Thursday, February 11, 2010

The First Time I Crashed

I posted a while back about the time I crashed my uncle's motorcycle. That wasn't my first crash.

My first crash was when I was probably 6 or 7 years old. Another uncle of mine, who drove his stock Dodges in drag races, had a Honda Z50 he used to get around the pits.

One weekend, our whole family was gathered at his house for a dinner. I can't recall why, but for some reason the little Honda came out, and it was decided that I was going to get to ride it. Sweet, huh?

He lived on about an acre, which was plenty of room to buzz around on a little motorcycle at low speeds. My uncles and dad got me situated on the bike, and told me not to give it any gas when I was putting it in gear because it would lurch. I wasn't exactly sure what lurching involved, but I knew I didn't want anything to do with it.

Anyway, I survived putting the bike in first gear, and buzzed off around and around the yard. Around, and around and around, and gee riding is awesome. And, hey, I bet it would be even better if I was going faster.

So I whacked open the throttle and froze in terror as I hauled ass straight across the yard into a pine tree.

Seconds later my parents and uncles were helping me up, then getting the bike off the ground. My mom picked pine needles out of my face and calmed me down a bit. The minibike was parked for a while.

After dinner, my folks came up with some excuse for why I wasn't allowed to ride anymore that night. While I was busy trying to come up with a good reason why I should be allowed to ride some more, my other uncle decided to take the little bike for a spin. He crashed. And he had to go to the hospital.

I guess he made it lurch.

If I recall correctly, after falling off the back from an unintended wheelie, he landed on his feet and caught the handlebars in the gut, which cut him up and bruised him pretty badly.

Amusingly enough, my folks didn't tell me "see, motorcycles are dangerous!" They told me, "Don't feel bad, your uncle crashed too."

At least, that's how I interpreted it...