A Call for Prayers and Comments

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Ishmael, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Ishmael

    Ishmael Active Member

    It's been six days now and I've been hesitant to post this long but all too familiar refrain. Finally I decided that we can't be reminded too often how very dangerous this grand, enjoyable addiction we suffer from is. The story: a 35 year old "kid" whom I've known all his life (I'm 65) lost his father to cancer a month ago. His dad had a beautiful 03 E-glide classic anniversary edition in mint condition. Joe decided to get his motorcycle permit and ride his dad's bike. He has experience with dirt bikes and ATVs only. I saw him pull into the local service station/convenience store last Thursday and went over to admire the bike and chat. He commented that it sure was different riding a big bike and it felt very heavy to him. I also noticed that he fumbled a little with the controls and wasn't completely familiar with them as he left. Less than two hours later in a very mild curve on a 4-lane going into a small town to return the bike to its garage, he lost control of the bike and was slammed into the guard rail. Speed is not thought to be a factor, nor alcohol. About $4K damage to the bike but my friend suffered massive chest injuries with a fractured sternum, multiple broken ribs and other bones, liver lacerations, and lung contusions. No head injury that I'm aware of but his heart arrested for 5-10 minutes. EMS was on the scene but could not compress the chest due to the trauma. They could only shock him and on their last try got a rhythm back. He was airlifted to a Level 1 trauma center. So far he has hung in but when allowed to come up from sedation does not speak and becomes very agitated so he is taken back down. He is still very critical but may pull through. Strangely enough his physicians don't believe there is any brain damage. Mind you, I'm getting this info second hand from his brother, mother, and other close relatives, none of whom are medical people so I'm not certain of the actual truth. I just wanted to ask for some thoughts and prayers for Joe.
    If there was ever a case for a safety course and maybe some refresher rides on a small bike, this is it. This has shaken me to the point I haven't been on my own bike for a week now. At my age I don't think I could survive a crash of any magnitude. How does one know when to say when? I know all the pros and cons of riding regardless of one's age but this has certainly made me stop and take stock. My own fears are irrevelent at this point. I just want my friend to return to some semblence of normalcy. Thanks for listening and please be careful out there.
  2. krtracr

    krtracr Member


    My prayers certainly go out to your friend and his family.

    It is a wake up call for everyone that rides, no matter how much or how little experience each of us have, things can go from bad to worst in a heartbeat.

    I live in South Florida, probably one of the worst places in the country to ride a motorcylce. We have an enormous amount of traffic, we have drivers from all over the world on our streets who drive with all different styles, we have old people who can barely look out for themselves let alone look out for others.

    Riding within your abilities are paramount. I bought an EG Classic 18 months ago after not riding for over 35 years. After taking the required saftey riding course I spent the next month or so practicing in an empty area of the local mall parking lot on basic moves and getting acquainted with everything, the clutch lever, gear shift, front & rear braking, starting, stopping, turning. I wanted to make sure before heading out onto city streets I was familiar and comfortable with the controls. I wanted to make sure I could concentrate on traffic and other surroundings and not have my mind occupied on things like shifting gears and applying brakes.

    My wife and I love riding, but I make sure my mind is on the road and I always make sure I know what others around me are doing.

    Again, I hope your friend and his family can survive this ordeal and hopefully your post will make others think twice while riding.

  3. oldhippie

    oldhippie Senior Member

    Very sad to hear:cry. Thoughts and prayers for him to pull through:small3d005:
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Thoughts and prayers for your friend and family. I can not even imagine what a difficult time this must be for them...

    It sounds as if there was a bad case of target fixation. The fact that he admitted how daunting a bike this heavy is to ride would lead to inexperience causing accident. You are correct that riding bikes of this caliber takes some skill and practice along with learning the coordination to properly operate.
    Maybe if you can think about all the skills you have learned over the years and the experience you have riding your bike it may make it easier to get back on. I can tell you as I get older 51 and the responsibilities of life piling up I do not ride like I used to. I have never been as a defensive rider as I have been in the last 5 years but I do not want to stop. The thought I have used for 25 years is I am the biggest part in my safety and arriving alive, besides riding is the only thing I can do with me, myself and I and no one else. Riding is the best therapy you could ask for.:s
  5. Charlies Harley

    Charlies Harley Active Member

    Thanks for sharing your story, our thoughts and best wishes are for you, your friend and his family. We all know there is a huge risk factor here and stories like this confirm that fact. As you said we cant be reminded too often of how dangerous this addiction is. When to hang it up? I think a person will just know when that day comes, the enjoyment is gone, the bike sits in the garage longer, I hope its not an age thing. Thanks again for sharing and ride safe.
  6. Joyflyin

    Joyflyin Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator

    Thoughts and prayers to your friend & family. I truly feel that each rider needs to evaluate their skills and comfort levels when they ride a bike. When you are no longer comfortable, then you will need to make the decision to quit riding. Give yourself some time to evaluate your feelings and comfort zones then decide. When something like this happens to someone close to you, it really makes you think about the risks.

    Prayers to you and your family.
  7. masher

    masher Active Member

    Sorry to hear that. My thoughts and prayers are with him, with you, and with the family.
  8. hobo55

    hobo55 Active Member

    Thoughts and prayers to him and his family.
  9. mat 60

    mat 60 Senior Member

    As you all may no..Im not good with words sometimes but Im very sorry for this Young man and his family and you being his freind....Lets hope he pulls thrue..Mat
  10. Rubyred

    Rubyred Senior Member

    I am so sorry for your friend. I agree with Joyflin except one point, that is, someone else should evaluate your skill level and you have to continually work on those skills. I will pray for your friend.