So my 1985 Aspencade is toast. Day 5 on a month-long tour of the Pacific Northwest with my sister - who says she will ride only with me because she trusts my skills - the kickstand came down just before a curve. There was nothing I could do. It was a gentle curve so, because of the camper/trailer, I was in the center of the lane. I wasn't able to jog to the right, kick the stand up and back to the left with any hope of staying in control. Neither of us was dressed appropriately - 30 years of riding with close to 500k miles; over 60k on this bike made me invincible... (Yeah, right.) - lightweight clothing with lightweight wind breakers. We'd just stopped to put on the jackets and were accelerating back up to 60. I'm sure I put the stand up (had to to be able to get back into traffic) but I think it bounced back into the down-position.
If you've never seen your face go through a bike windshield, take it from me that, although it was definitely exciting, it's not an experience that one would wish to repeat. I felt the road as it took my skin off. The scary part was not knowing what was happening to my sister. Neither of us passed out, but we both blacked out at certain points during the slide and sudden stop. When we "came to" I immediately called for her and she called for me. Once I took stock of my body to enough to realize that all parts were still attached and I wasn't losing massive amounts of blood, I looked for her and was able to tell within a minute or so that she wasn't in dire straights. At that point, I calmed way down (thanks to many years of meditation) and saw that the bike was a write off. Looking to my right, I saw that my trailer had somehow become loose about 30 feet back down the road. It looked okay from where I was. It was about then that I started feeling the sensations of having been in a crash.
My sister crawled to the road and held her hand out at the cars driving by: three drove by without slowing down. That's something I don't understand too well: she's a middle-aged, white-haired woman who is obviously no threat. Her face was filthy and streaked with tear tracks. She made no effort to hide her distress, fear, and pain. Finally someone stopped, then someone else. It took 40 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, and another 70 minutes to get us to the hospital as we were close to the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula.
If you ever have to go to the ER in Aberdeen, don't! As far as I have experienced, that ER is the worst one in the country - although I'll admit that it may've just been the two shifts we happened to encounter. They totally missed the 4 small broken bones in her back, and didn't clean the wounds very well at all. Vicki wound up with n infection in one finger (within 24 hours) that they said might make her lose her finger. I'm happy to report that, when I took her to a hospital in Bellingham, it was taken care of as was her back. It took a week of two antibiotics a day, but her finger healed fine.
So, at this point in the story, I'm homeless (the bike/camper rig was my home) and my future has changed dramatically! But so what? I'm used to abrupt changes in my life and people all over the world are in worse situations than I am. For years I have been saying, "The Universe (my word for God) has no idea how to wraps presents: It always wraps the best gifts in the worst wrapping." This is true here, too. My mother loaned me $3k and I have $700 of my own. Time to upgrade to a 1500!
So, I'm looking for the best deal I can get on a 1500. I'll hitchhike to wherever I need to to pick it up. I have located a good buy (it seems) in Colorado Springs and another in Chicago. If possible, I would really appreciate it if someone from either of those areas would be willing to go check the bike(s) in question and see if they are as they seem. I'm also open to any help locating another bike from any member or guest of this forum. I've told you how much I have to work with (which will leave me without even gas money to fill the tank) so if anyone is willing to go check the bikes or knows of a good deal, please let me know. You can call or text me at three6Oh, eight 15, one7six5. Thanks for listening!
PS, sorry for the sideways pictures: that's not how they show up on either my phone or the computer, before I posted them.
EDIT: Flipped them