Two guys, one really bad crash

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On January 28th, I had a terrible bike crash and ended up in hospital for a week with six broken bones. In a shocking case of inadvertent symmetry, that bike was an Aprilia Mana, the same bike Wes used as a mobility bike last summer when he broke his left arm. My head’s been pretty fucked up on painkillers since, but finally, here’s the story of what happened in the crash, afterwards and how I’m going to heal up. Those with small children or weak stomachs should look away now.

Update: Now with broken bone and bike photos.

Since my head is still a little mushy, Wes helped me tell the story over IM. He’s in green, I’m in blue.

ws How you doing?

ss Pretty damn good, just had my first shower in 20 days.

ws Hopping around like a wounded bird?

ss Something like that. Standing up too fast, scaring the shit out of everyone, taking the stairs two at a time. I hope I don’t fall and break my leg again.

ws The first time I saw you stand up, it freaked me the fuck out.

ss Yep.

ws It was like hearing an animal talk.

ss It has that effect on just about everyone. People don’t expect a guy with a broken leg to do that. I mean REALLY broken.

ws Did I tell you about the day you crashed, what happened when Ashlee called me?

ws Ashlee: “Sean crashed.”
Me: “Oh fuck, what bike was it, how bad is the damage to it?”
Ashlee: “No, Sean really crashed, they’re taking him to UCLA Trauma center.”
Me: “Oh.”
I put the phone down, waited like 5 minutes for it to sink in, called her back and told her I was on the way. I was at Laguna Seca doing a trackday with Skip Barber. Made it back to LA in 4 hours. It was surprising to everyone that you were actually hurt.

ss Yeah, me too. I mean, I’m one of the more serious ATGATTers around.

ws What’s the damage tally again?

ss Femur, fibula, humorous, radius, ulna and my thumb too. The thumb was, by far, the worst break.

ws You broke the thumb in the tank slapper, right?

ss Yeah, so far as I can remember.

ws How’d the tank slapper happen?

ss At the time, I didn’t really understand what was happening. My left hand just felt weird and I couldn’t grip the bar at all. Anyways, this is how the story goes:

Riding down Moomat Ahiko, on the way from Ocean Ave to PCH, I ran across a nasty bump, the bars jerked left first, then slapped side to side violently. I’ve ridden this road before, but always on my GSX-R, which has absolutely dialed forks and a good steering damper. The Aprilia Mana I was riding when I crashed has squishy non-adjustable forks and no damper. It’s the kind of thing you never really think about until you have a violent tank slapper and crash.

So, after this tank slapper starts, me and the bike continue in a straight line towards the left side of the road. The pavement from the right side to center is kinda shitty, but the left side is really bad. The closer you get to the left curb, the more it’s like you’re riding on the surface of the moon. Six-inch potholes, concrete, asphalt, giant ass rocks, gravel. You get the picture, it’s nasty.

At this point, I’m not really panicking, but the adrenaline from the broken thumb has kicked in and time starts to get weird. I also can’t figure out why my left hand doesn’t seem to be working properly. Then, BAM! I hit the left curb and bounce off the wall. For a second, I get excited and think that bouncing off the wall will almost certainly send me back toward the right side of the road, where I have some chance of regaining control. Unfortunately, that’s not how things played out.

I bounced off the wall a few more times before finally being peeled off the bike by a large light pole. I caught my left knee and that sort of spun me up and over. The airtime was brief and, when I landed, it was on my left arm. Radius, Ulna and Humorous all snapped and I slid to a stop. I caught the chin bar of my helmet on something too, but I’m not quite sure what.

After sitting motionless for a few seconds, the adrenaline started to wear off. As that happened, the pain from six broken bones began to set in. It hurt pretty bad.

BRB, gotta run to the bathroom.

ws By run, you mean hop.

ss Something like that.

So, I start to feel the pain. I look down at my crotch, where it feels like my arm should be and, instead, it’s way over to the left at the kind of angle only achievable with three elbows. Instinctively, I move it over to where it feels like it should be. Shattered bones and all, I got it to move. Unfortunately, that led to the second worst pain I’ve ever experienced. At that point, I gave up and resigned myself to the fact that I’m hurt pretty bad.

Cue the dumb bitch screaming, “Oh my god!!!!!” And flailing her arms. Before she can ask if I’m OK, I’m screaming back, “Call 911!!” The next few minutes were pretty weird.

I assumed that pain and adrenaline warped my sense of time, but, after checking with Lucas, I guess stuff did happen really fast.

So, lady calls 911, Lucas pulls up a few seconds later and helps take my helmet off. Then, after only five minutes or so, cops and ambulance show up.

ws Were the cops cool or were they dicks?

ss They were fucking dicks. The worst.

ws What do cops do except hassle normal people?

ss I’m drawing a blank here.

ws I mean, they like street race each other at night and stuff.

ss Yeah, they do do that. Motorcyclists are normal people too.

ws They aren’t there to help are they?

ss Lolz, no way man. They’re there to write me the fattest ticket they can. Reckless driving, 80 in a 30, street racing, all of that is brought up. I was going about 30.

ws Real talk: you were really only going 30?

ss Eh, 30-40, seriously. At that speed, I’m not really looking at the speedo, but it was shit slow.

ws Given the corner and the road, would I have considered that a safe and prudent speed?

ss Yup, Lucas was going faster than I was and he made it through without incident.

ws So Lucas, who was ahead of you, talks some sense into the cops by doing some name dropping.

ss Pretty much. So, 6’ 5”, 215lbs Lucas, who works out every day and used to race downhill MTB professionally, is pretty intimidating. Even the cops shut the fuck up when he talks. And he tells them I was going as fast as I said I was.

ws Do you have a bigger man crush on Adey or Lucas?

ss Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Probably Lucas.

Anyways, he name drops a buddy who’s high up in Internal Affairs at SMPD. The cops suddenly change their tune and disappear. Lucas helps load me into an ambulance and, after cutting off my pants, underwear, shirt and socks, then inserting an IV, we’re off.

They gave me a shot of morphine on the way to UCLA Ronald Reagan, but other than make me sick as hell, it didn’t seem to do much.

They unload me from the ambulance, wheel me into the ER (completely naked of course) and put me in a bed. At this point, maybe 30 minutes has passed since I wrecked.

ws Let’s circle back to the wreck real quick. What were you wearing. I know you had your Nexx XR1R Carbon helmet on.

ss Icon Overlord jacket with D3O in the elbows and a CE Level 2 back protector, Reign boots, Justice Touch Screen gloves. I also had on Alpinestars Axiom jeans, which have Kevlar in the butt and knees and T-Pro knee armor I’d retrofitted. Basically head to toe armor.

ws What do you think would’ve happened if you weren’t wearing all that?

ss Well, let’s say I was just wearing jeans, jacket and gloves; I think I probably would have lost my left leg. If that didn’t happen, I’d definitely have had a really bad broken ankle, a completely destroyed knee and lots of road rash, bleeding and soft tissue damage. That’s some fucking serious shit.

ss People die all the time, bleeding out from broken femurs.

I may have been OK because the ambulance got there so fast, but I bet I’d at least still be in the hospital and walking would be something I’d be lucky to do in a year, not three months.

Now, let’s say I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans, no gloves and an open face helmet. Typical gear for about half of motorcyclists. My left arm would have looked like hamburger. My breaks would have been worse and I bet I would have a broken elbow too. I definitely would have broken my jaw and tore my face to shreds. I also would have road rash all over my back and sides. Survivable? Maybe. I’d be fucked up for life though.

ws You’re going to do a crash report on all your gear, once your head works again, right?

ss Ha, of course.

ws I’d like to point out that your dad is a pretty big doctor. So you grew up around healthcare and understand how it’s supposed to work. And, you were at supposedly the number three hospital in the country.

ss Yup.

ws And they didn’t exactly do a good job. Or treat you very well.

ss UCLA Ronald Reagan is one of the best hospitals around. That’s true, it really is. Now, the scary part is that, even though it’s one of the best, everyone but the actual doctors is an incompetent hack. Those are some harsh words, but I really do mean it. Fucking incompetent.

I’d say maybe 30 percent of the staff speaks English — important when they’re administering potentially fatal drugs — no one listens, no one’s paying attention to what’s going on, no one’s there to help you. All they’re there for is to go through the motions while following protocol so they don’t get sued, and they even fail at that.

ws So a couple big problems happened. The catheter thing and getting dropped.

ss Ha, I got dropped like 15 times. People grabbed broken bones to pick me up. I got a CT scan of my knee and the lady running the machine said, “If you feel sick, or if something is wrong, just raise your hand, I can see you and I’ll come help.” So, when I felt like I was going to puke, I raised my hand. After two minutes, I yelled that I was about to make a big fucking mess, but she’d left and gone somewhere else. I projectile vomited straight up in the air and it went everywhere.

ws And then you had vomit in your hair for at least a week.

ss Ha, I did the same thing in the elevator too, after X-Rays. Rather than helping, the nurse laughed as I choked on my own vomit. That guy was probably the biggest dick I had to deal with while I was there. And yeah, the vomit stayed in my hair for a week.

Ashlee and Alys clean the vomit out of Sean’s hair.

ws Dude, you were disgusting. When we eventually brought you home, you left a tactile slime on my hands every time I had to touch you.

ss When the nurses put on gloves before they touch you, it’s not to keep you from catching something, it’s to keep from having to touch you. There is no hygeine at all. No tooth brush, no damp rag to clean yourself with. Fucking nothing.

No matter how bad I stunk and how disgustingly filthy I looked, they didn’t do a think. I’m starting to rant here, but it was a rude awakening. It turns out hospitals are kind of a scam. They only appear to be sparklingly clean places full of only the most competent health care professionals. In reality, most of the nurses and nurse assistants have Internet degrees from colleges that advertise on late night TV. They’re in it fore a better paycheck than they’d get working fast food, not to help sick or hurt people heal.

Why was moving my left arm with three shattered bones only the second worst pain I’ve experienced? because, while waiting in the recovery room after surgery, one of those incompetent hospital staffers managed to get his arm caught on my catheter, then spin around at high speed.

If you’ve never experienced a catheter, it’s pretty goddamn unpleasant. Basically, they shove an 8mm tube up your dick and into your bladder, then inflate a small rubber ball inside your bladder so it doesn’t just fall out. Then, they tape that tube to your leg, leaving about eight inches of tube between dick and tape job. To get your hand caught in there, you’d basically have to be giving me a handy.

Still, this guy somehow found a reason to put a hand down there. You might think that since I’d just woken up from general anesthesia that I’d be kind of high and floaty, especially with all the pain killers. Not true.

Well, maybe a little, but not after dude yanked my catheter out. If I’d been able to move, I’d have broken his jaw. Instead, all I was able to do was scream in horror as I watched the tube (and my dick) stretch about two feet as he turned around.

ss But that’s not even the worst part, right?

Nope. He went a little wide-eyed when he realized what he’d done, then said, “Oh shit, sorry man, I’ll just put it back in.”

I’m not making this up at all. Guy grabs my dick with one hand, tube with the other, then shoves it back in. Like a hard shove. He put his weight into it. Didn’t bother to deflate the ball, check to see if he’d done any damage, nothing. Just a hard shove back in. I pissed blood later and it still hurts to pee now.

ws Jesus Christ.

ss Yeah.

Dave and Lucas carry Sean up the stairs to his house while Wes “supervises.” Sean’s flicking off the diabetic nurse who warned that he’d surely die if he got within 20 feet of a stairwell.

ws Well, at least the recovery’s going well. You’re getting out of the house. You can go up and down stairs.

ss Once I got out of the hospital, things got a lot better.

ws How long’s it going to be before you walk again?

ss Another five weeks. I’ll cheat though and start walking earlier.

ws And until you can ride?

ss I’ll probably get on a bike in six weeks. Who knows, depending on my knee, it might be quicker.

The plan is to start slow, with the XR100 in a parking lot. Get used to the clutch again while my left arm is weak and just cruise around at low speed, not breaking anything.

Once I can put real weight through my left leg, I’ll start riding again. My balance is good enough that I can always put my right foot down at lights, but I’d rather not find myself in a situation where I need my left leg to support me and the weight of the bike. At least not before it’s ready.

Sean is almost noble in this repose on an armchair. Pants obviously remain elusive.

Coming home after being stuck in the hospital for a week was pretty awesome. At home, I can just smoke medical marijuana to dull the pain. It works great and the only side effect is that people think I’m a good-for-nothing hippie.

The 80 Oxycodones they gave me are still in their bottle and probably 70 of the 80 Percosets are there too. In the hospital, they pumped me full of that shit every day. Those are hard drugs, the really nasty shit that people get hooked on and die from.

When you take powerful opiates, your digestive track shuts down, homeostasis is interrupted, your brain basically turns to mush and, when you wake up in a pool of your own cold, filthy sweat, you kind of wish you were dead. They really don’t help much with the pain either, they just fuck you up so much that you don’t care anymore.

ws When are you going to start writing again?

ss I think I just did.

