NHS Complaint to Bromsgrove MIU

NHS Complaint to Bromsgrove MIU

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The online feedback form I left on the NHS website should pretty much explain this one.

My answer to the question before, “What could be done to improve your visit for next time?” was: Get the nurse to wind her neck in.

“How likely would you be to recommend our service to friends and family?”

Very unlikely.

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“Please tell us why you gave that answer?”

Oh, ok then… *takes a deep breath*

I was told to go to x-ray and MIU by my GP with a suspected wrist/scaphoid injury following a racing car crash a week ago, where my open wheeled car had collided with another car, torquing my hands around with the steering wheel (and launching me 3ft in the air before another heavy landing, if you want all the exciting details).

The x-rays thankfully showed no fractures, and I dutifully booked in to MIU as advised. I do not like hospitals or doctors, hence me having waited a week in considerable pain from my injuries, but was extremely pleasant to all staff, especially after the x-ray as I was happy that nothing was broken. I am aware this pleasantness and cheery attitude may have been interpreted to mean I was not in pain – when in fact I would have rated my pain on this visit at a 7/10.

The student nurse who saw me very quickly advised as it was a soft tissue injury there was likely nothing more that they could do as the preferred method is not to strap up such injuries. This was absolutely fine with me, as was the quite long subsequent wait as she went to seek advice from a nurse. The wait was also fine, as I was by no means a priority case and fully understood others needed staff attention.

A blue uniformed nurse then returned to me pushing a trolley load of attitude before her, making her impatience with me extremely clear as she asked me – yes ME – why I was there. Somewhat confused by this, I told her the GP had told me I should go to MIU after my x-ray. She snapped on about x-ray being the ones who would refer me to MIU – which may well be the case, but I don’t see how I’d become the naughty schoolboy?

After answering “I don’t know?” when she asked what they were supposed to do, she then dug her thumbs into what I believe is known as the ‘snuff box’ area of my wrist.

I’m not sure how she then managed not to notice my hissed intake of breath through bared teeth, but declared instantly that I wasn’t in any pain (Really?? I’d have rated that a good strong 9, thank you very much!!!) before stroppily lecturing me that I would need a serious bone deficiency to have any chance of a scaphoid injury in that type of incident.

If I wasn’t so shocked by this whole damning onslaught, I would have corrected her that it is, in fact, one of the most common injuries of open wheel racing drivers in exactly this type of incident, but still trying to hold onto my relief I thanked her (not even sarcastically, because I’m apparently too polite a person for such hateful interactions!), and left.

Having been very worried when my GP advised scaphoid injuries could cause major complications such as necrosis, I realised I should have been more willing to seek medical advice sooner – but after meeting Blue Nurse from MIU, I’m back to thinking I’d be better off with a staple gun, duct tape, and staying away from corrosive moody people to solve my medical needs.

I am actually sorry for wasting your time, as if I’d known there was no after care I’d have just gone back to work sooner. But I don’t know that – and I feel that it’s the job of Blue Nurse and her ilk to advise me. Nicely.

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Eff Yoo, Friday 13th

Eff Yoo, Friday 13th

I’m not superstitious.

So when the radio this morning advised that statistically there are more car accidents on Friday 13th than any other day, I pretty much ignored it.

Riding into Birmingham I’d done 90% of the journey when I thought “I’ve done this without any kind of incident!” – before a car pulled straight out in front of me at the very next roundabout!

I had both cameras running, so figured at least I’d have some interesting footage from it…

Except when I arrived at work I found the helmet camera had switched itself off having filled the memory card around 10 mins before Death tried to put me over his side.  The Veho on the bike would still have a great angle on it, though!

But the other camera only gave me a corrupt file that I can’t view!  Argh!

Later, I did some minor servicing work on the bike with the petrol tank off.  Everything went smoothly, and I had it all back together quickly, grabbed a sammich from a local shop, and headed back home from the garage.

I’d got a mile or so before the bike started feeling a bit strange.  I checked the reserve switch, but the engine cut out.

