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Old 09-28-2012, 04:53 PM   #1
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Joined: Aug 2005
From: Spokane

I Ride: Yamaha FZ1, 08 gsxr 1000 trackbike
Titanium Ballistic aka Craig
Well, I hoped to never tell a story like this, but I feel compelled to share after close to 3 weeks of healing. I went to the "Ridge" racetrack in Shelton, WA about 3 weeks ago tomorrow and rode my second track day there. Great weather, tons of bikes (about 100) in the 3 classes. First session went well in the A group, felt a little slowed by the newbies but on the second session I bolted and ran first the first lap and ended up around 6th at the end of the session ---but "who is countin?" haha, me. Probably the best I have ever ridden on pavement, period. Hmmmm, can you guess what is coming? Third session I bolted, but someone with slicks and tire warmers beat me to turn one, two, three, four, five and coming off the carousel I was hauling bootie and down the hill and hard on the brakes, trail braking into that turn as was usual for me--evidently my front tire let go or I touched down on a low mounted frame slider and BAM!, I was down bouncing off the track. OWIE! Did not even realize I was down until I stopped bouncing and sliding. Crap, I crashed---first time at any track, first time on pavement in 40 fricking years. I guess I overdid it, or my guardian angel blinked. Who knows? I tried to get up immediately, but the pain crumpled me back down---hey, just like on TV. Bleahhh! Second time, after writhing in pain awhile, I made it to the standing posture and weakly waved to the flag station that I was still breathing. Barely. Control riders showed up and asked if I needed an ambulance ride---I said--Nahhhh!---just pick up my bike and I will ride it back to the pits. Great choice---NOT! I made it back to the pits and walked 1000 feet to the track ambulance to get checked out as my left hand and right ribcage was hurting, alot! They splinted my left thumb and thought it might be dislocated. Ended up going to the local ER and they said it was broken, declined chest x-rays---another mistake. After two days back in Spokanistan, I was short of breath and had severe back pain---x-rays---broken 4th rib and displaced---crap, I hardly know how to read x-rays and this looked UGLY! Well, long story a bit shorter, surgery to repair a severely broken left thumb metacarpal with TITANIUM plate, screws, etc and narcotics to sooth pain for the ensuing weeks---and here I are. If I ever felt invincible, I don't now. Argghh. More to the story, bike turned out better than me---but I now wonder if my low mounted frame sliders saved the bike/engine---but maybe decelerated the bike and helped break my thumb or even caused the crash, I was totally on my line with no worries until I bit it? Anywho, that is my story---at least part of it----and I am sticking to it.

Titanium Craig

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Joined: Aug 2012
From: Spokane, WA

I Ride: Ninja 250
That hurt just reading what happened. You've got one helluva story to tell for a long time.

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2005
From: Spokane

I Ride: Yamaha FZ1, 08 gsxr 1000 trackbike
HJC carbon fiber helmet
Oh, I would just like to put in a shameless plug for my less than 2 year old HJC carbon fiber helmet which took a significant hit and still rendered me all too conscious of my pain and predicament. I seriously think everyone needs to be wearing a 2010 Snell approved helmet---as these are a softer more graduated shock absorbing helmet than previous designs in all brands. Might save your noggin enough to write your story about your crash. haha Especially if you are older than time like me at 59.


Craig

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Old 09-28-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2011
From: west coastin

I Ride: with a smile
Glad you could write about man.
We all have our moments, lets just hope we can all write about them.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #5
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Joined: Mar 2010
From: Spokane, WA

I Ride: '12 YZ450F, '09 ZX-6R(race), '10 NINJA 250R (race)
Just saw this write up. I crashed out in the 2nd session and I think Craig wanted to keep even with me that day....Craig, its not as cool or as fun as it looks!

Heal fast buddy, its time for a 600 next year.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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Joined: Aug 2010
From: Renton, WA

I Ride: BMW S1000RR, Husky TR650 Terra
We all have to learn our limits somehow. Glad to hear your experience was on the track and not on the street where there are too many things to crash into and get hit by.

Hope you get better soon, there is plenty of time for healing prior to next year's track season.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:32 PM   #7
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Joined: Sep 2008
From: grandview wa

I Ride: kz650 gsxr1000 gsxr600
At 2-fast trackdays they fly a pink flag for the first 2 laps to remind guys that there bikes and tires are cold and need to warm up.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #8
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Joined: Apr 2012
From: Spokane Valley

I Ride: 2007 Triumph Sprint ST ABS
This is pretty close to how I felt when I crashed this year. I am lucky to be alive as well and I took a pretty big beating on my crash. I hope I will have my new bike by the next riding season. I too have a plate in my wrist now and time to think how to prevent this next time. Heal fast and dont let one fall take away your hobby.

