Gabe Wrecks His Bike

Dave told me this story about Gabe once and I never forgot it. Since I would not do the episode justice I asked Dave to recount the events of that day. Here’s what Dave says happened:

So my roommate (Gabe) and I both had motorcycles. One summer afternoon, we decided to go for a ride. No real destination, just go out and have some fun.

We’re out cruising and decide to head towards Sonoma. So we cruise out Petaluma Hill road to old Adobe road at Penngrove. At one particular stop sign, we decide to just take a left and see where the road goes. Neither of us had ever been on that road, and agreed that we needed to check it out. It turns out that the road is quite short. It loops around and comes back out onto old Adobe. This road is pretty much a single lane, but since it’s just a side road that spits you back out where you came from, it’s pretty much deserted.

So we’re riding and it narrows down (to barely a single lane) between a house and a trailer home, and it sorta looks like we’re in someone’s driveway. We keep going and it turns out that the road goes past these two houses and continues on. The road is narrow, twisty, and deserted – fun! It climbs up and around to a really great view of the valley. We get to a point where there is a long straight downhill stretch, followed by a hard 90 degree left corner. Nothing but fields all around.

Gabe decides it’s time to push it a little and takes off like a bat out of hell down this road. I’m Not sure if he was expecting me to race after him, but I didn’t take the bait. I did stay close enough behind him to get a front-row view of what happened next.

He goes screaming down the hill and hits the corner waaaaay too fast, and at a really bad angle. Beyond the road at this corner is plowed open field, no fence, no houses, no nothing. You may be thinking “Well if you’re gonna fuck up, that’s the place to do it.” Yes and no. See, there’s no fence, or traffic, or buildings, or witnesses (besides me) to contend with; but the ground out there is very, very hard. They call it Adobe road because of a historical ranch estate out there that is made from adobe bricks, which were made from the local soil. Adobe, if you don’t know, is harder than cement when it’s dry. The adobe in the field beyond this curve had been deeply plowed parallel to the road.

So he enters this corner waaaay too fast and at the wrong angle. Mid-way through the turn it appears that he comes to the same conclusion that I have and decides his best course of action is to just lay the bike down.

o– -o(=== —–> /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
He goes screaming off the road sliding along the ground with the bike in front of him and bam! The bike hits the first adobe plow furrow with a huge explosion of dirt, flips up and begins what will be the first of many somersaults. Right behind the bike, Gabe is sliding feet first on his back, arms tucked in, doing his best impression of a torpedo. The bike continues to somersault and flip around in front of him as he bam! bam! bam! slams through these adobe furrows, one after another, with big explosions of dirt and rocks as his feet hammer through each ridge. By the time he comes to a stop, I can’t see him anymore because he’s so far into the field and the dust cloud is extremely thick.

By this time I’m off my bike and running out into the field after him, thinking he’s maimed or dead and I’m trying to remember any of that crap I learned at EMT class way too long ago. I get there and he’s still laying on his back, but he’s moving around a little and whimpering. All his limbs seem to still be attached. Whew. I confirm that he’s alright and then inform him how fucking great that was to watch. He was so sore that it took him a while to sit up.

I got his bike and pushed it over to the shoulder of the road. Amazingly, the damage was fairly minor. The handlebars of course were bent to shit, and some of the accessories were broken, but overall not too bad. I gave him a ride home on my bike, with him yelling at me to “slow down” the entire way. I guess he was probably in shock. He ended up being layed-up on the couch for 3 or 4 days, but overall he was fine. After I dropped him off, I called up one of his band-mates to help me get the bike into my van and get it home. To his credit, Gabe got the bike fixed and continued to ride it for some time. Until it got stolen, but that’s not my story to tell.

If only I’d had a camcorder that afternoon.

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~ by factorypeasant on December 2, 2004.

2 Responses to “Gabe Wrecks His Bike”

  1. Ah this story is begging for a first person perspective so here goes.

    After being rocketed off the bike and sliding on the ground for a while my feet hit some of the hard adobe and pivoted me head-first in the ground multiple times. I remember seeing ground then light then ground then light. It sucked. If I hadn’t been wearing a helmet I would’ve truly killed myself or at the very least suffered some major head injuries.

    I remember that once Dave walked up, some other guy saw the action and came over and looked through the holes in my pants to verify that I was still intact. When we finally walked over to the mangled bike there was this yellowish fluid running down the gas tank that looked like gasoline. Dave pointed out that it was leaking gas, but I knew better. I immediately replied, “OH NO! The fucking beer!” I had 2 bottles of bear in my tank bag. One of them broke but the other survived. We both sat back and I knew I could use a drink, but was too dizzy, and in shock, So I gave it to Dave.

    My ass particularly was severely beat up and bruised all to hell after a few days. The complaining I did on the back of Dave’s bike on the way home wasn’t due to shock or the speed but the bumps in the road that Dave seemed to find continuously all the way home each one giving me a sharp reminder of how badly beat up my ass was.

    Dave definitely took good care that day and I am grateful he was there. The memory of that accident stays with me everytime I take a turn a little fast. I’m much more cautious these days, but still love riding.

    I only wish Dave did bring a camcorder that afternoon.

  2. “I remember seeing ground then light then ground then light. It sucked.” HAHAHAHA! i wish i could have seen that.

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