Fate and fatalities, early end of a summer season

Fate is, well for the most part, and for the most of us, unknown. Until it’s the present or, as one sometimes look forward to, history.

This introduction may sound a bit cryptic. But if you grant me some minutes it should become clear what type of fate I am hinting at.  It will also become clear why there hasn’t been much posting on this blog for a while. The “story” is also published in Norwegian on Reitwagen.no. With more route/granular details.

Before fate intervened: along Seljordsvatn (Seljord lake)

Along “Seljordsvatn” (Seljord lake) in Telemark

A motorcycle trip to Lysebotn (Norway)

We went there last year. It was an awesome trip, but the weather wasn’t (entirely) on our side, since main attraction was shrouded in dense fog. As a result we decided that, the coming year and as soon as conditions were right, we would try again.

Mid June 2020 the forecast was bang on. For those who do not know Norway, weather-wise it can be very divided. if weather is good in the west it’s bad in the east and and southern parts. Same goes with above/below the polar circle.

But every so often a high pressure might settle in such a way that, for the most part, conditions are both dry and magnificent. When that happens motorcycle riders will hop on their bikes and and be gone. Out and about.

Through Telemark (2020; Vestfold & Telemark)

We set out from around Oslo and headed west. The weather was beautiful, the temperature just right. Destination for the day was a camping site where we had reserved a cabin.

Before fate intervened: along lake Seljord

Along “Seljordsvatn” (Seljord lake) in Telemark

We chose a route mixed of main roads and back-roads. The landscape in this part of Norway is quite enjoyable. Especially when you ride in weather like we had, and you have the time to explore. Set your GPS in curvy roads mode and see what happens.

Gravel road in Vestfold & Telemark

Along a gravel road in Vestfold & Telemark

A a little further into the county we took off and continued on a gravel road. If you like to ride on gravel Scandinavia is the region to visit. Thousands upon thousands of miles of gravel roads, most of them public and open, some toll based.

Fate intervention, the end of an adventure

We continued on a mix of gravel and backroads that we actually rode in the opposite direction July 2019. We crossed a bridge at Fjågesund and continued up Fjågesundveien, along Kviteseidvatnet.

Mere minutes before fate intervened

The last picture I took; southern end of Kviteseidvatnet

Everything was perfect, the speed below speed limit. But fate was soon to strike. Suddenly, in a left corner, the front wheel gave way. By instinct i tried to gain control over the motorcycle. For a brief moment it seemed to work.

Alas no.

The last memory I have of the incident was a straight course toward the road fender. Followed by a powerful impact. Later learned I had hit the fender twice, bouncing from one side of the road, over to the other. My “journey” ended in the middle of the road while the bike continued across, to stop in the fender back on the right side.

Fate result

Picture taken by the police on site. Looks better on pic than IRL

Fate in the form of gravel on pavement

I lost control over the motorcycle due to unknown quantities of gravel in the road.  The police arriving at the scene had to be shown by my riding companion where the gravel was. It was very hard to spot.

Gravel on pavement is like marbles on a hard surface. Especially if you ride a motorcycle, in a curve. My  travel companion saw the accident from behind. Fortunately he was far behind and avoided the hazards. He later heard from a local that road workers had been there with a sweeping machine the day before. But got problems with the machine and left.

There were no signs warning about gravel in the road. Quite literally a hazard waiting for a victim. What happened to me? Well lets see, some neural damages (surface oriented), a broken collarbone, a smashed shoulder, all 12 ribs broken on one side, some with multiple fractures, a pelvis fracture, a small/stable lower spine and hip fracture, left underarm and a smashed thumb.

No damages to internal organs, no neck fractures. Had to undergo quite a bit of surgery. It would be fair to say I was lucky. The police investigator handling the accident certainly thought so. At present time it doesn’t feel precisely like luck though. Guess that’s understandable?

Good, high quality equipment certainly helped to minimize injuries. Despite the brutal impacts and being phenomenally beaten & bruised all over I only had a minor wound on one arm. Plus a couple of small ones on the broken thumb. Proves to show that, regardless, one should and must use motorcycle gear at all times while riding.

Epilogue

As I write this post it’s ca 8 weeks since the accident. 6 weeks since comprehensive surgery. Progress is slow but things are, if not quite as fast and steadily as I wish, improving. It might take a few more months before momentum is back to, or close to, normal.

You may ask yourself, will I be back in the saddle? Well, what do you think? 🙂

8 thoughts on “Fate and fatalities, early end of a summer season

  1. Shit… This is unnerving reading. Get well soon! Hope you get into the saddle again before the season is over.

  2. Ouch.. Good thing you are here to reflect and write about it. Get well, and get back in the saddle soon!

  3. Owwww! really sorry to hear of your off, and the damage to yourself and Red Cow.
    Gravel can reach out and take any of us! Hope you mend soon, and a successor bike is found 🙂
    Best wishes from a VERY HOT UK ! (“,)

  4. You are a lucky man… wishing you a quick recovery and looking forward to your riding again!

    • Thank you. Yes that was the opening statement by the police investigator in an interview ca 1 month after the accident.

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