Motorcycle down; man down

· 3 min read · mauritania accident health

A few miles after leaving Terjit yesterday, I came off my motorcycle.

Went over a bump and noticed a pannier touched my leg from the bounce. Looked down at the left pannier then the right, looked up, and saw I was leaving the road at onto gravel and rocks. Motorcycle down. Man down. I think I was doing about 35 mph. I think I remember my bike going over me. It's difficult to recall as these things happen very quickly.

I immediately sat up and patted my body for broken bones. None. Phew! My thigh, wrist, and back were sore, but that was it. I stood up and instantly felt light headed and felt like I was going to faint. I stumbled to the shade under a tree, and elevated my feet above my head. Got up again, but it was too soon as I started to feel faint again. Back to putting my feet up!

Eventually, I rose. My top box and one indicator lens were separated from the motorcycle. Everything else was intact.

After about 20 minutes, a local was approaching in a car. They helped me pick up the motorcycle, and I tried to start it, but the starter motor wouldn't turn. He said I needed support from a bigger vehicle to carry the bike, and he got on his way. I pushed the motorcycle back on the road. Really painful to push the motorcycle over the gravel and rocks as the wheels easily become stuck.

My hefty A4 paper manual that I've been lugging around came in handy for the first time. I looked at the troubleshooting section and tried a few of the easy bits. After I brought down the side stand and retracted it again, it started! Not sure if it was the side stand or something else, but it was now running.

The fixing plate that secures top box to my motorcycle was broken. I emptied its contents into the panniers and strapped it to the motorcycle. I left a small container oil, chain lube, and WD40 at the side of the road as I couldn't find space.

I started the bike and left. The police checkpoint a few miles away knew about the accident, so I guess the local informed them. The two policeman were keen to know if I was OK. One of them pointed at a spot of oil on the tarmac under the motorcycle and I thought to myself "O no"!

I gingerly limped the motorcycle about 25 miles into Atar and went straight to the auberge. They had a tent with beds, which was ideal as I couldn't erect my tent now the adrenalin was running low.

The same couple I met two nights ago were here. The gentlemen pushed my motorcycle into a parking spot for me, which I am very grateful for as it was painful for me. I made a sandwich, and he offered chilled water and an apple. I returned the water container and they had found creams in their first aid for swelling and anti-sceptic. They applied the creams for me. A magnificent couple!

My status:

  • Right wrist is saw when gripping and applying pressure.
  • Right thigh is very swollen.
  • Lower right rib cage is painful. All bones intact.
  • Small graze on right elbow.

I'm not feeling too great about the whole experience because it's a silly error. I'm incredibly grateful that I'm OK. I read a saying online when I first started riding that I have always lived by. All the gear all the time—ATGAT.

I'll rest the next few days and come up with a plan of action once I've assessed the motorcycle and see how I feel in the morning.

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