A Minor Crash
Sunday, May 17, I departed Ocean Beach in San Diego CA at 4:00 CDT on my second attempt to ride the Janus Gryffin 250 in the Iron Butt Association 50cc Quest event. This first day I rode the 1,165 miles to my planned rest stop in Junction TX, arriving a couple minutes before 1:00 am, Monday morning. I checked into the hotel, showered and was in bed by 1:15 am. I woke at 4:25 am, got dressed and was out the door to gas up and have a cup of coffee at the Pilot across the street. By 4:50 am I was eastbound from Junction TX beginning the 1,200 miles to Jacksonville Beach FL. (SpotWalla map)
A few miles east of Covington LA, I crashed on the shoulder of Interstate-12. I do not remember anything of the crash. My last memory was recognizing a motel I once used while riding past Covington on I-12. Next, I woke up in a bed at the Covington hospital. To this day, there is no memory of the crash. Judging by the light damage to the Janus it was a slow speed crash to the left side. The crash investigation stated that no other vehicle was involved. Apparently I experienced some issue after crossing over a bridge, lost control of the bike and crashed on the shoulder of the highway. I may never know what happened. At this point it doesn't even matter.
I was taken to Covington hospital by EMS. There, I was evaluated, administered stabilizing treatments and admitted. I was discharged the following Thursday. How I and the broken Janus got back home to Texas is another story I will be telling in a separate posting. Thank you, comrades!
Even though I was wearing some of the best riding gear money could buy, the force of the slow speed impact damaged my 70-year old body.
- Fracture and partial amputation of the right thumb
- Fracture of the right wrist
- Fracture of left scapula
- Fracture of fourth rib and sternum
- Fracture of neck - C7
- Hard impact to left shoulder
- Extensive, severe body bruising
- Mild concussion
July 1, six weeks after the crash, the cumulative affect of these injuries have hit me pretty hard. My right hand doesn't work correctly and I cannot rotate my right wrist more than a couple of inches in either direction. I cannot extend my left arm forward more than 6 inches inches or lift my left elbow sideways away from my body. Even though a MRI did not show significant damage to the left shoulder bones or connective tissues, it could not rule out damage to the nerves. The fracture to the left side of the C7 cervical bone in my neck may have resulted in nerve damage. I am facing months of physical therapy. The therapy to strengthen and protect my neck to the point I can wear a helmet begins later. Correcting the nerve functions to make my left arm work as it should is the critical path. Even after physical therapy is completed, I may need more surgeries to treat lingering issues.
The Janus & Iron Butt Rally
Back in March, I was invited to ride in the 2021 Iron Butt Rally using the Janus in the "Hopeless" class. Given the uncertainty of my recovery and yet to be demonstrated capability of the Janus to go the distance, I have decided to end my Janus Iron Butt Rally project. I cannot complete the extensive and exhaustive preparations I had planned for the Janus by June of next year. Being laid up for six or more months will significantly impact my long-distance riding endurance level and not to mention basic riding skills.
The training schedule I developed, listed below, was designed to demonstrate the capabilities of the Janus to withstand the demands of "The World's Toughest Motorcycle Rally." My "go-nogo" decision point for riding the Janus in the IBR was to be made after a successful and relatively issue free 48 States in Under 10 Days, scheduled to be ridden last month. I never got past a successful SaddleSore 1,000, failing twice to complete the 50cc Coast to Coast ride on the Janus. I was on the second attempt to ride the 50cc when I crashed.
- SaddleSore 1,000 - one thousand miles in under 24 hours (March)
- 50cc Quest - 2,365 miles from coast to coast in under 50 hours (March-Scrubbed )
- Ride Around Texas, 3,100 miles in under 70 hours for GOLD (85 hours regular) (April)
- Bun Burner Silver, 1,500 miles in under 30 hours (May)
- 48 States in 10 Days - Over 7,000 miles in under 10 days (June)
- Blaze of Glory 36 hour motorcycle rally (July)
- IBA Senior Butt Rally - 5 day competitive rally (September)
The Road Ahead
Right now I am not physically capable of operating a motorcycle and do not know when or even if I will ride again. As I struggle to get back to normal, I will work through these issues -- Does my passion for the sport really depend on riding a motorcycle again? Can I be a contributing member of the LD community off a bike?
The sport of long-distance motorcycling and the fellowship with the community of riders have given me 20 years of exciting hard riding adventures. I owe the LD community a debt of service. Over the past several years I have been scaling back my riding intensity and working behind the starting line of events. Perhaps this is where I can contribute the most, regardless of how things turn out. Time will tell.