Crashed motorcycle and broke my arm!

On Saturday afternoon I crashed my Yamaha dirt bike and broke my arm! Just to show you how tough the motorcycle is, the only damage to it was a broken bracket that holds the clutch lever in place. I did not fare so well. The story of what happened after the accident is so interesting, I thought I’d share it with you.

The accident

The weather this time of year is fickle. In fact, as I write this, it’s snowing outside. But Saturday was a pretty nice day. So I hopped on the bike and rode some of my favorite routes near here. Around 4:15 PM I was on the dirt road that connects the Peach Valley recreation area and the Montrose Adobes. I thought I was riding carefully and was watching for ruts because the road was very rutted. But I guess I wasn’t watching closely enough. And, to make matters worse, I was traveling fairly fast. Well, out of the blue, a rut about 4 inches deep grabbed the front tire and yanked the motorcycle right out from under me. This has happened to me before. Usually I just dust myself off, hop back on the bike, and move on. Not this time—I knew before I’d even stopped rolling that I had broken something.

I thought for a while about what to do. I had my cell phone with me although I was probably out of cell range. I also had ham radio gear which might have worked because the nearest repeater was only about 5 miles away. But I did not have my GPS, and was on a road that has only recently been opened, so my head was filled with visions of complex coordination and waiting a long time for the emergency services people.

One leg was stuck under the motorcycle, so I had to drag myself out from under using just one arm. Once free of that I had to stand up—a little hard because my left arm was not any use at all. But that was nowhere near as hard as the next task, which was getting the motorcycle upright. I tried pushing it up like I normally do. The motorcycle had fallen on its left side so I got on its left side and started pushing up but the problem was that the handlebar was just too floppy and with just one arm I couldn’t do it. So I went over on the other side of the bike, grabbed the handlebar, and managed after several tries to get the bike upright. But now, I’m on the wrong side of the motorcycle. So I very carefully leaned over the motorcycle and with my good hand pushed the kickstand down. Then I went around the bike and got on.

Getting out of there

So here’s the problem. My left arm was useless, the clutch lever was useless, and I had about 5 miles to go to where I thought I might find people. I got the motorcycle started, which was difficult because it had been down for several minutes and the gasoline had flooded the carburetor. Fortunately, my little Yamaha XT-250 has electric start, and the battery had survived the winter well, and had enough power to keep cranking until the engine started. I tried gently slipping the bike into first gear but that just made it lurch forward and stall. So then, I pushed the starter button while in first gear. The bikes started, lugged a little bit, and lurched forward, but kept going. Remember, I’m doing this with only one hand. So, here I am, pointed in the right direction, going down a very rugged road, and dreadfully afraid I would fall again. I was able to slip the transmission into second gear a couple times when the road was smooth, and slipped it back into first gear when I got to the steep part. This went on for quite awhile until finally I was at the parking area.

The Five Angels

The boys told me that they saw me go north. So I went back through my video and sure enough they were in one of the frames. This is an extreme close-up so it's a bit blurry, but these are definitely the guys. God bless you, gentlemen!

The boys told me that they saw me go north. So I went back through my video and sure enough they were in one of the frames. This is an extreme close-up so it’s a bit blurry, but these are definitely the guys. God bless you, gentlemen!

There were a few pickup trucks there with people loading up motorcycles and getting ready to leave. I aimed for one likely group. I’m only doing about 5 miles an hour, and had to make sure that I didn’t dump the bike while coming to a stop. I simply said, “I fell, and I think it broke my arm. Can you drive me to the hospital?” Immediately these five young men jumped to my assistance. After some discussion they loaded my motorcycle onto the back of one of the pickup trucks, and off we went. Montrose Memorial Hospital is only a few miles away. Not only did they take me there, but they came in to make sure that I got the right care. After a little bit of discussion, they decided that some of them would take my motorcycle to my home nearly 20 miles away and drop it there. Meanwhile two of the boys stayed with me. One of them let me use his cell phone so I could call my wife, Loretta. I found out later that not only did they take my motorcycle home but they put it into the garage in its usual place, and put my helmet and vest there too.

I want to say something about these young men. I suppose I shouldn’t be calling the boys, but given that I’m 62, the age difference was pretty large, with one still in high school! Their names were Brad Boyd, Leramy Carner, Nick Boyd, Justin Cain, and Wyatt Yarnell. They told me that they had packed up their motorcycles and all their gear about 20 minutes before I got to them. They ride there every Saturday when the weather is good. Normally, once they pack up, they leave, but this time they were just chatting with each other for no apparent reason. Leramy told me later he was quite certain that it was not just chance that they waited. These young men were perfect gentleman, helpful in every way, including helping me get off the motorcycle and into the truck, and their behavior exemplary. I was extremely impressed. I told them that they were my angels that day. Loretta and I expressed our gratitude over and over. I told them that after I get better Loretta and I will take them out to dinner at the nicest restaurant in Montrose. One of them laughed and said that Taco Bell would be just fine.

