Jackass 6: The Old Lady Edition

Alex:  So… Is it too early to start calling you “Dumbass”?

From my Admin guy, as he drove me to the emergency room Tuesday morning.

i rode the motorcycle to work – gorgeous day for it.  Took a carefully planned route, not a bit of trouble.  Felt great.  Went to park it in the motorcycle lot, and as i did a slow u-turn to park it?  Dropped it.  Managed to jump off in time.

Turns out?  it’s a heavyfuckingbike, and there was no way i was going to pick it up myself — doesn’t mean i didn’t try a couple of times.

Fortunately, help arrived soon — the organizational motorcycle safety rep pulled in and helped me get it righted.  He stayed with me for a few minutes. Because he knew i felt like a total dumbass, he proceeded to tell me of all the times he’s dropped bikes and said it’s part of the learning process.  i was just embarrassed, and furious at myself for the fuck up…

Collected my gear and got to my desk by 8:30.  Walked downstairs and grabbed coffee, cleared some e-mail, yakked with some folks.  Felt a little dizzy a couple of times.  Didn’t think anything of it.  Figured it was the adrenaline leaving my body.

Somewhere around 9:30, i noticed that my left sock felt sort of wet.  Went to the bathroom to check it out.  Boot was full of blood, and there was a rather disgusting, and large, gash on my left shin.  Bleeding.  A lot.  i didn’t look closely, but thought i might have seen bone.

A brief aside:  i am horribly squeamish.  “Pass out” squeamish.  Well-characterized “pass-out” squeamish.  The sight of my own blood?  Known to knock me down like a feather.

My initial reaction when seeing an open, gaping wound on my leg?  Put down the pant leg.  Go to the sink and wash out the boot.  Yes.  i will need to clean up the boot so i don’t make a mess on the floor at work.

i took off the boot, without lifting the leg of my jeans high enough to see the wound.  Sock?  Bright red.  When i lifted the boot to the sink to rinse it out, blood poured out.  Bits of skin sticking to the laces.

i decided that perhaps this wasn’t the best idea.  Put the boot back on, stuffed some paper towels over the gash.

Walked right past the elevator, and down a flight of stairs.  Went to find Alex, who is one of my closer friends at work, and the first guy i want at my back in a crisis.  He was with the division chief, helping her sort out an issue with her computer.

daisyfae:  Hey, Alex — when you’re done, i need a favor.

Div Chief:  Hey, why don’t you stick around?  I’ve got some things i want to discuss with you about the branch chief job.

daisyfae:  Ummm – i kinda need him to drive me to Urgent Care.  i have a cut that probably needs attention.

Div Chief:  GO!

Alex went to get his car, and said he’d meet me at the parking circle.  i walked back up stairs (yes, again past the elevator) to grab my wallet.  Settling into Alex’s car, i explained what had happened, and what i’d seen on my leg.

He requested that i just keep that pant leg down, as he’s just about as squeamish as i am.  And didn’t want blood on the floorboard of the caddilac.  He drove me to the emergency room at a local hospital instead of ‘doc in a box’ at an Urgent Care center.

He offered to wait, but knowing it would be awhile, i sent him back to the office.  Thirteen stitches.  Tetanus shot.  Antibiotics.  X-rays to make sure i didn’t hit bone (i didn’t).  Doc said “park that motorcycle for at least 2 weeks”.

daisyfae:  What about bike riding?  Elliptical?  Horseback riding?

Doc:  I had to pull that skin very tight to get it back in place.  If you rip these stitches out?  We’re talking skin grafts.

Oh.  Right…

Alex came back at lunch, took me for beer, called me a dumbass, and explained that he’d already worked a plan to get my bike home by truck… Even had a back up plan to have one of the other office bikers drive it home for me.

He put beer in me, made me laugh, dusted me off, patted me on the head, and brought me back to the office.  Where i made it through the afternoon.  A little battered, and stitched together – but mostly looking at a heap of my shattered confidence swept into a pile in the motorcycle parking lot.

