Saturday, June 27, 2009

Crash test dummy

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a scooter. I've been taking it to DMV to practice riding the course so I can get my license. The first night I took it out, I managed the left turn ok, although it still needs work. I had the sudden stop DOWN cold. If nothing else, my scooter can STOP! I had a lot of trouble with the weave/u-turn part and the swerving was a nightmare. Thursday night, RF and I went over there while mom took the kids to the pool. I decided there was no reason to practice stopping because I was good. I also decided that I was comfortable with the left turn so I needed to spend our limited amount of time working on weaving and swerving. I wove and wove and wove and finally managed to do it several times in a row with only a few minor issues. We were running out of time so I decided to move on to swerving. That is definitely the hardest part of the test and I just wasn't getting it. RF kept telling me to really push, both with my hand and my foot to force the bike where I needed it. The last time down, I really pushed and I think I made the right turn and as I tried to swerve back (part of the test is to swerve around the red line and bring it back inside the yellow line), the bike slid out from under me and I hit the pavement. My foot got caught between the seating the fairing and as I rolled coming off, my foot didn't go with me. I also slid across the pavement on my left elbow/arm. Despite being a helmet nazi any other time, I wasn't wearing mine then. I had taken it off because we were in the parking lot and not going over 15 mph and I couldn't hear RF who was reading me the test directions and offering pointers on how to do stuff better. Fortunately, I didn't hit my head. I also, because it was stupid hot, was wearing a tank top while I rode. I had a long sleeve shirt in the trunk of the scooter but just wasn't wearing it. I was wearing long pants, which seriously saved my leg. No matter how hot, I always wear long pants riding because I seriously burned my leg climbing on my dad's motorcycle when I was 5 and I still have the scar. So good for me because the pants were trashed. The knee is covered in black tar and the pocket is all shredded. That would have been my leg if I had shorts on.

RF got me up and settled down. Although I was hurt, I was more angry than anything. I was mad that I'd only had the bike a couple of weeks and managed to put it on the ground. I was mad that I had hurt myself. I was mad that I couldn't swerve right, etc. I was yelling and cussing and everything else. Eventually, he helped me up and got me back on the scooter. I got it going again and we rode home. Other than the fact that my leg hurt so bad that I couldn't even put my foot on the floor board of the scooter, it wasn't terrible to ride home (and way better than the time I broke my ankle when I was 9 and rode my bike 3/4 of a mile home. This time I didn't have to pedal home) and the bike had to get home somehow. We got home and RF got our stuff together and took me to the ER, since I couldn't put any weight on my left foot at all. While we were waiting in the ER, he took a picture of my elbow, with blood swears and everything. See that top bit that looks like it is already scabbed over? Yeah, it's not. That is tar from the parking lot embedded in my elbow. Despite scrubbing, it hasn't come off. I'm hoping as it heals, it will be forced out. If not, I'll have a permanent black spot on my elbow


They never did look at my elbow. When we got home, my mom helped me clean it up and get it bandaged. The X-ray on the ankle came back saying no break (I'm very surprised). So now I'm in a splint and on crutches for the next several days. I'm supposed to follow up with my doctor sometime this week. In the meantime, rest and ice. Keep it elevated, etc. So far, I really don't have time for rest but I'm working the ice in occasionally during the day.

We finally got some decent gauze pads to bandage the elbow with (we had been using plain gauze and it was sticking like crazy) so while it was off today, I took another picture of the elbow, just for comparison :)

I found out today that there is a chance I was actually doing the test wrong and that would explain the wipe out. The way the course is set up there is the potential that you could either swerve left or right. Right is hard right turn, left is much more gentle. I'm going to talk to some people that have taken the test at DMV, not through the U of I motorcycle course and see if left is acceptable. I'm also going to call DMV and ask if I can fail a section of the test and still get my license. Because honestly, if it the right swerve, I will likely never be able to do it. The one and only time I used enough pressure to actually swerve around the object line, I dumped the bike. Not something I'm likely to try again. So I need to find out if I can just attempt it and hit the object line or the side line and still pass the test. We'll see what happens


Quigs78 said...

I'm glad you're okay. And, um, your elbow is gross. :P


Catch Her in the Wry said...

Broken nose in May, elbow and foot injuries in June, what's in store for July?

Be careful. Those kids need you.

Mommy, Queen Of Everything said...

Oh God, that looks like it really hurt! I'm really glad you're OK and that it wasn't more serious.