Wednesday, May 07, 2003

What it's like to crash

Q.What is it like to crash a motorcycle going 50-60 mph?

A.Well, I'm glad you asked. I am now very qualified to answer that. It goes something like this...

Scene 1:All day the engine has been singing its low song of confidence, "ok-ok-ok-oh," but now the tires slither around trying to escape, and the engine sounds surprised and disappointed in your poor read of the terrain, muttering, "what-did, you-do, that-for?" You still think you can save it, that you will not crash.

Scene 2:If your brain could still think in words it would think, "I was wrong, I am going to crash after all," but there are no words or sounds. Images still get through, and you see your bike on the ground upside down, and then the upside down world falls away.

Scene 3:This is the part you've only heard about second hand. Though your body was there, your mind took this opportunity to go out for a coffee, rather than witness the cartwheeling down the road and the snapping of bones. Frightening and horrible, says a witness. Later you will feel like the star of a movie you have never seen.

Scene 4:You sit up on the road and realize you have to move or risk being run over. Walking does not work quite right, which seems like a strange mystery. You are unaware of your broken ankle, but your other broken bones hurt. Another rider stops to help, and says you will be OK. After a while, you start to believe it.

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