Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gear Selection

Two Wheel Reviews
After receiving a couple communication devices that we could use from bike to bike, I thought we were doing great. They worked great, came through crystal clear and really made our job easier while filming. We even did a review on the Cardo Scala Rider Q2 here. What could possibly go wrong?!?

I found out exactly what could go wrong a few weeks ago while out road testing a bike on some country roads. Coming around a left hand corner at approx. 30mph, I lost the rear end, falling on my left side. First assessment: things hurt, I couldn't stand up, let alone walk and had the wind knocked out of me. Shouldn't be that big of a deal. In my 40+ years of riding experience, I have had my share of exciting get-offs, breaking a few bones along the way. To be honest, at that point, I was more worried about the bike than myself. I always wear the correct gear and this time was no different.Collarbone: Not just broken- it's shattered.

After getting checked out, I later discovered that I had shattered my left collarbone into many, many pieces, cracked a left shoulder blade, cracked my left hip/pelvis and broke a bone in my right hand. Hmmm... It seems that I can slide down the track at 100mph, but was not very good at this "falling over going slow" maneuver.

The collarbone is the reason I am writing this today. I always go back and figure out exactly what I did wrong to cause the crash and also how I broke my own body parts. I kept coming back to my collarbone and wondering how I could have broken it so badly just tipping over at that speed. I have broken collarbones before a few times, but I was only still moving at about 20mph by the time I hit the ground this time. Oh well, I just chalked it up to putting on a few more years.Cardo mounted using supplied bracket- note overhang.

That was until I was swapping out my communicator from my old helmet to the new one. As I looked down at the old one sitting at my feet, it hit me. It was the communicator that was hanging down below the helmet on the left side, almost a full inch and just happened to line up with my collarbone! Damn.

The helmet was relieved upwards on the side (possibly for that very reason) but I had attached this device in the exact spot that would contact my collarbone if I tilted my head far enough to the left side. I should have noticed it when I attached it to my helmet, but it never crossed my mind.

New helmet with alternative mounting.I have moved the mount on my new helmet up to the side and used Velcro to attach it instead of the brackets supplied with the Cardo kit. Besides moving it up, out of harms way, I'm hoping that the Velcro will let go in case of an emergency.

I take my gear seriously and would never ride without it. I know it won't save me from everything, but it sure increases my odds and I like that. This time I learned that I made the mistake of second guessing the design of a great helmet (Shark RSI) and I paid the price.

Good news is, I learned something.

And I heal quickly.

Two Wheel Oklahoma

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It's a Travel Show

Two Wheel Oklahoma is a television travel show featuring the motorcycle rides of Brad Mathison and Rex Brown along the scenic highways and backroads of Oklahoma.

Each episode highlights a stretch of road or historic route and explores unique destinations along the way. Tune in three times a week on the Cox Channel.

We hope you'll come ride along.

Brad and Rex: co-hosts of Two Wheel Oklahoma