I Really Didn't Take a Stupid Pill!

by Vic Kelly
(Phoenix, AZ)

3/17/10 Well, Kathi suggested I share what I learned from my little spill with you-all, so here goes. If you've read my previous posts y'all know that I'm an old geezer who rides a Buddy 150 and who enjoys it thoroughly. So much, in fact that one Saturday morning I tried riding like I was thirty-years younger.


Meeting my wife at Church to help with the food ministry, I swung confidently into our large and empty parking lot. "Such a good turn!" "Such good riding!" "Man! For an old Guy, I'm pretty good!" I accelerated a little down the length of the parking lot. "I'll take that back turn a little hot. Lean the bike way over. Done it before. It was fun."

The turn was a little "hotter" that I judged. No problem. Lots of room. I widened it out. Still will have a couple of feet before the back curb.

Suddenly "Bang!" "Scrape!" "Clatter!" "Rattle!" "OW!"

What am I doing flat on my face, arms outstretched, staring at grey and gritty asphalt pressing against my visor? Why is my Buddy St. Tropez lying askew beside me, wheezing and putting itself into silence?

I pushed myself onto hands and knees and then stood. Something told me my old bod would be whining with increasing insistence over the next few days. Looking down at my scoot, I tipped it tenderly back so that the shiny side was up again; only this time not so shiny. I glanced through the deep gouges on my helmet visor, across the parking lot to see if my wife saw what happened. Yep. She witnessed the whole debacle.

Fortunately, the Buddy started right up. The only damage to the scoot was cosmetic, and I had to retighten the left-side mirror. I mounted up and rode over to where my wife had parked our van.

In the church kitchen, I unpeeled the layers of clothing I had onioned on against the morning chill. The thickness of shirts, sweater and riding suit had cushioned a lot of the impact and limited visible injuries to a couple of abrasions... ugly, but minor.

What did I learn? 1) DON'T DO STUPID STUFF! I was overconfident and careless. Bad combination. 2) Keep on wearing a full-face helmet! Had I been wearing the ¾ helmet I originally purchased with my scoot, I would have experienced serious injury to face and jaw. 3) If I'm going to "push the envelope, be sure of the surface. I had failed to notice a thin layer of volleyball court sand a couple of feet out from the curb. It was like ball bearings under the sideways pressure of the turn, and the scoot went down. 4) Get and wear protective apparel. Up until now I had thought I'd be OK by improvising. Not any more. If I hurt this much going down at 15 miles an hour, what about 40?

I got on my scoot and rode the 8 miles home. Fortunately it was rainy and cold (for us) in Phoenix for the next week or so, so I could use that as an excuse at work for having my wife drive me in rather than scootering.

They believed me (mostly).

The next time I rode, I had full protective gear. Pricey? Yes, but cheaper than a session at the nearest urgent care.

You don't need the stuff until you NEED it!

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Mar 20, 2010
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Me Too
by: Jim Zeiser

I fell one time stopping on my wife's Honda Rebel at zero miles per hour. I fell over like a pendulum and hit my head on the ground with a resounding thud. Fortunately I was wearing my leather jacket and full face and was fine. Even with the helmet I was stunned for a minute. I always wear as much protection as I can stand when I ride.

Mar 20, 2010
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I Really Didn't Take a Stupid Pill!
by: Anonymous

Vic,
Sorry to hear about your spill. I've done it too, the worst one was at 0mph. I accidentally dumped the clutch on my Hog, thinking she was in Neutral. It was in 1st gear, took off like a shot, and as I only had one hand on the bar, it dumped me right in a busy intersection. Nobody ran over me (whew) but I was wearing shorts (first and last time I did that on my Hog) and I burned my leg very badly on the exhaust. The Dr. said I came close to losing my leg. What a dummy!

I bet you'd get some attention if you posted it on Modern Buddy, too!
Good letter, thanks for reminder us about what can happen!

Mar 19, 2010
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Vic's "stupid pill" spill
by: Anonymous

Glad you are OK, Vic. There are only two kinds of riders, they say, the ones who have had a spill and the ones who are going to have one. Thanks for the lesson and the advice. My full face helmet and my gloves bear witness to your testimony for full protective outfits. I was on my motorcycle at the time. It happens in the blink of an eye, doesn't it? All of a sudden it's "Hello Asphalt!" I'm glad you are OK and that the rain was sympathetic. We senior riders need to set a good example for the youngsters. Kathi, are you listening? Full Face Helmet!

Mar 17, 2010
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A Cautionary Tale for Us All...
by: Kathi

Great story, Vic, and surely a word of warning for each of us scooterists to consider. I wear a 3/4 helmet and I know it's a bit of a risk, but because I've never fallen, one I've been willing to take. I don't have true protective gear either, due to the cost.

You're making me think about all that, though. Hope you're feeling better now. And your Buddy too. Poor baby.

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