Jeff

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Old 10-05-2012, 05:55 PM   #9
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Joined: Mar 2010
From: Spokane, WA

I Ride: '12 YZ450F, '09 ZX-6R(race), '10 NINJA 250R (race)
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by CedarSpirit View Post
This is pretty close to how I felt when I crashed this year. I am lucky to be alive as well and I took a pretty big beating on my crash. I hope I will have my new bike by the next riding season. I too have a plate in my wrist now and time to think how to prevent this next time. Heal fast and dont let one fall take away your hobby.

Jeff
meant to ask how you were doing a while ago...you need to jump out on the track man.

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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Joined: Jul 2008
From: Kirklandia

I Ride: '10 S1000RR, '08 K1200GT
Bummer Craig, I feel for you. As someone else that is somewhat youth-challenged, I know it does hurt. Sounds like a common error -- riding beyond our skill to keep up with a more experienced or better-equipped rider. Super easy to do on the track, happens all the time. Sounds like Mr. Slicks was "slumming" in A-group because B or C was full -- I've done it myself. This is why we do this on the track, though. The cost is so much lower than on the street. I binned my track bike last month at high speed but I walked away with basically no serious injuries besides my pride and even rode my other bike later in the day. If I had done that on the street, there's a good chance I'd be eating via a straw.

Good luck on a speedy recovery. Hope to you see you out there next year, much wiser and only slightly older!

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #11
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Joined: Oct 2004
From: Greenacres, WA

I Ride: Ducati 999
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by S1KRR View Post
We all have to learn our limits somehow. Glad to hear your experience was on the track and not on the street where there are too many things to crash into and get hit by.

Hope you get better soon, there is plenty of time for healing prior to next year's track season.
Ballistic doesn't ride fast on the street....

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:18 PM   #12
Railer
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Joined: Mar 2010
From: Spokane, WA

I Ride: '12 YZ450F, '09 ZX-6R(race), '10 NINJA 250R (race)
“ Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarmy View Post
Bummer Craig, I feel for you. As someone else that is somewhat youth-challenged, I know it does hurt. Sounds like a common error -- riding beyond our skill to keep up with a more experienced or better-equipped rider. Super easy to do on the track, happens all the time. Sounds like Mr. Slicks was "slumming" in A-group because B or C was full -- I've done it myself. This is why we do this on the track, though. The cost is so much lower than on the street. I binned my track bike last month at high speed but I walked away with basically no serious injuries besides my pride and even rode my other bike later in the day. If I had done that on the street, there's a good chance I'd be eating via a straw.

Good luck on a speedy recovery. Hope to you see you out there next year, much wiser and only slightly older!
A group = expert 300 level

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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Joined: Aug 2005
From: Spokane

I Ride: Yamaha FZ1, 08 gsxr 1000 trackbike
Comments
Thanks to everyone for the nice polite comments. The last month has been a bit tough, I hope to recover physically and emotionally to ride again at the track and on the street. I really wanted to put titanium parts into my bike, not my body for performance. I guess we all have our limits and some of us pay a higher price than others for our miscues. I really have been more than fortunate my whole riding career and this is my worst accident ever---not that I have never had any that really hobbled me like this, but at my age I just don't bounce as well. Plus, I push pretty hard and probably set myself up for this eventual fall.

As in a Pink Floyd song----"There is no sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, can't keep my eyes from the circling skies, tongue tied and twisted, just an earth bound misfit, I." I bet alot of us can identify with those feelings/lyrics.

Craig

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #14
Chicken Strips
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Joined: Feb 2010
From: Peshastin Washington

I Ride: 07' Aprilia Tuono, 09' cbr 600 track bike
YOU will come back, I DID, I know at your age you are guessing it but to run the speeds you do is a testament to your ability, I know you have heard it before, but get back on, I want to turn some laps with you at orp next year

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Old 10-08-2012, 10:04 PM   #15
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Joined: Aug 2005
From: Spokane

I Ride: Yamaha FZ1, 08 gsxr 1000 trackbike
Thanks Dave
You are too nice. I appreciate the kind comments. Oh, and I hope I can find another bike after recovery to run with you at ORP and give you something to chase again. Today has been a good day, I hope my recovery continues like today---I would like to get back out there like you did. I AM impressed.

Craig

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Old 11-06-2012, 05:49 PM   #16
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Joined: Aug 2005
From: Spokane

I Ride: Yamaha FZ1, 08 gsxr 1000 trackbike
Fear
Hey, I just got back from my orthopedic surgeon f/u visit for my thumb and he does not see any issues with me becoming the next AMA superbike champ! Wow, I said, I rode like sH-t! b/4---thanks so much for making me the second coming of Matt Mladin!! Actually, the real message of this is that after having my hand x-rayed and evaluated----it is i lookin good and it is crazy how much more confidence I have in just doing my thumb stretches and thinking "I'll be back". Thats all.

Cb

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