Figuring I’d had the fuel switched off, I gave it full choke and the engine started again.  Dropping the choke back to idle it cut out and died again.  Full choke and it started again, and then even cut out on choke, and this time wouldn’t start at all.

I sat on a handy bench to chomp my sammich thoughtfully, trying to work out what I could have cocked up – or more likely, as with every job I’ve ever done on this bike, what major, crippling destruction had randomly befallen the GPZ500 this time after I’d done a simple job on it.

I was getting full spark and could hear the fuel pump, but didn’t have any spanner to get the tank off, so had the lovely prospect ahead of me that I’d have to push the bike back a few miles to the garage…

And this is the hottest day of the year so far (hotter than in Brazil, don’tcherknow)!  And of course I’m in full protective kit as always, with the added bonus of a pair of denim jeans under my leathers because I’d been at work!

Luckily, I hadn’t got far before a biker pulled over to see if he could help.  I asked if I could jump on the back and he could take me to the garage to grab some tools to get my tank off again, which he happily did – you have to love the biking commuinity!

He was on some Suzuki big cruiser-type bike – it’s actually my first ever ride on a cruiser in my 14 years of biking, albeit only as a pillion passenger.

After grabbing tools and getting back to my GPZ, I thanked Cruiser Rider for saving my life, and got to spannering.

It was actually an easy fix – trapped fuel line where I’d mover the position of the main wiring loom – so I sorted it all out quickly and went home for a shower!

So I’m not actually dead or anything, but it hasn’t been the best Friday 13th, either.  Maybe there is something in it, after all?

How To Deal With A Crash

How To Deal With A Crash

When you ride a bike, it happens.  At some point you’ll either lose it all on your own, hit a filthy great slick of deisel, or some cock-rag will drive their car into you.

Someone (mrtommygunwhite) from the motovlog.com forum asked for advice on what really happens during the whole crashing process, and so I did my best to answer:

At the time:

Enjoy it!  Seriously.  Crashing is a Hell of a lot of fun!  I remember my first ever crash (highsided my TZR going towards a roundabout), and when I was flying in mid-air I saw the astonished faces of two Policemen in their car coming towards me!

Or sliding down the road at high speed once you’ve come off.

Or locking both wheels of my RGV250R for the 4th time, totally sideways, as I tried to avoid the huge spikey truck that had pulled out and stalled in the road ahead, and then getting flipped off and between the wheels of the truck.

Sure, it hurts, but in that moment, and looking back afterwards, it’s a unique experience.  WHEEEEEEEE!!! 

The only worry I’ve had is to try and keep my helmet from smashing against the road (they’re expensive!), and if you know you’re going to flip or roll get your limbs in so they don’t flail about and come off.

Just after:

Yeah, it’s not so brilliant from here on in.  My first thought is normally “Nooooo – not my bike!!!” and getting to is ASAP to pick it up and assess the damage.

Next it’ll be what’s missing from me.  If it’s a bad one (actually, you should ALWAYS do this first) just stay the fk down.  Have a nice lie down for a while and see if you’re still breathing.  Have a little bit of a gentle wiggle to see if anything hurts.  Then have a look and hope your toes aren’t in front of your visor, or anything daft.

If you’re not hurt, then try and control any rage so you don’t rip someone out of their car window and beat them to death with their own gouged-out eyeballs. 

A car pulled out on me on an island, and I banked it over and thudded into the side of her, somehow staying upright and still on the bike (which was written off for front suspension damage).  I was -ing livid, and have absolutely no doubt I’d have pounded the dumb bints face so badly she’d look like a dropped pasty.  Luckily, she only stopped about 50 yards down the road, and I’d have looked pretty damned stupid running all that way just to get to her.  I shouted lots, though.

Dealing with the fear, i.e. the nightmares

This can be bad, but remember they ARE just nightmares!  Afterwards I’d often jump off the bloody bed thinking I’d crashed again, or locked the front etc.