What happened?  The left foot peg scraped my left shin as the bike fell.  Amazed that i felt nothing.  For an hour.  Other than a wet sock.  It didn’t hurt — must not have a lot of nerve endings in the ol’ shin.

Studley drove me home, but i was pissed off about leaving the bike.  So i had him drive me back that evening, and i rode it home, with him following in the chase vehicle.

i needed some mojo recovery. Didn’t want to have anyone else drive it home, and couldn’t leave it there through the weekend.   Was a little shaky, but i did it.

Studley stuck around as i washed out the boot. “Holy shit, that’s a lot of blood!  Amazing that you didn’t pass out!”

Lesson learned?  You’re not off the bike until you’re off the bike.  Get back in the parking lots and practice those “Figure 8” slow turns.  Over, and over, and over.

i’m fine.  Could have been a lot worse.  And i can’t wait to ride again.  Off to buy some leather chaps… and practice some “Figure 8’s”.

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68 thoughts on “Jackass 6: The Old Lady Edition

  1. Man, that sucks, DaisyFae. Great job getting back on the iron horse.
    Now don’t get too down on yourself. There’s a reason we all have to practice 8s: they’re really tricky.
    2 stories:
    I dropped the bike in India, trying to get away from some kids throwing rocks. about 15 MPH on dirt and my leg looked like I had taken a swipe at it with a cheese grater. Of course, I was wearing shorts and a tee-shirt and flip-flops… Left a flip flop behind and just got out of there, leaving a trail of drips.
    When I was about 11, my dad, with me on the back of his Honda 750 4, came to a stop in traffic in Rome, and lost his balance, and laid the bike on its side, very gently. Being about 145 pounds, and with only little me to help, he couldn’t stand it back up without some help from a nearby motorist. Pretty funny.
    Take care, be well, and don’t pull out the stitches!

    • Thanks, Yogi. i’m finding biker folk to be quite kind, with a strong sense of community… The 8’s were tricky on the small bike i rode in the ‘beginning riders’ course, and on my prior bike, which was only a 360. On a tall 800cc bike? Zoicks! Lots and lots of practice. And perhaps once i’ve gotten to a basic level of proficiency, i’ll consider the advanced riders course…

      i know there are techniques for picking up a bike alone — backwards, put your butt on the seat, push with your legs… i want to learn. because when you drop it? all you wanna do is get it righted and get outta there!

  2. can we call you dumbass now? dumbass. how many times do we get to call you dumbass? dumbass. oh, wait…just noticed it’s a capital “D” dumbass…Dumbass.

    On a self-deprecating note, when i dropped my new-to-me bike the first time out on the road, i, too, was absolutely furious with myself. and bruised the hell out of various body parts. you’re not alone.

    Heal!

    • Please. Call me DUMBASS (all caps). And remind me to practice. Practice, practice, practice.

      Maybe this is a rite of passage. Could have been worse, i suppose. The bike is fine…

        • just noticed this morning that the exhaust pipe is pretty scuffed up. grrr…. guess we’ve both got battlescars now. suppose she can tell stories about it to the other motorcycles in the parking lot when we’re out and about.

  3. You got back on that bike before one day of the two weeks were up???? I should put you over my knee and spank you!
    Well, I would if I hadn’t done much the same back in my silly years on my two wheeler!
    And perhaps try walking the bike around so you become accustomed to its balance points. 15mph figure eights are all very well, but eventually you have to get off.
    I will not talk about the day I drove it with 14 people on board!

