This page is a recreation I made using WaybackMahine


What I did on my summer vacation.





Day six, Black Monday.


I left Plymouth NC about 8:00 AM, of course, in the rain.  I continued east on 64 headed right to the Atlantic Ocean, specifically Manteo on the outer banks.  I made good time following various commuters who were cruising right along.  I finally crossed the brand new Virginia Dare Bridge into Manteo shortly before 10:00 AM.  I hung a left and rode up through town to the Ft. Raleigh National Historic Site.

I got the stamp and was chatting with the nice lady in the bookstore about the tour I was taking and I mentioned that from there, I planned to go out to 158 and head north to the Wright Brothers National Historic Site in Kittyhawk.  She mentioned that, as long as I was going that way, when I got to 158, I should make a right on Rte. 12 and go 6 miles to the Bodie Island Lighthouse, part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.  I could then head north with an extra stamp for a 12 mile detour.  This sounded reasonable, so away I went.  I got to the lighthouse and, like I had been doing all along, got the stamp, took a picture, and set a waypoint.  I then headed back up 12 in a light rain to the intersection with 158.


I never made it.


About 3.5~4 miles north I came upon a commercial rig doing less than 40-mph with a Ford Explorer right behind.  I looked and, as the oncoming lane appeared clear, I signaled and began to pass.  I was past the Ford and passing the rig's back bumper when a gray Honda accord, with no lights, appeared out of the gloom.  I quickly decelerated and tried to swerve back into my lane. 


When my front tire hit the painted line I went down hard, sliding and spinning off into the grass.  The bike was hit first by the Accord and then the Explorer.  At one point, as I was sliding and spinning along, I saw the ST’s hard luggage tumbling past me.  I later found the Givi top case about 30 yards up the road, almost 70 yards from the point of impact.

The rest of the luggage, and indeed the rest of the bike, was scattered all over both lanes of at least an eight mile stretch or Rte. 12.  I stood up, mostly to see if I could, took off my helmet, and headed back to look at the bike.  On the way, I passed the damaged Explorer, off the road, with the front end of my bike wedged in front of the rear axle.  The driver was a guy a couple years older than me who was taking his octogenarian mother-in-law to a routine medical appointment.  The first person to speak to me was the old woman.  “You ruined his Explorer!”  I think I just looked at her and continued back towards the largest contiguous chunk of motorcycle.


I noticed the woman who was driving the Accord was standing outside her car and screaming that it was on fire.  The radiator had broken and there was steam.  She was screaming about one thing after the next and I stayed well away from her. The EMTs arrived and ran right past me to her; one of them even pushed me slightly out of the way.  I paid them no mind.  I guess I was a little punchy and I wanted to look upon my bike.

There she lay, front end gone, fairing completely missing (I never did see it), top cover shattered, carbs several yards away, oil pan caved in, exhaust crunched and ripped, rear frame cocked half way to vertical.  The bike had been hit so hard from the bottom that the carb assembly ejected through the top cover.  I wandered around picking up stray possessions that had been in the fairing pockets.  I found my keys.  I found the V1.  I started hunting my luggage and, with the help of several bystanders, found all three hard bags and tank bag, and placed them in a little pile. Throughout the whole time I was there, I never was able to locate my GPS.  I found one AA battery.  I guess it’s somewhere in the marsh with most of my fairing.


At this point the EMTs finally listened to the bystanders.  They stopped scanning the brush for a dead biker and came over to talk to me.  I knew I had a bruised hip, where I went down on the Gerber tool and flashlight I wear on my belt.  My external injuries were a quarter inch abrasion on the back of my right hand and about a dime-sized abrasion on the back of my right wrist.  They really didn’t know what to say to me when I refused treatment. They kept looking at the wreckage of my cycle and asking if I was sure.  I was pretty sure I was fine, and very sure I didn’t want to sit in some hospital god knows where while my luggage disappeared and the highway patrol cooked up mischief.


There were 3 young female EMTs and one male trying to talk me onto the ambulance.  The male was being very insistent, almost aggressive, until I asked him point blank “WTF?  Are you on commission?  You really need to leave me alone now.”  I answered all questions, “do you know your name, what year is it, what’s the date, where are you right now, where is home?”  I answered them all until I had enough and walked away from them, trying not to limp.  The one young lady eventually followed me with the refusal of treatment form, which I signed.


I dug in the tankbag for my digital camera and cell phone.  They both seem to work fine!  I then took a series of very depressing pictures.


About this time the patrolman finally decided to talk to me.  I guess he had run out of other people to talk to.  I wrote a statement and he lectured me about “driving like a maniac”.  I mentioned that, in the whole affair, I don’t think I was within 5 mph of the 55 mph posted limit and I only tried to pass because that rig was doing 35.  He interrupted me, instructing me not to interrupt.  He then got out his nifty little ticket book and wrote me for driving without a license (I have a license) and what I think amounts to reckless driving.  I quote:


“Without due caution and circumspection and at a speed and in a manner to endanger persons or property.”




I finally got out of the patrol car and into the wrecker, after making sure the operator had all of the luggage.  The wrecker operator was a transplanted new yorker who saw fit to regale me with stories of every cycle wreck he had ever bee involved in, and many that he had seen.  Thanks dude. He was a nice enough guy though, name of Mike, and made me smile by saying “Man, I wish I had some beer or a joint to give you but it’s all back in my car!”  He said we were headed to the impound yard and then he’d give me a lift to his shop and I could figure out my next move from there.


I explained that I didn’t foresee keeping that bike and I hated to rack up storage costs.  He suggested we go straight to the shop and see if his boss could offer any input.  I explained my situation to the boss, and he said that he had a junk pile out back.  We could set the bike beside it and he would hold it a week or two, until I was sure he could scrap it.  Thus I avoided the impound storage fees and only had to pay for the tow, which I took care of on the spot.


I walked out to where the bike was hanging from a hook and managed to get the seat unlatched.  I noticed at this point that my Russell saddle is virtually unscathed!  I got my tools, DVM, patch kit and compressor from the tail section.  I got the license plate and IBA frame.  The Givi mounting plate looked OK so I pulled that too.  I also took off my cool billet aluminum ST1100 Owners Club oil cap as a souvenir.  I said my goodbyes.

To date, that is so far and away the best bike I’ve ever had that nothing even comes close.


I’d like to go on record and thank the fine folks of Bayside Towing, of Kill Devil Hills, NC.  You guys were great.


I figured at this point, my best bet was to get to my Dad’s place in Newport News, VA, about 150 miles north.  I called the local cab company and they quoted me $235.  The boss at Bayside suggested I call a local guy who has a limo service.  Price was $140 and he could be there in 10 minutes.  So I rode into Virginia in a brand new Town Car with less than a thousand miles.


The driver was an interesting fellow.  A Mr. Doogie Pledger, a native of the area, he had worked as a ship captain on those huge commercial fishing boats.  He had a fascinating carrer, made all the more so by the advent of technology.  He went from his training days of stellar navigation to the later days of radar, sonar, GPS, etc.  Upon retirement, he got out of the stock market and invested his savings in 4 brand new luxury cars, going on later to merge with another small operator.  He said “I have the nicest cars on the beach, sober educated drivers, and I’m cheaper than a cab.”  Good to meet you Doogie.


In due time we arrived at Dad’s place and he helped me carry in my belongings, consisting of the two Honda side cases, the Givi top case, the RKA tankbag, the saddle, and a small garbage bag with the tools and sundry.


What is amazing to me, is that none of the luggage came open.  The right side case has a big crack in it, but the contents were dry and secure.  A note here about the small laptop envelope thingy sold by riderwearhouse:  My Sager Powerbook NP9800 was in the right saddlebag, along with power supply, various cables and, of all things, a disassembled .22 rifle.  The laptop was in that envelope and came through fine.  In fact, I’m using it to compose this report.


The Givi Maxia E50 topcase kept all my clothes together and dry, although a problem arose when I went to open it at Dad’s place.  It seems the Givi key didn’t fare so well in the accident as about the end two thirds of it is missing.  I popped out the lock cylinder in about a second and it continued to latch securely, serving as a suitcase until I got back home.




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