Ross, Tommo, and I went out on our bikes this lunchtime, as we often have done recently. The roads were mildly moist, but otherwise okay. It was the first time the three of us had been out since Tommo took delivery of his shiny and brand new Suzuki SV650S last Wednesday.
Ross has really grown into his Honda FMX650 and now likes it (having not been so keen until recently). We took our normal route down the country lanes, past Kenilworth, back under the A46 and then changed from the norm by going through Stoneleigh, up to the NAC and then taking the road directly opposite the NAC’s entrance around and as far as Coventry Airport, before we started to head back towards work.
Ross was going great guns and Tommo was not far behind. They were going a little too fast for my liking (boring git that I am). Having had a couple of close shaves on muddy roads and gentle skids on the slightest hint of a moist road, I am very wary of wet surfaces now and am also very wary of left-hand bends when you really don’t know what’s round the corner – again, I nearly slammed into the back of a parked vehicle once on such a corner. So, as Ross and Tommo sped ahead, I held back and resolved to tell them both that I wouldn’t be going out again at lunchtime on the bike.
As we got back onto normal roads, all was going well until a right hand bend. Now, ordinarily on blind right-hand bends a biker gets onto the left-hand side of the road in order to afford the best possible visibility of what’s ahead and vice-versa on a left-hand bend. In this case, Tommo appeared to take the racing line towards the middle of the road.
Nobody is exactly sure what happened next, but it appeared that a car on the other side of the road gave Tommo a bit of a scare and so he decided that he was either going to hit the car or hit the squidgy side of the road. Logically, and sensibly, he went for the side of the road. To me (I was still following), it appeared as though he’d just decided to ride up the grass instead of the road. As I thought to myself ‘what the hell is he doing’, his bike fell over to the left, Tommo appeared to attempt to jump clear, and he did an amazing gymnastic display as I went past and slammed on my brakes. In an effort to put my bike on its stand and rush to check Tommo was okay, I nearly threw down my own bike, but the side stand decided to cooperate just in time.
Tommo had already done his body checks by the time I got to him. He told me later that he’d checked that he still had his legs, arms, and well, the most important bit you really wouldn’t want to lose.
Once we’d established that Tommo was going to be okay, Ross stayed with him while I went back to the office and recruited the help of Mark as an ambulance to get him to A&E at Walsgrave Hospital. We took Tommo to hospital whilst Ross awaited the AA to ferry the bike back to Tommo’s local bike garage.
After work I came home and then went to pick Tommo up from the hospital and drive him home. His arm was in a cast and he was told that it was fractured in five places. I don’t think Becky (his other half) was impressed.
Poor Tommo. He has had a lot of bad luck this year, but in many ways, he’s had good luck in bad luck. He told me on the way to his house that he would be changing his riding style now and taking things a bit more easily, so in the long-term, this accident may do him a lot of good.
Oh, and the damage on the bike (one broken gear shift) came to a grand total of £12.50, so his bike had a very lucky escape too.