The rest of the story

The doc told me that I had broken the ball area at the top of my left humerus in several places. He told me that it would be a painful fracture, which it has certainly turned out to be. Sadly, if he’s right about taking three or four months to heal, I’ll miss most of the riding season this year.

There’s a bit more to the story. Loretta and I are Mormons, and I wanted a priesthood blessing. Loretta was able to contact Bart Skalla. As it turned out, he was on his way home from Montrose to Ridgway with several other people in the car, including his son Tanner, and were not far away. They gave me the blessing, I took my meds, and crawled gratefully into bed.

So, that’s the story. Oh, except for one little thing. Since one arm is out of commission, I couldn’t type this. I dusted off Dragon Naturally Speaking, fussed with the microphone until it worked, and dictated this entire story! Technology to the rescue!

This entry was posted in Montrose County, Motorcycling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Crashed motorcycle and broke my arm!

  1. Sandra KG7KNW says:

    Dave, I am sorry to hear of your mishap but it is good to know you are on the mend and using technology to keep your site up to date.
    As for the timing, those young men hanging around when they would normally have left, I have witnessed that many times myself.
    When we feel the urge to just hang around or do something ‘different’ than what we normally would, there is typically a good reason we are doing it.
    I missed a large car crash on an I-25 in New Mexico because I stopped at a quick shop and wandered the aisles before I drove onto the entrance. Only 2 miles later, traffic as stopped and detoured to the North bound lanes for a short ways since our South bound lanes were closed. If I hadn’t done that ‘different’ thing, I feel I would have been part of that accident.

    I suspect you might find some ways to still get outdoors while you are on the mend. Maybe another book idea will come of it.

    Sending you healing energy
    Sandra KG7KNW

  2. Becky McCreary says:

    So sorry about the accident Dave; I do hope you’re mending well. That is a lovely story about your five angels! I see a place for them in one of your stories?

  3. Dave says:

    Ron, thanks for your kind words of support. I’m glad my videos are helpful. Thank you for your love and prayers. I hope to be back to making videos and riding in the high country again soon.

  4. Dave says:

    Kelly, thanks for sharing your son with me!

  5. Russ Locke says:

    Dave,

    Sorry to hear of your crash and resulting injury. Motorcycle crashes are odd things: I hit a deer about 6 weeks ago with my KLR and walked away with a few bruises (the young Axis deer got up and jumped a fence, probably had a bruise too.) It only took a couple odd pieces to put the KLR right so last Friday after work I left my home to ride to a dual sport event about 100 miles up the road. But six miles from home I blew a front tire (yes, a true blowout) and crashed within 2 miles of the deer event. Again, walked away but this time I have a very sore hand (going for exrays today). The KLR is fine, no visible damage beyond the tube. And both of these crashes occurred at 55 mph or so on pavement! So how do I get by with this and you get a serious break in the dirt? Fate I guess; sorry you will miss a great riding season.

    Russ

  6. Kelly Cain says:

    Dave,
    Although I am sorry to hear about your accident, I am happy that your going to be okay. As a father, one always hopes that their children will always do right by others and I am not only proud of my son, but all of the boys. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone.

    Kelly Cain

  7. Ron Taylor KD0OSQ says:

    Brother,

    I live here in Grand Junction. I passed the general
    test this last Thursday. I have used both your technician
    and general websites to aid in preparing for my test
    three days ago. You really helped me to grasp the
    concepts and make sense of a lot of information. Your
    tech posts applied to many of the the general concepts
    that I have not retained in memory.
    If anyone is fasting this weekend in your behalf, I will
    be among them. I will pray for your comfort and rapid
    recovery.

    Ron, Grand Junction Second Ward

  8. Dick Drake says:

    Dave, sorry to hear about your mishap. We’ll send you lots of healing energy.

    Dick and Fran

  9. Doris says:

    Stick to brooms, Dave. Those injuries are only imaginary. 🙂

  10. Randy says:

    Nasty business with the fall, but what a GREAT story about the young men who helped you!

    Heal quickly.

  11. WOW, you are one lucky guy Dave !!! I think you had better spend a little more time with the radio, and when you do go out on your bike, use the buddy system, your not a spring chicken any more…LOL

  12. Craig phillips, KG7BMV says:

    What a wonderful story however it said that you had to get hurt. My brother is a physician who works moonlighting from Denver at the Delta hospital, he’s there this week started last weekend so, you might very well have run into him if you had gone there. I’ve been following your YouTube very close for both the technician, which I took and passed and now I’m working on my general still watching your YouTube videos. they’re great they have help me tremendouly. want to thank you so much for doing those. When I get my general, I want to try to reach you on the air to thank you personally. Do well in your recovery and will be watching for your updates 73’s Craig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *