My friend Franky’s Story

motorcycle

It was August, 2003,  Two Wheeled Tuesday to be exact. Every Tuesday evening  I rode with the ACME Motorcycle club, ( All Canadian Motorcycle Enthusiasts Club).

On this particular night, rain had threatened to spoil the evening ride, so only three members had shown up. We were rewarded for our efforts though, because at the last moment,  the sun relented and turned on its charm. Rays of light streamed through the evening clouds like a giant marquee, announcing the magnificience of the Universe. We headed out to enjoy the warm night air. It was determined that I would ride lead, so I headed my entourage north west to show off my end of town, and take the boys’ through some lovely countryside we didn’t usually take advantage of.  We rode at a leisurely pace, relaxing and enjoying the sights and scents from the sunbaked earth.  I could smell fresh cut hay and clover, lavender and manure mixed together. To me, the evenings perfume was intoxicating and brought back pleasant  memories of my childhood on our farm. What a perfect night.

The three of us had installed LED’s on our bikes and I couldn’t wait to show off my latest extravagence. I had added tiny purple led lights to enhance the outline of my bike, but the piece de resistance was between the rear tire and my exhaust pipe. Here I had installed a mix of orange, red and purple lights to simulate a flame roaring out the back of my bike. It was so beautiful. It wasn’t dark enough yet to get the full effect of the lights, but I did flip them on for a second to show the guys. My companions also had lights on their bikes. The Nomad was decked out in green and the Harley sported red.

I was just getting ready to wind down our ride and head back to a local coffee shop, when fate stepped in and had other ideas.

We were riding westbound and just under the speed limit of  80 km when the accident occurred. There was no indication of an intersection, and the road we were on was well travelled, a fairly straight highway, albeit a country road. There were no stop signs nor overhead lights as far as my eye could see. We had no intersection and I didn’t anticipate one.When you ride lead, you are always on the lookout for danger. I am especially conscious of stop signs and intersections because it is my job to lead my group safely across the road and keep us together and in sight of one another.Thank God my two companions were riding a safe distance behind me and were left undisturbed.

It seemed to come out of nowhere, this blur of red that didn’t belong, an angry volatile force that came on with a vengeance.

Later reports said that this fellow didn’t see me, an excuse I find hard to believe. His car was heading northbound and he had a definite intersection and a stop sign. His wife had been holding their baby in her arms, while seated in the front, with no apparent car seat in the back seat where infants belong. We have laws about that here. No children are allowed to be in a car, without being strapped in. I have always wondered if they were paying attention to the baby instead of the road. What sight didn’t take care of, I figured sound should have. When you put my Yamaha 650 Vstar alongside the 1100 Kawasaki Nomad and the 1100 Harley Davidson Electraglide with its distinctive Harley beat bellowing out, our collective sound would be hard to miss. This fellow also  lived on that road, so it’s true what they say about accidents happening within 5 miles of your home.Perhaps he felt too familiar with his surroundings. I will never know, but I do know this, it wasn’t the first time an accident had occurred in this very spot.

Intentional or not, I was the target and he made good on his mark. I was hit broadside, and for a few seconds nothing registered. There was no sound, no sight, it was if I was in a vacuum of nothingness, then BANG, a dull THUD, I had landed and I was back in my reality. My presence disturbed the gravel and caused the dust to float up from the side of the road. I don’t remember my flight through the air, but I do remember the landing. My body was thrown like a rag doll, seemingly weightless. I was brutally traumatized by the impact and my body started to rebel almost instantly against the intrusion, throwing wave after wave of pain through me.. I had a similar incident before when I crashed into a stump during my senior year, so this is why last week I needed tree removal I was sure to ask for stump removal as well, as I am quite traumatized about leaving stump behind anyway…

I had to take inventory. I registered that I had landed and was still alive; that was a good thing! The first thing I asked about was my bike of course, and then all that mattered was the pain jumping up and down in my legs like mexican jumping beans. My mouth was very dry and I was beginning to sweat. I was going into shock. All I wanted to do was straighten my legs, but I struggled out of my jacket instead and took my rings off in case my hands started to swell. I had dislocated my thumb, but that was minor compared to the rest of me. I thought if I could only straighten my legs they would feel ok. Little did I know just how lucky I was to be ok! On to the next

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