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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Only a wee bit about bikes....

We moto-bloggers tend to post about riding safety a fair bit and quite rightly so but I forgot a cardinal rule around the home late yesterday. Consequently I'm paying for it right now and having a quiet day of not doing very much at all.

A small area in our garden is paved with treated wooden blocks which have a coefficient of friction when wet that any budding perpetual motion inventor would lust after - even small animals and insects steer well clear of it. (you can see what's coming, can't you?).

In a hurry to finish a couple of chores before heading off for our weekly evening pub quiz competition, crossing those darned blocks is not exactly the best time to be distracted.  We'd just had a light shower of rain and........

This is going to hurt.......
(courtesy Poolcenter.com)

Gravity, even from a short way off the ground ensures a rough landing and there I lay in light drizzle hurting and wondering what the hell happened.  Jennie was indoors and oblivious to all this as I made tentative movements to see if there were any unusual grating sensations and wishing Mummy was there to make it all better.  Mercifully, there were no breaks although my shoulder aches and it hurts when I cough - just strained chest muscles I hope.  Didn't try to play the sympathy card as I've planned to do something about those darned blocks all winter so the response would have been predictable.  (This has been the ultimate prompt to do something sooner rather than later).  No doubt there will be some interesting colours coming out on the body over the next day or two but don't feel too bad right now having swallowed some anti-inflammatories and rubbed in Voltaren Emugel.  Just hope I'm not too stiff to take part in the IAM ride on Sunday or I'll never hear the end of it from a certain other Kiwi blogger who will see it as his mission in life to tell the other riders!!

Back to the subject of bikes, I had an experience on the Auckland motorway a few days ago which was a timely reminder that even with a high standard of riding, motorcyclists are still at risk.  I was in a line of traffic in the outside lane, moving marginally faster than the next lane in.  Leaving a decent gap to the vehicle in front, I was slowly going past a 4x4 in the next lane.  I was just past the driver's seating position when I sensed as much as actually seeing that his front wing was swinging across to the space I currently occupied!  Delighted to say that's where the IAM training kicked in with muscle memory instantly triggering an avoidance manoeuvre.  No fright, no nothing other than an instantaneous control response - pretty darned pleased with the level of internal discipline.  Reflecting on that incident, a couple of things come to mind.  In the last post reviewing David Hough's new motorcycle book, he talks about prominent vehicles capturing another driver's attention to the extent of ignoring smaller objects (like me!).  This near miss could very well have been an example of this phenomenon.  The driver may well have been fixated on the vehicle in front of me and combined with the decent space I'd left, simply assumed it was ok for him to change lanes.  Guess he'd never heard of doing a lifesaver or shoulder check.  Just take care out there everyone!

Finally, a friend has just introduced me to a supremely talented young Australian musician with a wicked sense of humour.  I can't remember when I've laughed so hard, which hurt rather a lot, given the current state of my ribs.  The satirical song Tim Minchin sings about young children is music to the ears of grandparents in particular, but also parents after they've regained their sense of humour.  I particularly dedicate this YouTube video to our fellow blogger and recent father again Chillertek !!  Incidentally, Tim Minchin has many more hilarious YouTube videos which can't fail to brighten your day.......



24 comments:

  1. Oh Geoff!! I'm sorry to hear about the slip! Those are just the worst when you know you should have done something about the offending objects long ago. I hope you heal quickly!

    As for the motorway incident, isn't it nice to have that second sight? I'm glad it turned out so easy. Did the driver give any indication of your presence after you passed?

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  2. Hi Lori and thanks! Yup, a real case of Karma!

    I've gone over the incident time and time again to see if there were any indications I missed before the incident but simply can't think of any. Forever glad of the training though. When I stared across at the driver after he subsequently pulled back into his original lane - he resolutely refused to look at me. That speaks volumes, doesn't it?

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    Replies
    1. Yeah. Jerks. I usually just get out and distance myself. Glad you were able to.

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    2. Absolutely - no point in a confrontation whilst moving - we all know who is going to come off second best!

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  3. Oh Geoff..what am I to do with you...sorry about your off..and your not off! it is a mine field out there.

    As for the video brillant, I suppose some aussies are talented....

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    Replies
    1. G'day mate - thought your ears must be burning :-). Got off lightly I think!

      Thought you'd like the video. Go to YouTube and find his "Inflatable You" song - I nearly choked!!

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  4. Oh no. I hope you'll be better soon, and it is just a pulled muscle hurting you, and nothing is broken.

    Thinking of you and wishing you well, and keeping fingers crossed that you can make it to the ride.

    The Aussie guy with the helmet hair is hilarious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sonja!
      Thanks for the good wishes. Feeling quite good actually, just hoping I can last the 400-odd km round trip.

      Isn't he just? Have a look at the video I mentioned in the response to Rog!!!

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  5. Hoist in your own petard - you installed those blocks for your Mother-in-Law? How thoughtful....

