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Thread: Lucky in Diefenbaker

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Oct 2006

    Exclamation Lucky in Diefenbaker

    It has taken me a long time to post this pic except to only my closest riding friends!

    A terrible loss of a beautiful 2 month old F650GS twin:

    The concensus is that I fell asleep from sleep deprivation. I agree it is the likely cause so I can learn from this. On the 3rd week of travelling from Meaford, ON out to the Gillette MAO National in '08, taking part in all the fun of the rally, going south for awhile into CO., then home via BC, Canada and across the prairies, I was in the area of Diefenbaker Lake in Saskatchewan. The landscape was empty of any thing but flat fields...not a fence, mailbox, tree, or guard rail anywhere to see. Bike was running ever so smoothly. I had just decided 2 km. back to carry on to another campsite 45 minutes down the road so I was conjuring plans. It was 4:00 in the afternoon. I had just stopped about 1 hour before. Made some dumb decisions like taking a remote rural route south instead of going on to Saskatoon, then south where traffic would have been heavier and more to keep my mind active...maybe it was best there was no one around. No other cars at all. Result: I lay there unconscious 1.25 hours and in the meantime, maybe 15 minutes, some other car came along and phoned in the 911. Ambulance and EMT's took the wrong road (219 Sask.) so took about 35-45 minutes to get to the scene. I had ATGATT on so it was the impact that resulted in 6 broken ribs, collarbone and a fair concussion...only my rightside was injured..I didn't even roll as had no abrasions or dirt on the left side of my jacket, pants, boots. No abrasions whatsoever on my skin. Helmet had a small crack on the rightside below the ear, full face flip-up Caberg which stayed closed.

    So no yawning to warn me that the body WILL fall asleep instantly if sleep deprived. I had slept well at a motel the night before and had visited a friend in Salmon Arm. When you visit new folks there is a little strain I think. I was getting irritable and thought the people of Sask. were sorta uninterested and a bit unfriendly, I chose a dumb route and made the error of not following my plan to stop to camp at the nearby campsite. I didn't stop to add batteries to my music player and wasn't drinking outta the bladder because it was cool and I didn't feel thirsty. Remember I had stopped 1 hour before. The reason I felt I had fallen asleep, rather than the bike breaking, was that I had no 'oops' moment before the crash and no broken right wrist from trying to stop the fall. These are all classic mistakes that I now know to watch out for!! Notice the catastrophic damage to the wheel of the bike and the right fork torn from the upper and lower yokes. Maybe can't see that in the pic. Lucky for me, my partner who doesn't ride still believes it was the bike that gave-way..somethin' broke. I lay 15 feet IN Front of the bike. Why wasn't I behind it if I fell off asleep? Lost all my gear on the bike. Learn from me please.
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    Last edited by suecanada; 05-20-2011 at 04:19 PM. Reason: No photo!

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006

    One more thing

    I think it would have been good if BMW's had a tip over sensor and shut off. Being FI the engine just kept running. Had handguards on it so it didn't have to run at a high rpm...just ran, no oil then seized and threw a con road right out of the engine onto the road where we found it one week later swept into the 'ditch. Road was a small gravel section that was fine, as had a reasonable gravel free path. But I still could have done something very wrong if I skidded slightly when dozing! I got a good sleep immediately after though!

  3. #3
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    Oct 2006

    End over end

    Harry, I was very perplexed by the damage as well and if in reality the bike flipped and maybe went end over end a few times, how in the world did I end up in front of the bike and no evidence of rolling by me? Maybe I should sign up for the rodeo and ride broncos? One cop I spoke to very recently suggested that the front wheel turned perpendicular in the gravel, tossed me ahead and came down hard...but the back wheel being so broken up and the front right fork totally ripped off?
    Too bad there was so much fire damage that one could not do a forensic study of the metals left. Was there a wee animal, a rear strike by a vehicle? Falling asleep gives me something though that I can work on correcting...the others really don't.

  4. #4
    Luddite Looney wecm31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Eganville, Ontario
    Getting drowsy while driving/riding is very real, I have travelled a fair bit for work and play and don't ever hesitate to stop for a nap. Being tired is like hypothermia, by the time you think you have a problem, you do have a problem!

    I personally look down on prescription drug abuse, but have an idea for debate....

    Non drowsy Sudafed. I have allergy issues occasionally and hate the trouble of being congested while riding. I find the non drowsy Sudafed keep my nose dry and also keeps me sharper. I now have often taken one after lunch on a long days ride.

    Abuse or proper use???
    Gerald P
    The last thing I want to be is just like everyone else...
    1985 R80RT
    1969 Sport Fury Convertible

  5. #5
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    SW Ohio
    If it was some sort of accident, loss of any memory of the moment is not unusual. I hit a deer in '05 and my only memories are seeing the deer waaaay ahead, then of sliding on the tarmac and watching my bike sliding off the opposite side of the road.
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  6. #6
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta

    I wonder if this might have been a dehydration/rider fatigue event, rather than lack of sleep.

    But riding/driving in Saskatchewan can make anyone dozy... Glad you got through this.
    Last edited by Rinty; 05-25-2011 at 01:18 PM.

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #7
    Amma Holly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Ancaster, ON
    Thanks for posting this Sue, it is a good reminder to us all. I still think it was more likely an animal running in front of you or something like that causing you to brake hard and highside. When I highsided and gave myself a concussion, I landed in front of the bike and didn't roll. I did roll when I lowsided. With the concussion, I lost memory of starting the race as well as everything up until I woke up in the hospital a few hours later. I have never been able to remember anything leading up to the crash but since I was on a track the marshals were able to tell me what an idiot I was. John Surtees was there though, and he was so nice and told me he had done the same sort of thing to make me feel better.


  8. #8
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    B.C. Canada

    memory loss without losing consciousness

    35634's post 5 really rang a bell with me, and the thought "I'm not the only one." In my case, it was a low speed corner in heavy rain after a long drought. I geared down and braked when the road was still straight, then initiatiated a very modest lean angle and held a steady throttle. My last thought before "the gap" was "why is this bike continuing to lean farther?" After that gap in consciousness, I was on my knees and watching my bike slide maybe 20 feet up the road on its left side.

    I not only have no memory of actually coming off the bike; what is even weirder is that the only damage I encurred was a dime size hole in my rain pants which barely scuffed the leather pants below them. How the hell did I levitate off the bike and not also slide as my bike did?

    We all want to avoid accidents. But if we have had one, we want to understand it. I don't think these "gaps" are a good thing in accidents where the fallen rider is never knocked unconscious. What is going on?

    I think we may have hijacked the OP's thread. I'm sure others will sort it out.
    1992 K100RS

  9. #9
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    SE Michigan
    Sue - I suggest you review (if you can remember) what you ate that day. One possible thought is that you experienced a sugar low, sometimes coming right after a sugar high, and that can cause irresitible drowsiness. It's happened to me. Now I avoid sweets, candy bars, etc. while riding.

  10. #10
    Registered User
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    Sep 2003
    Virginia Beach
    I do suppose you've seen the pictures of F650GS's with catastrophic front fork failure over on the ADV rider site? A couple of riders, in each of their cases, were just riding along and the mounting on the front fork gave way and the axle became dislodged and boom, front wheel turned sideways and rider launched over the top of bike. I don't suppose with the burnt bike you could ever really know, but it is a possible explanation of what might have happened, as opposed to falling asleep. In each case, from reading the posts, there was no warning at all, and the bikes were just mildly used off-road, nothing heavy.

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