    • Yeah. Because i was afraid that if i waited 2 weeks before getting on it again? There’d not be a shred of mojo left in my body to recover. Thinking about putting on a shin guard and going for a ride today.

      i just need more ‘ass in seat’ time. But feel free to spank me! That’s always welcome!

      please tell me there are pictures from the ’14 riders’ moment! i saw a family of 6 on a scooter in Vietnam, and thought that was excessive…

      • No pics unfortunately. Just the memory from around – oops – 48 years ago – yes, a scooter (Lambretta) plus a lot of ice skaters with some gymnastic abilities. They were hanging all over with a pyramid of 9 in front of me 🙂 It wasn’t considered real until I drove around 20 yards with them all on board 🙂

        • ice skaters?!?!? in a pyramid? on the handlebars?!?!?! That is straight-up badassery! and i concur… it doesn’t count unless you drive it… wow!

        • OK…I bow out.
          I was one of 10 perched on a scooter once. We did what we called “wall of death” around a phone box several times.I think beer may have been involved…

    • Confidence – but tempered with a bitchslap of reality. Was actually going to ride to the local market today, but it was chilly. May be a little too soon – even if i wear leather and cover up with a shin guard….

  4. Wow. That sort of reminds me of my shin when I hit the sauna deck. Only I didn’t require stitches. Glad you are okay.

    And no, you don’t have a lot of nerves in your shin. Think of where it is, and the fact that it is the thing that takes a lot of the brunt during life, evolutionarily speaking it doesn’t make a lot of sense to over-neuronize such a spot. Most of your major nerves run deep under the thick calf muscles in back.

    • i didn’t even feel it when the doc was jabbing me with needles to numb it up before she sewed it… it really isn’t that bad, but was a great reminder not to get cocky.

        • she was pretty hot! and you know me well, dear lady! she was maybe 40, cute glasses, and nice hands. she wiggled my toes and commented on how nice it was to see a good pedicure on a motorcycle victim for a change!

    • speaking of ‘crazy mad insane’, i’m STILL pissed at the wordpress happiness engineers… have gotten many e-mails from people who can no longer comment. grrr…..

  5. Ouch.

    Those (bigger) bikes are pretty heavy. Dad was in the RCMP back in the late fifties. During his time in traffic, he did a stint on a bike. One time, as he finished writing up a speeding ticket to motorist, his bike fell over. He knew he couldn’t lift it back himself so he asked the recently ticketed guy to give him a hand. “F*** you” was the response as the motorist drove off. Dad had to radio for someone to come out and help him. A bit embarrassing it was, methinks.

    At nearly 71, Mom still thinks she will someday ride her Harley XL1200 around. She only reluctantly admits to the significant bruising she’s suffered down the insides of both legs as a result of not being strong enough to hold that heavy bugger up. Sigh.

    Here’s to a speedy recovery and healing process. Good thing it’s only March. Still got a lot of summer left yet. Practice, practice, practice!

    • there’s a technique to picking one up. motorcycle safety guy talked me through it – and said i should learn it. although my bike is about 525 pounds (not the heaviest) it has a slight disadvantage that the center of gravity is higher than with the cruisers, who sit low and wide…

      one of my major criteria for a bike is the ability to put my feet down flat on the ground when stopped. This one doesn’t allow me much bend in the knee, but i can get the feet down solidly. i’ve seen people standing on tip-toes at stoplights. that’s just nuts.

      the wider bikes (like the XL1200) are going to be tough for someone short… even though they’re low, they’re wide… and yes… practice, practice, practice, practice, practice… and then practice some more…

  6. Oh! I was afraid of this!
    I’m glad you weren’t hurt worse…although, your shin looks…well, not good.
    You’re such a badass…sorry for the lingo. I do admire you!
    Take it easy, and try to have a safe weekend!

    Jeannie

    • i think “dumbass” is more accurate than “badass”… for every one of my more physical hobbies? there is a little risk. and each one of them has resulted in an injury.

      bicycling? when i switched to locking pedals, it took a few rides before i learned to get my feet out quickly and avoid falling. scuba? yep. a few minor misadventures during my early experiences scared me badly. horseback? nearly being launched off the back of a horse reminded me of the importance of a helmet. skiing? first time out, during a lesson, wrenched my knee enough to need surgery a few months later…

      each of these injuries have taught me to keep training, wear safety gear, and practice, practice, practice. and never, ever, get complacent… i’m hoping this is the worst that happens with the motorbike. and i’m glad to have gotten it out of the way!

