Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Rice Lake, Wisconsin
Yesterday's ride was absolutely fantastic winding through the curvy hills of western Wisconsin with my riding buddy. We managed to knock out the last 2 rustic roads we needed to ride through in order to earn a special patch from the State for riding 10 of them. We followed that up with a delicious brisket cheeseburger at a funky bar called Bucknuckles, a must see destination for anyone traveling in the area. After our late lunch we split ways as he headed back to Minnesota and I headed back north to home. Unfortunately our rides home ended differently. His was dry and uneventful. Mine was rainy and ended badly.
A group of 20 Harleys had left the bar about 10 minutes ahead of me and I caught up to them about 10 minutes later, as they were riding a lot slower than me as they were negotiating the curvy roads in a pack. After riding behind them for 5-10 minutes they went right while my GPS sent me left. I was already running an hour later than expected and the rain had started coming down as I was riding with the Harley pack. I knew the pack and I were going to end up reconnecting on the same highway heading north, so I was also in a rush to get ahead of them. Needless to say, rushing in the rain is a bad idea. I pulled up to a stop sign at a T-intersection. Turned right and cracked the throttle as I usually do. This time, however, the rear tire slid out to my left and I instinctively cut the throttle completely which caused the tires to regain traction almost immediately which is NOT what you want to happen when your momentum is going forward and your bike is sideways. I was catapulted into the air and landed about 10 ft (3 meters) ahead of the bike. My poor bike is pretty banged up. Lots of scrapes and bent handlebars, and the worst part was a broken off shifter peg. I was able to work the remainder of the shift lever to ride 30 miles in the rain to my buddy's parents' house. I was able to leave my bike in their garage and his dad took me to the hospital.
Thank God I was geared up as always, so my only damage personally is a torn ligament between my right thumb and hand, which the emergency room doctor believes will require surgery to fix. Probably the end of my riding season for this year, but some very good lessons learned. Use Rain Mode in the rain, take your time because getting home an hour or 2 late but safely is a lot faster than a visit to the hospital (in addition to the time spent dealing with a broken bike) and stay smooth with the throttle at ALL times even when your instinct is to do otherwise. And most important of all, wear all then gear all the time. My helmet, gloves and chaps saved me from a much worse fate, for sure!
Each one matters.