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Old 16th August 2012, 23:30   #1
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Default Greetings from an ex-biker

Hello fellow petrol heads ,

I'm NR Balaji from Chennai . I'm 23 and I work for Amazon.com . In case the thread title seems weird coming from a 23-year old let me explain . Please excuse the length of my opening post , I sincerely feel that if even one person can gain some thing from my experience it would be worth it .

I started out loving cars and being scared of bikes ( lost a couple of friends in bike accidents) . Learnt to drive at 18 in my 2005 Honda City GXi vehemently refusing to let my dad teach me to ride saying I will only drive . At 20 I saw a R-15 in person and fell in love with it. and started riding my dad's Unicorn to basketball practice just to get it .

Got it in September 2009 and spent a year and a half riding it . Got the bike Joel'ed in January 2011 ( Big bore kit , Replacement filter , FFE ) because the need for power was never satiated . By then the City was only used for drives with my girlfriend or family . Started working for Amazon in February 2011 and within 2 months of working wanted to own a bike with my own money .

Decided to get a cruiser as I already had a sporty bike and the CL500 caught my eye . Went for a test ride and enquired about the waiting period and was told it would be 7 months . I rode home dejected when I crossed the Bajaj Probiking Showroom and the Ninja 250R caught my eye ( hadn't considered it earlier as it would be out of my budget and I wasn't interested in another sport bike ) . The test ride convinced me that I need an upgrade even if it meant cutting down on other expenses . Rode home , convinced parents to come take a look and booked it the next week itself . Delivery was promised after a month and thus began the most agonizing month of my life .

Delivery was in May . Took delivery and rode off feeling like a king on my own chariot .Then started the most amazing 2.5 months of my life . Split time between both my bikes riding to the office and some pre-office rides to Mahabs . Everything was in place professionally and personally . I saved up and got a pair of A-Star SP-1 gloves , dad said he'd gift me a Shoei RF-1100 on August 1st as his credit card limit had gotten over so I decided to wait . Had even asked for riding boots advice from our moderator n_aditya on another forum in order to start gearing up for CSS in January 2012 . Little did I know that my life was about to change forever .

August 1st 2011 :

Set off to the office as usual at 7 30 on my Ninja. Entered the office at 7 45 . There's an elevated S slope just after the IN gate , I kept to the right as pedestrians walk on the left . There was a Tempo Traveller parked on the wrong side ( had taken a short cut) i.e. my right side which was obscured by a fountain 20-feet inside the gate . My bike skidded out from under me under panic braking on the wet slope ( it had rained the previous night ) at 30kmph. I fell to my left off the bike and my head bounced off the ground and I broke my neck ( C5 Vertebra burst fracture ) due to the whiplash. and I was paralysed from my neck down. The impact was great as I'm 6' 1" and my head bounced off the slope . My Volga helmet prevented any head injury but also was not adequate to save me . Don't remember anything else except being woken up after surgery the next day , was conscious and coherent even immediately after my crash ( amnesia due to shock ) .

The struggle :

Couldn't move even move my head for a month and am slowly recovering usage of my whole body. I was bed-ridden for three months and after extensive therapy for over a year I'm able to take care of myself. This is the kind of injury I would never even want my worst enemy to endure . I'm 75% back to normal ( full recovery not possible) . Can never ride again sadly but I'm back to driving my old car and should get a vRS by the year end .

My request to fellow bikers is to always ride with good gear because there are too many idiots out there . How you ride is more important than what you ride .
To the other members I would like to say please think about the fate of others before taking a short cut or driving on the wrong side . It might be life altering for others . Also try preventing others from doing the same . The mistake though on the van driver's part can't be completely his . I'm also to blame for not taking the necessary precautions despite being aware of what all I need to ride safely . Safety gear is like a biker's insurance . This could happen to anyone so its better to be safe than sorry .

Ride or drive safe brothers. I apologize once again for the length .

Regards ,
NR
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Old 17th August 2012, 08:36   #2
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Default Re: Greetings from an ex-biker

Congratulations on your recovery and thank god you wore a helmet. A relative of mine met with a similar accident (without helmet) ten years back and he is partially paralyzed even after extensive therapy.
I have been riding for close to 9 years now and have met with a few accidents. Luckily, have always been wearing full riding gear and have never suffered anything more than a sore shoulder. This includes a crash at 40kmph at the side of the road because the trucker decided i didnt need to use the road, a skid at 25kmph on gravel when a dog changed its trajectory and came in my path and once, as a pillion when my ride buddy got magnetically attracted to a cow.

