My oh sh*t moment today - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-27-2011, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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My oh sh*t moment today

I had a free afternoon, so I headed up my local ride, highway 150 from 101 (California) to Highway 33 Ojai to Pine Mountain. It's a real twisty canyon road and a favorite among SoCal riders. I'm in Matillija Canyon about 45 mph with a black sports car, headlights on, about a hundred feet behind me, coming up fast on my tail. I didn't want to play his game and I was prepared to let him by at the next turnout, when suddenly there's a brown blur angling at me at high speed from the left side of the road just ahead. I had no time to do anything but a slight swerve to the right, as my eyes and brain suddenly was able to take a still photograph of the blur, which became a large dog that had suddenly realized that intercepting a moto was a very bad idea and that he wasn't going to be able to stop in time, so my mental still photo of the dog just a foot from my front wheel was that he was twisted around...trying to flip his body out of the way by twisting his head over behind his back to wheel around just before running into me. Somehow we avoided each other, but I'm pretty sure the black sports car behind me wasn't so lucky. As I looked at my mirrors, I could see the car braking hard - front low with headlights angling down, rear high, a panic stop. No noise over the sound of my engine, and the next turn was upon me before I could think about what had just happened. Coming out of the turn, a check of my mirrors showed no traffic behind me, and my mind pictured a dead dog, grieving and/or argumentative owner, and a very unhappy car driver. I thought for a moment about turning around, and then thought: * the dog is dead * the owner is probably taking his stupidity out on the car driver * the car driver is going to be very upset too * the dog paid for his natural instinct and his owner's stupidity with his life * I'm damn lucky that dog didn't take me out because that road is very unforgiving right there, with a hard rock wall on one side and a deep creek on the other, and I've only been back on the V a few months since having ACL knee surgery and a long recovery from last May....

Although I was rattled and felt bad about the incident, I also felt spared and glad to ride another day. I tried to push it out mind and do my ride, and I was able to do that. I'm sorry for the dog, the owner, and the car driver who was tailgating me and therefore couldn't react in time, but I'm damn thankful that it turned out OK for me. Thanks to the man up above and the things I try to do right in everyday life and lady luck. Be safe, everyone.

Someday is not a day of the week.

Last edited by Tigerpawed; 11-28-2011 at 09:53 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 12:28 AM
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I'm glad it turned out ok for you, that was a real close call.

Poor dog.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 01:19 AM
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phew! Poor dog. Thank you Lord, for you.

It haunts me till this day when I saw a dog being hit by a SUV somewhere in Alabama. I saw a pack of dogs that got excited, was coming towards my mini van and dashing across the road, I braked and avoided a few dogs, but the stupid SUV behind me didn't see anything and went and hit a dog. (SUV was about 5 car lengths behind me, around 40mph) I saw the entire collision on my rear view mirror. I was damn pissed that the SUV didn't even slowed down. Later on, I realized it was evening and was almost dark, and the sight of the dogs was probably zero for the driver. But then again, I could see them dogs coming and when I braked, he just came closer without slowing down......

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 12:37 PM
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Your alertness and defensive driving is a good example for us all.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 01:33 PM
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Glad you are ok. Not sure I could ride for a few days, I'd be spooked as hell.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 02:32 PM
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Good Deal getting out un-scathed

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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It was luck more than skill FOR SURE. The only part I can attribute to myself is that I had on all my gear and I try to stay focused on riding and not daydream about other stuff. I was also very aware of that car behind me, 'cause I could tell he was going to be one of those agressive drivers that wants to stay on your tail through the twisties while you're doing your best to make all the turns and still put some distance on him. Yeah, lady luck and some good karma for me, not so good for him, the dog, or the foolish dog's owner who was letting the dog off leash on a mountain highway known for fast motos on a holiday Sunday. Big sigh there.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-28-2011, 09:47 PM
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Why feel sorry for a stupid dog and an irresponsible owner. I would not feel sorry for the driver either for running over the dog. Think what would have happened if you did not avoid the dog.

Your options were,

Hit a rock wall
Fall off a cliff
Hit a dog fall on the road and be run over by a car.

Be happy that the dog got it and not you.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 12:18 PM
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What he said!

I did not like the way that story was heading, glad you were able to get out of the trap. An aggressive cager hits an aggressive dog- better for the bikes.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your thoughts. Yeah, putting a fews days distance on it, I think things turned out the way they were supposed to.

Someday is not a day of the week.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 05:36 PM
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Not to get PITA members excited, but I guess the best thing to do, if you can make yourself do it, is get your weight back and plow thru the animals in front of you. Remember the GEICO commercial. That said, I am sure it depends on the size of the dog. Glad you avoided this one, but dodging anything might be worse than hitting it, imho.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2011, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Element View Post
Not to get PITA members excited, but I guess the best thing to do, if you can make yourself do it, is get your weight back and plow thru the animals in front of you. Remember the GEICO commercial. That said, I am sure it depends on the size of the dog. Glad you avoided this one, but dodging anything might be worse than hitting it, imho.
You are right, the size of the dog matters. I saw a gal with a dog in a minivan the other day. The tail of the dog was going out one window and the snout on the other. That was a really BIG! dog . I think it was a Great Dane. Seeing the dog moving around in the van made me think she could have used a horse trailer to move that thing around.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2011, 09:30 PM
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Glad you pulled it out. So what do people not get about ATGATT ? I've had deer run out in front of me and a cat bounce off my front tire. You never know what might be around the next turn.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wampuspacker View Post
Glad you pulled it out. So what do people not get about ATGATT ? I've had deer run out in front of me and a cat bounce off my front tire. You never know what might be around the next turn.
Lucky it was not "a cat run out in front and your front tire bounced off a deer"

To stay safe you have to picture this:

Going on an exciting technical road over the mountains. The view of the valley below is beatiful and the rocks on the left of the road look amazing. Your spirits are high and you twist the throttle. Your approach to the next turn is excellent, you lean the bike and get the perfect line on that blind turn. You smile and think life is good. Around the apex of the turn you see...

A LOADED SEMI OVER THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINE STRAIGHT IN FRONT
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