I have been riding for more than 43 years by now, started when I was 16 stealing the bike of my brother. Shortly after I was so much in love with motorcycling that decided to do everything possible to get a bike. Two years later I got my first bike, a 1958 BMW R/5. after 2 years of riding and enjoying the bike I had a "bad close call".
I was at a red light, there was this V-8 truck at my side making noises (brrmmm brrmmm) and I thought, "okay, lets see who is fastest". When the lights turned green I was already wide open in take off mode. For few seconds it was an exhilarating experience, the roaring of my bike, the increasing speed, the truck being left behind in spite of his roaring noises...... then, right in front of me a car makes a left turn (he couldn't even imagine how fast I was coming). For a second, when I saw that I was going to hit him dead center I thought "Sh..t" and leaned the bike left into the incoming traffic. Bhammmm !
Like in a dream I see my bike wobbling right into the incoming traffic, I see this huge bus coming right to me and then I lean right into my lane and come to a stop 200 yards from the incident.When I looked down to check the point of impact I see a piece of the car's bumper hanging from my right cylinder head! As you know in a BMW your foot peg is right behind the cylinder. As I realized that if it wasn't for that cylinder there I would have no foot (or leg) I parked the bike and sat at the curb of the road for over one hour....trembling.
When I got up I went home and decided to sell the bike immediately. Which I did..... but 3 months later I was missing riding, missing that feeling of being almost a bird, and I bought another bike.
Then in 1990 I decided to start riding "dirt" and bought a Suzuki DR350 and started a new learning curve, auch!, dirt technique is different from street riding.
By 1991 I was doing every dual sport ride or poker run available. Happened in the Ridgecrest area, we were hauling and it was dusty, and I mean dusty. Trying to catch up with the other riders I was pushing it a little and all of a sudden this big "ditch" shows up in front of me. Well. the next thing I remember is just sitting up all covered with dust and starting the proper procedures after a crash, I start checking if I have all my body parts still attached and functioning.
For my surprise when I look left I do not see my left Arm..... my heart made a big thump and I started to look around for it. I found it just at my back, being the elbow twisted backwards I couldn't see my arm (still attached). In the spur of the moment I grabbed my arm and brought it back to its normal position ahhhhhhhhhh................... I almost fainted in pain, but got my arm back to the front. I had to be evacuated in a 4x4 to the Ridgecrest Hospital and operated. The doctor told me I was going to loose at least 30% of my movement. I discussed with him if there were possibilities of improving the odds and he said that the only thing he could do is take the cast out way earlier and start the recovery exercises immediately. It proved to be a very painful experience, but I recovered 97% of my movement, and guess what, started riding again.
And I did not just started riding again, I also became a Coach for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and started teaching motorcycle safety. Today I commute to work every day in my SV650 and ride my Suzuki DRZ400 on the dirt the weekends and I teach private classes, or I spend time in my web site where I try to promote safe riding.
Through the years I have learned that professional training can make a big difference, learning the proper riding and safety techniques will give you the proper tools to have a long and healthful motorcycling life.