the sky. Bike #1 realized at the last minute that the road going off to the right was the road he wanted to take. He got on the brakes fairly hard to take a right turn and unfortunately bike #2 rider had taken his eyes off the road and ran smack into the ass end of bike #1. Bike #1 was a Road Glide CVO, and bike#2 was a silver Street Glide. There were bikes and riders flying through the air everywhere.

Bike #3 and I managed to get stopped before we became part of the accident. We moved our bikes to the side of the road and went to check on the other two. Rider #1 ended up being thrown onto a grassy spot beyond the road shoulder. He was fortunate that it didn't happen where there were stone walls, huge oak trees, fences or other things that you see along this road. He got up on his knees but was disoriented. He did manage to say, "This is a hell of a way to start a vacation!". After he and I checked him over, the only complaint he had was that his right shoulder was killing him. He could move both arms and hands but the right one hurt - most likely a broken collarbone. He was wearing a half helmet. I think he was in shock as he wasn't paying any attention to his buddy who was laying motionless in the middle of the northbound lane. Instead, he started picking up his saddlebags and all his personal stuff that was all over the place. I went over to rider #2. Rider #3 was kneeling by his side but #2 didn't regain consciousness. He was laying on his right side with blood running out both nostrils and his right ear. He was not wearing a helmet. He started to come to and moved his arms and legs but then lost consciousness again. He was totally unconscious when they loaded him into the ambulance.

The next day the newspaper said this had been the first injury related accident involving a bike all week. Rider #2 was taken to the local regional hospital but after being evaluated there, they air lifted him to a large regional trama center at Hitchcock Hospital. He was reported to have serious head trama but it wasn't thought to be life threatening. Hopefully there won't be permanent brain damage but it didn't look good the last I saw of him. His name was Bob and I guess in his mid-late 50s. They had taken Friday off work and had ridden up from CT. You can imagine how excited they were to be there for their first full day and it was such a nice day weather-wise.

In the proverbial blink of an eye, their vacation was ruined, two late model touring bikes were totally trashed, one guy had shoulder/neck injuries, and the other left close to a pint of blood in the middle of the road and may never be the same person again. I ask that you have a good thought or a prayer for Bob from CT.

I'm not preaching to anyone here as I strongly believe wearing a helmet is a choice and shouldn't be mandated. However, rider #3 and I both said that we thought Bob would have walked away from the crash had he been wearing a helmet.

The crash was very violent. Bob's Street Glide at one point was flipping over going backwards and was a good 5 ft. off the ground. One thing was very evident. Touring bikes don't just slide down the road on their side like a lot of bikes do. #2 bike went down hard on the right side, something (highway pegs, crash bars or foot boards) dug into the asphalt quickly and the bike then high sided violently to the left side, dug in there and flipped again.

It's been 60 some odd hours now and that scene keeps playing through my mind. When you go to one of the major bike rallies, you expect that there will be a handful of accidents and maybe even a death or two, but you're never prepared to see a bad one play out 75 ft. in front of you. Had I not given myself extra room behind this 3 some to stop, I wouldn't have had an escape route if I couldn't get stopped in time. #2 bike on the center line, it's rider sprawled across the middle of our lane, #1 bike at the edge of the road to the right of rider #2, and rider#1 off on the shoulder. I was glad that I decided to retain the double discs and ABS when I switched to a 21" wheel 3 years ago.

I came away with three observations:

It confirmed my personal decision to wear a helmet .... ALWAYS. A habit I got from doing some racing many, many years ago.

I saw first hand how not wearing one changed this guys life forever, plus it will always remain a horrific memory for his two buddies. His buddy saying, "If only he had been wearing a helmet" kept running through my mind.

I was grateful that I have a habit of always leaving an extra 4-5 bike lengths between my self and another rider, even when riding in a staggered formation.


Ride safe guys and gals. It was just a couple of seconds of not paying attention to what was going on in front of them that caused this violent accident. We all take our eyes off the road for a few seconds to look at some road side attraction or scenic view multiple times on every ride. Give yourself some extra stopping/maneuvering distance when you ride with others.
 

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Roger that, brother...Roger that......
 

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my prayers for bob, wht a horror!

