|Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 - 07:51 am: ||
great thread guys. thanks for taking me back through the badlands and other places. was out at sturgis in 01 and i definitely rembember the one lane road going through the mountain there. really look forward to when i can get back out that way again. i am totally impressed with your son riding that blast all that way. i thought the woman that went out to sturgis with us did pretty good on a sportster but to ride a blast that far is a pretty good feat to do. the helmets off to him. have fun and keep on posting.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 - 08:27 am: ||
great photo thread once again! I love seeing all the pictures, and congrats to Sean on getting his permit and his Blast.
It was really nice meeting you and your son last year, and seeing all the great pictures from the 2007 Homecoming. You even captured one of me and my brother heading into Turn #5 at Road America that's got a regular spot in my Wallpaper rotation.
Looking forward to more great shots from this year's event!
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 05:25 pm: ||
OK...so I had closed this thread because I thought that most of the adventure was over after the trip to Homecoming. For those of you that have been following the Homecoming Picture thread...you already know the news...but for the rest of you, I want to let you know that my son crashed during the "parade" lap at Road America.
The bottom line is that he is doing fine, but does have a broken right collar bone and a little road rash on his lower right back (where his jacket came up a little). We spent a few hours in the local hospital getting X-ray's and head and body scans, which revealed no head or internal organ damage. Being young, his body will recover fairly quickly. So Vern...it looks like you two will have some stories to swap.
The Blast...as other people have mentioned...is in pretty bad shape, with damage to the front end and rear section. The front fender is toast, forks are twisted, and the flyscreen, mirrors and headlight brackets round out the major losses in the front. In the rear the body work is scratched badly, the Ventura mounts are bent, and the tail light is broke. The tank cover, seat, handlebars, controls, and sides did not seem to be damaged. Some how Sean managed to get a blast to do a somersault! After all of that the engine fired right up on the first try. In all the commotion, I forgot to take pictures of the Blast...so I will have to post them later.
I was not there to see the crash (maybe a good thing), but this is how it happened as best as I can tell. We were towards the end of the pack of maybe 250 bikes to go on this "parade" lap...and there was a pretty good bunch of riders at the back. On the first straight away I passed this bunch and settled into a more open spot in the line with Troy and Sean behind me. On the next straight away, doing about 60-70 mph, Sean passes me with the Blast! I'm thinking to myself..."what is that kid doing?", which is probably what other people are thinking too as he makes his way through traffic up ahead. I let him go for a little while...but when I lost sight of him I picked up the pace to catch up and get him back behind me. I never saw him...but evidently I passed him at some point, but did not see him mixed in with the rest riders.
As I pushed the pace, still thinking that I was trying to catch Sean, he begins to try and follow me and Troy. On the second lap, he ends up on the outside of a long 180 degree sweeping turn called the Carousel. From what I heard there was a bunch of riders at that point and Sean felt like they were unintentionally putting the squeeze on him...which caused him to drift off the track into some deep gravel that is used to slow bikes down. He was thrown over the handlebars as the Blast did at least one somersault in the gravel. Sean landed on his head first, and then his right shoulder impacted, followed by the rest of his body sliding through the gravel. Luckily the bike did not land on him!
After that lap we all exited the track and I could still not find Sean. I had a couple of people come up and tell me that there was a crash, but they did not know who it was. I asked for a description of what they were wearing...and based on their answer I knew it was my Son. They said that he had popped right back up and was walking around, so I knew that at least he was not dead!
Within the next couple minutes someone told be that the Blast had been placed in the Buell Demo Truck, so I went there looking for Sean. I saw the bike...then got mad and worried...although I'm not sure which emotion came first. A minute later a Buell staff member found me and took me up to the First Aid station.
Sean ended up getting an ambulance ride to the local hospital and I rode my bike there behind them. We spent the next three hours getting tests and medical care.
Meanwhile, Troy stayed at the track trying to figure out the logistics of getting the bike home. Frank Skinner (from Colorado) offered to haul it back to Colorado in the back of his truck, but his was going to be leaving first thing in the morning to go back to work, and his truck was an hour and a half away at the host hotel.
While I was waiting for Sean to be released from the hospital, with Troy unable to find a vehicle to drive Sean and the Blast back down to the host hotel, I ran into Seth Buchbinder. Sean is a privateer Buell racer and was at the hospital waiting for his friend Pete (Badweb sponsor - Grand Stand Designs) who had low-sided his race bike and was also in the hospital for medical attention. Seth took Sean and Pete back to the track, loaded up the Blast, and then headed down to the host hotel.
