Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Picking up a dropped bike - Age & Health is a factor!

While in Florida this year a real 'rookie' mistake happened to me. First time in eight years of riding that I dropped my bike. Actually, it would be the second but the first time doesn't count, that happened when I was test driving it, but that is another story.

Anyway, I had just gotten back from a ride, and pulled into the garage like I have done countless times. But this time as I parked and put down my kickstand, for some reason I can't explain, the bike rolled back or maybe I rolled it back to reposition it. Well whatever the reason, at that very moment I was already in the tilt position when I heard the click of the kick stand rising up and in one swift motion I was going down. 

There was nothing I could do to correct it and gave in to let gravity win. It felt like it went down in slow motion with the handle bar wedging into an empty garbage can that had been sitting next to it. (It could have been worse, the can could have been full) Lucky for me the highway pegs kept the paint from getting scratched. There I was, my bike on its side, sitting in a garbage can no less and I was all alone. In retrospect, I can laugh at myself and the whole situation.The BF was in Germany at the time and wouldn't be home for a couple more weeks, I didn't have anyone to call either being that I was in Florida and there was no one around that I knew who could have come over and lifted it for me. So, I just stood there dumb-founded for a few seconds, not believing what I had just done. 

After my initial shock wore off, I remembered seeing videos on how “anyone” could pick up a dropped bike, no matter their size or the size of the bike. Not that I had ever wanted to be put into the situation where I would have to try this technique out, but here was my chance to put it into practice for myself. I should point out, on those videos the bikes are positioned nicely in the middle of the floor with nothing around them, in the real world my bike happened to fall into a garbage can and was angled into a tight corner.  

First things first, I removed the handlebar from the garbage can. That took quite a bit to remove as it was wedged in there fairly tight and the weight of the bike and angle it was sitting on didn’t help. After several minutes of struggling I eventually managed to free it. Next I positioned myself like in the videos and I squatted, bent my knees, butt against the seat and my hand on the handlebar…took a deep breath and pushed. I barely budged it. Again, and again I tried, all to no avail. Soon I was huffing and puffing like an old horse, trying to catch my breath. I admit, my thirties, hell even my forties are a distant memory and it didn’t help that my lungs are not as good as they used to be. After countless attempts, I heard a little snap in my lower back. As I slumped against my bike completely spent my mind raced trying to think of how I could possibly lift the heavy #@$*#! (shame on me calling my bike names) I couldn’t accept the thought of not being able to ride my motorcycle for weeks until the BF got back either. Besides, I felt way too embarrassed about the whole situation and figured I would probably never hear the end of it if he found out. 

As all these thoughts danced around in my mind, I just happened to turn my head toward the wall of the garage and low and behold just sitting in front of my bike was a JACK! ... Figures, I couldn't have noticed that a half hour ago.  I grabbed the jack and positioned it under the frame. I kept jacking it up until it was finally at a leaning position high enough that enabled me to tilt it the rest of the way. Being extremely careful not to have it fall over on the other side. That would have been catastrophic as my BF's bike was right beside it. I slid the kickstand out and finally had him upright again. 

In the end, even though there is a 'trick' or should I say technique to picking up your motorcycle and 'experts' suggest that "anyone" no matter your size and the size of your bike can pull it off, I am pretty sure I just proved that there are limits. In my case, I think that my age and more so my health was definitely a factor. There was no way I could have gotten my over 500 lb bike up by myself just using that technique without the help of that jack.

BTW, my back is fine, nothing a glass (or two, or three...) of wine and a rub of Voltaren couldn't fix.