Editor’s note: I’d like to thank everyone that visited Sean in hospital, everyone that sent goodwill messages by email, text, phone or Facebook and everyone that has helped out either Sean or with HFL since. Lucas and Dave deserve special thanks for all their help, but the biggest thank you goes to Ashlee for her continued love, super human patience and support before and after the accident. — Wes

This article represents the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the position of HellForLeatherMagazine.com or any of its parent companies, subsidiaries, or affiliated organizations.

  • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    I’m glad you’re okay. Thanks for the, uh, intimate look.
    http://www.infobarrel.com/media/image/6513.jpg

    • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub Sean (the other one)

      This article is NSFGF

      not safe for girl friends.

      Mine just read this and now I’m not allowed to wear a 3/4 helmet or go over 30.

      • Sean Smith

        lulz. Time to buy that Roadcrafter…

        • http://www.facebook.com/beastincarnate Ben Incarnate

          Speaking of Roadcrafter – do you think injuries would have been different in the RC versus what you wore?

          • Sean Smith

            My chest would probably be a little less sore; that tf4 chest pad rocks.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

        The going over 30 part shouldn’t be much of a problem.

        • http://www.twitter.com/wessilerfanclub Sean (the other one)

          I hit 50 on that straight part that one time!

    • http://sportbikechic.com Heather (aka Sportbikechic)

      Dude! I am so sorry to hear about your accident, and so glad you told it like it is with the hospital. It’s why I want out of medicine; you just can’t make everyone around you practice like you do. It keeps you up at night, it makes you sick, it wears you down. It’s just f’ing wrong. And it hasn’t always been this way. Hospitals are corporations, my friend. ‘Nuff said.

  • BigRooster

    Shit, had no idea. Get well soon.

    • tpnewsk

      For real. Get well soon brother-man!

  • smoke4ndmears

    Kilts…

    Something to consider.

    Good to hear you made it through all of that crap alright. I think I’ll be looking for more gear now…

  • Johndo

    If thats not enough to promote ATGATT nothing ever will. Get well man.

    • Sean Smith

      That T-Pro armor saved my knee. What could have been some serious, permanent shit, is just a bone injury. None of the soft tissue, cartilage, or tendons in my knee got busted up at all. I’ll probably have arthritis when I’m 40, but that beats the hell out of a knee reconstruction surgery. Think about that every time you get on a bike in jeans.

      • http://rider49er.blogspot.com Mark D

        Sold. I have those same jeans, and I’ve been putting off buying armor for them for too long.

        • Sean Smith

          The trick to the T-Pro stuff is to buy elbow protectors and some adhesive velcro to help take up slack at the bottom of the pocket. It’s really, really easy and at the end of the day, they’re comfortable enough to walk around in and most people can’t even tell you’re armored. The stuff works too; ask my Dr.

      • tears

        Hey, any idea on where to get size 15 boots? Most have a cutoff at 13 and it makes shoe shopping a PITA.

        and how about knee pads that can go over jeans?

        • http://lightsoutknivesout.tumblr.com/ Scott Pargett

          You can throw MX kneepads over, or under if your pants are loose enough. They’re like $20 for a set.

      • Kevin

        I jacked up my hip in a skiing accident when I was 21. At 46 I started having pretty regular arthritic issues with it, before then it was always just less flexible and strong than my other hip.

        So you’re not joking, lad. Oh, and 40? It will come *way* faster than you think, so start getting ready.

      • jonoabq

        Relative to the t-pro shape/sizing issue. FWIW Alan at Johnson Leathers in SF can custom make just about anything to retro-fit jackets and pants. A few years back I had him make t-pro shoulders to fit a Vanson jacket. I’m pretty sure he could do the same these pants.

  • http://www.cdavisdesigns.com Chris Davis

    That’s seriously f@cked up right there. Stay strong. I’m looking forward to reading your next bike test.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    I didn’t cringe until the catheter section. As I said on FB – the incompetence of the hospital staff deserves some attention by the State licensing board.
    The section of this article on what would have happened without the gear is pretty sobering, and perhaps the most valuable lesson to take from this unfortunate accident. The whole thing was a compelling read.
    Glad you’re doing better. Heal quickly.
    Oh, and Ashlee, in no way imaginable, deserves the “dumb bitch” moniker. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • JVictor75

      I don’t think that Sean was referring to Ashlee as the “DB”.

      I believe that he was referring to a lady that was first ‘on the scene’, as it were. Before Lucas arrived.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      The “dumb bitch” line in no way makes reference to ashlee.

      • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

        Ah… My mistake. Sorry to have thought otherwise. You are, once again, a gentleman and a scholar, Sean.

    • tears

      The catheter section…wow. No one should have to suffer through that.

      • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

        All that.

    • Ross Gamble

      +1 upboat for you sir.

  • JVictor75

    First of all, I’m glad to see that you’re going to be okay.

    Second, I hope to God that someone from the Human Resource Office from that hospital or the State Licensing Board reads this article and understands that it’s shit like this that makes “this oxford cloth wearing buttoned down office dweller want to stalk from office to office with an AR-15″.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way, and maybe this might serve as a still small voice joining the cacaphony. Who knows.

    Finally, it is really eye opening what a difference gear can make. I’ve actually quit associating myself with organizations and people that don’t wear at the very minimum a helmet and what the DoD MAKES me wear (I’m looking at you American Legion Riders).

    For the longest time I couldn’t articulate why I was getting angry at those people and then a friend was able to help me figure it out.

    I was getting angry at being asked to pony up time or money to help out someone who was in an accident only to find out that the reason the person was seriously injured or dead was because they either WEREN’T WEARING THEIR GEAR or that they had spent the entire damned day getting wasted from putt-putting between Legion Posts/VFW halls.

    You’d think they would learn. After all, the same legion post I was part of has lost like 6 people in the last 2 years due to bike accidents. One of those is a borderline vegetable and used to be a buddy of mine that thought helmets made him “look like a dork”.

    Get better Sean!

    BTW, what’s with the disclaimer at the bottom of the article?

    • Mike Brooklyn

      Ditto on the disclaimer, parent company? I pray to god not already running back in to the arms of Nick Denton!?

      Get better Sean!

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        I wanted Sean’s story run unchanged because it’s true and all that happened deserves to be known, unfiltered. But doing so requires a little protection from a certain medical facility if said medical facility gets legally pissy. Nothing to see here, carry on.

        • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

          Ha ha… I figured that, too, but also thought it might have something to do with the medical marijuana mention.

      • Sean Smith

        What Grant said. I don’t think HFL needs to take the heat for my shit-talking.

        • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

          wait isnt @Brammofan your legal council? As soon as I saw the disclaimer i thought “good thing they have brammofan looking out for HFL” haha.

    • Kevin

      I was a part of “the health care industry” for seven years, my wife has chronic illnesses and we’ve had to provide long term and terminal care to both our mothers. Trust me when I tell you son, our health care industry is the biggest shaft job, the most fucked up industry, in this entire country. Everything from insurance companies on down, the whole system stinks and it’s robbing us of ever greater shares of our national wealth, pretty much all so that the richest people can get the very best care. The rest of us get overpriced shit. That’s a fact, mate.

  • matt

    Happy to see lots of people helping you. It sucks to be helpless and really hurt. You immediately see who your real friends are. Good to see that you have a bunch of them. Heal up fast.

  • Daniel

    That’s a helluva story. Get well soon.

  • Ascander

    Wow, amazing story. A big thanks to everyone who helped you, and a second thanks for documenting the ordeal. Heal up fast.

  • Raubert Van Harris

    Get well soon! This is hands down the most entertaining crash report I’ve ever read.

  • GoFasterPB

    Glad you’re out of that hole and on the road back to two wheels.

    And damn, Sean, you lost some weight (mostly in the beard, I’m guessing). Eat more Zankou!

  • Kent

    Wow, Sean. I’m really at a loss of what to say… I never really realized it until reading this story that the HFL team has become such an integral part of my outlook as a rider that I’m actually taking this kind of personally. Regardless, I’m very glad to know you’re on the mend.

    • JVictor75

      What he said… Shades of Greg McQuide.

    • FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

      this

  • Mikesee

    Wow. Good luck with the recovery. I wonder if a letter to the hospital administration wouldn’t go amiss. Having to put up with lousy (expensive!) service when you could us it most is really unfortunate.

  • Paul

    Wow, what an ordeal! Thanks for sharing. Question: Do you think your shoddy treatment had anything to do with your being in a motorcycle accident? I think some doctors and nurses view motorcycle crash injuries in the same way they see smoking-related lung cancer: a self-inflicted condition.

    • Sean Smith

      I’m sure some Doctors, quite a few nurses and most nurses assistants have some sort of prejudice. Elevator puke guy was like that. Dr. Gamradt, who screwed and plated my femur and humorous back together was awesome though and never gave me a hard time.

      • Lacubrious

        There are definitely many docs and RNs that have that view, in the hospital I work at, but there happen to be a lot of docs and RNs that ride here too. I have to say, the hospital stay was the most shocking part of the write up, to me. The crew at my place wouldn’t treat people they hate that bad. On the flip side, you’re stoked that you have a such a good crew. Get better fast.

      • Kahlil

        Will agree that there are a few Docs and Nurses who have a prejudice against Motorcycle Riders. I work within the largest medical center in the US, and there are a great number of Nurses and Doctors that are riders themselves.

        Sucks about how you were treated in the Hospital. I work in a pediatric Ortho/Med Surg unit, and I can testity that we bathe every single one of the 36 patients on our unit daily! It’s shameful how bad you were treated.

        We’ve had an influx of nurses from California as of late, reading how you were treated verifies a lot of what has been said by these incoming nurses.

        Best wishes and I hope you recover quickly.

    • Duncan

      I had a moto incident. Something spilled on the road, 4 out 9 riders down. I was the most serious.I knew something bad was wrong. Overcast with drizzle in the middle of BFE. No air lift. Road out standing up for two hrs. Mainly tried not to pass out.
      At hospital I heard nurse make a comment about another “stupid motorcyclist” injured.
      Ex-rayed and sent home. In unbelievable pain.Received call later from hospital I may have a small fracture of a vertebrae, see my DR for further treatment.
      Dr has me immediately CT’d. I had a burst fractured vertebrae in several pieces ….Surgery(after laying in bed for months fighting with insurance company) and rehab and I am riding again.
      Our health care system is broken.
      Wishing you a full recovery and sending a ‘Thanks!” to your support team.
      All the best Sean. DT
      Our health care system

  • ak

    Holy Shit!? I’m glad you’re alive and didn’t knock your skull in the same instance…

    …seriously though, put that bike as-is in a glass case and put it on display.

  • Ben NYC

    As the US further descends into a third world country, it just doesn’t make sense to ride anything other than a dual sport anymore. I mean seriously, what’s the fun of riding if you have to spend the whole time scanning for fscked up roads AND inattentive drivers (or worse where I’m from, pedestrians).

  • oldblue

    Glad you’re healing. And sad you had to go through such a lot of crap to start getting well again.

    It never ceases to amaze me how shitty health care in the U.S is.

    I was in hospital here in Australia recently (brain injury, 3 weeks in Intensive Care) and every single doctor and nurse was awesome. Not just satisfactory, but real Florence Nightingale awesome. There were people going way beyond the call every day to make sure I was safe, clean, fed and as comfortable as I could be.

    Hope our governments plans to sabotage our health system don’t leave us in a situation as bad as yours in the future.

    Hang in there, move as much as you can, eat well and heal, feller.

    • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

      This made sense until this happened: “Hope our governments plans to sabotage our health system don’t leave us in a situation as bad as yours in the future.” Because that’s totally what it is: a plan designed specifically to sabotage the health care system. Because it’s working so well already.

      • Paul

        I think when he wrote “our health system” he was referring to the Australian system…

        • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

          That is my bad and I apologize. Sean’s experience struck a chord with me and I overreacted.

  • Michael

    Damn Sean, you are a beast. Way to champ it out and glad to see you are getting better. Just in time for the Panigale when it drops eh? Take care!

    • Sean Smith

      Ha, not quite. I was supposed to fly to Abu Dhabi on the 14th for the international press launch. Yeah. I missed out on riding the 1199 at the Yas Marina F1 circuit, Ferrari World and the Viceroy hotel.

      • smoke4ndmears

        now that must be the hardest part about all of this…

        • Sean Smith

          Missing the GSX-R 1000 launch and The One show kinda sucked too.

      • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

        Missing that would be just a little shy of the catheter ordeal. Just a little.

  • RocketSled

    Perhaps this is the reason they want you out of the Hospital 16 minutes after surgery?

  • Edward

    Jesus H. Christ. No idea this had happened. Thought you were just taking a long vacation. Heal fast, but don’t push yourself too much. Re-injury is both physically and emotionally painful.

