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Strike Two -- Not again?

Discussion in 'Wenatchee' started by breezebike, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. After center-punching a two-point buck on Badger Mountain in 2010, I thought I had that nasty little element of my riding experience over and done with. I felt pretty confident when I told people I had never heard of a rider hitting a dear twice. I was extremely lucky that day to find myself coasting up the road still on the bike. The front end of the Multistrada was demolished but I walked away with barely a scratch.

    Fast-forward to this month when a friend and I thought we would get an early start on the riding season by trailering our bikes to Northern California. The first day of riding was one of the best ever -- maybe THE best. If you can find a little spot on the California map called Cecilville we were on that road. A guy there said we were 30 miles from the nearest power pole. Spectacular river gorge twisty pavement. Heading south on highway 96 was a blast too.

    Day-two was to take us over highway 36 from Eureka to Red Bluff. This has to be one of the longest stretches of roller-coaster curves in the country. The sky was perfectly clear and temps too warm to use the heated gear. After riding about 45 minutes through a redwood forest and up a steep hill I came around a blind corner at moderate speed and WHACK! All I saw was a deer right in my path with no chance to do anything. In a small fraction of a second I think I might have have thought something like: Not again!

    I hit the road hard on my right side and found it difficult to get up and move to the side of the road. After sitting for a few minuets my friend John and a motorist helped me to my feet. I was wearing good gear that saved me from any road rash but I figured I had broken ribs. I declined the ambulance and rode into Fortuna in the bouncy tow truck. Man, that was painful. The Tiger 800 has a bunch of broken pieces but looks fixable.

    At the hospital they found I had 3 broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade and a partially collapsed lung. If not for the lung I should have left the hospital the same day but was there for 4 extremely painful days. They had to install a tube into my chest cavity to suction the air out allowing my lung to fully inflate. I hate being in the hospital but what a lovely bunch of very sweet nurses.

    I am back home and find a little improvement every day. I apologized to my wife for making her drive halfway to Mexico and back to retrieve me. John came to Fortuna with the trailer and hauled the Tiger home. I feel blessed that it wasn't worse but have a lot to mull over about the hazards of the road. Nobody has ever hit a deer 3 times have they?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  2. Wow!! Glad you came out of it in relatively good shape. Hope the bike is as fixable :) I wouldn't jinx you by saying I've never heard of someone hitting a deer three times, I'll just say anything is possible....

  3. I was born and raised there and yeah, I didn't ride back then but you learned as a 16 year old kid in a (VERY) fast car that the deer are out to kill you around there... can't say I blame them, don't know how many I ate growing up... Glad it came out as well as it did, I've seen a deer take out a jacked up 4x4 and send 5 people to the hospital before..
  4. mjn

    mjn Forum Admin Staff Member

    Dang dude... that truly sucks. Just glad you are here to tell the tale!
  5. Dang, Ted... you dont have the best luck with deer do ya?

    I'm glad it wasn't any worse. How much recovery do you have in front of you?
  6. After 8 days I was able to drive my car today. I can put on a T shirt without help. My pain pills run out this week and I hope I won't need any more. Maybe next week I can go back to work. Riding a bike is a little ways off still.

    Thanks for the good thoughts, everybody.
  7. Oh ribs suck.
    Don't laugh.
    Don't cough.
    And definitely don't sneeze!

    Heal fast.
  8. Sorry your ride got ruined, but glad your bones are still in the same bag.
  9. Damn forest rats. Them bastards can really ruin your day in a hurry. Hope the healing goes well.
  10. That sucks man... Hope you heal up quick.

    For everyone who is planning on hitting 36 especially... There is a metric shit TON of deer on that road. Be VERY careful if you're on it anywhere near dusk or dawn. I used to live there, and multiple times counted well over 100 deer diving from forest glen to Hayfork.

    The closer you get to Red Bluff, the more wild pigs you'll find.... Yes, on the road. One other thing on 36... It's free range, when I lived there, was only a couple families who used it, but coming around a corner to a few cattle will make ya pucker.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  11. Guy M

    Guy M (Washington) City

    Ted - sorry to read this! Doggone! Heal up quick, and get well.

    The bike? Well, it'll come together again.

    I usually hit a deer every year, but I use the rifle... :mrgreen: Might want to try it, at least it might make you feel like you're striking back!

    All the best. Guy
  12. Sorry to hear that Ted. Glad the gear did its job for the road rash part. It can always be worse just happy to hear you're ok. I have never heard of anyone hitting 2 deers.
  13. Sorry to hear this Ted. Heal up quick.
  14. Wow, I feel lucky that when I rode 36 coming back from MotoGP in Laguna Seca I didn't even SEE a deer on the road!

    Heal up fast, you seem to have more than your share of bad luck hitting 'em and good luck in that you weren't injured any worse.

    I'd be hesitant to ride much in the foothills this time of year. The snow pack is at it's peak and so it's more likely the deer & elk are venturing further down for their food. When my BF rode up to the Pine Creek Ranger Station (45 road miles from Mt. St. Helens) last week, he saw 3 deer and 2 elk crossing the road that day.