Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Hi Clubby & Tania: The title above says it all: I went down and out, as in unconscious for two days, following an accident on the Tenere on a trip to Camerons Corner and back from the Sunny Coast in Qld last September. The dirt road past Goodooga NSW had big patches of bull dust to contend with and I should have taken more care but the Tenere had new suspension, I was running a steering damper and it was not what I considered a bad dirt road. I cannot remember the crash (nor do I wish to) and have only my riding partner, Michael on a DRZ 400, and the Police Report, to fill in the gaps. What appears to have happened was the front wheel was lost in a bull dust hole followed by a highside, face plant and unconscious state. Damage to my helmet indicated a heavy impact and this did not do my head and neck much good. I was jokingly told later that I would have to get a new licence as I was now 10mm shorter. So it was an ambulance ride to Lightning Ridge ($1,600) and then because of my unconscious condition, the Royal Flying Doctors (RFDS) flew me to Dubbo to be reassessed with the intention of flying me to Sydney if needed. Luckily the trip to Sydney was not required, as after further assessment my brain was located, although my wife still thinks it's missing.
Things the crash highlighted:
1). Do not travel alone in isolated areas. The dingoes would have had me before I became conscious again two days later.
2). Carry a first-aid kit and most importantly an understanding of how to use it.
3). Particular attention to the question of the removal of a helmet would be handy. (Refer to TRAIL ZONE issue #38 and the article entitled 'The Accidental Truth'.)
4). Have good communications with you. I am now looking to purchase my own satellite phone.
5). If the sh*t really hits the fan there is a willing bunch of people to come to your rescue if needed. They include the Ambulance, RFDS and fellow riders (thanks Michael).
6). All my riding gear was cut off me, so give some thought to insurance cover for this gear.
7). Wear good safety gear. My Leatt neck brace got a special mention, as it was seen as a potential lifesaver.
I now tend to drool for no particular reason. But an unexpected result has been the impact on my golf handicap. I am a hacker with a handicap of 26, but it has now been reduced to 22 in the last four weeks as I no longer slice the ball, the most common hacker trait. Overall an excellent result but I would not recommend this golf improvement technique to anyone else.
The end result has been 10 weeks off bikes, but some of that was because the Ten was also in hospital.
I will be back for the March 2012 Tragics ride though. See you and my fellow Tragics there!!!
-- Mike, 85% Tenere Tragic #19
PS: The picture attached is my last memory from the ill-fated trip.

Wow, Mike, that's a sobering reminder that along with all the good times we enjoy on our bikes, hard times can be laying in wait around the next corner or over the next crest or in the next patch of bull dust. We're real glad to know you came through okay and are rapt we'll be catching up again in March ... but just try not to dribble in anyone's meal at the Welcome dinner, okay?! Now get back on the fairways and knock another couple of points off that handicap.
-- Clubby, Tenere Tragic #1

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