    My main question is, how much would this have cost without health insurance? I guess I need to get an individual policy. If this much damaged happened at 30mph, that’s f-ing terrifying.

    • Sean Smith

      This kind of damage can happen at 20 mph on a bicycle. Being on the road is just plain dangerous.

      • jonoabq

        Did the whole right side of my body much like yours a few years back. Almost lost my leg from just below the knee (car bumper/windshield) in a head on bicycle/car gratis from a woman driving her car onto a closed race course. The overall experience was much like yours. I truly do feel for you you, and hope you get better soon.
        The metal plate/pins/stitches/staples/surgery(s) came to about $34k, not including PT & time/income.

  • NewOldSchool

    This year I had bought an open face helmet that matched my old bike for quick trips to the store and whatnot. What was I thinking? Its for sale online this minute, almost feel guilty selling it to someone else though…

    • Sean Smith

      Just stick it on a shelf ;)

  • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

    Man that is awful. And probably expensive. Do you have a place where we can send good wishes and make a donation to help cover costs? If that’s not an issue then just a place to mail a card or note? HFL corporate office? Let me know.

    • Sean Smith

      My address is 7100 La Tijera D101, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Send anything you want. We’re not hurting for cash yet, but thanks anyways.

      • http://greatjoballweek.blogspot.com/ Case

        Cool. Thanks for that.

        • Sean Smith

          Ha, I’m the one that’s gonna be saying thanks.

          • Kevin

            Email address? I’ll send an Amazon cert.

            Damn dude. You guys need to make it to the other side of 40, allright?

      • wwalkersd

        DEA on the way in 3….2….1 (be careful where you post your address)

        Heal quick, Sean!

  • Alex

    Sorry to hear about all the bullshit Sean.. sucks man..

    Wes you guys should keep this article ‘free’ for all to view. This story deserves to be shared and hopefully will cause some eyebrows to be raised and heads to roll

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yup, it’s open free for permanents.

  • JT Nesbitt

    So ah… Like do you think that the frame on the Aprilia is bent? I mean if you don’t want it anymore, and the frame is straight…I would be willing to get it out of your way… JT

    • smoke4ndmears

      hopefully the crap forks are as crooked as a politician…

  • http://lightsoutknivesout.tumblr.com/ Scott Pargett

    Fuck, man. Looks like the bike faired much better than Sean.

    Brought back alot of memories from a similar crash and the pain and loneliness of the recovery. Wishing the best, seems like he has optimism which heals quicker than any drug.

    P.S. I’ve been telling myself for a while, I don’t NEED a steering damper. That it’s mostly just a band-aid for bad habits. Rethinking that a little… even if in the end I only use it once.

    • Sean Smith

      Young bones and a few months of intense pre-crash yoga help too ;)

      • Roman

        Been thinking of giving yoga a try. Seems like it applies to riding pretty directly (balance, flexibility, core strength, etc…) Anything you can add?

    • Mr.Paynter

      Damper is definitely on my mind too…

      My last crash was a tank-slapper at 80mph or so off the side of a highway, luckily lots of run-off and some gear meant road-rash on my ass (normal jeans) and bike-repair bills were my only major concerns!

      I was lucky once and this reminds me that I may not be so lucky again!

  • Skank NYCFastest

    Holy fuck. Damn, you got fuckin twisted. Seeing those pics really shows the extent of damage. Hope you’re feeling better and have fast recovery.

  • Mike

    All that gear and you still took a goddamn pounding. Scary shit.

    If that isn’t a wake up call for people riding around in half helmets (i.e, me on occasions) not sure if anything will. To a speedy recovery Sean and thanks.

  • Glenngineer

    Good luck ss, sorry you went down.

    As someone with ulcerative colitis, I got the hospital everyone now and then, and as a Boston resident, I go to some of the best hospitals in the world. I haven’t had quite as much fun as you did, but they fucking suck.

    I’m also just missed an opportunity to intern at MGH (in operations, not a medical role). What sealed me not getting the job was the time I spent talking about my personal experiences with MGH’s operational failures. They obviously didn’t like it. I think I dodged a bullet on that one.

  • Erica

    Damn. I can’t believe they didn’t clean you up at all. I spent almost 4 months at OHSU and a nursing facility before i went home, and I got bed baths every day and even got my hair washed twice a week. Breaking your whole leg sucks. I feel your pain. My arm still doesn’t work 9 months later, but soon enough. I hope you’re healing well. Putting pants on for the first time is fantastic.

  • markbvt

    Damn, Sean… I was about to say I feel your pain, but you got it a lot worse than I did. Last August I got broadsided by an SUV while riding home from work, and it broke my femur and banged my head on the ground hard (my Shark RSI saved my life). Thankfully my friend Keith happened by the scene shortly after the accident happened and was able to mobilize some friends to track me down. Details here in the event anyone’s interested; I finally show up on page 4 of the thread:
    http://tinyurl.com/6pv4qyv

    I was lucky in that the hospital staff here was excellent… and thank god for modern orthopedics. My femur was bolted back together with a rod that runs inside the bone from my knee to my hip. I was never even in a cast. I was walking with a cane eight weeks after the accident, walking normally now, and I’ve even been back on my bike thanks to the mild winter this year.

    So I have some idea of what you’re going through. Heal up quick!

  • http://www.karinajean.com karinajean

    Oh, dude. I saw the hospital bed tweet and I thought it was all fun and games. *so glad* you are ok and were geared up. Can’t wait for that gear report. Between your leg spinning you off of the bike and your chin taking a big hit …. BUT YOU KNOW THAT, YOU WERE THERE.

  • Roman

    Glad you can have all the medicinal herb your heart desires after all the shit you’ve been through. My fiancee is in the health profession and her jaw just dropped reading your ordeal. Heal up soon man.

  • isambard

    I spent a very unpleasant time in one of Chicago’s best hospitals, so I know you speak the truth. Glad you have people who love you looking after you. I’ve been down a couple of times in jeans at 30 mph without serious injury, but I won’t be doing that anymore. Get well soon.

  • Cockroach

    Best wishes sean. maybe HFL can hold a special charity bash for everyone’s favorite squid? On a side note, took my wife to Good Samaritan ER in Westlake/Macarthur last weekend and the staff couldn’t have been more helpful or professional.

  • http://www.pedalgents.com holdingfast

    get well, heal up and even if they say that what doesnt kill you makes you stronger i sort of have my doubts about that catheter detail.. something no man should have to ever. ever. experience. ..however you’re still here and we re all glad.
    now on to getting better and riding again.
    ps. cant wait for the gear-report.
    pps. expect some swiss chocolate in the mail, it pretty much heals everything. especially in combination with sum medical mary jane. so i hear.

