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Day from Hell

Well, today the weather in Houston was forcasted to be cold, cloudy, and
a chance of rain, increasing as the day went on.  We were unable to meet
with our usual Sunday morning group at 9:00 a.m. because Richard's
sister was in from out of town and did not leave our house until 10:00
a.m.  We then leasurly got ready for a ride.  We knew there was a chance
we'd get rained on, but thought we could get in an hour or two before we
would need to head home, so off we went.

We headed out of Houston on FM 249 and exited Spring Cypress where we
got gas and headed left towards Grant road.  There are some interesting
roads out that way and some neighborhoods we wanted to look at since
we're house hunting.  Of course, it started to mist.  We got behind one
of those cars that thinks its the only thing on the road and obviously
hunting its destination.  Well, Richard was in front.  The car was
slowing down and the damn thing basically stops, with no blinkers on
(two lane road, no shoulder, in the wet).  Richard had just made a
little glance to the left and looked back to see the brake lights,
grabbed too much front brake, locked it and went down on his right, onto
the asphalt, and into the ditch!  It happened so fast! I locked up my
rear wheel because he scared me to death!!  By the time I got parked,
two men were already over to Richard.  I went and turned his poor bike
off, and ran to him!  Of course, the bikes are in the middle of the
street.  It was not two minutes and a cop was there, very concerned
about Richard, as I was.  It was obvious that something was wrong with
his upper right arm/shoulder, and it was hell on him to get up so he
could be put on the gurney and into the ambulance.  They wanted to put a
back board on him, but the pain would have killed him, and it was
obvious there was nothing wrong with his back.  

To make a long story short, he has a broken humerous, not too far from
the joint.  It is currently aligned correctly.  We are to go back on
Wednesday for more X-rays.  If the alignment has changed, it means
surgery to pin it.  Luckily, he was wearing his helmet, or we would not
have to be concerned about his arm.  Still, even though the helmet took
a hard wack (Richard bit his lip), there is not a mark on it.  We're
getting a new one anyway.  He had on his Hein Gehrike leathers, and Sidi
boots.  I can't help but think that had he gotten something with armour
in it, it may have prevented this.  Whether he likes it or not, winter
Vanson leathers or an Aerostich are in his immediate future.  

The bike is cosmetically damaged, from what I can tell. Mania will need
to check out the front end, however.  Plastic on the right side will
need to be replaced, as well as the scratched can.  Luckily no panniers
were involved.  It could have been worse.  My brother-in-law and his
wife went back with me to get the bike and load it up.  Though it would
probably run, I didn't want to start it again since it ran on its side
for a little while.  Best to let the shop look at it first.  My main
concern, though is Richard, I hope none of you who ride with someone you
dearly love ever have to see what I saw. . . . . .  Let us just say,
I've told him I don't want to go through that again.

To add insult to injury, on my ride back home in the rain--Richard rode
with his brother--I picked up a screw in my back tire--and I heard it! 
Luckily it was not too far from home, and I only had a few more turns. 

Be careful out there, and if you don't have armour, get it!!!  I don't
know that it would have prevented this--we'll never know--but you won't
have to worry about whether you could have done more.  Also watch your
following distances . . . . 

At midnight, let's say that the slate is wiped clean, and we begin a
brand new, hopefully crash free year . . . . 


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