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Staying Healthy on the Road Medical info, e.g. malaria, vaccinations, travel medical tips, medical insurance, where to find a doctor.
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  #1  
Old 30 Jan 2012
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Mexican Accident,Getting back on the horse

Here’s the thing, I had an accident in Mexico a few weeks ago, I had no choice other than the ride the bike back to base 2500 miles to (Colorado) to get my flight back to England.

The finer details are in my blog.
But this is the problem. I've been riding for 30 years, from chops to sport bikes to overlanders, I have a few spills but nothing as scary and near fatal as the last one.

Now every time I throw my swollen leg over the saddle the accident replays in my head because I don’t know why it happened.

The Facts.
Loaded KLR650, ridden nearly 15,000 miles so quite familiar with this one and the last one I rode even further.
MEFO tyres, worn but not worn out, 8000 miles.
MEFO tubes both never punctured 18,000 miles on them and slime filled.
Pressure reading taken 3 days and only 200 miles before accident, found to be perfect, 21psi
Perfect air temperature
Dry conditions
Smooth road
50mph, really taking it easy
Front tyre blows. Instantly flat, can’t steer it, can’t lean it.
I’ll spare you the details, they are in the blog.
In Search of Greener Grass: Oh, it's a hard road (especially when you hit it)

When it we had both stopped (on different parts of the road) the tyre was off the rim, twisted round it in fact, the valve was ripped from the tube (cause of blowout or product for it?)

So like I say I had to ride it back but now, now it’s not a necessity to ride it, it scares the poo out of me. That is because I still don’t understand the cause of the accident. I throttle down for ever oncoming car now. I will sell the bike, that’s a given. As soon as I replace the broken parts. I've fallen off and we’ve fallen out.

Any ideas? Because I'm not ready to hang up my helmet but equally if I can’t enjoy the ride again its seems a pointless to persevere. But my life is bikes; I don’t want a void to fill. I want a KTM 990 Adventure next.

And no one gets it. I've lost dear friends. But I'm still here and how do I deal with that near death experience. To quote Pink Floyd, 'I’m not frightened of dying' but I really am quite opposed to pain unless it’s a tattoo needle I don’t want to feel it.

Why did that happen? Will it happen again? And how do I stop replaying the experience of rolling down the road in front of an oncoming car? Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 30 Jan 2012
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I could sound like you've had a "snakebite".

If you go fast over speedbumps(or other bumps) on a heavily laden bike, the tyre can get so compressed that the rim hits so hard on the tube that is makes two holes in it, therefore a "snakebite"

If tyre pressure is down, the risc is of course even greater.
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Old 30 Jan 2012
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Look at bikes with tubeless tyres, much less likely to instantly deflate and more secure on the rim if they did, as for overcoming the feeling of impending doom, I've no idea....
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Old 30 Jan 2012
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Flid,
I think 21psi on a loaded bike would cause tyre flex,which could have resulted in the blow out.I never operate under 30psi with any loaded bike.
Regards Ben

Last edited by Bennett; 30 Jan 2012 at 21:46. Reason: spelling
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Old 30 Jan 2012
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Front wheels

flid,
As other posts, I would also blame the low tyre pressures for the cause of what you describe.

But, more importantly, you have to get back on a bike, any bike, and ride again asap.
I have had two of what you describe; in one case I was off the road for months in recovery mode, but I got straight back on the same bike just as soon as I could. For the second time, with not such bad injuries, I got back on and rode around deliberately for quite some time after the incident while my mind came out of it's "this cannot be happening to me" status.

I know exactly what you have described & front wheel skids suck!!
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Old 30 Jan 2012
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sorry to hear of your brown pant moment, and I'm glad you are here to tell the tale.

