Story #3, by Michael Yampolsky
Monday, November 27, 2006 | Printer Friendly
Back in the day I was on a road trip with Fat Larry. We were somewheres in the Ozarks when it started to rain buckets so we took refuge in a large cave just off the road. The rain didn’t let up at all for maybe an hour and FL was getting bored so he suggested we smoke some hash to pass the time. Ok, so maybe smoking dope while riding wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but this was the early 70s and we’d had lots of practice. A couple bowls later we’re kicking back and enjoying the colorful images dancing around the darker recesses of the cave when it suddenly stops raining as if a switch was flipped. We shared a look and a shrug, suited back up, and threw a leg over. We both rode heavily modified Honda 4s set up as café racers; mine a 750 with dual discs, Dunstalls, rearsets, and clipons, Larry’s was a very well tuned 500 with a 2 into 1, double discs, and all the rest of the stuff. The road was still wet but the rain had subsided into just a heavy mist and pretty soon we were riding at a brisk pace. On a sweeper, just off Larry’s rear tire, my bike started to slide sideways some, then hooked up on the shoulder and high sided into a ditch. I’m pinned under the bike with my hands and feet still in position, the wheels straight up, and the bar ends sunk into the muddy sides of the ditch. The gas cap is squarely on my sternum, and I’m looking up at the front wheel slowly spinning. I do a little inventory and everything works and nothing hurts, but wiggle as I might, I can’t move. Ok, Larry’ll realize I’m not on his tail pretty soon and he’ll come back and help get this sucker off me. It could be worse; then it starts to rain again…really hard. I’m trying to make the best of it when the water rises to a point where it fills my ears. A little more time goes by and it’s up to my lips and I’m starting to think maybe this isn’t so good. When the water got above my mouth and I had to breathe real slow to keep the water from going up my nose I started to think that here, on my worst crash to date, I’m gonna die from drowning rather than impact. Suddenly I heard tires coming down the road; the first traffic since we left the cave, but they went right on by. Everything got calm and I began to hear celestial music and a delightful warmth spread throughout my body. Then I heard tires again, a door slammed and a voice call out “Whooee, I told yuh I seen something down in thet ditch”, and a couple of good old boys were standing above me asking if I was all right. I told them yeah I’m good but could you get this sucker off of me? Well they did, and together we pulled the Honda back onto the shoulder. After some talk and some thanks and my legs stopped shaking I hit the starter and she fired right up. I told the boys I figured I could still ride, declined their offer of a beer, and took off. The front end was a little tweaked and one of the bars was bent some but she ran pretty good. In about ten miles I ran across Larry coming the other way. All in all it was a pretty good day.