I do think it’s good to get back on a bike ASAP, but when you do you should take it easy, rather than going at it full-on straight away.  It’ll take a while to build up your confidence again.

Weirdly, BEFORE a few of my crashes I’ve had dreams for a few weeks before it happened.  Like dreams of losing the front on the brakes before someone did a U-turn and I did indeed lock up the front and go down.

In that crash, back in January 2008, that is all I remember.  I was filtering, saw a cars wheels turn before he immediatley floored it and pulled out.  I hit the brakes HARD, remember losing the front (not that I had a chance of stopping at that distance)…. and then I was sliding down the road on my back.  I even remember trying to hold my head up (it was a Shoei!) and just giving up, letting my head drop because I figured I was probably an ambulance case.

How did I get through a solid car?  Did my body actually hit the car?  I have no idea, and to be honest I’m not sure I really want to have that memory come back…

Oh, and remember your adrenaline will be through the roof after a crash, and you may not notice broken ribs and stuff for hours afterwards.  Get theeself to hospital if there’s any doubt (a chest impact could do heart damage that will kill you hours or days later etc).  And remember you WILL be in serious pain the next day, even if you think you feel fine at the time.

And finally the people who are out to get us – the trolls:

They’re not!  They’re all just regular people who have brain-dead moments.

Take a walk around a supermarket and note how people park their trolleys in the most stupid and selfish places, or push them without any kind of awareness of their surroundings.  That’s pretty much how most people drive.

Getting Into A Huge Car Crash

Getting Into A Huge Car Crash

Car Crash Picture

This morning on my commute I very nearly totalled my car in a nasty way.

The dual carriageway from Bromsgrove to Redditch is full of braindead, selfish morons on the best of days. When they’re not driving at 50mph on one of the safest 70mph roads in existence, they’re sat in the overtaking lane refusing to move back to the left hand lane – adn sometimes they’re doing both of these together! Either way, they’re too busy doing fuck-knows-what to be aware of anybody around them or to LOOK before doing stupid stuff.

Crashes are frequent, although I’ve never witnessed one so have no idea just how they manage it.

Today I very nearly found out first hand…

At least one other morning this week I passed some big yellow steel heavy plant vehicle thingy, which was crawling along in the left hand lane doing, by my estimation, less than 20mph.

Of course, all the idiots don’t notice this until the last second, and everyone slams on their brakes and pulls quickly out into the overtaking lane without any thought for car travelling at high speed who have the right of way in that lane. I thought it looked very dangerous and wondered if it’s even legal to have something going that much slower without a Police escort or something?

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Well this morning I was in that overtaking lane taking a somewhat treacherous left hand bend (past the infamous Cloverleaf junction, funnily enough) doing at least 70mph when brake lights of cars ahead started coming on.

Thanks to the kind of observation skills you only get from years of riding motorbikes, I saw this all nice and early and was already quite hard on the brakes expecting the couple of cars behind The Yellow Thing to swerve around it and cut me up.

The car immediatly behind The Yellow Thing as I approached seemed to have braked down to the same speed of The Yellow Thing (i.e. under 20mph) as I closed on them still on the brakes just in case… and then the retarded motherfucker pulled straight out in front of me, even though I could see he had a good few car-lengths gap to The Yellow Thing.

I slammed on the brakes still mid-corner as hard as I could, locking up as I tried to scrub off around 30-50mph in the very short distance he’d left me with, with the car slewing sideways on the brakes.

I still had control of the car even at this jaunty angle, but I remember thinking “There is absolutely nothing more I can do here” as I had to wait to see if I’d stop in time or I’d plough into the back of the car…

Thankfully, the Cock-Knuckle in the car then pulled back into the left hand lane, as he was blatantly doing less than The Yellow Thing even though he’d pulled out(!!?!), and I got off the brakes and got myself pointing in the right direction again.

Looking over at Cock-Knuckle as I passed, he did that thing where they stare directly ahead and don’t even dare to acknowledge your existence. THAT makes me want to rip their fucking throats out!

