Clarksville, Tn — Since my accident last November, I’ve had the opportunity to hear from many of you about YOUR near death experiences on a motorcycle. Your stories have been extraordinary.
Many of you had far worse injuries than I did, and yet here you are, able to “tell the tale.” They’re memories you would just as soon forget, but hearing them gives me chills, and reminds me of “that” moment when I hit the deer.
I replay it over and over. I will NEVER forget the sound of my Harley striking that beast. It was the last thing I remembered until I was laying in the lap of one of my brothers, screaming bloody murder. But, I was alive.
In the days, weeks and months since then, I have had a range of emotions, especially when I ride.
I bought a new bike within a month of the accident. I wasn’t able to ride for a couple of more weeks, but when I DID get on the horse, not only was it amazing, but it was different. Psychologically, I was a nervous wreck. I couldn’t get comfortable. Not from just the sore ribs, but in my mind, I was spooked.
As I ride today, my eyes are constantly scanning the horizon. Searching, searching, on the look-out for ANYTHING!
I know they’re out there. I know it could happen again. Would I avoid it? Would it kill me this time?
At the time of the accident, I kept trying to tell everyone that I “thought” I had time to avoid the twelve point buck. I thought I had managed to just swerve enough to miss him. I thought I had seen him in time.
Well, at 60mph, that’s not how it works.
The reality is, you truly don’t have ANY time to miss something that jumps out in front of you. If you do avoid it, you’re just plain lucky. Whether it’s debris on the interstate, or a rabbit on a lonely country road.
In the months following my incident, I would tell my riding buddies that I just wasn’t as “confident” as before. I was “jumpy” through the corners. I was “fearful” down the straightaway. It was just a matter of time before the bird flew up out of the ditch, or some other critter decided he was going to cross the road.
I was spooked and I had to get over it.
The new bike came with a deer whistle. Now, I realize that some of you think they work, others don’t. Psychologically, for me, it makes my mind rest a little easier. I don’t know it they work or not, but so far, so good.
My nerves have settled quite a bit since that November day. I’m more comfortable, and not as uneasy as before, but I can’t get it out of my head, that in a split second, it could happen again. Is it fear, or a healthier respect for the open road?