    • i don’t know about tough. i’m sticking with ‘dumbass’. figure if i’m goin to post all of the things i do that turn out well, i need to be honest and post the ugly bits, too. didn’t mean to scare you!

  7. Ouch! The drop is maybe an unavoidable part of the learning curve, but the injury is just bad luck.

    I dropped my first bike (a Honda Nighthawk 750 – a very top heavy bike) doing a slow speed drill at the intermediate MSF class. I was soooo angry with myself, especially when I saw I’d somehow dented the tank with my knee!

    I full on crashed my second bike (a 2002 Honda VFR800) riding over my head and panicking in a hard, downhill, left turn. The bike was totaled but I was wearing all the gear and came through just a little battered and rattled. I rode it the 160 miles home.

    Come to think of it, I’d also previously dropped that VFR . . . twice. It must’ve had an unusually strong attraction to the tarmac.

    Anyhow, take it easy on that leg but I surely understand the need to ride. 🙂

    • yes. you get it. Nighthawk was another candidate for the replacement ride, but thie price was right on this one! i like your idea that the drop is inevetible, but the wounds are bad luck. i dropped my CB360 a couple times, but avoided injury. maybe something to that…

      i am still a seriously puckered rider – especially when it comes to downhill curves! people ask when i’m going on a long road trip? it’ll be a few years, and a few thousand miles, before i’ll be confident enough to tackle mountain roads…

      glad you’re ok. the safety gear makes a difference. i’ve added leg leathers to the riding rig…

  8. Re, annoying WordPress: I couldn’t log in either, I went back and found a test WP account which I am now happily posting from. Took awhile to figure that out, tho. I’ve had several times here and there that I couldn’t throw in my 2 cents worth and was surprisingly annoyed. So, WP site that I don’t use.

    • as i was preparing to ignore the doctors orders and ride it home, i actually said to Studley “Hey, skin grafts may not be so bad. Maybe they’ll take a bunch from my bellyfat!”

    • thanks, ginger! this one is going to be pretty funny — definite divot in the shin, along with a perfect upper plate bite! i can claim zombie with bad navigation skills couldn’t find my brain, cranky geriatric threw dentures at me, or invent something to do with an angry midget…

  9. OW!
    Dumbass ….. or is it jackass?! 😉

    I’m just glad you were able to jump off before you dumped it.
    I’ve seen what happens when you don’t; NOT pretty!
    How’s Trixie?(yes, I saw the bike and Trixie was the name that popped in my head)
    Get thee some chaps. 🙂

    • how about ‘dumb jackass’? that covers both bases…

      “Trixie”? i like it! especially since she dumped me once after living with me for less than a week!

      chaps? check. that was first order of business yesterday morning…

  10. I loved your equisitely understated request that Alex might like, at some point in the future, to consider a request for a leisurely drive to the hospital 🙂 Have you English blood in you somewhere? (Or a little less of it now)?

    Get well soon and get back on that bike asap!

    • There is (was?) a few drops from the House of Lancaster coursing through these veins. But that’s pretty diluted by the Sicilian Redneck blood that makes me a bit of a hot-headed dumbass most of the time…

  11. Jaysus! baby, you got to watch yo ass. Is this going to put a crimp in any upcoming travel? Well, glad you’re okay but that’s gross. At least it’s a great story. Dumped a motorcycle sounds a hell of a lot better than fell down the stairs.

    • fortunately, my legs aren’t much to look at anyway… no immediate travel plans affected, but have to let this heal fully to make sure i’m good to go in a few weeks… i’ve fallen down stairs, too. even the worst shit is better if you can get a good story out of it…

  12. First let me say i’m glad you’re alright… now let me state that i more than most have done alot of dumb crazy shit in my life, don’t think i need to explain that to you but there is one thing i won’t do and that’s get on a motorcylce, sure i’ve ridden my bicycle so high on acid i couldn’t feel my legs but motorcycles, no way, i know people love ’em but that shit’s crazy.

