Bitter Sweet experience at Thunderbolt April 17th 2010 - 600RR.net
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Bitter Sweet experience at Thunderbolt April 17th 2010

So i wrote this while lying down here in the South Jersey regional medical center hospital...

I had such an amazing first half of the day at the track. Thunderbolt is such an amazing track. Smooth, fast, some technical sections, some flat out wide open throttle sections, and just beautiful.

I throughly enjoyed myself till the point I went down lol.

Here's a recap for yall...

This was basically my first trackday (i did the free nesba intro two sessions at SUmmit Point so that doesn't really count)

I got into the intro group cause it was my first time there and first time with Absolute Cycles. After two sessions the instructors asked who amount us were bored. About 5 of us raised our hands so the next couple sessiong we picked up the speed a lot an that was amazing. I felt like I became part of the bike and the track. It felt like the laps were just flowing. This was the first time I felt what a lot of racers and riders meant by being in the 'zone'. What an unbelievable feeling. I had a grin on my face inside the helmet the whole time. Lol

Anyway , after lunch I barely made it in time for my session. I got there at third call so basically I was stuck behind the slow guys in the intro group. So I said no problem I'll take it easy this session.

Everything was going good until the front straight. The slow guys didn't seem to open the throttle wide open so I found myself catching up to them extremely quickly even though they were on 1000cc bikes including an R1. Maybe they were also nervous cause they were on 1000s.

I quickly pushed the right bar forward to get around them but it seemed like I was already caught in their slip stream. I felt like I was being sucked in. I started to brake but I think I locked up the front wheel so I released it quickly to not crash...but at this time I was already drifting to the left into another bike - i belive it was an 07 R1.

Everything was in slow motion and the next thing I know is I'm on the grass in some serious pain.

I took the helmet and gloves off the undid the zipper to my suit. Something was definitely wrong with my left foot.

Anyway the ambulance was there in about 10seconds and cut my leathers and put a stint on the leg. 15minutrs later I was in the hospital.

To make a long story short, I had a compound fracture in the left tibia(shin bone) and the fibula (smaller bone) was broken in three place too. Operating lasted about 3.5 hours, and now I have a titanium rod inside my left tibia with screws holding it in place. The fibula seemed to fix itself in place once the tibia was fixed.

So now it's recovery time. I'll be back home Tuesday and will be bed ridden for couple weeks and prolly crutches for 6 weeks.

Physical therapy starts tomorrow so it's going to be tough, but I'm staying positive as always and looking forward to completely healing. .... And getting back on the bike of course.

I knew what I was getting into and I don't regret it at all. Bikes are my passion and I continue to love them and the track. I'll put up some more pics when I can :)

Thanks for reading ^_^
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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So it's been a week now since the accident. Had a follow up with a orthopedic doc in MD and things are looking good. The healing is going well (the pain meds help LOL)

IN the next few days i'll gather up pics and post on here of the bike before and after.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 09:39 AM
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Glad to hear ur doin ok mate.How mch damage did the bike sustain? Either way gluck with the recovery and gettin back on the bike.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 10:45 AM
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good to see you are doing ok and in good spirits

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 11:15 AM
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damn man that sucks i hope i don't have this experience my first time out on a track. i'm from MD too. how much was the track day and such?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 02:27 PM
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I saw your wreck on the front straight. You took out at least another rider and I think a third went down too. I saw a bike kartwheeling down the straight. Good to hear you are ok, becasue you didn't move for a while. Speedy the track marshall was first on the scene. He ran across the track on foot from the Grid to see if you were ok. We were all watching from the fence.

Remember that the brake is not a switch. You need to compress the front suspension and then start squeezing the brake to really scrub off speed.

IF you find yourself behind the "slow guys" take it easy and work on your lines through the turns. This will take your mind off of how fast you think you should be going.

IF you get antsy then pit into the Grid. The track marshall will hold you until you can get some clean track ahead of you.

Roy from Absolute gave this valuable advice during the riders meeting.

I was in group 3 that day and those guys are fast. I got caught up in about 6 guys that were moving. I felt that I could hang but it would be pushing my skills, which I was not comfortable doing at the first day of the season. I gridded out and signaled to Speedy that I needed space. I didn't even stop my bike in the grid and he sent me back out. I had open track for at least a full lap.

I wish you a speedy recovery.
Are the other guys OK?
Is the bike totalled?

All bikes are fast, it's the rider that holds them back.

Knowing your lines and being smooth will let the animal out of the cage.....
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 03:03 PM
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Glad you're okay. Heal up and ride again.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-25-2010, 06:02 PM
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I was there...

I was also there with shadytype that day and actually on the track behind you when this happened. I was on the faster group coming up on you guys and I needed to slow down quickly to avoid all the debris. As you said it happened all too quick and by the time I got to everyone affected it looked like everyone was on the ground.

I'm glad you're okay and wish you a speedy recovery. I love riding with absolute and I hope to see you out there once again after you've recovered.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadytype View Post
I saw your wreck on the front straight. You took out at least another rider and I think a third went down too. I saw a bike kartwheeling down the straight. Good to hear you are ok, becasue you didn't move for a while. Speedy the track marshall was first on the scene. He ran across the track on foot from the Grid to see if you were ok. We were all watching from the fence.

Remember that the brake is not a switch. You need to compress the front suspension and then start squeezing the brake to really scrub off speed.

IF you find yourself behind the "slow guys" take it easy and work on your lines through the turns. This will take your mind off of how fast you think you should be going.

IF you get antsy then pit into the Grid. The track marshall will hold you until you can get some clean track ahead of you.

Roy from Absolute gave this valuable advice during the riders meeting.

