In today’s day and age many people think that nothing will ever happen to them, maybe it’s how we were raised or genetics, but we all seem to have some level of immortality built-in.As I learned on July 15th 2001 anything can happen to anyone at anytime…never say never. Here’s what happened…..
I called my riding buddy Doug about going for a ride, but he was out picking up a 1979 Firebird and wouldn’t be home until . So I decided that I would ride around a little by myself on my R6 until he returned. In my wisdom I decide to scope out a new demo ride route for the upcoming Mosport Round of the Parts Canada National Road Race weekend as I wasn’t overly pleased with the previous year’s route and wanted to find something a little more interesting than straight stretches.
During my route testing & timing I figured that it must be getting close to so I pulled off on the shoulder to check my watch. It was time to start making my way to Doug’s house. As I was approaching the outskirts of Bowmanville, Ontario, a Car backed out of it’s driveway 50 feet in front of me. I panicked, slammed down a gear, and jammed both brakes as hard as I could to get the bike into a slide as I saw that middle post of a 4 door sedan right in my line of travel if I didn’t take action.
After the mandatory curse word, I don’t actually remember hitting the ground or much else for that matter isn’t shock a wonderful mechanism. I apparently, was still awake and was talking. I do briefly remember seeing red cabinetry (inside the ambulance) and talking to the doctor for phone numbers of family (I’m really surprised that I got them right because I don’t remember even saying numbers) and talking to the officer from the scene.
I must say that time flies by incredibly; my family was there in record time in my head anyways. After a slew of x-rays and more x-rays and poking and probing I noticed that I was not allowed to look at my left leg, I was being restrained. I knew something was wrong??.
The next morning I awoke in a drug induced state and the first thing I went looking for was my leg……still there, just the knee bandaged up. The doctor came by to see me and updated me on the damage done. Broken big toe, severely sprained ankle (the doctor couldn’t believe that I didn’t break it !) broken knee cap with a deep laceration on my leg, heavily bruised ribs, broken xiphoid process, sprained wrist, two compression fractures in my spine, slight internal bleeding and a toonie size spot of road rash on my stomach.
Wow, pretty good list, thankful that I was obeying the speed limit or it could have been a lot worse.The next thought that went through my mind was my soon arriving fiancée, and her impending reaction to this……to be continued..
Hey Everyone, Huggy here.
This is a reprint (post) of a piece I wrote for our consumer newsletter, Horizons. I received some good feedback on Inside A Factory Test Ride, so I thought I would post it on the blog in case you missed the original.
For most of my childhood, I was a stick and ball sport athlete, traveling around the province to various tournaments. I really did like all the sports I played and thought it was a lot of fun. That was, up until I went to my friend’s farm down the road one day at the age of 13. He had just purchased a new dirtbike and wanted me to see it. I took a look at it, casually impressed but a little hesitant in proclaiming it “the greatest thing since sliced bread”. Then he asked me, “Why don’t you take it for a rip?”
In a word? WOW! The adventure and independence combined to capture a whole new set of feelings. This changed everything!! What a rush! From then on, I was obsessed with everything there was to learn about dirtbikes. I would watch the videos and read magazine after magazine, sponging everything I could about this brave new world of motocross. It was there that I stumbled across countless articles about “Secret Test Tracks”, “Spy Shots” and “Never Before Seen Photos”. Why was everything so clandestine? Why was there such a shroud of secrecy from the manufacturers about new bikes?
Fast forward 15 years and I’m on the other side of the fence. I work for Big Blue and protect those secrets. Bike names are given letters and numbers for names, a là James Bond 007, to keep their identity safe in case information falls into the wrong hands. I’m sworn to secrecy and sign confidentiality agreements, unable to disclose any information. That is, until a certain date is reached on the calendar, then I try and tell EVERYONE about it!
But I still do remember those days and yearning to know what really goes on across the pond before new model introductions. Given the amount of people that ask me questions about the same thing, I’m not the only one. So I’m here, to act as a liaison from factory to customer, without giving away too many trade secrets.
It started last May when I was asked to travel to Japan. A lot of Yamaha staff go back and forth to the factory in a given year, but typically only for meetings. So I couldn’t believe my good fortune when I was asked to go on the trip that is envied by the rest of the office. Why? Simply, it’s where you get to ride the latest and greatest new Yamaha products! We travel across the world to experience the latest prototypes and pre-production units from some of the world’s most talented engineers and development teams. We do this on private Yamaha tracks with barbed wire, security systems and catered lunches….