    On the subject of driving in lanes on motorways next to unobservant cage drivers, there is surely a case for noisy pipes?

    All the best from monsoon England, N

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    Replies
    1. Nikos my friend!
      Excellent idea but installed by the previous house owner. Highly likely that he had the same intent and was perhaps successful!

      Hmmmm.... possibly and an often-discussed topic. Apart from noisy pipes distracting the hell out of me, I'm inclined to think that nothing short of a close range nuclear strike would shake many cage drivers from their zombie-like trance. Give me driving alongside professional heavy goods truck drivers any time!

      Saw the condition of York on TV news tonight. No need to go to Venice at all eh? We are a bit soggy today too but it's fining up just in time for the weekend!

      Delete
  6. Ouch! No fun slipping like that. Gravity - it's the law. Hope you feel better soon.

    Good job on your cat like reflexes and avoidance maneuvers. People can be so oblivious with their surroundings when they drive large SUVs.

    Oh and thanks for the chuckle with the video. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brandy,
      Thank you - starting work on an anti-gravity device shortly ;-).

      Yep, SUV's and Volvo drivers can be insulated from reality. Oh wait, I own a 4x4.... errrr..... ummmmm.......

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  7. OH Geoff:

    sorry for your spill, even though it was self generated by your own non-action. Can't you just spray it with some non-slip stuff ? or remove it and replace with pea gravel, or dirt ?

    sorry for your close encounter. I had nearly the same situation on a 3 lane road. I was in lane 2 coming up fast on a slowpoke in front. I changed to lane 1 not knowing there was another car coming up in lane 3. I passed the car in lane 2, then from lane 1 attempted to change back into lane 2 (in front of the slowpoke), but then the car in lane 3 makes a quick move into lane 2 as well, without looking that I was already moving into the same space, and without doing a shoulder check.

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gidday Bob,
      Yep, all my fault trying to multi-task when I'm just a mere guy!! I was going to paint some non-slip on it but someone I was talking with this morning tells me that you can get a fine stainless mesh a bit like chicken wire. Stapling that down might be a decent intermediate solution.

      Yes, even your own good situational awareness doesn't always stop a situation arising, although good training will probably get you out of it.

      Delete
  8. G'day Geoff, all the best for a rapid recovery. Are those ribs are OK? Sounds a bit dodgy if it's hurting when you laugh!

    I received my copy of 'Sounds of Thunder' yesterday which I bought on your recommendation - couldn't put it down last night. Had a glorious sunny 26C here yesterday, but it's back to winter for Saturday at 13C max! Why is that important? Because Saturday is AFL Grand final day here and it's my favorite motorcycling day of the year as the roads are virtually deserted. Alas I won't be riding due to more crummy weather!

    Heal fast mate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jules and thanks!
      Healing pretty fast and the aching has subsided but the ribs are really sore when I cough or sneeze. Judging by a similar circumstance when I crashed my mountain bike a decade ago, I'd diagnose either cartilage damage or cracked ribs. Not much you can do about it but don't think it will stop me riding.

      Excellent news!I was much the same with my e-copy. Full of admiration for all the subjects in each story and what a pleasure to see such great use of language. Sorry about your forecast mate - ours is the reverse. Gale force winds and rain today but glorious on Sunday for our IAM ride. BTW, our son took us to see an AFL game at the MCG when he lived over there!

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  9. Ouch!!! Sorry to hear about the fall. The last time that happened to me, I ended up getting physical therapy for months due to a shoulder injury.

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  10. Hi Richard,
    I guess Alaskan residents have to be especially aware of falls given your conditions! One thing is for sure, we don't bounce as well as we age!

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    Replies
    1. Geoff:

      CORRECTION: you bounce fine, it's the aftermath and healing that slows down as you age, NOT the bouncing part

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast
      My Flickr // My YouTube

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  11. Chillertek has left a new comment on your post "Only a wee bit about bikes....":

    Hi Geoff
    Woh mate thats a bit of bad luck on the soon to be patented perpetual motion machine.

    You had better be careful you old coggers tend to damage easily when you fall over. But seriously I hope your all fighting fit for your IAM ride.

    I watched the video you put up, and I haven't had a good belly laugh like that in ages. Thanks geoff you made my day.

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  12. Sorry I messed up your reply Steve - using the iPad, darn it!

    There's life in the old fart yet, rapidly improving. Glad you liked the video. Now look up Inflatable You, much more smutty but funny as hell. Hope the sleepless nights are getting better :-)

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  13. Every motorcyclist on the road is at risk. It’s a good thing that you know your way. Perhaps, your years of experience has helped you swerve on the “safe” lane. By the way, I love Tim Minchin! Rock n’ Roll Nerd is one of my many favorite songs. :D

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  14. Claudio,
    Thanks for dropping by. I think that if I hadn't been IAM-trained, the outcome could have been a whole lot worse! Good to hear of another Tim Minchin fan!

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