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It’s the only time so far I’ve come close to crashing a car, and I have to say I’m accrediting that to the advanced driving I did as soon as I passed my test only a year and a half ago. I’m pretty happy sliding a car and getting it out of shape, and if I wasn’t then I think that one would have been me done-for! If you haven’t done it already GET YOURSELF BOOKED ONTO A SKID CONTROL COURSE!!! I can’t say it enough, because it will save your life!

Spending some time in a kart is also excellent practice and you can get it out of shape fairly safely so you get used to controling it.

As ever, it’s Sods Law that this was the one day I didn’t have the bloody camera running in the car – so unfortunately I can’t upload the video of it all. Hopefully I won’t ever get to repeat it, so you never will see it!

Afterwards, I thought about what would have happened had I been on the bike as I’d considered doing? Would I have been going faster? Could I have stopped as quickly without losing the front end (and bouncing over curbs into the oncoming traffic)?

Would I have tried going for the gap between Cock-Knuckle and The Yellow Thing and been taken out as Cock-Knuckle pulled back in?

What if someone had been behind me, if I’d been on either vehicle?

One thing I do know is that The Yellow Thing is going to cause a major accident…

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Simoncelli Fatal Moto GP Crash – RIP Sideshow Bob

Simoncelli Fatal Moto GP Crash – RIP Sideshow Bob

I woke up late today, having missed the Moto GP race from Malaysia which was screened in the early hours of this morning, and logging onto Facebook was shocked to the core to see a lot of statuses saying that 24 year old Italian racer Marco Simoncelli was dead.

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Not fully wanting to believe it, I clicked on a link to the video.  If you haven’t seen the one doing the rounds, it shows Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi battling it out.  They come around a right-hander, and just before the exit you see Simoncelli come into shot, hanging off to the right of his bike, obviously in big trouble, and he comes straight across from the left in front of Rossi and Edwards.

You see Edwards brake and try his best to tighten his line, but there’s no chance.  He hits Simoncelli directly in the back just before Rossi, alongside him, also hits him in the head…

It was quite similar to the crash which claimed the life of Shoya Tomizawa in Moto 2 last year.

I’m gutted.

This year I’ve grown to really like Simoncelli, aka Sideshow Bob.  He’s exactly the sort of character that Moto GP needed in an otherwise fairly crap year.  I was fully behind him when he had what was blatantly a ‘racing incident’ with Pedrosa, after which a few of the top riders condemned Simoncelli’s riding style.  For what?  Overtaking?  Racing?  Making the sport exciting again???

I think with him becoming the underdog after this it really sealed it for me – he was a new favourite!

And he was really funny in interviews (not just because of his ridiculously huge hair) – telling Lorenzo after he’d had a whinge that he might have to be arrested.

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He also had one of those distinctive riding styles that was instantly recognisable.  He was a big lad, so against all the other jockey-sized riders it was knees and elbows all over the place – and of course he was FAST!

Without a doubt he’d have been a championship winner.

It’s a very sad day for the sport.  It’s strange how much it’s hit me, considering I don’t really know him.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family – and also to Edwards and Rossi.  I hope they can find peace with themselves through the tragedy.

I’ll miss watching you, Sideshow Bob – ride free, dude!

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EDIT RE FATAL CRASH VIDEO

As mentioned, the first I knew was a Facebook status and a link to the video of the accident.

The video is… a crash video.  Sure, it’s shocking because you know someone lost their life, and being the one to hit them you can bet that Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi are having a very tough time of it.

A lot of people are instantly getting the footage banned when it shows up (hence me not bothering to try and link to it here) saying it’s disrespectful etc… but why?  There’s no disrespect in watching a great riders final moments, and I’m glad I got to see it, because otherwise I wouldn’t believe it – I just wouldn’t know all the facts.  Watch the video and you can see how tragic it was, and how unavoidable.  It was Simoncellis skill at being able to save the lowside on his knee  that took him back across the track, whereas a less skilled rider would have just been in the gravel… and ironically, safe.

