My 50th birthday started out perfect the night before-9 of my closest friends and family watching the big screen in the motorhome parked in Infineon Raceway, formally Sears Point.
The next morning dawned clear, cool, and still-perfect!
The first session was uneventful. Just 8-10 laps to warm the tires, learn the track and play with some lines.
The second session started for us at 1140. I was in the second group to leave the start and by turn 6, I had passed the others.
Turn 6 by the way has got to be one of the best corners I have ever ridden. It is a fast, constant radius, downhill left sweeper. 2nd gear all the way to 8 grand at the apex where you spill out onto the longest straight on the track before 7, a nice little two apexer you can take as one.
The back stretch between 7 and 10 is run fast with just a quick break at 9, a fairly tight right hander off a blind hill.
The track guys had placed a technical chicane between 10 and 11 they called 10a. I think this was meant to slow folks down before the very tight hairpin 180 at 11.
I had run this quick right/left in first on the first session drifting the rear on the exit the last two laps and thought I had it wired. Entry this time was a little faster than the first session, 8-10 faster maybe. A touch of the brake as I flopped right, then quick counter left. Contact with the left puck on the exit then line up 11.
Hard on the throttle at the exit, too hard. Back wheel is now drifting wide. Only thought-stay on the gas! Having to cross the front wheel right though to keep the bike on path to 11 and must have lightened up on the throttle. Wham! Pain in the groin as I am launched up and right as the 190/50 suddenly finds lots of traction and the bike is snapped back in line.
I remember pain in my groin as I left the bike then the thud as my left temple, then left shoulder, then hip hits pavement. Can't breath at first, then realize 30-40 riders are coming fast behind me! I look down the track and see the S, two weeks after the new paint job, laying unceremoniously on its left side.
I start to get up, when the pain in my hip takes my breath away (again) and I think I may have passed out as I remember waving from the ground to attract attention, letting folks know that I was alive and where I was so as not to get run over! I don't remember any bikes passing though.
The rest of the day was, well, bad but could have been much, much worse.
30 minute ride to the hospital, one stop to swap drivers as the paramedic driving started to pass out and had to come back and lay next to me. Really, can't make this stuff up! So my wife, also a critical care RN took over care for me and the paramedic in back! I should get a discount for the ride in.
Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital is one of the best facilities I have ever seen. The staff there was incredible, fast, smart, efficient, good job all!
No one could believe I had fallen off of a MC though, as there was only one small strawberry on my left elbow. Otherwise, not a scratch.
Gear-Shoei X-11, Bohn upper body armor, Alpinstar two piece race leathers and Vendrimini boots. All junk now
Damage to me; broken inferior ramus (one of the four bones connecting your pubic symphasis to your left and right hip) and a seperated AC joint in the shoulder (outer end of the clavicle). I think the hip fracture was from the tank upon exiting the bike.
When they first told me I had broken my ramus, I thought they were talking about my Remus (full titanium exhaust) and when I learned it was just a bone, I was relieved-until the next day when physical therapy stood me up-ouch. I can only describe the pain I felt as it must have felt like that day Randy was trying to tie the volleyball net to the pole and slipped, catching his scrotum on the way down on the loop for the tennis net and spilling his boys onto the junior high playground.
2 days in ICU (just careful, hip fractures can sometimes bleed, alot) but no bleeding or surgery for me.
Home now and very sore, but very lucky. The body will heal, the bike will get fixed, just superficial body damage and a shift lever.
Lost a week and a half in the shop, late on a few orders but will catch up-hopefully my customers will forgive me.
Thanks to Tracy and Scott, my family and friends, the track staff, Cary and the guys and girls at Marin BMW, the staff at Santa Rosa Memorial and especially my wife, never once (still) telling me I shouldn't ride.
Here is a tip-if one of your friends offer to drive you home in your motorhome after an injury at Infineon-make sure the don't take the twisty, back road over the mountain!