Lipstick for goats

Lipstick for goats

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Death by quad does not become me!

There is a general theory if you can ride a push bike and drive a manual car then there is a good chance you also have the skills to learn how to ride a motorbike.  

So what's wrong with me? I drive a manual car, I can ride a push bike but I can’t get the idea of balance and power on the motor bike. I need training wheels!

My husband and son both have dirt bikes. They do a lot of trail riding.  I fervently wished I could go with them. I was so jealous.   I tried to talk my husband into doubling me but he wasn’t up for it. Finally he bought me a small quad.  I timidly rode it around the flat part of the paddock. With four wheels on the ground, it felt good and stable.  On the third day of owning it we decided we would try a trail ride.

All was going well; I was not doing anything beyond my capabilities. My husband was following along behind me, staying close. Then that yellow devil on four wheels bucked me down into a six foot deep gully!

I see a devil bug looking back at me, perhaps it is possessed.

OK, I will admit it was driver error.  We were heading down hill. I felt I was going too fast so I applied the hand brake. Turns out I actually pulled in the clutch so instead of slowing, the quad gained downhill momentum in neutral.  

It was flying. 
I was terrified. 
I had no control of the quad. 
It happened so quickly. 


Next thing the front wheels hit a rut on a bend beside the gully. 
I was airborne.  
I watched in horror as the bottom of the gully come rushing up at my face. 

The quad landed on top of me, I was pinned under it with my head just inches from the water in the gully.  My poor husband thought I was dead until I started screaming to get the quad off me.  The exhaust pipe was burning me through my jeans. 

I was very lucky to be able to walk away, albeit I had burns from the exhaust pipe, lots of skin off from shoulders to shins and bruises all over my body. I was a hobbling array of bruise colours and have never been so sore in all my life.  I provided a soft landing for the quad – all it suffered was a broken light switch. 

The most recent study of quad related deaths in Australia was conducted in 2013. There were 21 deaths reported; of these over half were rollover incidents where the rider was crushed by the machine and asphyxiated.   

Much to my husband’s angst I insisted on riding the horrid yellow devil home.   I am stubborn.  I applied the old saying “When you fall off the horse, you have to get back on”, mind you, I sniveled all the way and drove it so slowly I may as well have walked (had I been able to). 

So I figure if I can do this much damage with a quad what would I do on a motor bike; maybe I will just leave the two wheels to the boys.  

These days I have a larger quad to get around the farm on, not a huge monster but lovely and stable and big enough for me to pull a wonderful little all purpose trailer my husband built for me. I really couldn’t do without my quad but I ride it with lots of respect.
 Coffee the goat rider