It was the most glorious of days. We’d been up since bright and early having travelled from the city to Naas where we had the best breakfast in the universe before going on to Mondello for a one off tyre manufacturers customer appreciation track day. After we’d finished making a mockery of the hostelry’s assumption that grown men could only eat so much food we headed onward to the circuit.
Once there it was all banter and slagging. There were several people who we hadn’t seen in months and some you’d wished you hadn’t seen for even longer. The craic in the pit lane suites was, as they might say in that part of the world, mighty. Then the call came out for one of us to take the man from the tyre company out for a look around the circuit.
Normally something like this would be done in a car. Mondello have the use of a fleet of cars from BMW and getting one of the team to take him around wouldn’t usually be a problem. On this particular morning however, the keys were in a safe that no one on site had access to. At least that’s what they said. There is always the theory that letting one of us anywhere their cars would result in having to do an awful lot of paperwork.
After some debate I found myself nominated. It had been a while since I’d been on the Kildare track, but I did know my way around the place like the back of my hand and I quickly ran out of excuses. A few minutes later I was sitting on a borrowed Fireblade on a brand new set of tyres in the pitlane all fired up and ready for the slowest sighting lap of my life.
Off we went and the first half of the track was straightforward enough. Then I got to my favorite corner and went a bit faster. The turn was perfect and I took the next one a bit harder. And the next one a bit harder again. By the time I got to the one after that I was ‘on it’. That’s when it happened.
The back end started to slide and the bike was rapidly getting away from me. In a moment I had an epiphany. As it was low-siding to the right I’d simply plant my left knee in the tarmac and lift it back up as it slid. As theories go it wasn’t a bad one. In practice it simply made a very bad situation a whole lot worse. As the bike came back up the suspension unloaded and I traded my low side for a high side.
I broke my wrist, burst my spleen and cracked two ribs in addition to shreding a leather suit and wrecking my new Arai. The bike was totalled. Inspecting the damage to the rider gear later showed that I had landed on my left hand first, hence the broken wrist, and that was rather rapidly followed by my forehead. Interestingly I didn’t have any concussion and while it took an age to recover I had no head injuries. This I attribute to wearing Arai. After all I’ve only got one head. How many have you?
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