Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Be Careful Out There

With the arrival of just about perfect weather riding season is now in full swing. The first rides of the year bring with them much enthusiasm, just don't let your enthusiasm put you on your head as mine did me last summer.
This picture was made last summer by Jack Rose of www.Killboy.com, and captures yours truly doing something I hadn't done in 26 years, going down on a street bike. After 100's of trips across the dragon on sportbikes, it was a old chopper "wanna be" that got me.

So what happened? User Error, pure and simple. I was all fired up about the big ride, but failed to take into account, even though I talked about it, that I was riding a bad handling old cruiser (Suzuki Intruder), with worn out suspension, and poor ground clearance. It did have new tires. My mistake was thinking that the pegs would scrape before the frame, and that I would have some warning before anything hard drug the ground.

In my over exuberance I simple pitched it in to the turn too hard (at least too hard for this bike), drug the frame mount for the footpegs, and levered the front end off the ground. What an idiot! 

A big factor was that this turn has a dip in the middle of it (not counting the one on the bike), so it really compressed the tired old suspension, using up what limited ground clearance it had, even at a slow speed. As I was going down in what seemed like slow motion I thought to myself, "I can't believe I'm wrecking this thing!" I was probably doing 35-mph, and didn't even slide out of my lane when I hit. In fact, I only slid a few feet.

Luckily good gear kept me from getting scraped up, and we went on to ride over 250 miles that day. Lessons learned, #1 Always wear your gear. #2 Know the limitations of the bike your riding. #3 Be careful about dragging stuff if you're on a cruiser.  

By the way, I sold this bike the next week. No more cruisers for me.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm, that bike looks awfully familiar. ;-)