If you don’t want to watch it – don’t.  But don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t be able to see.  Censorship is NEVER a good thing.  This happened in front of millions, and if you think your crusade to stop anyone seeing it will work you’re deluding yourself.  Just don’t watch it.  It’s that simple.

I will watch it again, and I’ll feel the loss just as much.  Right now I’m raising a glass to Marco Simoncelli and toasting a great racer.

Road Kill

Road Kill

I’ve hit a few fluffy things on the roads.

There are the inevitable birds which exploded against my helmet or gloves in a shower of feathers, and the rather less common bat who splattered himself over my visor directly in front of my right eyeball (very nearly causing me to jump right off the bike in shock).

Then there was Fluffykins – an unknown cat/smalldog sized lump of squish that I hit one dark Winter night, resulting in the fascinating stench of dead ‘something’ guts cooking on my exahust downpipes for the next few miles.

Considering that’s in easily over 300,000 miles of bike travel (not to mention the few thousand I’ve racked up in the car), that makes my contribution to the UK’s road kill figures rather insignificant.

Which prompts me to wonder, who the Hell is it who’s splattering the entire wildlife population of the Midlands on a nightly basis?

Every morning on my commute I’m riding past the broken and splayed carcasses of everything from badgers, lumpjack deer and unidentifiable large fluffy Things (that in all honesty scare me slightly with their existence), and the numbers of them stagger me!

Are there any left running around out there?  More to the point, how -ing many were out there in the first place?!

And where the Hell do the carcasses go to?  Is there a special Road Kill Recovery Unit, or… is someone eating them?!

Filtering Accident – Insurance Claim Template Letter

Filtering Accident – Insurance Claim Template Letter

For anyone who rides a motorcycle, there will almost inevitably come the time when you’re picking yourself up off the road whilst a car driver utters the words “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you.”

If you regularly filter through traffic (or ‘lane-split’ to you Yanks) as you SHOULD be doing on a bike you’ll have seen that many car drivers do stupid random things even when stuck in traffic.

In my case, it was a car suddenly deciding to do a u-turn directly in front of me…

I remember seeing him pull out very quickly, then I hit the brakes… and then I was sliding down the road on my back.

Of course, the driver claimed he was merely pulling into a farm driveway and so both insurance companies involved insisted it was a 50:50 blame case.

I disagreed, and despite my own insurance company telling me for two years that I couldn’t hope to get more than a 50:50 decision so should settle at that, I carried on fighting, and believe that the following letter was the only thing that won my case completely in my favour.  Some of you may find it useful in whole or in part, so feel free to adapt it and send it in to be forwarded to the other party if you find yourself in a similar insurance dispute.

—-

Ref- xxxxxx

Date Of Incident – xxxxxx

Date of letter –  xxxxxxx

Dear Mr Solicitor-Man,

Further to our previous conversations I feel it may make matters clearer by reference to the Highway Code. I shall compare my road position and manoeuvre with that of the other driver. You will see it is abundantly clear that I was doing nothing wrong and that the driver is entirely to blame.

My Circumstances

I was slowly overtaking a stationary line of traffic, and had already passed at least ten other stationary vehicles in the line.

I refer you to rule 88 of the Highway Code in the section “Rules for Motorcyclists” which reads as follows:

88: Manoeuvring. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before manoeuvring. Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.

Remember: Observation – Signal – Manoeuvre

A number of important points arise from this rule.

1. Note the use of the word WHEN as emphasised in the rule. It does not say “Do not overtake traffic queues” (or words to that effect), or suggest that it is an inappropriate course of action to take. It is clearly not a prohibitive instruction (see for example rule 74 which give prohibitive instructions). This clearly envisages that motorcyclists may, in the normal course of riding, overtake traffic queues.

2. I had already checked my mirrors and glanced behind to make sure nothing was overtaking the traffic queue already.

3. It was only the fact that I was progressing relatively slowly, in order to check for pedestrians who may be crossing between the vehicles making the accident much less serious than it would otherwise have been.

