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A Friend's Motorcycle Crash

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In spring of '04 a friend of mine set out on a CC50 - coast to coast in 50 hours, Jacksonville to San Diego. On the first day of his trip he had a crash. He woke up four days later in the hospital with no memory of crashing. He's still not sure what happened - the police report shed no light on the subject.

He was in the hospital for over a month, with a concussion, a broken eye socket, five broken ribs and a badly damaged hand.He's substantially recovered now. He was wearing a flip-open helmet (picture below) which seems substantially unharmed, especially in view of the beating his head took. This case is one reason I recommend avoiding these helmets.

This being America, while he was in his hospital bed still confused from the concussion, his "wife" served him divorce papers.

Here's his Honda ST1300 before:

ST1300 before crash
Before - all fit out for Iron Butt events
Mast with Otter Box on top containing V-1, Other side is C/B Ant. Ron Smith Aux. Fuel Tank.On saddle bag is 12" Red LED which is turn signal/running light. Forward of saddle bag is mount for one gallon jug of water.Just under PIAA 910 is a 6" Amber turn signal/running light.

ST1300 before crash
Instruments for Iron Butt events
On top of shelf is Garmin 2610 GPS. Directly below is the V-1 indicator.To the left is the control head for the radio wrapped in "Tank Slapper" material.On the left handle bar is the control for the Cruise Control. The Yellow & Red s/w are for future use.Switch box controls PIAA 910 & 1400, V-1, Heated Seat, Volt Meter & socket.The black box on top controls Gate Opener, Garage Door, and two for heated clothing.

Here's his Honda ST1300 after:

ST1300 after crash

ST1300 after crash

ST1300 after crash

ST1300 after crash

ST1300 after crash

Although the helmet shows little sign of a major impact, my friend was in a coma for three days, and required multiple surgeries to repair his eye sockets and get his eyes to stay in his head. He was also mentally confused for a couple of weeks. The helmet is a Nolan flip-open helmet. Normally, one expects a helmet to protect your head in a crash; in this case it seems my friend's head protected the helmet. I believe the hinge mechanism hit his temple, causing the eye socket damage and severe concussion. For this reason, I believe flip-open helmets are dangerous and should be avoided.

The Patron Saint Of Motorcycling

The Vatican has officially endorsed an early Irish saint, Columbanus of Bobbio, as the patron saint of motorcyclists. He was born on the Carlow/Wicklow border in the year 543 ad, and died at the monastery he founded in Bobbio, in what is now Northern Italy in 615 AD, after many years of traveling around Europe. His bones still lie interred in his church there.

A handsome rugged kind of chap, he left Ireland to escape the clutches of lascivious women who were irresistibly attracted to him. According to the biography of his life written by Jonas, one of the many miracles attributed to him involved the multiplication of bread and beer, as follows:

"A while after, Columban went to the monastery of Fontaines and found sixty brethren hoeing the ground and preparing the fields for the future crop. When he saw them breaking up the clods with great labor, he said, "May the Lord prepare for you a feast, my brethren." Hearing this the attendant said, "Father, believe me, we have only two loaves and a very little beer." Columban answered, "Go and bring those." The attendant went quickly and brought the two loaves and a little beer. Columban, raising his eyes to heaven, said, "Christ Jesus, only hope of the world, do Thou, who from five loaves satisfied five thousand men in the wilderness, multiply these loaves and this drink." Wonderful faith! All were satisfied and each one drank as much as he wished. The servant carried back twice as much in fragments and twice the amount of drink. And so he knew that faith is more deserving of the divine gifts than despair, which is wont to diminish even what one has."

His Feast day is the 23rd November