  • Kirill

    One thing to point out its better to leave the helmet on unless the injured person can’t breathe. so as to avoid possible neck damage. EMTs should remove the lid once they’re on scene and have secured the neck.

    • Sean Smith

      Yeah, we just cheated. They still put me in a neck brace though.

    • Gene

      Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. I’ve had some bad crashes (and bad medical care) and I had to stop halfway and go take a walk.

      After the left turner, the FHP came to the hospital to cite me with a ton of stuff “because someone said you were doing 80 in a 50″ I looked at the cop and said “if I was really doing 80 when I hit that car, DO YOU FUCKING THINK I WOULD STILL BE HERE???” To my shock, they just left, and didn’t charge me with anything.

      I’m *so* glad to hear you were ATTGATT and that you are genuinely doing better. After a long time riding, I’ve started to “oh it’s just down to the store, I don’t need a jacket” and I will stop that shit right now.

      Hospitals suck EVERYWHERE, and now I have the attitude that doctors are a rung below cops in the bullshit department. It’s not only my personal experiences, but watching a friend that has a serious blood disease, as well as my mother’s and grandparent’s experiences.

      You don’t want to hear my experiences, but as a data point, they just had to pass a local law saying doctors couldn’t ask about gun ownership after a couple doctors stopped treating people because they owned guns, and another couple doctors reported people to DCF because they had kids and owned guns.

      That should tell you how fucked up the medical system is around here.

      Look up the “empowered patient” series on CNN for shit that’ll turn your hair white.

      • Sean Smith

        After my hospital stay, I understand why Wes was so thankful that my dad and I were able to hook him up with a good ortho who works out of a small clinic. There was no hoop jumping, hassle or bullshit to speak of. Wes just got his arm fixed and that was that.

  • contender

    I often skimp on gear (read:nothing more than Levi’s for pants) if I am running a quick errand or just heading to my girlfriend’s. This is sobering.

    Rather than replace all of my pants with Deth Killers’ and Astars’ pricey options, would the knee/shin guards made to wear under clothes be sufficient? Even the T-Pro undergarments tout abrasion resistance, but I am nervous to rely on armor as both impact AND abrasion safeguards. Thoughts? I think this has us all considering ATGATT a bit more.

    Godspeed Sean.

    • Sean Smith

      If you’ve got good impact protection from some sort of hard-ish armor, I don’t think you need to worry about abrasion resistance on the street. Those T-Pro pants are fucking amazing. If they’re comfortable on you, there’s really nothing better. The inserts work well in armored jeans like the ones made by Alpinestars and Kushitani. Your best option though is probably something simple like this.

      • contender

        Thanks.

        On second thought I don’t think the knee/shin guards will fit under some of my jeans. How do you think you’d have fared in the Aerostitch suit? That may be the best/easiest answer for ATGATT for me. And does it get very hot?

  • Alonzo

    Damn man, sorry to hear it. Hope you’re out of pain up and riding soon. Thanks for the tip about the gear. I gotta knock it off with the jeans

  • Campisi

    It’s great to hear that you’re doing somewhat better. I take it you had no abrasion injuries?

    • Sean Smith

      Just a small one from my Otterbox iPhone case being in my pocket ;)

      • tears

        Did your iPhone survive the ordeal?

        • Sean Smith

          Yup. Not a scratch on it.

  • lowslydr

    I’ve ridden bicycles on Moomat, and it’s a shitty road. Haven’t yet ridden a motorcycle on it, but I’ll be cautious. Besides the shitty road and untuned suspension, do you think there’s anything else you could have done to prevent the accident, or are you chalking it up to fluke incident?

    Only been down once (30 mph lowside on gravel, not a scratch due to gear), and I’m trying to prevent future incidents.

    Heal fast!

    • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

      +1

      I don’t wanna be ‘that guy’ who starts asking about what went wrong while Sean is still busted up & healing – but I think it’s important for everyone to be able to pinpoint exactly what they should have done differently in order to avoid an accident.

      Otherwise, if someone doesn’t know what they did wrong, there’s nothing they can do to avoid it in the future and the same thing could happen all over again.

      • Sean Smith

        Ride a bike with really good tires, really good suspension, a steering damper, light weight and ergonomics that suit you. That’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about since I crashed; I’ve gone over that same bump before, the same speed and 20mph faster on my GSX-R with nothing more than a little air time. Am I saying the Mana is dangerous? Not really, just that there are more capable bikes. On something like a GS, Tiger, or even a WR250 I probably wouldn’t have even felt it.

        • lowslydr

          Steering damper seems like a worthwhile safety upgrade. I started to go into a tank slapper on Dirt Mulholland once (vstrom 650, not exactly off-road bike) and it scared me bad enough I’ve stayed on pavement since.

        • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

          You know it’s completely okay to admit that you probably should have been going slower on an unfamiliar bike. ;)

          Not trying to be an ass, but I know that a crash can affect your confidence alot – let alone sustaining some serious injuries.

          A bike with really great suspension, steering damper and great ergonomics are all good things – but if you keep focusing on the lack of those things as the reason for your crash, that would infer that you’re unable to ride a Mana safely. Whereas if you look at what you’ve said about being completely surprised about how the Mana reacted over that bump compared to other bikes, it looks to me like it’s just a case of being unfamiliar with it and assuming that it would handle differently. Then the solution of how to avoid a repeat simply comes down to riding slower on a bike that is not familiar. Solution found, confidence regained, ready to hop on a Mana again being aware of it’s handling limitations.

          I honestly hope you’re doing okay, don’t want to see you swear off riding Mana’s again – hoping to see you back as soon as possible getting touring bikes up on one wheel and writing great features for HFL.

  • http://www.postpixel.com.au mugget

    Whoa – that is one gnarly story. I kind of expect that if you crash on a bike you can get pretty badly broken, but the catheter thing – that should just not happen. A catheter being pulled out and re-inserted is my new worst fear.

  • DavidMG

    Damn, Sean! I had no idea this had happened. I wish you a speedy recovery. I’m glad you have good friends around you.

    I shouldn’t be shocked by the incompetence of the hospital staffers but it still amazes me when I hear this kind of stuff. Same for cops.

    I have a friend who was in a very bad car accident with his girlfriend last year and the last thing he needed at a time like that was cops harassing him with threats of reckless endangerment.

