AROUND - and Falling down
had planned to attend Ken Hand's Italy, Texas event this
October. Ken had me scheduled to give a wash and wax seminar! Ha
left work that Friday afternoon and was planning to ride a
couple hundred miles down to my friends, Jay and Teresa's house
in Knoxville, near Galesburg, Illinois. I was traveling on US
Highways 34 and 6 and came to where US 34 splits off just west
of Sheffield. I started to make a simple left turn and slid out
instantly in some antifreeze that was all over the road. I
landed hard on my left shoulder, slid on my back a bit, and
ended up face down staring at the pavement. I was a little
stunned by how unusually quick the bike slid out and got to see
what just happened. It was then and there I knew something was
really wrong with my left shoulder. I couldn't push up with my
left arm so I rolled and got up feeling some very intense pain
between my shoulder and neck. The bike was laying on its side
and appeared to be relatively fine.
high school girls pulled over and asked if they should call 911
which I said no, that I thought I was okay even though I knew I
had broken or dislocated something. I asked if they could just
help me get the bike back up which they did, and we had the T-3
sitting on the shoulder of the highway. I thanked them and they
went on their way.
walked over and saw the antifreeze on the road and some broken
plastic bits so I figured there was an accident there earlier. I
picked up my fiberglass lower that popped the cable ties off and
put it in my ammo can hardbag. I got on the bike and sat there a
bit trying to decide what to do. I used my right hand to place
my left hand on the handlebar and it didn't feel too bad once
firmly on the bar. I could even squeeze the clutch in. Okay, 150
miles from home and 50 miles from Jay's in Knoxville. I opted
for Knoxville. It was slow going at first, every bump would jar
my shoulder making me wince a bit. The small towns on Highway US
34 weren't any easier. I finally made it to Galesburg, and knew
I only had about 6 miles to go. Well, Galesburg was all torn up
with road construction and all one lane through the heart of
town. It was slow going and very painful. I finally got through
the mess only to be greeted by a railroad crossing and the
longest freight train in the world! Well, it seemed that long.
After that, I pulled in at Jay's place. He was out feeding the
horses and looked over.
knew immediately something was up and helped me off the bike. I
explained what had happened as we tried to take off my jacket,
sweatshirt, etc. Layers of clothes are nice until something like
this happens. Once down to my T-shirt, Jay drove me over to the
emergency room in Galesburg.
took a bit to do paperwork and the nurse took me to a room. Ten
minutes later she wanted to know exactly where the crash
happened, and I asked how that was relevant to me getting
treatment. She left and 45 minutes had gone by before the state
trooper showed up. Geez, now what? I still hadn't been seen by a
doctor. He asked what happened and I explained. He asked if
there were any other vehicles involved and I said no. He then
asked about any property damage, whether I was drinking or on
drugs and it was no, no and no. He handed back my license and
asked why the hell he was even here. I looked at the nurse and
pointed to her, and he smiled.
little later the doc showed up and ordered x-rays. Sure enough,
I broke my clavicle. Right in the middle and a couple of small
pieces. He recommended a sling, prescribed some pain pills and
said it would take about 8 weeks to heal.
had offered to load the bike up in his truck and haul me back,
but he couldn't do it until Sunday morning. Well, Saturday
morning came and I really didn't want to wait until Sunday plus
admit defeat, so I told him I was going to try and ride the bike
home. He thought I was nuts and asked if he should at least ride
my bike to the freeway entrance so I wouldn't have to deal with
town traffic. I said okay and that's what we did. The 200 mile
ride home went rather smoothly and I kept plenty of distance
with traffic because I knew I wouldn't be able to react as
usual. The busted collar bone actually seemed to hurt less when
holding on to the handlebars than when walking around.
I should of just stayed home and healed, but since I missed the
Italy run and I knew the Slimey Crud run was going on up near
Madison, Wisconsin, I just had to gear up and ride to it. A
group usually meets in Pine Bluff and then rides up to Leland,
Wisconsin where the main gathering is. I ran into Rick Mahnke (aka
Cheesehead of MG Cycle) and Georgia. They were riding the Eldo/sidecar
rig. I decided to follow them over to Leland figuring he'd be
taking it a bit easier than some of the others that showed up.
We had a nice ride, and I hobbled around a bit looking at all
the bikes that had showed up. I saw a lot of familiar faces like
Gordon Kline (MG Cycle) and his wife Chris, Dan Prunske and
Peter Egan, just to name a few. I had a great sandwich at
Sprecher's Tap and an all around good time. The ride back
brought it up to about a 300 mile day, but it didn't do the
broken clavicle any good.
I saw my own doctor and he sent me to a specialist that put me
up in a harness of sorts. The specialist was a little upset when
I asked if I'd still be able to reach the handlebars with it on.
I then said, well how am I suppose to ride the darn bike home?
He just shook his head. The harness did work quite well, it was
much easier to ride with it on. I'm writing this about 7 weeks
since it happened and got the all clear yesterday. I'm glad
that's over with!