November 18, 2006

Splat! MotoLiam takes a tumble, and learns something!

Minutes after posting the Ducati Museum photos, I was headed home from Planet Cafe, the internet haven I usually hang out at here in Barcelona. Normally, this would have been like any other bicycle ride back to my apartment, but this time I made a mistake.

It had been raining off and on that day, and it was something I noted as I put the power to the pedals of my trusty black Haro BMX. My rear tire spun up a couple times from the incredible torque I make when I'm really hustling (haha), but I didn't mind one bit - because I like breaking traction! The night air was clean, and the streets were relatively empty, so I was making good time headed down towards the water, via the sidewalks. I saw the roads were dry, and I was doing my usual "sprint, coast, sprint, coast" on the bike, making time and hopping off of curbs when I could. Eventually, I had to turn right, and I sure chose the wrong place! I ducked under a tree and initiated a fast right sweeper while on the downstroke, or "powerstroke" of the right pedal, and almost before I could react, I was headed straight for the concrete. It felt like both wheels lost traction, though the rear broke loose first. I remember holding the bars and twisting my body to try and bring the back end around and back in line, but it was hopeless. I only managed to line myself up more for one of the roughest Belly-flops I've ever experienced, arms outspread, legs straight back behind me, and right torso parallel with the ground. . . . . . .

BLAMM-O! Superman I was not!

I hit my ribs and stomach so hard I knocked the wind out of myself something fierce, and it was a few moments before I could pull my arms and legs in to see if they were still attached. I curled up and managed to pick myself up, propping my hands on my knees while bent over, breathing heavily. "Wow! That was really something!", I thought, and for the first time I can remember, I didn't immediately rush over and see how the bike was doing. Maybe because this one didn't have a motor I needed to keep running, or maybe because I don't normally eat it so hard on the concrete without any gear.

Yeah, I said it. No Gear. Rolling around on the street (sidewalks almost always), I don't normally put the pads on, because I'm only commuting and not stunnin'. I don't wear a helmet either, because I haven't found one that does the trick (but probably because I couldn't justify the expense, and I don't have money to spare). Suffice it to say, I don't actually own any safety gear anymore, having given it all away when I moved to Europe last year. My fantastic Fox elbow/forearm pads (went through three or four different pairs before I found the ones that worked best with me), my old Bell full face BMX helmet (also great for XR50 racing), and the generic knee-braces I used - all gone now. Which brings me to my next subject.

Yesterday it was revealed that Nicky Hayden rode with a broken/cracked bone in his shoulder during the Valencia GP. He damaged it in his pile-up with Dani Pedrosa in the previous race at Estoril, but kept the injury under wraps so he wouldn't give title rival, Valentino Rossi, any more ammunition in the mental battle that was to ensue on the track at the final race. Nicky will miss the final winter pre-season test in Jerez in two weeks because he's having surgery to fix it, and also correct a collarbone issue (just another plate removal, nothing serious, haha). It's not really publicized too much when a rider does go down, other than the occasional short blurb about so-and-so falling in practice, or qualifying. After my most recent wreck, it's come back into the forefront of my mind that these guys are in great shape, and they take some hard hits without complaint. Sure, sometimes they're forced to sit out, or get surgery, but for the most part, if they're able to, they're back out riding as soon as possible. While I'm not comparing myself to a MotoGP athelete, anyone who hits the ground has to make a choice to come back and get on the horse again. I've managed to hit the ground quite a bit, but I always come back, and I went for a long ride earlier this afternoon to shake it off and get the juices flowing in my body again. Torso feels twisted, and I'm definitely having trouble breathing, but you know what? It was great! I know that my body will be back to normal in a couple weeks, and hopefully the swelling in my left thumb does down so I can type normally again. Nearest I can tell, I was still hanging on to the bars with my left arm when I went boom, and the resulting wrench of the bars out of my hand twisted it. At least my collarbones are fine (for the moment),haha, because I've broken both of my clavicles in various activities, the first time before I was even a year old! In honor of that, and also Nicky's impending Collarbone surgery, here's a great song called Collarbone!

Recuperative medicine also includes more moto-based fuel, this time in the form of Smacks! Where else but Spain can you find Superbikes on a cereal box for kids, and the back shows a couple of MV Augusta F4's. Sweet!

I am now officially on the look out for some quality protective gear.

If you feel like contributing to MotoLiam's Helmet Fund, please use Paypal. The email address for donations is
If you feel like contributing to MotoLiam's Helmet Fund, please use Paypal.  The email address for donations is


well, i'm glad it hasn't hurt you too much and you went back riding that bike of yours !
remember: always wear a helmet !

Hey Liam!
I like the photo! HAHA.

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