My First Motorcycle Accident

Date: Sunday, August 21, 2016

Time: ~5:30pm

Location: Intersection of Black Rd. and Montevino Rd., somewhere off Highway 17 between Santa Cruz and Los Gatos.

What happened: We just finished eating dinner at the Cats Restaurant in Los Gatos, right off of Highway 17. In order to go Northbound from the restaurant back home, you have to take 17 Southbound, take the first exit off, loop around and over the bridge, and merge onto 17 Northbound. On our way towards the exit, I see a small reservoir with walking paths to the right, a parking lot, and I point to Felipe. My intention was to park at the reservoir parking lot and walk off the food we just ate, but I guess I didn’t execute it clear enough. When we get off the highway, instead of crossing the bridge, I headed straight towards the reservoir.

directions

At this point, I’m in 3rd gear, taking in the scenery on this empty two lane rode, and waiting for that parking lot to pop up. Welp, it came up sooner than I expected. I didn’t have time to use my turn signal or even downshift, so I started braking about 200ft from the intersection where I would make a left into the parking lot. (In hindsight, I honestly don’t know if I would have even made the left turn safely anyway because I was going too fast). Felipe didn’t know what I was doing/wasn’t paying attention and right as I was about to shift to 1st and make the left turn, he hit me.

I flew off my bike and the brunt of the impact fell on my left knee and left arm. I think I bounced off the pavement onto my butt and right shoulder too because those areas were sore/bruised the following day. I propped myself up and some old man who saw the whole thing asked if I was ok. I walked to the sidewalk and checked for broken bones/blood and realized I was fine. I took off my gloves, and I distinctly remember holding my head in my hands for a few seconds and making the decision to take off my helmet.

I looked over and saw Felipe still on his bike, in shock. I told the old man that we needed to help him get out of the intersection but he wouldn’t listen to me and kept asking if I was ok.

Felipe was so in shock he got off his bike and dropped it. In an adrenaline rushed panic, I told him we needed to get it off the intersection before an oncoming car causes any more damage. So he got back on it, held the clutch, and I pushed him to the curb.

At this point I realize the old man was on the opposite side of the road trying to stand my bike right side up. Supposedly I did a wheelie when I was hit and my bike landed upside down. He was struggling to get it up so as soon as I could, I pulled the kickstand out and told him to just leave it there.

Felipe was visibly upset and I immediately started balling.


The Damage: My knee had a deep gash and pretty bad road rash , but nothing that could be stitched together so I opted to not go to the hospital. My left arm had 2 inches of road rash, my right elbow had a quarter inch of road rash, and my right butt cheek felt sore. Later that day I saw I had a few scratches on my right shoulder, but those healed pretty quickly.

The Damage the Day After: Mild whiplash, soreness on my lower back, a mild headache, and bruises everywhere.

Damage to my Bike: Dented rear fender, broken license plate, broken left tail light, broken clutch lever, bent handlebar/mirror, and a chipped handlebar grip. A small liquid leak, but I think it has to do with the fact that the bike was upside at some point. Scratched air cleaner, pipes, headlight, and front forks. About an hour after the accident we were able to start it, so all cosmetic damage.

Damage to his bike: Dented front fender.


Insurance? Total Loss? My Experience After the Accident

How to Care for Road Rash

“The Aftermath – Avoiding Collisions and Getting Back on the Saddle” to follow


-Kim

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