To everybody out there, gear saves lives. A bad hairstyle or weird looks from passerbys is a small price to pay.
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Old 17th August 2012, 09:06   #3
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Congratulations on your recovery and thank god you wore a helmet. A relative of mine met with a similar accident (without helmet) ten years back and he is partially paralyzed even after extensive therapy.
I have been riding for close to 9 years now and have met with a few accidents. Luckily, have always been wearing full riding gear and have never suffered anything more than a sore shoulder. This includes a crash at 40kmph at the side of the road because the trucker decided i didnt need to use the road, a skid at 25kmph on gravel when a dog changed its trajectory and came in my path and once, as a pillion when my ride buddy got magnetically attracted to a cow.

To everybody out there, gear saves lives. A bad hairstyle or weird looks from passerbys is a small price to pay.

Thanks Mik , I always used to wear a helmet and gloves when I ride but that prevented a more debilitating injury . Sorry to hear about your relative , the left side of my body is still weak . I think I've just gotta thank my stars that I'm alive . Will miss riding but what the heck I can still drive . Like I said earlier I hope people learn from my mistake .
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Old 17th August 2012, 11:58   #4
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Default Re: Greetings from an ex-biker

Glad to hear that you have made a near good recovery

Welcome to the forum and thank you for the detailed post about your experience

Enjoy your stay here
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Old 17th August 2012, 14:00   #5
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Hi Diffuser,

It is definitely an incident that people have to learn from. I commute in the road in front of SP info city daily and have been inside a few times. The slope is pretty slippery during rains. Wish you a complete recovery will keep you in my prayers.
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Old 17th August 2012, 14:20   #6
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Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
Glad to hear that you have made a near good recovery

Welcome to the forum and thank you for the detailed post about your experience

Enjoy your stay here

Thank you , I intend to enjoy my stay here . I hope my experience helps others .
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Old 17th August 2012, 14:32   #7
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Default Re: Greetings from an ex-biker

This is shocking ,a simple fall having a devastating effects . Hope you get online and up and running as soon as possible . BTW , you mentioned full recovery is not possible , what is this ?
Did you quite the job, how did your company support you ? .

Last edited by black12rr : 17th August 2012 at 14:40.
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Old 17th August 2012, 16:22   #8
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This is shocking ,a simple fall having a devastating effects . Hope you get online and up and running as soon as possible . BTW , you mentioned full recovery is not possible , what is this ?
Did you quite the job, how did your company support you ? .
Hey ,

Sometimes bad things too come in small packages . The only external injuries I had were scraped elbows and knees . When I fractured my vertebra it shattered into three pieces and was pressing against the spinal cord which caused inflammation in the cord . Due to the pressure on my spinal cord the neural pathways from my brain to the other parts of my body below the 5th cervical vertebra was cut . I was operated on the next day and the pressure was released but the damage had already been done . In that period my body had "forgotten" how to function properly i.e. the messages from the brain weren't reaching the muscles . So I had to train it from step one through therapy like how an infant learns . The neurons don't regenerate very quickly if at all they do . As the neurons heal I gained control little by little . Will power is all you need , my recovery is actually better than most patients according to the doctors and my father who is also a surgeon . Maximum healing has already taken place . After a year there will be very little improvement but I'm still going for physio everyday . The company has kept me on its roster as it was one of their employee's negligence that lead to this crash . I'll be going back to work in 2-4 months maximum . I was advised to sue but no amount of money can offset the trauma I've been through so didn't bother filing a case. I'm just happy that the cord didn't get cut , if that had happened I wouldn't even have been able to move my head . I'm at 75% now and almost independent .
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Old 17th August 2012, 18:44   #9
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Default Re: Greetings from an ex-biker

@diffuser
Ouch!!! Reminds me of my accident which put a stop to my riding days!
Welcome to TeamBHP mate. Let the past be forgotten and forgiven(Others say it is tough but as an ex-rider myself i am sure it can be done). Wish you a speedy recovery buddy.

where in chennai are you from?
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Old 17th August 2012, 19:42   #10
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Originally Posted by bullet-tooth View Post
Hi Diffuser,

It is definitely an incident that people have to learn from. I commute in the road in front of SP info city daily and have been inside a few times. The slope is pretty slippery during rains. Wish you a complete recovery will keep you in my prayers.
Thanks mate . Those roads are a menace during the rainy season. Ride/drive safe .

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Originally Posted by Anandv267 View Post
@diffuser
Ouch!!! Reminds me of my accident which put a stop to my riding days!
Welcome to TeamBHP mate. Let the past be forgotten and forgiven(Others say it is tough but as an ex-rider myself i am sure it can be done). Wish you a speedy recovery buddy.

where in chennai are you from?
Ouch is exactly correct ! I've learnt to look at the glass as half full . Atleast I can still drive ! The past has to be remembered for the lessons we learn . " freeya vidu machi " right ? I'm from Little Mount, Saidapet BTW .
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Old 17th August 2012, 23:58   #11
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Welcome to the forum, diffuser!! And glad to hear of your good speedy recovery. All the very best!

