Getting better acquainted with the tarmac…

Hey guys,

The goal was to have an update posted tonight about a Hollowpoint game that I ran on Saturday night. Unfortunately the universe had different plans, as demonstrated by the fact that I lowsided my bike on my way to work this morning.

For those of you unfamiliar with motorcycles, a lowside is where the rear wheel of the bike loses traction and slides out on the way through a corner. Essentially, the rear of the bike continues the turn, and you end up sliding along the road with the underside of the bike facing forward, hence the name. Normally this occurs when someone has leant their bike over just a little too far, and they exceed the lateral traction limit; or they’ve used too much rear brake during the turn and the wheel has locked up. In my case, it was caused due to an already smooth bit of road being just a little too slick due to wet weather. I wasn’t even going fast, I’d have been doing maybe 15 km/hour when I felt the rear start to slide. I have no doubt that the low speed is the main reason I came out of it so well, that and the fact that I managed to override my instinct to try and correct the slide, instead just letting myself go with it. Although the best case scenario would have been that I managed to save it and avoid the slide altogether, attempting to correct during a lowside can actually result in a much more dangerous highside, where your rear wheel suddenly regains traction while you’re sliding along with both wheels facing forward on the road. The result tends to be the bike suddenly swinging back to an upright position, then continuing past that… so instead of sliding along behind the bike, you’re suddenly either underneath it with it sliding along on top of you, or you’re thrown clear and forward into the road. Much more dangerous, much more likely to result in a fatality. So much so that the official stance of most authorities on motorcycle safety is that, in the event of a lowside, the best course of action is to absolutely NOT try to recover it, just let it go and try to not get yourself thrown off.

Long story short, I’ve spent most of today in a fair amount of pain and shock, despite having managed to come out of it with only superficial injuries. Mostly heavy bruising up my left leg, and my left knee took a bit of a battering. Other than that I’ve just got general aches and pains. Even my gear came out pretty well, my jacket doesn’t seem to have any obvious scrapes on it, my jeans are barely worn, and my head didn’t even touch the ground during the slide, so my helmet is fine. One of my boots has lost significant leather along the side and the front, but hey, better that than having my foot mangled. Some strain on my ankle, but again, wearing proper boots saved me from anything serious. The bike was still running afterwards, and I was able to get it to my mechanic for a repair quote, so that I can start sorting out insurance tomorrow. Got a taxi to my doctor after that and was given the all clear to just come home and rest for a couple of days before heading back to work, so I doped myself up good on painkillers and spent most of the day and evening dozing. Really right now I’m just waiting for my current dose to kick in so I can get some more sleep. I’ve done a little bit of work on the update, but I’m more than a little bit scatterbrained and feeling incredibly sore at the moment, which is making it difficult to get it finished. Hopefully I’ll have it done tomorrow and posted, then I’ll get back to work on the campaign journal and new Kickstarter roundup.

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Written while listening to The Catalyst Fire by Dead Letter Circus again. Can’t get enough of that album, and it’s done a remarkable job of calming me down and stopping a complete freak-out after today’s little misadventure.

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