While the Blast was being loaded into the bed of Frank’s truck, I went to pick up Sean’s pain killer prescription from Walgreens. Then Seth, Pete, Troy, Sean, and I went to Fuddruckers to enjoy a good meal and share crash stories.
Once we had wrapped up the events of Saturday, I had Sean call his mom to explain what happened. I figured that it would be better for her to hear his voice describing the accident, as opposed to hearing me say..."Sean was in an accident"...and having her heart stop before I finished the sentence. Sean ended up flying back to Denver Sunday afternoon, where his mother picked him up. My wife (Lori) was not upset and will not discourage him from getting back on that horse when the time is right, but when she heard that the bike was not ride-able, she did expressed disappointment that now she didn't have a motorcycle ride!
Like in any accident, there was not one thing that caused the crash...there are many links in the chain of events leading to a crash. I love Sean like a son (on wait...he is my son), but during his first month of riding I have seen signs of arrogance and a cockiness of his riding skills. I began to think that it is this is another symptom of the gamming generation who can get a "replay" if they crash on the X Box. I had felt like he might have to crash to fully understand the reality of life and appreciate the advice and experiences that I have shared with him. But I high-sided my 1 month old CBR1000 when I was 22 years old (back in 1987), so really was I...or my generation...any different?
Sean was very fortunate. If he was going to crash, the track was probably the safest place...with no trees to be thrown into and a rapid response medical team that really took great care of him. I am very glad that Sean's mishap did not involve any of the other riders on the track. Ultimately, my hope is that this event, and the physical pain from his broken collar bone, will help Sean to remember this life lesson and be wiser in the future because of it.
I want to especially thank many people for their help:
-The Road America crew for their fast response.
-Buell's own event coordinator, Laura, for finding me to take to Sean in the First Aid clinic.
-The Buell event staff for taking care of the bike and helping to load it into Seth's truck.
-The staff at St. Nicholas Hospital who provided excellent care and customer service.
-Troy for doing some logistic leg-work while I was at the hospital.
-Seth and Pete for taking Sean and the Blast back to the host hotel, even when they had no prior plans to drive down there that night.
-Frank Skinner for driving the Blast back to Colorado.
-The 8-9 people who showed Sean a scar or bump from their previous broken collar bone.
-And the many, many Buellers that offered help and/or expressed their concern for Sean.
This experience has reminded me of one of the many things I love about owning a Buell, and that is all the great people that make up the Buell enthusiast community. Where it would have been easy to criticize and point fingers, all I heard was encouragement for Sean! Thank you to everyone for that.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 06:09 pm: ||
Max and Minimax,
We were wondering if Sean had broken his collar bone (after hearing about the sling ) and now we know. Like they say, it's not a matter of "if" but "when" are you going to crash. It'll make a great story for Sean that will expand in the telling. Anyway, I've been at both Homecomings now and have yet to ride on that Road America track or any track come to think about it. Sean got a little taste of mortality as he vaulted through the air with his bike.
One of the guys that saw him wreck told me that the Blast was shaking back and forth from front to rear (wipsawing) before it went down. Blasts just don't cut it on the track. Maximum, your going to have to get him a Lightning, TT, or ULY, something that handles at speed.
Oh yeah, I'm the one that told you his bike was in the Buell trailer all trashed up bad.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 06:49 pm: ||
Here are a couple pictures from the hospital.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 07:25 pm: ||
He got off easy! Hope hes back to normal and off riding again soon
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 08:06 pm: ||
So what did he learn?
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 08:40 pm: ||
Once we had wrapped up the events of Saturday, I had Sean call his mom to explain what happened.
Great move - bet you saved Lori a figurative month waiting for "he is OK"!
Glad to hear the lad is doing well - and apparently, judging from the look on his face, he is thinking about hot nurses...
I love a story with a happy ending - all things considered!
Get well soon mM!!
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 09:19 pm: ||
Tell him I have felt his pain... literally!!! I broke my right collar bone twice (several years apart). Memory tells me there was no way to get comfortable either.
I wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he'll swing a leg over a wiser man.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 09:30 pm: ||
I hope you have some other form of insurance and not have to go through the Tri-care hoops and hurdles. It is good to see everything ended well. For the bike it may be a million dollar man "we can rebuild it" fun project bike. A damaged ego looks like the hardest hit with that look on his face.
Being a Blackhawk CE for some time your write up is a picture perfect AAR. Focus on what went wrong and not the who went wrong and what needs to change so it won't happen again.
