I feel awful. I have let people down.
I managed to have an accident on Saturday.
I was going through Citylink's Domain Tunnel. The speed limit was reduced to 60kms per hour and the left lane was closed - thank goodness, or this could have been much worse!
I was riding behind a hatchback - I loooove hatchback drivers! Their driving skills are amazing! For some inexplicable reason, the woman in front of me decided to hit her brakes hard. She probably was making way for a family of ants crossing the freeway.
I stupidly hit my brakes just as hard - in retrospect, I should have applied more power to my rear brake than my front brake... motorcyclists reading this right now will guess what happened. My front brake seized up... the bike toppled, and both of us were moving like rolling pins along the tunnel. Thankfully, we rolled into the closed lane, so no oncoming cars were there to run me over and finish the job. :)
So, no damage to any other cars, just me and my bike...
Funnily enough, the hatchback kept driving, she either didn't give a damn, or was oblivious to what had just occurred behind her. (If that's the case, I'd always suspected that some hatchback drivers didn't check their rear-view mirrors often enough. It's a generalisation, but heck... I'm in pain and it's mighty comfortable for me to make that statement right now. Any arguments?)
A 4WD coming along behind me stopped to see how I was. Actually, this 4WD was following me along the Monash Freeway since I entered at Ferntree Gully Road - so they can verify how safely I was riding that whole stretch. I was being a very good girl, obeying the reduced speed limits and signage the whole way to Richmond.
Two other cars pulled over to see how I was too. I was so embarrassed that I'd managed to make such a stupid error and put everyone out. But hey, when the Citylink Emergency Response Unit turned up and closed off another lane, I was quite proud! I had managed to close off TWO (out of three) lanes of traffic on a major Melbourne arterial! Woohoo!
That's gotta be good for my ego... either that, or by that stage, I was way too happy on morphine to give a sh*t...
I remember sitting up on the asphalt when I stopped rolling. A woman named 'Nicole' ran to my side, asking me how I was. I felt like a Looney Toons character - Wile E. Coyote after he'd been blown up by one of his Roadrunner traps that backfired and hit him instead. I was shaking my head, a little dazed and disoriented. I could almost see the little birds twittering and circling my head as I tried to regain my bearings.
She repeated: "Are you okay? Do you know what happened? Do you know where you are?"
I said slowly: "I'm okay... I'm in the Domain Tunnel on Citylink, it's a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I've let a whole heap of people down by breaking one of my legs."
It should be noted that by this stage, both of my legs were killing me. It was only when I was trying to get up later that I realised that it was my right ankle that I had busted, not my left. Damn it! My right leg always cops it for some reason! Even before I got a motorcycle licence, I broke my right ankle falling down a flight of stairs. I guess it's true what they say about Saggitarians - they're accident prone. A good quality for an avid motorcyclist, don't you think? :)
The Citylink Response Unit called the ambulance for me. Three guys and one woman from that unit crowded around me, feeling my leg, trying to ascertain where I was broken. One of the guys asked me if I'd like some pain relief. "Hell yeah!" was my response to that inane question.
So, he gave me this little tube of some morphine-related drug to suck on. Ahhhh... that's the best bit. Zoning out legally and seeing things changing colours every-so-slightly around you. Yay! I'd almost do it all again for the buzz... :)
The ambulance arrives - Carmen and Jason, my wonderful paramedics, gave me some real morphine this time. Right up the nose! Even better! What pain? Where?
A few riders go past the ambulance as I'm being heaved in. I wave at them, calling out to them, telling them to ride safe. They smile and nod in my direction, I could see sympathy in their eyes as they passed.
Carmen was lovely... and kept me company in the back of the truck. I had managed to cry a little from the pain earlier. I was worried that my black eye make-up was running down my face from the tears. Carmen assured me that I didn't look like a panda. Bless her heart. But, I did manage to break a nail, damnit! A number of expletives burst out from my mouth when I noticed that!
That was the exciting part of my Saturday. The wait at the Alfred was soooo boring! I hate arriving at the hospital - they always manage to cut off my expensive bike gear for fear of "hurting me". They sawed through my motorcycle boots ($600, thank-you very much), my leather pants (another $1000) - they were approaching my Motodry jacket with the scissors when I screamed "Enough! I can take this one off myself! At the rate you're going, I'll be going home naked!"
A white robe was thrust at me by one of the nurses: "Here, put this on!"
*shudder* "Got one in black?" I replied in disgust.
All the heart-monitoring sticky things were put over my bare chest - such an invasion of privacy! I was the patient from hell, consistently protesting that I was fine, just a broken ankle. Of course, I was lectured constantly, being told how they had to make sure there was nothing else wrong with me that wasn't visually apparent at that time. Blah,blah, blah... *yawn*
You know, that's the ONLY time I lament riding a motorcycle? When I have to deal with the emergency staff in a hospital. They're so helpful and condescending at the same time. I find it tiresome. It's at those times that I wish I didn't have such a passion to ride - I know that there's a good chance that I'll have to deal with these situations, considering what a high risk category I fall into. Temporary citizens, that's what they call us.
So, to cut a long, boring story short, I'm now in plaster. They put a back-slab on me and I have to see the orthopaedic doctors at the Alfred again on the 8th of February at 2.00pm. *sigh*
Still, I'm counting my blessings... it could have been much worse. Plus, I don't have to have surgery. 18 orthopaedic operations on the same leg in one lifetime is quite enough, really!
Now, comes the disappointment.
I feel bad for letting some people down. Obviously, my ride across Australia won't be taking place in March/April as planned. I have made contact with MS Australia already - they're happy for me to postpone the ride for later in the year. Time will tell whether that comes to fruition or not. As much as I hate to say it, it really all depends on how the situation with my mother develops. (For those of you who know me - see? I got away with NOT telling her! LOL She still has no idea!)
If it is rescheduled, I hope to complete the ride in Spring/Summer...perhaps Oct/Nov/Dec? One thing at a time. I have to heal... again!
This, too, might be a blessing in disguise. If the ride is postponed, I will have more time to devote to making it as big as possible - perhaps raising more funds for MS Australia in the process? Truth be told, I was feeling a little rushed of late - overwhelmed by the amount of work that I'd have to do between my press kit being completed and the departure date. Things weren't moving as smoothly as I would have liked. Now that I have an inkling of what I'm in for (prep-wise), I know that I'll be having to start work a little earlier the next time around.
So, for my blog followers... you might find it a little boring over the next few weeks. Sorry!
I won't be out riding anywhere, posting on any of my witty and entertaining observations. I'll most likely be posting about the books I read and the DVDs I'll be watching, feeling sorry for myself, whining about not being out there, with the rest of you, seeing the sights, smelling the environment, wiping bug blood off the visor of my helmet.
I hope I can maintain your interest over the next few weeks...
Bikiechic is temporarily incapacitated, not dead!
She will ride again! *cue violin music here*
Au revoir... hasta la vista... see you later!