  • craha

    Thanks for the insight and perspective. Best wishes for a quick recovery!

  • Dan

    Sorry to hear about all this. Busted pavement on Moomat Ahiko always spooked me. Get better soon.

    If you’re looking for a place for the inevitable PT after surgery, I can’t recommend SMI (Chris Graham) by LAX enough. Nice guy, makes you work your ass off, but can get you better faster than you ever thought possible.

    • Sean Smith

      Hm, seeing as I live next to LAX, I may have to give Chris a call. I’ve been doing PT at home, but that ends after next week and I’d like to keep making good progress.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    Holyf-ckingcow!

    Glad to hear that you are recovering, and that you are looking forward to riding again soon. Also, relieved to know that you’ve got Ashlee as well as many caring friends and fam helping you.

    8 more lives to go!

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    BTW, what’s up with the careful dress up? Technics t-shirt in front of a Technics turntable (which looks to me like an early 80s vintage SL-D series, manufactured before you younguns were born).

    • Sean Smith

      Ha, that was actually an accident. It took me 3 or 4 days before I realized that I was wearing my technics shirt right next to my technics SL-D1. Not pictured is the 1980something Sony Trinitron with nothing but an NES hooked up to it.

  • Holden and Annette

    Thanks for sharing. My husband takes the possibility of an accident like yours seriously. He always wears protective gear from head to toe even though sometimes I think he thinks it is nerdy. Nothing nerdy about being alive. I hope your story saves some lives today.

  • gsx750f

    Wow, that was painful to read!
    Now I understand the “cripples need skin lubrication too” and “decided to hit a lamppost” references in previous articles.
    Glad to hear that you are going to be ok!
    Get well soon!

  • http://www.lgdm.fr stempere

    Damn man, i saw mentions of the crash but never imagined it would be so violent.
    I don’t know how it works in the states but i’m aware of two guys that involved the city or the company responsable for doing street work (the DDE, a state company) in the accident report here in france for doing such a shit job they crashed (unmarked dumped gravel etc.). In both cases i know of they were declared reponsible and paid for the bikes and the guys medical bills (what social security didn’t cover). Maybe you could try that to have the city (or state or whatever) pay for the medical expenses, could be a long procedure but i would imagine the cost will be pretty steep…

    All the best, hope your recovery goes well.

    Also, i was already aware of the pretty good state of healthcare in france, but that’s shit just scary, wtf is wrong with your country?

  • Van Doan

    Get well and riding soon. And the Aprilla?

  • Brad W.

    That is one fucked up story. I’m just glad you are ok now. Get well soon!

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Damn dude. That shit is for real. I am really glad you lived to write about it.

    Spending a night in the hospital with my wife last week, it was similar. 1 great nurse out of 10, and thankfully a really great doctor. The rest of the staff… Idiots. Lazy idiots. I fucking hate hospitals.

  • Chris

    Heal well man, that really really blows. I hope that the hospital learns something from your experience & takes care of you for it.

  • Ray

    Sean, I am really sorry to read about your incident and hope you heal quick.
    Laurie sends her best also.

  • Steve

    Maybe this is my iPad telling me I cannot handle the photos, but when I tried to view the gallery I got an error message

    “Fatal error: Theme at /wp-content/themes/hfl/s/galleria/themes/classic/galleria.classic.min.js could not load, check theme path.
    Fatal error: No theme found.”

    • Archer

      Yeah my iPad went a bit wonky at first, but I figured it was the sketchy connection here in Bangkok, land of ratnest electrical wiring.

      Heal fast Mr Smith.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      That’s caused by a slow connection on your end. Images are coming in via Flickr.

  • http://www.damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    Damn dude. Get well soon.

  • Adrian_B

    Man, what a mess!
    Heal quickly. It seems you are being well tended to. That is good!

  • Devin

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    Getting hurt in a big city sucks, too many people who can’t speak either official language (I’m Canadian so English or French would do fine). I had a major setback in the past because I misunderstood the doctor’s instructions.

    I have been lazy in buying full gear for my girlfriend and I…. we’re now both going to be fully covered by the snow melt.

  • http://www.ninja250blog.com R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    Sean alllllways havin’ to one-up Wes.

    Just kidding, heal up dude. “Pants obviously remain elusive” — Should be the headline.

  • Courtney

    Sorry man! Get well soon dude.

  • mcfaite

    Crikey – hope you heal up fast! That’s a hell of a story.

  • Austin Milbarge

    Ur comments about the hospitals couldn’t be more correct. The hospital was one of the most painful aspects of my wreck. Disappearing nurses, no painkillers, dirty sheets, used urinals, rough nurses who didnt give a shit. I was I was in lynnwood, which is the second busies trams center in ca and is basically in Compton. I no longer hold the hospitals or docs in high regard. A note on ur knee, start bending and straightening that fucker ASAP. U lose mobility real quick. The most painful part of my accident has been the recovery. 7 months later and I still can’t bend my knee all the way ( or straighten it for that matter). I was immobilized for 6 weeks and had my leg reattached at the knee, start rehabbing now. Docs don’t know shot abou recovery, they are just there to put u back together. If u want a rec for the best soft tissue rehab person in la, hit me up, he is in the southbay. Good luck, glad to hear u survived, hope to see u around la on a bike sometime soon!

  • Denzel

    Get well SS. There were references to your accident, but this is an effing nightmare. Lucky to have people around you that like you a little bit. I’m going to look for good steering damper now…

  • Taco

    Over 100 responses and no one has made a dick joke. I guess I’ll have to do it.
    Hey Sean, so when you arrived at the ER naked, did the doctors and nurses think you sheared off your penis in the accident?
    BAZINGA

  • DoctorNine

    Wow. I get busy for a few days, and one of you guys crashes again.
    Please be careful. What would I do for the low down without you?

    And heal up quick!

  • Core

    I’m not making this up at all. Guy grabs my dick with one hand, tube with the other, then shoves it back in. Like a hard shove. He put his weight into it. Didn’t bother to deflate the ball, check to see if he’d done any damage, nothing. Just a hard shove back in. I pissed blood later and it still hurts to pee now.

    Oh man… That’s freaking rough. I felt sick at this.

    And I’m very late to this article. But to all the people saying “The state board” or whatever should check them out.. blah blah blah. Their are only so many competent workers out their. Just because you fine a place or whatever, isn’t going to make the idiots disappear.

    Also I would say that this hospital problem is do to state involvement in an indirect manner.. which has caused this problem.

