Monday, August 14, 2006


I'm feeling sore and sorry for myself at the moment, as I had an important scooter milestone this morning.

I fell off for the first time.

Coming down Monash Avenue toward my office, I braked to slow down at the back of a queue at the roundabout, and my brakes, for reasons known only to themselves, locked up. They do that occasionally, and usually it's no biggie. However this time it was on an oily patch of road, and the scooter started to slide out from under me. I stretched out my leg to stabilise myself, but a combination of the oily road and the slick soles of my business shoes caused my foot to slide out ever worse than the scooter. Still moving at a reasonable pace, I lost balance and toppled over, banging down onto the bitumen with the scooter close behind.

Fortunately, the nice lady coming up behind me in a Toyota didn't run me over. I lay there on the road for a few seconds while my senses rebooted, and once I realised that there were no immediate injuries I staggered to my feet and hauled the scooter upright. It was still running; a good sign. I dragged it to the side of the road and gestured to the car behind me that everything was okay, motioning for her to go around me. Then I wheeled the scooter off the road and into a driveway to assess the damage.

Surprisingly there was almost none - it's tougher than it looks.The wing mirror was twisted but not broken. There was a large scrape on the decorative chrome plate on the muffler, and a smaller scrape on the bottom of the front mudguard, but mechanically it was ticking over as normal. I climbed back on, straightened the mirror to see the traffic behind me, and pulled back out to complete the 100 metres or so to reach my office.

Once I'd parked, I had more opportunity to check for damage to myself, and I came to realise the value of all the protective clothing I wear when I'm riding. My old army coat had protected my business suit when I'd crashed shoulder-first onto the road. My helmet protected my head as it banged down a split second later. Without the helmet, it would have been my ear scraping along the bitumen. One of my leather gloves had a large scrape across the palm where I'd subconsciously stretched out my hand to break my fall. If I hadn't had the glove on, the scrape would have been in my flesh rather than the leather.

So, I'm more or less unharmed, although the fall jarred every joint in my body, especially in my wrist, my neck and my shoulder.

But more inportantly, my favourite grey wool suit with the fine blue pinstripe is undamaged, and my iPod is fine... I think my body cushioned it against the impact. Whew.


Blogger John said...

Glad you're OK, but surely something should have burst into flames on impact? The iPod at least! Surely Hollywood has not been lying to us all these years?

5:41 PM  
Blogger MC Etcher said...

I'm very glad to hear you're all right! Be safe!

9:43 PM  

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