On the heels of today’s message about rider visibility comes this real-world reminder about helmets, ice, and the durability of the Enertia.
WARNING: I’ve cleaned up most of the language in this post that violates my G-rated family safe guidelines, but I did leave one naughty word in because it’s just so artfully used.
By the way, you might remember this particular forum-poster as Alan, our favorite rich dude who’s too cool to hate. Here’s yet another reason not to hate him: humility. Not too many guys will ‘fess up about how they managed to dump their bikes as a result of their own human failings.
Second time in 20 years I hit the road. Second time glare ice was the cause.
I’m in Tribeca , lower Manhattan , NYC. Three days ago it was 29 degrees F. We have these charming cobblestone streets in my neighborhood. They will soon be redone by the city because for the last 7 years every giant former warehouse and “printing building” and such, was converted into luxury condos. All the cement trucks and cranes created some serious depressions in the cobbles which pool water. Water freezes into ice at 29 degrees F. Do not forget this. I did.
I am used to grabbing riding jacket gloves and jet-style scooter helmet when I leave my house on any bike. ( Enertia / Duke II / 950 Supermoto ).
This time it was so cold I put on a Burton parka and a blaze orange camo fleece balaclava. ( I’m an avid snowmobiler so I have a lot of that stuff for a city guy ).
I leave the garage and get a block away and realize D’OH ! My head is covered but NOT with a helmet. So I flip a quick u-turn on the alley adjacent to my house – (naturally multiple failures/errors contribute to most accidents) – so I was more concerned with “getting home quickly going the wrong way down a 1-way street before I get a no-helmet ticket” INSTEAD of scanning road surface and 50′ in front of me ( I was only going 9 mph ) . I rode ( TURNING ) directly onto a 3′ wide 10′ cute little hockey rink of ice. BOTH wheels kicked out to the curb and I went down on my right side. 80% of the impact was absorbed by my thigh muscles – 10% definite “knee ding” …and 10% my right wrist ( which I did not feel until the next day and is all better by today ).
So two observations :
1) it’s a f*ckload nicer getting body-slammed and pinned under a 248lb bike that a 428lb bike. I’m 100% fine.
2) durable little bastard that Enertia! Nothing even got abraded , let alone bent. not a brake pedal…..not a bar end…not a mirror……nada. Of course it didn’t go sliding down the road……but it didn’t just “fall over in the garage” either. It slammed onto irregular cobblestones.
Please do not try this at home – just take my word for it and if you’re going to ride on ice then do what we do on my lake upstate in Winter with the ktm 525’s….and buy those tires with 500 screw heads in them
Ride safe – but take confort in knowing that these things don’t just look like real bikes and ride like real bikes – they are about as resilient as real DIRT OR SUPERMOTO bikes.
I would never have bought a Vectrix even if it was the only electric on earth. but that’s a great example of an e-bike that would have created a shattered plastic “yard sale” had the same thing happened.
I would expect a Zero or Quantya to do just as well in a hard fall – but they LOOK like dirtbikes carrying car batteries so they damn well better be resilient.
I expect this to be my last crash report so I hope you found it illuminating.
( 20 years ago I took my first newly-bought Suzuki DR350s out in a blizzard and hey guess what–I fell over and made my hip all bruised. This was deck-hit number 2 with an intervening 65,000+ miles ridden and perhaps 4000 race track laps with just one lowside “off” at Jerez that I practically did on purpose because I was so bored after 3 days of lapping my Superduke that I tried like an idiot to get my ELBOW down along with my knee. So I consider that a “voluntary lowside” )
And, on the risk of totally blowing my “Focus on the Family” Buddy Christ 5 Star rating, here ya go: