about as big as a great dane, still felt like a brick wall
It was a great day. All the Flatlanders met up in Champaign, IL at either Hooters or 5 Star Tattoo, eventually all ending up at the shop. We got all our shit together eventually and headed out to the cornfields just southwest of Bellflower, IL.
The crowd was good, the bands decnet, the food excellent, and there was a slew of cool chops, cafes, hot rods and the like.
Unfortunately the weather cut the evening short and everyone was eyeballing their smart phones, tracking the storm. It was just before 9 pm that we decided to cut out and make tracks back to Champaign to the Aro-Smith Pad.
Just a few mile before reaching I-74, along Rt. 54 heading into Farmer City, a deer jumped into our path. I did not see it, and our rate of travel was the same so we just collided full force. We were running about 70 mph. Paul took the ditch to the right, Chris and Harlo veered left and missed me, while Brumie shot thru the center of all managing to not run me over.
Behind us were Jen, Cody, Dirka, Dan & Gloria. It's a wonder the lot of us didn't dogpile each other and no one else wrecked. All I remember of the wreck was that I looked over my left shoulder to check on the others in tow, turned back around, and thought "FUCK". I then saw my headlight, deer fur, pavement, and then darkness.
I awoke on a gurnee being asked "Mr. Land, can we cut your clothes off".
Gloria rode with me in the ambulance while everyone else dealt with cops back at the scene.
None of us were drunk. Three of the group blew at the cops request and passed.
However, they still had to figure out how to get the bikes home as the others refused and the cops said "blow or don't ride". The storm had already caught up to them anyhow, so everyone made arangements accordingly.
Everyone that was with me at the time of the accident made it to the hospital to check on me.
That meant a lot and showed just how strong our bond thru sickle's is.
I spent the rest of that Saturday night and all of Sunday, until 5 pm, in Carle Hospital in Champaign.
The day after I was released, I repaired Lulu with the help of Brumie & his pops, Paul and Jen. Cody let me borrow his cage to go get my license back and some other things. Chris swapped me front ends cuz I needed the later style tubes that he had. Paul welded Lulu's crack shut. And Brumie and his Pops put the front end back on.
I couldn't have done it without them. I had no physical strength and the use of my hands was limited. That was very frustrating, being used to doing whatever you needed to do, and then realizing the limitations imposed on you by injury. I'm still still dealing with it on some level. Though I'm doing better and on the mend.
I wasn't gonna let the accident stop me, the day after repairing the ole girl I took her down to NC with the help of Scrap and Jen and did some riding down along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then the following week Jen and I hit the road to KY, TN, MS and now we're in Covington, LA, just across Lake Pontchartrain from N'awlins.
A few of the other Flatlanders were supposed to make part of this trek with me, but due to their own circumstance, were not able. Jen just happened to be between assignments for her employer and said "care if I join ya?"
Not a day goes by that I don't think about that Saturday night. Colliding with a deer at 70 mph with no helmet on and still being alive with only a concussion and a fair share of roadrash is...well....I'm fuggin' lucky is all I'm sayin. I am very grateful that I can still be here and embark on this cross country motorcycle trip.
Where to next? Time will tell!
the night I was released