MadTV: The journal

Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead
08/02/2006
I've been trying to write this post for over two weeks now, every time I start it something distracts me or a wave of apathy overwhelms me; I guess because it's painful to write.

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to take a Friday off and as the weather was beautiful I decided to have a ride out to the east of England. I always head North, West or South so it seemed high time to try East.

For those who know out towards Lincolnshire I rode to Boston on the A607 and the A52. I had a lovely ride, the sun was shining and the roads I'd chosen were as good as expected. The road surfaces were generally poor being covered in winter muck, farm mud and water from the morning dew so I was being quite careful during the journey.

I had a look around Boston when I got there and I found it a pleasant little town with a charming church in its centre that dominates the fens in those parts. If I get around to it I'll post some pictures for you guys.

On the way home the roads were drying nicely but still I was cautious, it's the kind of area where a tractor lurks round every blind corner. As I approached familiar road names I was looking for the A46 that would in turn deposit me on the M1. I found a roundabout with a branch sign posted A46 and I took it. What I didn't know was that soon after the roundabout was a slip road onto the '46. Only as I drew level with the slip road did I realise it was the road I needed. That's when I made the schoolboy error of a snap decision. I braked and leaned over to get into the slip road which meant I entered the road on the far right... where piles of gravel and general road crap had been accumulating for years. There was nothing I could do, one minute I was upright, braking and turning at about 35 mph the next I was lying on the ground with a bike on my left leg. I have no recollection of going from upright to prone, it felt instantaneous.

Now I'm ok, pretty bruised and battered (and I spent last week unable to turn my head right) but I think my beautiful Kawasaki Z750 is dead; it's with the insurers right now being assessed. The forks are twisted and bent, the front wheel is bent and lots of the plastics are cracked. I'd love them to repair it but I'm not hopeful.

The lesson I've learnt is don't make snap decisions. If your forward planning and observation have failed you, accept your wrong-road fate; it's better to turn around than to bin it. Another lesson learned...

Mad

sparx
My God Man!! Two bikes in a year? We'll have to start calling you Ruben Xaus next.

Seriously though, i'm glad you're not hurt this time. And at least you've still got a bike to ride, unlike poor ole' me. Let's hope the Zed isn't as bad as it looks.

Tip for you. The insurance company will probably write it off. Depending on the catagory get the bike back off them and repair it yourself. I'm saving a fortune doing mine that way. It's just taking a while is all.
Date Added: 10/02/2006

Mad
I know, two in one year is not looking good. In my defence because I haven't driven or ridden all my adult life till now I'm doing all the daft mistakes 17 year olds make now. Cheers for the advice Sparx, I might try that if the frame isn't bent and I can get my mate Simbo (who's a mechanic) to help.
Date Added: 10/02/2006

Gone Away
Thing is, it seems that every lesson learned comes at the expense of another bike written off and a few more scrapes and bruises on the old bodily protuberances. Couldn't you get a push bike or something and practise on that? Or, better still, buy a PC game of bike racing and find out what they do from that? Sorta like a flight simulator...
Sparx's advice looks good to me - can't see the frame being bent unless the bike hit something solid.
Date Added: 10/02/2006

Mad
Not every lesson Dad and I am a little unlucky to have written off a bike this time. If the front wheel hadn't slid into a kerb the crash bungs I'd fitted would have soaked up most of the damage. Every day I ride I learn lessons but the biggies that have cost bikes were: Don't ride beyond the limits of the conditions and don't make late decisions. As for getting a bicycle? Yeah that's likely considering I've only just discovered the internal combustion engine! Plus when it comes to the games (TT races on the PS2) I can wheelie, stoppy and get my knee down but it doesn't seem to help me on the road... :p
Date Added: 10/02/2006

Gary Charpentier
Ahhh, well thank you for easing my suspense.

For what it's worth, nine years ago, I was a hotshot, licensed amatuer roadracer on a Ducati 900SS, when I made the bike street-legal and went down to Owatonna to visit my in-laws.

It is dreadfully, terribly boring down there. Farm country, with the usual grid pattern roads. So I amused myself by running up to 140 mph down the straights and grabbing hard brakes to take the 90° corners at about 60.

Farm trucks, tractors, and the like, tend to drop agricultural falderol all over the roads. Any fool knows that.

This fool didn't. Not at 140 mph. I grabbed brakes to take a left, aimed at the apex, and promptly lost the front end at about 70 mph, flipping end-over-end into a farmer's freshly harvested field. I'm still picking corn-stalk fibers out of me arse.

Welcome to the club, mate.

Ride well (in the future),
=gc=


Date Added: 11/02/2006

Mad
Gary, ouch! That's a real sky/ground/sky/ground/ crash. The Duc was rebuilt wasn't it? In other words it's the one I've seen a picture of in your cafe racer journal?
Date Added: 11/02/2006

Gary Charpentier
Oh yes. I rebuilt that bike twice over. Once after the Turn One crash at BIR, and then later after the cornfield crash. It was never the same after that one. Getting the frame straight was tough. I sold it shortly after that.


As I've said before, these things happen when you are constantly pushing the envelope. It's just something you have to accept, until you get too old and stiff to risk it anymore. I'm pretty much there now, methinks.
Date Added: 12/02/2006

MIck
NOOOOOOOOooooooo!
At least yer alright.
Try not to do it again. Please.
Date Added: 02/03/2006

Mad
Sadly, yes Mick... But yeah, I walked away from this one. I really really have no intention of ever doing that again.
Date Added: 02/03/2006

soos
i got my kneedown on a bicycle for 10 secondsthen i fell off broke my nose 1 arm and fracture mi skul
it hurt trust me!!!!!!
Date Added: 20/04/2006

Mad
Ouch Soos! I don't think knee down is a good idea without full leathers and lid...
Date Added: 31/05/2006

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