Firearms Friday: Resurrecting a $79 Rifle, Part II -- Range Report
August 21, 2014
"Learner" Licenses Coming to Your State? They Should.
July 29, 2014
Rules for Buying a Motorcycle on Craigslist, Part 1: The Hunt
September 1, 2014
Bouncing Back from a Motorcycle Crash
January 18, 2015
Well, it's been two months and my separated shoulder has healed as well as it's going to. It still looks kinda funky but it's all cosmetic so who cares? As for the bike, it needed a new headlight and light mount and the forks were twisted. I repaired all that myself so the financial cost was minimal. But there has been one unexpected cost: A giant withdrawal from my confidence account.
I rode my bike to my last doctor's appointment, expecting him to tell me my shoulder was fine, which he did. About half a mile from the house I hit some wavy pavement I have negotiated scores of times without even thinking about it or noticing it. But this time my stomach sank, I took a death grip on the handlebars and my eyes lasered to the pavement directly in front of the bike. I broke out of it and refocused before anything bad happened, but I got close enough to the edge of the pavement to be a little worried.
What the hell was that? I hadn't done something that noobish in a couple years. It was like the last 30,000 miles of riding had never happened. Since then I've had one or two similar events. Once I saw the pattern I realized I had to do something before I really did screw the pooch. If you find yourself a little quavery after an accident, you might try this:
1. Decide Whether to Keep Riding
Whatever you do, take heed of what your brain is trying to tell you. Your post-accident mental state has caused an erosion in your skills. You can take this as a warning to stop riding, or you can see it as a challenge to become better than you ever were. There's no shame in quitting. If it's not for you, it's not for you.
2. Find Ye a Large Empty Parking Lot…
…and go through the drills. Yeah, I know, you're too experienced, too cool to do this. Just shut your yap and do it. Do slaloms, slow u-turns and slow figure eights until you can't take it anymore. Then do some more. After that try some quick stops from increasing speeds, but don't go wild with it.
3. Ride with a Friend
Have an experienced motorcyclist ride behind you through various road types and have them critique you.
4. Get Out There As Much As Possible
You need to build more riding memories so your most recent one isn't the accident. With the accident memories pushed to the back you'll find yourself drawing on your new, better practiced experience instead of reliving the wipeout every time you hit a pothole.
I haven't made it to number four because first the holidays and now winter has hit. But come the warm weather, I will be out there, with more confidence and better skills. You can bank on it.