Mefo did have a recall recently on tyres splitting and causing tubes to go bang. Worth giving them a ring?
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Old 8 Feb 2012
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Thanks for all the replies
It wasn’t a ‘snakebite’ the road was smooth and free of speed bumps. And the only damage to the tube was a ripped out valve.
I no longer have the tyres, too late to see if they were the recalled ones, I was singing mefo’s praises for the 8000miles prior to the accident.
I thinking, although I'm still not totally convinced, it could have been tyre pressure I have since discovered the pressure gauge I took with me read higher than the actual pressure.
Maybe I’ll take to gauges next time
As for the he-be-g-bees every time I get on. I found dressing for cold weather to the point where the Michelin man would look anorexic next to me, helped a bit.
And now, after 4 weeks, the memory is fading a little along with the swelling and scabs so hopefully in time things will return to the way they were
Thanks again for the suggestions
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Old 8 Feb 2012
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Tire pressure. There's no reason to run pressures that low on the highway, and lots of reasons not to--including the heat buildup in tires and tubes which flexes and ages them, the possibility of snake bite or dented rims if you hit anything hard and, notably, the possibility of a tube rotating within your tire, tearing the valve stem, causing instant deflation and likely crash. If you want to run low pressure, use a rimlock or two.

I don't go below 20 psi without rimlocks--this might be overkill, but it works. I never trust pressure gauges either until I've got two which agree....and even then. This would be an example of why.

Lots of people suggest changing out tubes fairly often. I don't, but maybe it's not a bad idea. I definitely leave the nut on valve stems loose and I check for tube rotation (i.e., crooked valve stem) often, especially during hot spells or if I've been braking hard--again, it's either that or rimlocks.

As far as getting back on the horse, most people would agree that easing back into things will help the memory fade. What you're dealing with is standard post-trauma response, and a major part of the cure is gradual desensitization. The reason you want to do this now, rather than waiting a year or a lifetime, is that in reviewing your memories of the incident you can strengthen the memory itself, therefore the trauma, therefore the post-trauma response. That's not what you want. You want to provide yourself with alternate neural pathways--which is to say alternate memories and responses. Do it today.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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Old 8 Feb 2012
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Mark's advice is very sound. I had a major crash 3 summers ago and it took me over a year to get over the heebeejeebies. But I did get back on the bike as soon as it was back in my hands. Even to this day I still sometimes cringe when making a sharp left turn since I crashed during a left turn.

Good luck with it all and take it easy.


...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com
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  #10  
Old 9 Feb 2012
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bad luck mate- sounds like too low pressures. Get your leg over that bike saddle quick and enjoy the road again best thing for it.
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Old 20 Feb 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flid View Post
Thanks for all the replies...
And now, after 4 weeks, the memory is fading a little along with the swelling ...so hopefully in time things will return to the way they were
Thanks again for the suggestions
Hi guy,

300,000 miles on motorcycles and I've never had an accident, BUT was critically injured in a horseback riding accident.

For me, the memories faded over time, but the joy of riding my horses was gone. All the best to you in your continued recovery, both physically and emotionally.

Steve
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  #12  
Old 21 Feb 2013
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This is excellent and sound advice.

I was badly fcuked up in a bike accident some years ago and it took me a long time to get back on a bike - like a decade; but I did and you can too.

Good luck with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
Tire pressure. There's no reason to run pressures that low on the highway, and lots of reasons not to--including the heat buildup in tires and tubes which flexes and ages them, the possibility of snake bite or dented rims if you hit anything hard and, notably, the possibility of a tube rotating within your tire, tearing the valve stem, causing instant deflation and likely crash. If you want to run low pressure, use a rimlock or two.

I don't go below 20 psi without rimlocks--this might be overkill, but it works. I never trust pressure gauges either until I've got two which agree....and even then. This would be an example of why.

Lots of people suggest changing out tubes fairly often. I don't, but maybe it's not a bad idea. I definitely leave the nut on valve stems loose and I check for tube rotation (i.e., crooked valve stem) often, especially during hot spells or if I've been braking hard--again, it's either that or rimlocks.

As far as getting back on the horse, most people would agree that easing back into things will help the memory fade. What you're dealing with is standard post-trauma response, and a major part of the cure is gradual desensitization. The reason you want to do this now, rather than waiting a year or a lifetime, is that in reviewing your memories of the incident you can strengthen the memory itself, therefore the trauma, therefore the post-trauma response. That's not what you want. You want to provide yourself with alternate neural pathways--which is to say alternate memories and responses. Do it today.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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