The irony. I was supposed to visit a place to write my first real story in this journal instead I became the story.
Three weeks… I told myself. In three weeks everything will go live the website, the blog and the Facebook page. I need to at least have one story up by then, nothing major just at least something to get me started.
So I decided to write about the place that I often visit when I just want to go for a quick ride. The plan was to spend time shooting some photos in the afternoon, have some casual talk with the locals spend the night in a tent, maybe do some night photography, then visit some waterfalls the next day. It sounded really good…
I almost always travel alone but this one time I invited an acquaintance, a brave, adventurous, artistic and out going individual who’s into camping but has very limited experience when it comes to motorcycle riding.
Wearing pants and a jacket is a pre-requisite when riding with me as I know the consequences of riding uncovered. She gladly obliged no questions asked. I have two sets of riding gear, one set is made out of mesh and the other is made out of leather, what I wear depends on what motorcycle I’m using. Often I don’t have bother to offer one of those when I ride with someone as it’s either it is too large or too small for them. Something I now reconsider doing.
She mentioned that she’s uncomfortable when the motorcycle leans to its side as she feels as if its falling. After a short briefing on what to do once the motorcycle leans, I felt like we are ready to go.
Rain never stopped me from riding, I thought at first that she would be apprehensive because of it, she just said “We are going to get wet wether we ride now or later so let’s go!”. I guess it takes more than rain to dampen her spirit.
So off we go. The usual route, everything seemed to be the way they are when I ride these streets. The traffic, the congestion and the pedestrians, nothing was really new to me. But I always tell myself that I should treat every ride as a different one. Or else I might end up being over confident and usually that’s when shit happens.
We pass my marker, a bridge. Everyone who rides these roads know this bridge or at least the place where you can eat some really good “bulalo”. It’s a marker for me as it is the start of a thirty minute ride through nice paved winding roads, which for me is a pleasure to ride, a lot would probably say the same since this place is very popular with riders.
The start of the first bend, I was a bit cautious entering the corner as the road was wet and I don’t want to surprise my passenger when we start leaning. We leaned gradually, with me trying to use the throttle as smooth as I possibly can. I did the same thing on all the corners, I felt her confidence growing as she is starting to lean with me. “A good sign.” I told myself.
It was an uphill straight with a left bend at the end, we were at cruising speed I’m guessing at around 50-60 kph, when a jeep appeared. It was exiting the corner at a considerable amount of speed I’m guessing faster than us, and it was eating into our lane. I steered a bit to my right hopefully to avoid it, I’m thinking he would go back to his lane after he realise that he overshoot. He didn’t.
He hit my left pannier, which caused us to crash. The bike skid quite far from where the impact happened. Everything happened so fast, up to now I can’t recall what exactly I did during the crash. What was clear on my mind was after the crash I immediately stood up and looked for my passenger.
Made a quick glance at myself, everything seemed to be intact. I’m standing so I guess I’m ok. Then I saw her sitting with her helmet off, startled. I immediately went up to her and asked, “Are you ok?”, to my relief she nodded and said “Yes”. I can see that her clothes are torn, in places where armours are usually placed, which only means one thing, she’s injured.
Next thing I tried to look for was the vehicle that hit us. At a distance I can see the jeep and someone was stepping outside of it, an old man probably in his late fifties, grey hair with the body of a working man. I asked “What happened?”.
He said we hit him, I told him he overshoot and was eating my lane, which he denied. A bystander said that the reason I crashed was because my left panniers was clipped by the jeep. I told him of course, we would not have crashed he didn’t clipped us.
Then we both realised there is really no point in arguing, he won’t admit that it is his fault, and I’m also starting to have doubts with my claim, things happened so fast and we both recall things differently. At this point, it seems that who’s fault it is doesn’t really matter. What matters is the next move.