    • of all of the ‘nay-sayers’, who tell me that i shouldn’t do this because it is dangerous? i’ve always dismissed it.

      however, if Sir Kono of the ‘Burgh says “That shit’s crazy”? ok. now i’m paying attention… that’s a powerful statement…

  13. Holy Cow! Now I’ve never ridden a bike, apart from once aged about 14 a mate let me try his little 50cc scooter thing out. Yamaha FSI I think it was. I rev it engage gear and let the clutch out and … zoom across a (luckily empty) car park, wheelie it, it a wall and tumble off backwards. Only ever ridden pilion since then… but now this year I’m 50 so of course to prove I’m still a virile young at heart guy I’m thinking of doing a direct access course (2 weeks and you are on the road with a licence) with my son who is now over 21 and can go the same route – he wants a 2nd hand harley!…

    Thank you since you have shown me that the danger is not falling off at 100 mph trying to impress the young girl in the sportscar – I’ll break my leg getting it out the garage!

    Sanity returns – I’m an old fart I should accept that gracefully – I revoke my membership to the Crotchy Rocketeers with immediate effect!

    • it’s good to be cautious. knowing the risk is the first step to managing it. but you may want to go ahead and take the course with your son. doesn’t mean you have to ever ride a motorcycle again….

      one of the guys in my class was doing just that – he wanted to see if he liked riding a motorcycle, and wisely decided that the only way to find out was to do it…. he decided, after the course, that he did NOT like it, and said at least he had an asnwer.

      something to think about. you can be an honorary ‘rocketeer’ regardless!

    • i believe this. the journey becomes something very different. the route must be planned. potholes and gravel are not an annoyance, but potentially limb-breaking hazards. i have a degree of alertness that i can’t maintain any other way…

      it’s tiring, and i can’t go for more than 45-60 minutes without a break. it works my body harder than i ever imagined. and my brain.

      thanks for the link — love it!

  14. Ow! Ow! Ow! Wish I coulda been there to sew it up for you. I’m getting better. Could have stuck in some embroidery stitches.

    I’m not surprised you didn’t feel it at first. Sometimes when your body gets well and truly shocked, the affected part hunkers down with its little finger shins in its finger ears. I once stuck my hand through a fan and thought I’d come through unscathed. I started reading the paper and finally saw the blood soaking through.

    • hadn’t thought to ask the doc for something crafty… maybe if there’d been more skin she could have made it look like a butterfly or something!

      adrenaline was a factor… but almost a week into the healing process, and it still doesn’t really hurt. the colors are quite spectacular, though! looks like it got put in a meat grinder. or a fan… (ouch!)

    • Already been back out on the motorbike – but my pucker-factor is somewhat elevated. it will take awhile before i can claim ‘hardcore’. but i now wear black leather chaps, for protection. And they make me walk funny… Let’s ride, sister!

  15. Daisy Fae ~ back on same day …. sweet !
    I agree w/ your statement on riding classes – been riding since I was a toddler (dirt) and street since 16 (many moons past) but the riding class helped me ID some bad habits, and break them. Lastly, I too hear quite often “it’s dangerous, why ride a mudercycle ?” ‘CAUSE IT’S FUN, SO GO SOD OFF ! ” ….. but with a : )* of course … cheers

    • welcome back! i’m planning to do the intermediate class, once i’ve gotten more seat time on the new bike. i totally agree – ‘because it’s fun’ is a perfectly fine answer! i’m insured.

    • i’m still going with “dumbass”. i sit every morning, unwrap, clean, repackage, and re-wrap a big ol’ hole in my leg. this is going to continue for at least a couple more weeks. it seems to be healing. but it’s gnarly. looking forward to scar tissue.

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