  • Liquidogged

    That shit about the catheter made me want to crawl inside my own asshole. Sean, I hope you have a speedy recovery and thank you for providing a living, breathing example of the value of gear. I know my next purchase is serious knee protection. Thank you.

  • Korayama

    Hey man, glad your still with us. Ill just keep it short, get healthy and recover. Peace, prayers and health.

  • Tony M.

    I’m glad you made it out of the hospital alive. Hope you don’t have to go back in for a long time.
    Get well soon man.

  • BigRooster

    The hospital part is so disturbing. At least here in western PA we don’t have the ESL issue, however we have no shortage of domestic retards. I luckily have not had any bad experiences with our local ERs but I have also not had anything quite like this to compare. Most recently we had to use the local ER when our 1yr old ate a peanut and had a super bad allergic reaction and everything went perfectly, but that experience is hardly the same. I really hope this is more to do with California than a systematic problem, otherwise its super scary.

    How accommodating has your health insurance company been through all of this? I’d be interested to hear how they respond to an accident of this nature and if the dick around with payments or anything. Has your bike insurance provider stepped up at all? I always wonder if the medical premium I pay extra for from Progressive is worth a shit.

    Horrific story, take care and get better.

  • Michael

    good to hear you are doing well. keep up the positive energy and can’t wait to read you’re next article.

  • JC

    Glad to hear you are on the mend! As much as it sucks to wreck I think you have made a strong case for everyone to AGATT and upgrade their gear.

  • Peter88

    Too bad about missing the Ducati test. I was reading other articles and wondered if you guys got invited. I’m glad you did. Get well soon, that 1199 will be waiting!

  • http://www.anotherdamndj.com evilbahumut

    This story reminds me about why I hate hospitals. Everytime I end up in the ER with motorcycle gear on, I get treated as if I’m a fucking criminal. They make me suffer for it.. >:(

  • David Dawson

    Glad you mostly survived ok and are recovering, and extra glad I finally put some money down on a roadcrafter. One of the few fears I have about motorcycling is going from ‘enjoying the ride’ to ‘waking up in a lot of pain in the hospital’ or worse ‘in a ditch on the side of a deserted highway’. Here’s to a speedy recovery and many more miles shiny side up!

  • http://twitter.com/metabomber Jesse

    Always thankful for the times when the prepared rider gets to tell the tale of the crash. Heal up quick, Sean. May this be the closest you come to hearing the Song of the Sausage Creature for some time.

    • Sean Smith

      Hm, I was riding a near 900cc red Italian v-twin…

  • nymoto

    Heal up quick, drink some proper bourbon (it helps with the everything)

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    great article! I still owe you Zankou. But after paying $510 for a speeding ticket, I’m afraid to ride my motorcycle. And West LA is a bit far for bicycle deliveries. I’ll try though.

  • Zach

    Holy hell. Glad you are on the mend. I’m already an ATGATT guy. but that SPOT tracker for my planned solo trip later this year no longer seems overcautious.

  • Lucas Worthing

    Just want to say, Sean, you handled yourself like a true warrior. I’ve seen how people go into shock and deal with heavy bodily damage poorly, and you were quite the opposite- very on point in fact. You kept calm, you focused on what needed to be done, and you were as patient as one could be in such a situation of severe pain and discomfort. I know you to be an excellent rider and to look in my Arrow CRG mirror and see the horror of you going down, the bike crashing, the dust and dirt thrown into the air… well, it still fucks with me every day since.

    Our day started out so civil, meeting at Intelligentsia for coffee, talking about our passion for motorcycling, and riding off for a fun Malibu ride which we’ve done a number of times before.

    As experienced riders we were moving through traffic skillfully and enjoying the fun of our bikes, but I never would have expected the accident that took place. I know it was a combination of bad circumstance, improper technology for the that particular stretch of road, and just plain shit luck.

    I just remember that sinking feeling in my gut… thinking to myself, and saying out loud in my helmet, “Oooh nooo – Oh fuck- Sean!” Adrenaline kicked in instantly, and I went into autopilot making the fastest path to your aid. I had no idea what I would be coming up on, except that I was extremely fearful it was much worse than it was. When I got to you you were chilling out, sitting on the curb, looking a bit pale, but still looking held together.

    I went through a few questions to ascertain your physical state, and once I knew you were dealing with mainly extremity injury rather than internal core injuries, I focused on your comfort and dealing with the scene. Once the SM paramedics and Firemen got there I knew you were gonna be in good hands. They were well trained and took good care of you.

    The scene was more about mitigating assumptions and overly dramatic fear. The lady who was out of her Range Rover was scared for you, I could hear the fear in her voice. She was just trying to do the right thing in a state of shock, but it was becoming more of a problem than a solution. Thankfully they stopped and blocked traffic around you.

    We know how it is… most people, (99%), don’t understand what it means to ride a motorcycle and have a distinct detachment and fear related to the world of motorcycling- especially when things go wrong.

    I know the SMPD seemed more to create problems then help, but they did shut down the whole access to PCH for you. They helped organize your bike to be flat-bedded back to my place, and they were very understanding once I placated their initial “Who’s fault”, “How fast”, “well I think…” Basically I put all these bullshit assumptions to rest. The SMPD traffic lady was the main problem. I think she was new to the force. She was turning it into something else, so I checked her quick. Her sergeant was speaking the same words as her, so I straitened his assumptions out as well. He was much more polite when I mentioned I rode with a coworker of his, and that I would appreciate a bit more respect.

    I noticed a week and a half later the road down to PCH where you had your spill has been repaired further with some fresh black asphalt patchwork. The reality of that road is it is long overdue for a repaving. Ideally they should shut it down and engineer it properly. Even in a cage, it can get hairy.

    I’m glad you’re healing well, and please keep me in mind if there is anything I can do to assist- I’m a phone call and about three miles away. Keep healing brother!

  • Rob

    Great article, making it very clear how serious a down can be. My Street triple is EXTREMELY stable over bumps, and at slow speed, and if I come off it’s more likely going to be at 80-90mph vs 30mph (just being honest). If this damage actually happened at 30-40mph I am truly scared into buying/wearing real power ranger style boots (sidi) and a 1 pc suit either leather (track) or Roadcrafter (street). I can’t afford both now, so I guess I either need to be less protected on the street for a while, or put off going to the track. The one thing I wish people told me was to shop and price your gear before you buy a bike. If any of the Ride Apart Staff has any opinions to share with me, primarily about the gear you should wear if you actually play around in the twisties on a sport bike. I find myself up in the hills most weekends.

  • pwakeman

    That catheter thing is worth a good lawsuit. Lolz and ouchz, both.