I was in group 3 that day and those guys are fast. I got caught up in about 6 guys that were moving. I felt that I could hang but it would be pushing my skills, which I was not comfortable doing at the first day of the season. I gridded out and signaled to Speedy that I needed space. I didn't even stop my bike in the grid and he sent me back out. I had open track for at least a full lap.

I wish you a speedy recovery.
Are the other guys OK?
Is the bike totalled?

Hey thanks for the helpful words man,

yea i feel so bad for the other riders because you know i was behind them and it was me that should have been the one paying more attention and doing the avoiding.

The other riders are ok. One was taking to the hospital with me in the other ambulance and he had bad bruising on his right leg but no breaks. The guy that went down behind i heard is ok as well.

You're right i should have just come in to hot pit and gone back out. I didn't realize how big of a speed difference it was going to be with the 'fast red shirts' and the 'slow red shirts'

IN the 3rd session of the day, the control riders in the classroom session asked who was bored and like 5 of us raised our hands. So they split us up into two groups again. The fast and slow red shirts. THe fast red shirts were running close to group 2 speeds...at least that's what the control rider said.


Yea as soon as i went down i was saying to myself ...."THAT WAS SO STUPID! What was the purpose of going so fast on the straight!! YOU COULD HAVE PIT IN, WAITED AND GONE BACK OUT!"

Anyway, i need to learn from this and make sure it doesn't happen again.

The bike -- i'm going to look at it in the garage today. it's ina garage but it seems like miles away cause i have to go down 15 stairs and it's at the other end of the house lol. It's seriously a workout right now when i use crutches lol

I'll try to take some pics tho.

THe right side wiring might be messed up i'm pretty sure and the brake lever and few other things...that's what i've been told anyway. (I went to the track with a friend who was in group 3 also - Mike on the white r6 with orange arai helmet and white spidi suit)
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by structure3230 View Post
I was also there with shadytype that day and actually on the track behind you when this happened. I was on the faster group coming up on you guys and I needed to slow down quickly to avoid all the debris. As you said it happened all too quick and by the time I got to everyone affected it looked like everyone was on the ground.

I'm glad you're okay and wish you a speedy recovery. I love riding with absolute and I hope to see you out there once again after you've recovered.

Thanks man, yea i hope they let me back in. Roy had mentioned in the riders meeting that if you're in group 1 and you crash/cause a crash we won't be allowed to ride with us anymore so i need to talk to him and see what's up.

I would hate for me to be banned from absolute for a stupid mistake like this.
But if i am i totally understand why because it was dangerous to the others.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-27-2010, 11:17 PM
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DAMN how many of us were there....I was IN your group.....You wrecked into the 2 other guys litterally 4 bikes ahead of me....there was you, the 2 guys you took out and then onther bike in front of me....i was on the tribal rr in your group.... dude it was a rediculous sight. I went right through the debris field (barely). Hope your recovery goes well. Did Roy talk to you? I know the instructors were all wondering why you were passing because we were all under the impression that we werent going to be passing until they followed us for a lap..... They also came in saying that they thought that maybe your throttle got stuck? Sounded fishy to me anyway.......but I hope all goes well with you and your recovery.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 12:41 PM
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Wow I hope you get better man! I had the same thing happen to me just about, but I was up in the canyons having a great day! was going around a long left sweeper, and about 1/4-1/2 way into the turn a car from the other lane comes around the corner and was slightly drifting into my lane as it came at me. so I tapped a brake, when high, hit some gravel and the bike cameout from under me and I was knocked out, double compound fracture to my left leg and dislocated my clavical! Had to be air lifted to the hopsital and I also have the same thing, a titanium rod down my tibia, and 4 screws that held everything together! Now Im thinking about doing a trackday! Now after reading this it brought back some memories. Take care of the wounds and take it easy, recovery from that wasnt fun. from all the down time I've put on 50 lbs from not being able to walk and what not! But Im better now and riding everyday the weather allows me to. Ride safe when you get back out there!
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-28-2010, 01:27 PM
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I had them same type of break back in High School. Mine was from football, not compound, and only one place, but the surgery is the same, and I hope you heel up better than I have.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-29-2010, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Yea in fact i had changed my throttle and clip ons before going to the track. my local shop did it.. Good guys. BUt while i was riding a did notice some freeplay issues and it being a little hard to turn. When i opened the throttle on the straight it did seem to get stuck a little but i was looking ahead and came up to the guy so i braked etc..but because of the freeplay i think i did not close the throttle all the way and when i let off the brakes that's what happened i think that it moved forward. everything happened so quick so not exactly sure of the sequence. i've been thinking it over and over in my head to figure out what i did.

bottom line is that i should have just pit in and waited 30-40 seconds for traffic to clear up instead of getting impatient like that. i knew better. i was so disappointed in myself after that.

but all i can do now is learn from this situation and move on. thanks guys
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 09:38 AM
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It's your first track day so just take it easy. I am by far no expert but it is easy to get caught up in the moment. I know on my first day I had a bunch of "ah ha" moments where I understood why I instinctively do certain things on the bike.

It's very viseceral and can be a lot to take in.

If you have a red shirt on, you should be slow even if you think you are faster. Learning apexes, holding lines, steady throttle, consistent braking are all key. There are exceptions but remember you are there to have fun on the track, not to try and pass everyone in the group.

As for the hot pit, it's about 5-10 seconds that's it. Remember you are off the line coming into the put and the group on the track is motoring down the straight. Most of the time its a roll through and then back out.

Hopefully we will see you back out there once you get put back together!
Speedy recovery...

All bikes are fast, it's the rider that holds them back.

Knowing your lines and being smooth will let the animal out of the cage.....
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