I low sided my Daytona T595 on a ride in the Arizona mountains. I hit some black cinders and all #$%@ broke loose. I went squirting across an intersection on my side with the bike on top of me.
I wasn't hurt too badly, just shaken up a bit with a few scrapes and bruises. The real damage was to my riding confidence. I turned into a 'nancy boy' and would get very nervous in traffic. It took a while, but I was eventually able to return to whatever riding form I had before the accident.
As they say, 'You have to get back on the horse.' Fear is natures way of telling you to pay attention. Use it, but don't let it rule you. We take risks in riding, and on rare occasions, we have a spill. The one question you have to ask yourself is, 'Are the risks worth the reward?' For me, the answer was 'Yes.'
I also teach people to fly and the risk factor is very similar to riding a motorcycle. I've had two emergency landings in the last six months; both were in single engine airplanes and at night. I had to ask myself each time after an emergency landing, 'Are the risks worth the reward?' The answer was still 'Yes.'
I'm glad you're OK and I hope your answer to the question is also 'Yes.'
I was t-boned by a car causing the amputation of the right leg below the knee. When I returned to riding I was absolutely terrified the first 6 miles and extraordinarily cautious for the first several months.
Go take and advanced rider's course. Your skills may be beyond that but it will serve two purposes. 1- it will remind you of safety skills you may have forgotten 2- it will give you a discount on your insurance. In GA they push you pretty good in these classes. It's always good to be reminded of things you should use in daily riding.
I had a van pull in front of me back in 1992, going straight into the side of it for a nice little broken jaw. I started to ride again while my mouth was still wired shut, and here's what I found:
I was very cautious, to the point of being a tad unsafe, for the first few months, during which I did basically nothing but commute. After that, I started to relax and enjoy it more, and became I think a much better, faster, safer rider because of my crash-induced caution. I don't think you ever get over the change, but I think it can easily be a help to your riding skills, provided you can get your confidence back.
The one thing I would recommend would be waiting until you feel excited to get back on, and then avoid the drudgery of riding (commuting around town), and head out to have some fun and comfortably get your confidence back. I would have avoided the commuting then if I had been a little wiser.
Most of all, like some others here have said, if you love it you shouldn't let a crash get in the way, but if you're ready to stop, just stop.
Broke my ulna in 3 places in September. Ironically I just accelerated while going straight, turns out they had oiled the road that morning in anticipation of laying some gravel down, and hadn't gotten a sign up. I always imagined if I crashed, it would be in a corner, but this was in a mile long straight. The rear wheel just started spinning and wouldn't stop. First on-road crash in 400K miles!
Get back on and take it easy for awhile. It will all come back to you, might even make you a better rider!
Clean the caca out of your leathers and eat some oysters to regain the size of your jewels. Say a prayer of thanks for surviving and then get back on realizing that had God had room you'd now have wings.
I got hit last August, which was my first major accident in 26 years of nearly daily street riding. I was lucky to walk away with bumps and bruises though the bike was totaled. I certainly changed my perspective and that of a few friends of mine IE going from "skill and experiance will get us through" to "well sh*t I guess it CAN happen after all". Other than that, I never thought about not riding and when I got home from the hospital I rode my Thruxton around the neighbor hood a few times to excersise the demons, so to speak.
I avoid commuting on crowded freeways anymore if I can help it, but it's actually quicker to take secondary roads to work anyway 9 times out of 10 so that's no loss. If you still feel like riding then go for it, there's no set rules that you have to commute or you have to ride X number of miles a month. If you feel like going for a whizz then go, if you don't then don't. No ones going to look down on you if you decide the risk is too great anymore.
My only serious crash wasn't really that bad, and almost 3 decades ago. It stiffened me up a good bit for about a couple of weeks, where I was riding almost too cautiously, and at one point I almost had another crash... I knew it was because I was over thinking everything and had a deathgrip on the handlebar. That moment made me realize if I didn't loosen up and calm down, I was much less prepared for the worse than if I remained hyper-alert and all tensed up.