I had a coming to jesus moment with a helmet a few years back in ohio, we were tooling along and the guy behind me must have thought a driveway was the road and went off that way, the next thing I know he is passing me in the ravine between the road and the front lawns and thats when his highway pegs hit and sent the bike flying, pretty much like kevin described. By the time I got my bike stopped and ran up to him, there was a huge bruise on his head and blood coming from his mouth and his toes were coming out of his brand new boots, Bud wasn't wearing a helmet but he was really lucky to have landed on the grass not on the road in front of me or the other bikes.

Point is I always wore cheap as novelty helmets but after seeing the blood from his mouth and his head I got home and bought a dot helmet. Bud was lucky we got him to the hospital and he bought a new bike with the insurance money he got from his trashed RK.
 

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When I was a young man just learning to ride on my 350cc Honda, I went down in an intersection filled with loose gravel. Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet, but when all was said and done, the helmet had a crack halfway up the back from my head hitting the asphalt. Had I not had a helmet, that would have been my skull.
To this day, I will not pull out of my driveway without my helmet, and that was over 30 years ago.
 

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Never fail to mention how difficult it is and the turn in the gut you have when you ride off after seeing or trying to do no harm after any bike crash
 

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Prayers for Bob and having witnessed the aftermath of way to many accidents I will send some your way Woodsy. It is never easy to see what CAN happen.
 

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I agree that it is a personal choice however..... Ask someone to simply stand straight with their arms to their sides and then lean backwards until they fall over and not one person will do it. Why? They don't want to hit their head and get hurt. But, that same person will then hop on a motorcycle and go 75 mph down a highway with no helmet on..... I just dont get it.

I too have seen the aftermath too many times. I'll never forget the guy on the Electra Glide that was going a mere 28 mph when a car turned in front of him. No helmet; dead in the middle of the street.

Sorry you had to witness such a sight.
 

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Shark of the Month October 13
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I agree that it is a personal choice however..... Ask someone to simply stand straight with their arms to their sides and then lean backwards until they fall over and not one person will do it. Why? They don't want to hit their head and get hurt. But, that same person will then hop on a motorcycle and go 75 mph down a highway with no helmet on..... I just dont get it.

I too have seen the aftermath too many times. I'll never forget the guy on the Electra Glide that was going a mere 28 mph when a car turned in front of him. No helmet; dead in the middle of the street.

Sorry you had to witness such a sight.
I'll never forget it but I will get over it - time does that, thankfully. I guess what left the big mark on me was just the suddenness of it all. One minute all happy to be at the rally riding with a couple of buddies - 15 seconds later his entire life likely had changed for the worse. One of the things I thought of right away was his spouse or one of his children getting that phone call from the police.

I had an experience when I was only 17 that set the tone for wearing a helmet. I had done a bit of racing so had to wear a helmet on the track so got used to wearing one all the time. I was leaving a buddies parents' house and rode about 300 ft. to the next intersection, which was blind in one direction due to a very tall hedge on the corner. Next thing I know a 63 year old lady in a big Chrysler ran a stop sign and nailed me broadside. After a short 30 foot flight, I landed and my head smacked the granite curbing that they used to use everywhere in New England. Thankfully the helmet absorbed all the impact. It was crushed and had a hole through it right on my right temple. Without the helmet, I'd have been like Bob, or worse. So that's why a helmet is mandatory equipment for me. Like the Bell Helmet ads of that time period used to say, "If you got a $10.00 head, wear a $10.00 helmet".
 

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My thoughts go out to Bob. It was a unfortunate accident. I wear a helmet because I'm in a helmet state but when I'm not I don't. Helmet or not only one rider in a group of three was paying attention if all three were all three would be home safe today. That should be the point in my opinion not the helmet.
 

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Shark of the Month October 13
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Discussion Starter #12
My thoughts go out to Bob. It was a unfortunate accident. I wear a helmet because I'm in a helmet state but when I'm not I don't. Helmet or not only one rider in a group of three was paying attention if all three were all three would be home safe today. That should be the point in my opinion not the helmet.
Kenny, I'd fight like hell to support your freedom to make that decision, just saying my personal choice is to wear one. What are the odds that in any sized group of riders (3 or 23) that someone isn't going to loose concentration for a few seconds here and there, we all do it. It's all about how much you're personally willing to 'pay' for your or someone else's minute of inattention. Actually I was thinking of you for a brief moment later that day, thinking "well there's a couple more late model Fl insurance motors for Kenny to pick from! ;)
 

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Definitely believe in wearing a helmet, and unfortunately on the way to SW5 I can attest to losing concentration for a moment. My prayers go out for Bob.
 
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