I Dropped My Bike Today

I feel like that title could be the first lyrics to a bluesy motorcycle song. Oh I dropped my bike today, heard it hit the ground and it’s just not okayyyyyy….

Yes, ladies and gentlemen… I dropped my motorcycle. Now, it’s not the first time to be honest. As a fresh new rider in the first month I got the Yamaha Maxim I dropped it in my driveway. It was embarrassing and daunting, but being so new I learned to let it go.

Today however…

This morning on the way to work I turned right to get onto the freeway via a looooong banked curving onramp. The onramp signals were active- ya know, the ones that let one person go every 4 seconds because sheeple can’t manage themselves? This particular “light” never recognizes me and I considered blowing through it. Coming to my senses I braked, and stopped right on top of the metal sensors laid into the asphalt. The surface was sloped down and to the left, and when I put my foot down I just didn’t have the grip. Next thing I know the tall top of the TDM was slowly heading toward the “point of no return”.

And then I knew it was going to happen. I was going to drop my motorcycle on an onramp in front of multiple cars, and worse than that… the human beings inside the cagers were going to bear witness. Awesome.

I slowed it’s fall as much as I could and moved my leg to avoid hurting myself, it hit the ground with a clunk. As slow as I may have dropped it, it’s still 450+ pounds hitting pavement.

My heart sunk… but it didn’t phase me. I immediately tried to assume the backwards facing position to life up the bike. It didn’t work- the bike was past 90° from upright. I turned around and asked the 8 cars behind and to the side of me, “A LITTLE HELP?!” with my arms, yelling in my full face helmet.

A guy jumped out of his Fiat 500 and ran over. I killed the bike and he hoisted it up. After he inspected the fluid on the ground (it looked like oil) he said, “I’d pull over if I were you!” and I proceeded to see if it would start. It fired up immediately, I hopped on, signaled a thanks… and took off. Tested it a little bit making sure it didn’t have oil on the tires or serious issues, and it was fine.

Later down the traffic riddled freeway I saw him again- I waved and put my hand on my heart as a sincere thanks.

It took me all but 30 minutes to get over my worry of how the people around me will apply their experience to other women riders. My coworkers reminded me that everyone does it, and that not all men are tall, nor strong… and most of them can’t pick up their bikes. Think about all the incredibly heavy Harley cruisers… eh?

My point of telling this tale of my embarrassment is to remind you ladies that there’s no shame in fumbling your bike every now and again. It happens to everyone.

Posted on September 8, 2012 in Blog by

8 Comments for “I Dropped My Bike Today”

  1. Jill, Head Geargal says:

    Hi, I’m just finding your blog and it’s great. I know this is an old post, but I wanted to stop by, say hello, and relate an anecdote from my Colombia tour – I’d been given a rental bike with a problematic side stand, so the bike went over a few times when I was trying to park it. When I returned it to the rental place, I felt bad about the dings on the bars, but the company owner said “All of the men drop their bikes at least once too. No big deal!”

  2. Trey says:

    I did this recently too. After a long 5 hour ride of winding roads in back country California, I dropped my bike turning into my garage in San Francisco. I’ve heard that most accidents happen close to home, but this was ridiculous. Everyone on the street saw me, and it took me a while to get over it. I’m glad I’m not the only one! Thanks so much for writing this.

  3. canuk_guy says:

    I’m 5’6″ with a 28″ inseam. Every bike have owned has been on its side at one point or another. LOL

  4. Mike says:

    I managed to get my old moped to slide out from under me as it slipped on some gravel. Fortunately, it weighs less than I do, and was still running. So I hopped back on and rode off as if nothing happened. The only “real” motorcycle I dropped was my Honda Rebel. Its only 300 lbs though, and I’m able to get it back up myself. I’ve never been tempted to get a bigger bike for just that reason.

  5. Gillian says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this artical. I had my R class test 2 days ago, I was asked to execute a hill start and then a u-turn. I was so nervous! I had never turned on a hill and to make matters worse, it had been raining all morning

  6. Mick says:

    I dropped my TDM, complete with pillion( My son) at a bikers cafe, full to bursting with bikes and bikers! We’ve all done it, and probably will again. Love the eyebrows on the headlights.

  7. David Aguilar says:

    I had just gotten my license… I decided to run to the bank on my bike. First ride anywhere.
    I pull up and park DEAD SMACK in front of the line for the ATM. I spotted a few attractive females on the line and thought to myself “sexiest guy around right now.” Proceeded to kill the engine and set it on it’s kickstand… only I forgot to put the kickstand down… bike kept leaning and leaning and leaning until it reached the point of no return… I gave it a good fight but in the end, 400lbs always beats 140lbs… My leg was still on the way of the falling bike so as the bike pushed against my inner thigh, I got trebuchetted out… Landed on my back, helmet smacked and my legs were straight up in the air… I got up faster than I fell and walked straight to my bike. ALL eyes were on me.
    I then walked to the end of the ATM line without removing my helmet…

  8. Shaz Simone says:

    Your blog (along with a couple of other gems – such as The Moto Quest) truly inspired me to start living my dream of riding motorcycles and seeing the world. I passed my test 19 days ago, and today I dropped my bike when leaving the parking area of a local motorcycle shop/meeting area. Thanks to this article which I read some time ago now, I got back on my bike without embarrassment (perhaps feeling a tad gutted), said cheers to the dude who helped me pick my bike up, and rode off into the UK sun. Was going to happen sooner or later ‘eh!?