Oh… what a weekend…

30 Nov

For those of you who don’t know, I went riding Quads (ATV’s) with my father in law this Saturday.. I’ve been riding with him off and on since 2005. I’ve always enjoyed the riding, although I have always been a bit apprehensive due to the inherent danger involved. I’m much more comfortable driving a car on a race track at 140mph than I am riding a quad at 50mph. Something about being belted into the car and protected by the car around me.

The first short ride of the day on Saturday went well and was uneventful. It was only about 10 miles long, give or take. We went back to camp, had a snack and some water, then headed back out. We decided to take a trail that is normally very smooth and very fast. We were on the trail for about 5 minutes when we came upon a lone rider who was a bit slower than we were. Len and Justin got around him easily, I chose to stay behind, as I didn’t want to make an aggressive pass. The conditions were a bit dusty, even though we had rains recently. With the dust in the air from the guy in front of me, I could only see about 100ft ahead of me. So I backed off a little bit, to give myself better vision. But that didn’t help much…

With very little warning, I came upon a washout from the recent rains… normally, you can let off the throttle and just go over them with a bounce. This one was nasty though… with a vertical face on the far side that was close to 18″ high.. I knew I was in for trouble the second I saw it. I only had time to release the throttle and brace for the impact. I expected the bike would launch me out of the seat a fair bit, but it did much worse.

After the front wheels and back wheels hit the washout, the quad launched about 2-3 feet in the air and bucked me off to the right of the quad and slightly in front of it. I remember looking down at the seat and handlebars as I flew off. I don’t know if I controlled my roll through the air, or if it was simply luck, but I was able to land flat on my back… Which is probably the best way to land when flying through the air at 25mph. Had I landed on my side, my legs, my head…I most certainly would have broken something

I am VERY fortunate to come away from the accident with only banged up arms and legs, and a sore back. Nothing broken or fractured, no kidney damage, etc.

I’ll certainly be taking a break from riding the quads in the future as I value my family and my life/well-being far more than I enjoy riding the quads. I will get back on one day, as I’m certainly not afraid of them. But there comes a time when you must place the things in life that are valuable, and cherished by you first, and that time for me is now.

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