Before I move on, it is probably worth referring to the General rules for motorcyclists set out in rules 83 to 88. Again, I have reproduced these below.

83: On all journeys, the rider and pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter or moped MUST wear a protective helmet. This does not apply to a follower of the Sikh religion while wearing a turban. Helmets MUST comply with the Regulations and they MUST be fastened securely. Riders and passengers of motor tricycles and quadricycles, also called quadbikes, should also wear a protective helmet. Before each journey check that your helmet visor is clean and in good condition.
[Laws RTA 1988 sects 16 & 17 & MC(PH)R as amended reg 4]

84: It is also advisable to wear eye protectors, which MUST comply with the Regulations. Scratched or poorly fitting eye protectors can limit your view when riding, particularly in bright sunshine and the hours of darkness. Consider wearing ear protection. Strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing may help to protect you if you are involved in a collision.
[Laws RTA sect 18 & MC(EP)R as amended reg 4]

86: Daylight riding. Make yourself as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and rear. You could wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous. However, be aware that other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you, or judged your distance or speed correctly, especially at junctions.

You will note that:

1. I had complied with rule 83 by wearing protective clothing, which again helped reduce the seriousness of the accident.

2. I had complied with rule 86 by using dipped headlights. I always ride with dipped headlights as it is considered good practice and safer to do so.

Accordingly, the only conclusion which may be drawn from the above is that I was riding my motorcycle safely and as envisaged by the Highway Code. I cannot, therefore, be to blame in any way for the accident.

Mr Xs Circumstances

I now turn to Mr Xs driving manoeuvre.

I shall compare his manoeuvre to two fairly similar manoeuvres; setting off from rest as he was stationary and making a right turn.

Setting Off From Rest

This is governed by rule 159 of the General Rules for Using the Road. This is reproduced below:

159: Before moving off you should

  • use all mirrors to check the road is clear
  • look round to check the blind spots (the areas you are unable to see in the mirrors)
  • signal if necessary before moving out
  • look round for a final check
  • Move off only when it is safe to do so.

It is quite clear that Mr X failed to undertake all, or more likely any, of the requirements given that the point of impact was the sill of the drivers door.

Turning Right

This is governed by rule 179 of the Road Junction section for Using the Road. This is reproduced below:

The first point to note, however, is that Mr X was not turning right as I approached. He was stationary in a queue of traffic tailing back from a roundabout. Clearly, Mr X does not have the patience to wait for traffic to flow so decided to pull out quickly and aggressively – also stating at the scene when asked if he had seen my headlight that he had not.

Again, however, the emphasis of the first two requirements is on observation and signalling. As set out above, Mr X failed these on both counts.

In addition to this, Mr X’s place of work on this day is approximately one mile in his original direction of travel, with any alternatives from the location of the accident being many times this distance.  I do not believe he had any reason, as he claims, to have been turning right into the private driveway of the farm, other than impatience at being made late for work by the stationary traffic on his direct route, and his sole intention was to perform a u-turn and travel back in the opposite direction.

Accordingly, the only verdict which can be reached from the above analysis of Mr Xs manoeuvre is that it was undertaken without sufficient care and attention to myself and other road users.

Conclusion

Mr X was stationary and I took all reasonable care to overtake a stationary vehicle. I checked before doing so, no right indicator on the car, no mirror checks carried out by Mr X, no wheel turns to indicate movement, and the car remained stationary so I proceeded to overtake.

Mr Xs lack of patience to wait in a queue to move clearly made him decide to take a different route. The issue here is he pulled out without mirror checks or signals, demonstrating that he was driving without due care and attention.  The fact that other road users in the same queue of traffic had observed my approach is clearly indicative that he was not concentrating on what was going on around him.

Mr X cannot be excused for not making the proper checks – what if I were a pedestrian or pedal cyclist? More substantial injuries could have been caused by his inattention.

The relatively superficial damage to both the car of Mr X, and that sustained to my vehicle as reported by the appointed engineer support that my speed was low enough to demonstrate that I was exercising a high duty of care in my riding, and was unable to avoid the situation caused by Mr X.