That being said, I'm still finding myself struggling to relax, especially on highways over 65 MPH. That kind of riding is new to me and is taking some mental effort to relax.
And there's the point I want to make, is that even though I have to sometimes force myself to calm down and relax and loosen up on the grips, I still love it.
If you still love to ride, you'll find a way to overcome the apprehension. Just immerse yourself in the immediate riding experience to the point the memory of the crash gets crowded out. Sights, smells, temperature differences will help.
Then, just do it. Get your riding gear again and ride. Instead of spending the time asking your sefl why, why me, how it happened, etc, etc; think how to use that experience in your benefit... Fear is natural of humans.
Riding a bike is in your soul, in your blood, so do it my friend.
Last March 12th´05 a car hitted me on behind. I was starting moving on a green light, and sudenly, it hitted me and send me against a concrete wall 3ft tall x 6ft wide x 1 ft thick. I broke my two femur, left knee, right side tibia with 2 exposed fractures on it, also my left shoulder was broken and two fingers of my right hand. The car run away!!!... My baby BMW R1100S was destroyed. Thanks to my FULL gear, specially the helmet, I´m alive...
My dreams, my bike, my health, my life were destroyed. I spent a month at the hospital, and another moth on a bed. I was in PAIN all the time and depending on my family for EVERYTHING...
I have in bone titanium nails and screws in different parts of my body. and now I am recovering. I´m walking again with the temporarily help of a cane and let me tell you something, I WANT TO RIDE AGAIN. I WON´T QUIT. The accident have made some changes on me. I see life better and that is why I will enjoy it riding.
I only be more careful when I ride in town, I´ll watch more often my mirrors. I will use an aftermarket muffler for my new bike, because most of the times, bike´s Noise saves lifes.
I just lowsided my 999 yesterday on a back road in wisconsin. Five of us riding in a group with agreed upon pace, distance, etc (35mph, four second gap, etc). well bike is total, I'm fine (Shoei, Aplinestar full leather suit, gloves, boats, back protector) all did the job they where designed for. While I still rattle my marbles, I'm sore as hell I'm fine. This is only my second street accident in 24 years of riding. I'm looking at the new SR4S now.. wife wants me to give it up.. I can't.. Like everyone is saying, get back on!
If you want to keep riding then ride. Take another MSF course and or do some trackdays.
If you don't want to ride on the street anymore. Dirt bikes are a lot of fun.
If you don't want to ride at all any more that is your choice. It has nothing to do with your manhood. Each of us have to decide what is right for us. Frankly the idiots that are telling you to grow some new ones are just that, idiots. It takes more courage to do what you think is right then to do what other think you should do.
Maybe take another look at how you view "luck". I crashed my bike and broke my tibia fibia in 5 places. Had plenty of time to think about how I f'd up while I was eating hospital food. I realized what I did wrong and decided to never make the same mistake. I went and bought a new bike (my friend had to hold my crutches while I sat on them). The first ride I went on was the same road I crashed on. Then I did a couple of track days and became an msf instructor. Everyone has to tackle there fears their own way. If you're not comfortable getting on a bike don't do it. If you can figure out what you want to change about your riding then get back on. Hopefully you can take the "luck" part out of the riding.
There seems to be a common thread here: ride if you want to; don't if you don't -- common sense after all.
Five years ago, after twenty-five or so years of riding, I crashed when a wind-driven cardboard box dove under my front wheel -- eight broken ribs, one broken clavicle, and a partially collapsed lung had me in the hospital for five days and out of work for two months.
I was riding before I was back to work, and ride all the time today. My theory (or rationalization) is that there are a whole lot of things out there that can get me, and one of them eventually will. My guess is that while riding clearly has its risks, in the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't increase my terminal risk all that much. Oh, and it sure is fun!