86 months ago

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Freaking In

I recently was riding on the super slab at a speed slightly over the posted speed limit, which is often slower than most other vehicles. I was entering an HOV lane while simultaneously slowing down, when I felt the back end of my motorcycle wobble. It was something I hadn't experienced before and I was a little freaked for a second, not knowing the cause. I thought it might have been due to some pavement surface defect at the edge of the HOV lane. As I continued for about another 50 feet the bike started wobbling again and my ability to control the bike was limited to speeds no more than 3 to 5 mph. I pulled over onto the narrow strip of pavement, that separates the passing and HOV lanes. I had no idea what the issue was and had to wait for a lull in traffic just to dismount from my bike and quickly move to stand directly behind it, or I would certainly be hit by the passing vehicles traveling on either side of me. I thought it might be a flat tire, but no tires where good, chain was tight… what could it be? I thought.

I was in a precarious predicament and somehow needed to get off the interstate and on to the surface road. I was getting a little freaked an my anxiety level was starting to rare it's ugly little head. I had little choice, I needed to cross 3 lanes of hi speed traffic to the exit about 500 feet away from my location. I could have called for help, but it was really just a matter of time before I was hit by another vehicle, I needed to act quickly and calmly.

While traffic was not heavy, it was consistent and moving at speeds that would make this very dangerous with no second chance. I could not control the bike at speeds in excess of 5 mph. If I crashed or hesitated I would surely perish, for real. I was patient and finally within a minute or two a window of opportunity. I proceeded at an almost 90 degree angle and in a strait line to minimize the distance and to maximize my ability to control my bike. With what seemed like an eternity and with less than a second to spare I made it to break down lane and then to the exit with cars having to rapidly slow to avoid slamming into me.

Wow, what an experience. It's rough to tell yourself, "you could have just been killed" and then to process the whole experience, again an again.

After a short time I felt some relief, and after analyzing the experience, I was somewhat satisfied with my behavior and my ability to resist freaking out. I wanted to, and yes to some degree I did freak. but not out. I kept my composure and instead I freaked in.

It turned out to be the bearings in the rear wheel that completely disintegrated. This may a have been a situation that started some time ago, and was in part due to the rear wheel nut not being torque correctly.

All I can advise any one is, in times of extreme situations don't freak out, instead freak in.

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86 months ago

@frencholive Thank you. It was a bit scarey.

I clean and lube my chain every 500 miles or so, you'd think I would have noticed something.


86 months ago

@allworld Scary experience. Glad you got out of it okay.  Good reminder to have your bike serviced regularly.  You can't anticipate it all, but hopefully cut down on highway break-downs.