As shown above, I have followed the road rules clearly and exactly and am in no way responsible for this accident. If Mr X had made all the checks required as shown above or been paying attention he would have been aware of my presence and not moved until I had passed, in which case this accident would not have occurred.

I trust this is sufficient to pass to his insurers.

Regards,

My Super Serious Near Fatal Horrific Death High Speed Bike Crash

My Super Serious Near Fatal Horrific Death High Speed Bike Crash

Some of you lucky buggers from Facebook and TheRevCounter.com may have already heard about this and seen the video…

Last night, after some expert riding where I raced my riding partners Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi (and won), jumped over a medium sized canal, and wheelied for 25 miles non-stop, I pulled off onto a gravel driveway and slowed down to sensible speeds, crawling along with nary a blart coming from my exhaust.

And then this happened:


That’s right – after two and a half years of careful ownership, I’ve only gone and crashed my trusty Kawasaki ZX9R.

You’ll see from where the car pops out that I had no chance, and also that the lady driving it couldn’t possibly have seen me, and so I guess neither of us is at fault.  It was just one of those really unlucky moments where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The wheels locked the second I touched the brakes on the gravel, and somehow I still managed to steer around the back of the car but by that stage the bike was already going down and nothing would stop it.

I think my knee hit the deck, and apart from the standard pulled muscles in my arms etc I seem to have twisted my lower back pretty nastily.

Ah well – I didn’t tear my expensive petticoat or hit the car, and I don’t think I’ve done a serious mischief to myself.  The bike survived well, too – a few scratches on the fairing but no cracks or breaks, and the crash bung seems to have done it’s job well!

You’ll also notice that after the tiny little woman asked me if I could get it up – *blushes* – and I answered “I don’t know, I’ve never tried it with this one” – *cringes* – she heaved the bike upright probably taking more of the weight than I did!

Time for me to read up on techniques for lifting up a fallen bike, methinks!

Weird, because for the last week or so, I’d been getting a feeling like I was going to crash whilst filtering on the bike.  I have uploaded a couple of filtering vids on YouTube to show you Yanks some proper ‘lanesplitting’, so figured it was probably just this on my mind.

I have had premonitions before – for a few days before my last bike accident I actually had dreams of losing the front end on the brakes, and then suddenly some tosser did a u-turn in front of me and I lost the front end on the brakes and nearly splatted myself!

Yes, I’m a Rubberhead, but rest assured my hatred of the modern ‘compensation culture’ ensures that I WON’T be claiming on anyones insurance for either the bike or my injuries.

And all this is even more ironic if you read my very last blog about mechanical sympathy…  Plus it was only around a week ago that I had a full valet done on my bike…  Doh! 

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Losing It

Losing It

Everyone feels like they’re losing it sometimes.

It doesn’t matter what you have – sometimes… well it’s not just that it’s ‘not enough’ or ‘not what you want’.

We all have an ideal plan for life and that never happens.

It’s so easy to fall off.  So easy to twist everything that you hear.  So easy for what you feel to be twisted in your own head so you’re not sure if it IS what you feel anymore, or even if you DO feel.

We hit the lowest points even when we should be flying high – when to some outsider it should look like we have everything.

Life is kind-of about slipping off this comfort zone and questioning yourself and how others perceive you.

If you can’t say you’ve been there then you’re lying.  If you’re not lying then you just haven’t been here yet (you lucky bastard).

You WILL be there because it’s human nature, and a sign that you’re paying attention.  Maybe too much attention?  It’s easily done if you have half a fucking brain – and sometimes I envy those who don’t.

Fear is natural, and that’s not just part of a direct conflict but an ongoing thing.

You can be living well and suddenly The Fear hits you: Your job could be taken away and you’d be fucked…  They don’t love you…  The past you’ve forgotten is catching up to you… Just plain scared that it’s all falling apart!

Well it’s the past and it’s the future so why the Hell do you give a fuck?  You can’t change one and the only person in charge of the other is YOU!

