My cronies and I departed from Knoxville on what appeared to be a perfectly dry and clear roadway
WORDS: Jim West
It was a beautiful, cool September day in eastern Tennessee. It also happened to be my wife’s birthday (age undisclosed!). I asked my bride for permission to take a little breakfast ride to the top of Deal’s Gap in eastern North Carolina (US129) with some fellow motorcycle junkies. Being the kind hearted, motorcycle-wife she that she is, my request was granted.
My cronies and I departed from Knoxville on what appeared to be a perfectly dry and clear roadway – a beautiful morning for some 2-wheeled fun! I was leading the pack on my Ducati ST2 and set a fairly aggressive pace. My good buddy Rick followed closely as not to let me separate from the group. As we neared the mountain roads I noticed a bit of fog – just enough to be a pain in the visor. No sooner did I realize that the heavy humidity in the air had adhered to the road the unthinkable happened. I tipped it into a medium speed left-hander and uh-oh….the road was quite WET! What happened next is somewhat of a blur, however no sooner had I thought about looking through the turn and using gentle steering inputs my front tire washed-out and down I went. Unfortunately, my buddy Ric who was following closely behind me was also collected in my tumble. Both of us cart-wheeled down the road tumbling until we came to rest in a nice soft ditch. After each of us sounded-off a few expletives we picked up our mangled machines and phoned home for the crash truck. That wasn’t a pleasant conversation! What a perfect birthday present I gave my wife; she got to drive a pick-up into the middle of nowhere and collect a couple now-dirty thugs and our mangled bikes. Thank God she’s so understanding!
The moral of this story is that sometimes we fall. We cannot always predict when it will occur, but it’s fairly likely it will happen at some point in our motorcycling future either by our own fault (as in my case) or some outside source (such as a cell phone toting cager pulling into our path). Fortunately, my friend Ric and I were in full gear which enabled us to go pavement surfing without suffering any injuries (besides an injury to our pride). Friends, please dress for the crash and not the ride – you’ll thank me later!