I have been telling this to my friends/relatives who avoid wearing helmet.
"My dad is still with me today just because he was wearing a helmet on that dreaded day in 1991-92." He was hit by a truck when riding his Rajdoot and the doctors in CMC, Vellore said that he escaped just because of the helmet.

Wearing helmet is not for the sake of escaping from the police. Its for you and your safety. Think once about your parents/wife/girlfriend/kids at home who are expecting your arrival. Or to invoke more discipline in yourself - think the other way - what if you are not with them tomorrow? How will they manage? The shuddering feel you get when you think of it will most probably make you wear a helmet/seatbelt.
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Old 18th August 2012, 10:56   #12
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Welcome to Team - BHP brother! Three cheers for your determination and great spirit to get yourself back from that incident! Great to have you with us on this forum.

Cheers! And keep revvin'
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Old 18th August 2012, 11:41   #13
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Glad to hear that you are almost back to normal. It is surely because of your tremendous will power and the support of your family that you are able to see this day as it is. Way to go buddy. All praise and respect.
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Old 18th August 2012, 12:15   #14
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Welcome to tbhp friend and thanks for your words of wisdom.

I'm not much of a rider but have seen plenty of accident cases as recently as yesterday to know that two wheeler is not a very safe thing and one can only make it safer by using protective gear and a helmet but one can't be too careful. Idiots are there on the streets and riding a bike these days on the city streets is a very very risky affair because of them.

The helmet was your guardian angel that day. I see so many people ride or drive without helmets/seat belts. They fail to realise its for their own safety.

Anyways lets look at the positive side now. 75% recovery is fantastic, and getting back the ability to drive is also an added bonus

Will keep you in my prayers for a miracle so that you completely recover and also get back to your normal work schedule soon. Do keep us updated about the progress.

Best wishes
Partha.
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Old 18th August 2012, 14:00   #15
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Originally Posted by callvvijay View Post
Welcome to the forum, diffuser!! And glad to hear of your good speedy recovery. All the very best!

I have been telling this to my friends/relatives who avoid wearing helmet.
"My dad is still with me today just because he was wearing a helmet on that dreaded day in 1991-92." He was hit by a truck when riding his Rajdoot and the doctors in CMC, Vellore said that he escaped just because of the helmet.

Wearing helmet is not for the sake of escaping from the police. Its for you and your safety. Think once about your parents/wife/girlfriend/kids at home who are expecting your arrival. Or to invoke more discipline in yourself - think the other way - what if you are not with them tomorrow? How will they manage? The shuddering feel you get when you think of it will most probably make you wear a helmet/seatbelt.
Hello Vijay,

Thanks for the wishes and welcome . Most people don't realise the importance of safety gear/safety equipment until someone close to them suffers . But I hope that they learn from seeing others mistakes . Your dad was riding with a helmet back in 91-92 itself ? Hats off to him , safety awareness was not that great back then . Good to hear he's fine . Putting yourself in others shoes helps .

Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpingheart View Post
Welcome to Team - BHP brother! Three cheers for your determination and great spirit to get yourself back from that incident! Great to have you with us on this forum.

Cheers! And keep revvin'
Quote:
Originally Posted by revintup View Post
Glad to hear that you are almost back to normal. It is surely because of your tremendous will power and the support of your family that you are able to see this day as it is. Way to go buddy. All praise and respect.
Thanks a lot . Being 22 at the time of the accident helped , I had my whole life ahead of me so gave it all I had. Sometimes going down to the garage to sit on my bikes and revving it helps make me more determined even though I can't ride again .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parthasarathig View Post
Welcome to tbhp friend and thanks for your words of wisdom.

I'm not much of a rider but have seen plenty of accident cases as recently as yesterday to know that two wheeler is not a very safe thing and one can only make it safer by using protective gear and a helmet but one can't be too careful. Idiots are there on the streets and riding a bike these days on the city streets is a very very risky affair because of them.

The helmet was your guardian angel that day. I see so many people ride or drive without helmets/seat belts. They fail to realise its for their own safety.

Anyways lets look at the positive side now. 75% recovery is fantastic, and getting back the ability to drive is also an added bonus

Will keep you in my prayers for a miracle so that you completely recover and also get back to your normal work schedule soon. Do keep us updated about the progress.

Best wishes
Partha.

Hello Partha ,

I hope the forum members can help me spread awareness about safe riding too . The maximum recovery I can expect is almost over . Just gotta move on with life being glad I'm still alive . I hated being driven around for a year so being able to drive now is like a boon , though the driver has to accompany me ( parents orders) . Even that'll be just for a few months at most . Thank you again for the warm welcome .

Regards,
NR Balaji
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