I recently attended a course as a pre-cursor to a Pass Plus course.  To you foreigners that’s a bit like an advanced driving course telling you to slow the fuck down, stop trying to impress, and not to listen to peer pressure.  Not to crash.  Every day loved ones are taken from us, and do you want your last words to them to be something you’ll always have on your conscience, or do you want it to be “I love you”?

People slip every day and I’m scared for them more than I am for myself…

G’wan!  Tell someone you love them and tell someone else who’s taking the energy and trust from your life to go fuck themselves.

There are a lot of people in this world and a lot of those who think they’re losing it are precious in the biggest way to someone.

Don’t let them go without letting them know, and don’t be the one who goes…

Keeping Your Head Cool And Attached

Keeping Your Head Cool And Attached

Friday evening, and despite the rain I was looking forward to a weekend with Lil Boo.

I kitted up and got on my bike, carefully taping on my new MD80 micro DV camcorder to test it.  I wanted to see how the footage of the cheap £15 version compared to the £65 Veho Muvi Pro that arrived the day before.

A few minutes later I was cruising down the dual carriageway, following happily behind a BMW that was lolloping along at 100mph.

As he passed traffic in the left hand lane which was moving at almost the same speed, I followed him through.

As I neared the back of a small red car (let’s call him “Mr Twatbastard”), his indicator flicked on, flashing his intention to move to the right to overtake a car ahead of him.

I clocked this just as he swung directly into the lane where, well… I was!

This happens occasionally because most idiots are blind, ignorant and probably drunk.  Usually, they spot me as they move, and sheepishly move back into their own lane, disaster averted.  Not Mr Twatbastard.

Mr Twatbastard swung ALL the way into my lane.

I reacted and swerved hard right, straightening out as close as I could possibly get to the edge of the road.  I’m talking literally centimetres before the tarmac ended and it was gravel pits that you REALLY wouldn’t want to hit at walking pace, let alone 100mph – with of course razor sharp metal Armco barriers separating my lane from the oncoming traffic.

Now, I’ve seen a lot of crashes where the bike didn’t need to crash.  Most cars drive leaving some kind of gap between them and the curb or any traffic alongside them or oncoming.  In my experience this is usually a big enough gap to fit your bike in if you don’t panic.  If I’d have panicked here I’d have just ridden straight off the road into that barrier…

Instead, having gone as far as I could go, as calmly as I could, I reached out with my left hand and knocked on his drivers window.

I imagine he jumped out of his skin and I hope he died in his sleep that night, but sadly I couldn’t really look at him at that moment – either way it had the desired effect and he fucked off and gave me a bit of room.

Catching it all on the helmet cam would have been better, because you’d have seen my gesticulations and exaggerated clapping at him, but at least I got most of it on camera.

Despite all this, you have to let things like this go.  Well, I say that, but I did think of following him and smashing his stupid face in so badly that even Jimmy Nail would have been sick, but if you’re not going to do that there’s no point staying mad about it.  It’s done – you survived – get over it.  In this case he refused to even look at me after or acknowledge my existence, staring straight ahead and not even glancing at me!

If you don’t let it go you make mistakes…

Thirty seconds or so later I filtered through traffic approaching a busy roundabout.  As I got to the front I had to squeeze past a filthy great big truck.  You have to be careful here, because if they move off and turn you can very easily get squished.  Normally I’d have held back and waited, but still having my Murdering Face on, I chanced it.

As we were both at the front (with him completely blocking my line of sight to approaching traffic), I heard his engine revs rise as if he was quickly pulling away, so I gave it a big handful to beat him and get clear.

As soon as I did this my Spidey Senses were tingling.  I slammed the brakes on just before I cleared the front of the truck (which had now stopped dead again), and of course saw a car heading straight for me.

As the camera is mounted on the handlebars, you can see I used a fair bit of opposite lock as it all slid sideways, and stopped inches before the car sped past:

What more can I say?  That was totally my mistake – and luckily I got away with it.  Keep it safe out there, kids!