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 10:02 pm: ||
SO WHEN IS SEAN GONNA GET HIS OWN BADWEB NAME AND POST FOR HIMSELF?
Big enough to crash out, did the ambulance ride, is big enough to tell it from his side. (although you do tell a great story)
|Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 10:21 pm: ||
i saw the end of it, and seen him pop up and throw his arms in the air like "What The Hell Just Happened?"
Glad he is ok and at least now he can get an 1125r!!!
|Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 09:27 am: ||
glad to hear he's doing alright max. both my kids are bikeless right now too so it's one less thing to worry about at the moment. i guess your gonna have to get the wife another bike.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 10:51 am: ||
Enjoyed the post Steve. It was a good tale to tell... and live through. Looking forward to the pictures coming back from homecoming to Denver via Missouri and Kansas. The 1200 miles over those last two days were a good time. Thanks for letting me join you and Sean on the trip.
I really enjoyed meeting everyone in Wisconsin. Looking forward to staying in touch and seeing you all online.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 01:08 pm: ||
Hoping Sean has a quick recovery.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 01:57 pm: ||
OK...as not to end this thread on a somewhat of a downer...and since Sean is doing fine...I will quickly share the rest of the story (ride home).
Troy and I headed off for our 1200 mile trip back to Colorado on Sunday around 8:30 AM. After a quick stop at Buell HQ for one more photo op...it was off on the interstate.
We were going to be heading about 500 miles to a small town in northern central Missouri to visit Troy's parents. Although we decided to stick to the main highways for the sake of time...Troy did decide to lead us off the interstate for a while in order to avoid the only toll road that was in our path. And of course, like our side road excursion on day 1 of our trip to Homecoming...Troy took us down a gravel road! OK, this one he probably couldn't help as it was a county road under construction in southern Wisconsin, and as opposed to day 1...this one was only a couple miles long. After that we headed towards Illinois. What would be a good old fashion adventure ride without a stop to take a picture of a "Welcome to" state sign on a state highway with no shoulder!
It was in the 90's with high humidity for most of the afternoon, and it was getting hot in all of our riding gear. We were fighting the heat and boredom on all those highways, but we managed not to fall asleep behind the handlebars...and made it to Troy's parents by 6:00 PM. The only issue that we had was my bike periodically giving me the check engine light and the bike hesitating. I believe I figured out what was causing it, therefore I was able to manage it, but that is a subject for a different thread.
The next morning we headed off for the looooong trek on highway 36 across Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado to get home. We took a few minutes to stop by and visit the Pony Express Stables and Museum.
It was no wonder that the Pony Express operation failed after only 19 months...the horses just didn't want to leave the stables!
Other than an occasional stop for fuel, food, or a restroom break...our next sight seeing stop was not until Lebanon Kansas, where we stood on the exact center of the United States!
It was a brief teary-eyed moment...then it was back on the road.
After that there was a quick stop at the Pony Express station 15 somewhere in the middle of Kansas. OK, the stop was not for sight seeing purposes...it was for Troy to take a little cat nap! After that, there was nothing stopping us from reaching the Colorado Border!
Yee Haa...the Colorado border. That means only 3 more hours till Denver. Oh, in case you didn't know...Eastern Colorado looks just like Kansas! So it was like 3 more hours of trying to keep ourselves entertained.
It ended up being about 700 miles on Monday, and we made it home around 9:30 PM, just before it got too dark. 3,000 miles in 10 days, we meat many great people, and had a lot of excitement (most of which was fun), and the trip is over................at least till next year!
|Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 02:06 pm: ||
Are you sure your bike isn't overheating the rear head with that RSS. Maybe that is what is flickering the engine trouble light.
|Posted on Wednesday, July 09, 2008 - 03:54 pm: ||
Steve, Sean, and Troy, I’m glad to hear that all the people and bikes made it back to Denver safely. Given the choice, I would have picked other circumstances under which to meet the three of you but were glad that we did. We are looking forward to a cool helicopter ride the next time were in Colorado.
From the short time Pete and I spent with Sean going from the hospital back to Milwaukie, it’s clear that he’s a great kid and will surely be back to riding before long. Pete is doing fine and should also make a full recovery, he hopes to be back on the bike for our last local race of the year at Summit Point WV in September.
If you find yourselves in New Jersey, don’t forget to look us up.
By the way,
When I saw you at the hospital and learned that you needed some help, it was a no brainer, just Buellers helping Buellers!