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It was a beautiful day October 6, 2009 and I was riding with six other bikes (4 wings, a Shadow and a BMW) on the small twisty Highway 66 just west of a little town called Sneedville Tennessee. I thought how nice the pavement was for a road out in the middle of no where. Fall had started and the trees were just starting to turn. The temperature was in the low 70s, a bit overcast but little wind and overall a nice day for a ride.

We were tooling right along at about 50. Not to fast for the conditions, but still at a good clip for a twisting road none of us had ever been on before. I was bike number 3 so I was in the left tract and enjoying not having to lead. Third position made it easy to see what the bikes ahead of me were doing and made the ride much easier. Still, you couldn’t see around the turns as they came, the road was just to narrow and twisty.

As we came to a left turn suddenly there was a white panel truck half way over the center line. He must have been going a bit to fast and took his turn to wide. This had him coming right at me. I made a quick defensive maneuver (not really a swerve) to the right and the truck flew past me, missing by inches.

Now it’s really amazing how fast your mind can work. Everything that followed probably took 5 seconds, but it seem like I had lots of time to think about, and do, what happened next.

I told myself “I’m off the road and on a very narrow gravel shoulder. Don’t hit the brakes because if I lock up the wheels I wouldn’t be able to steer and will go into an uncontrolled slide.” I looked straight ahead and there were trees about 50feet to my front and told myself “if I go that way I’m toast” (my exact words to myself). By now I had left the gravel and was in grass. Again thinking to myself, “you’ve ridden in grass before no big deal just don’t do anything sudden.” Looking at the trees I said “you will go where you look, so if you look at the trees you’re going to crash, look for the black top.” I turned my head to the left and drove out of the grass onto solid pavement. Looking down at my speedometer I was still doing 45mph. Recalling my training at the ERCs I’ve taken (thanks Dennis) and my more than a quarter million miles of experience, I’m sure this is what saved my bacon.

Shorty down the road we stopped in a small park with this great view of a lake. All of us, especially me, had to answer the call of nature. We talked about what happed, and after assuring everyone I was OK continued the last 100 miles or so of our ride. I started getting comments like “nice driving,” “anyone else would have gone down,” and “great trick riding.”

I’m here because I didn’t panic, but called on my experience and all the training I’ve had to save my butt. You will most certainly see me at future ERC and any other rider training I can get. I will continue wearing all the proper riding gear just in case things don’t work out so well next time.

Yours In Friendship
Burt Wagner
 

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Great story Burtsr, Glad you kept your witts and made adjustments as needed. That sounds like about as close of a call as it gets. I should take some of those classes also I often find myself feeling very nervous in curves when there is a vehicle is coming around the turn at the same time. Seems I have to remind myself to look further down the road and not concentrate to close in front of me ,if that makes sence. Thanks for sharing your experiance.



:shock:= :action:
 

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Wowser! Makes my blood run cold just thinking about it......

About time for another ERC for me..... maybe something even longer, Lee Parks or something.... thanks for sharing!
 

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Great story.... glad to hear that kind of recall of one, from this side. Have had a couple of close calls and often wondered if I was the only one who thought the whole world slowed down and I talked to myself like that....

In fact, that sounds exactly like my recall of my internal monologue of a spill I took MANY years ago ... unfortunatly that was before I got smart and started taking riding courses... my monologues are much more helpful now!

Thanks for sharing, glad your OK.
 

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It is amazing how fast our brains take over and recall stuff! Good going! Nice to still have you around!!! Although scarey at the moment it happens, it will only make you a better, safer rider. Cheers to you and your grey matter! jimsjinx
 

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Glad your training and good instincts took over and pulled you through a possible sad ending.
Thanks for sharing it, Ray:waving:
 

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Real glad to hear you made it through due to the training you took. I fixing to add a sidecar to my bike and need to take a training course for it too. The only problem with that is it's a 3 day class and the nearest place to take one is in North Carolina and the last class for this year is the weekend I'm going north to PA to pick up my camper. Guess I'll have to wait for the spring classes to start and book a motel room for the 3 days unless I can find a nearby campground.
 
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