This Friday, May the 8th, I had my ass tapped by an old man.
No, this is not me admitting to lemon party related type of activities (I’ll be keeping that to myself for the time being); instead, I was on a receiving side of my first rear-end. So here is the story.
I got a surprise day off, and since the weather was nice and warm, Maria and I decided to hit the beach. We were riding down 1st Avenue, both wearing full gear – I even had my high-vis Scoyco JK36 jacket on.
1 Block before Main St. I merge lanes at the beginning of the block. As I am approaching the intersection, the light turns yellow, and we stop. It was my mistake for not checking the mirrors, as the screech of brakes was the only indicator of what happened shortly thereafter.
The impact throws us a little forward, and the bike goes on the side.
I reach for the kill switch, check if Maria is okay, and look back to see some confused old cager and his lady friend in the beat up 90’s Toyota behind us. Some dude running over to help me pick the bike up. We move it to the side of the road, take off our helmets, and assess the damage.
After fully checking Maria and myself, I take a close look at the rear wheel assembly, the top case and the body; and try to start the bike. All is fine, the bike starts after a few tries, no new noticeable scuffs or scratches (she is an enduro, after all). I decide to let it slide: no physical damage to myself, my passenger, the bike or any of our gear.
The lessons I learned out of that:
1. No matter where you go, ATGATT. This shit can happen anytime and anywhere. According to the 2001 study involving 11,000 respondents, 77% of crashes occurred 15 miles (~24 km) or less away from their home.
2. Within reason, try to not be the first to stop at the intersection. Bikes need a shorter distance to come to a complete stop than most cars, and there might be another impatient road user behind you trying to beat that red light.
3. After you stop, check the mirrors. Even better to also shoulder check to your surroundings to the left and right.