Picture this if you will. It’s a nice bright sunny Sunday in February 1998. Like so many of my neighbors, I decided this was a good day for cleaning motor vehicles. And so I filled a bucket with nice warm soapy water and spent 30 minutes cleaning the car and then 2-hours cleaning my nice GPZ_500 (it may not have been much but it was my pride and joy). At last, I stood back, looked the bike and thought, yes, I have done well here. We should now go for a ride together, for I knew that being so clean and shiny she would go like a rocket.
So, of upstairs I went to get changed into my nice shiny leathers, pulled on my nice warm winter boots (it was February after all), started the bike up, donned my nice shiny helmet, pulled on my gloves, sat on her and listened for a while as the engine slowly warmed up. When I thought it was ready, I pulled in the clutch and slipped her in first gear: Slowly, I turned up the revs and gently released the clutch and woohoo, we were away.
After about twenty yards, I changed in 2nd. At this point, something went wrong. The revs went up to about 5K at the same time as riding over a road wet with soapy water and spilled oil. Down went the rider with the bike on top. Oh flip I thought (or something like that), I’ve fallen over and worse still, in front of all my neighbors. Across the road I slid finally coming to a halt when my head hit the edge of the pavement (thank goodness for Crash-helmets) Anyway, I extracted myself from my bike, stood up and felt ok, so I lifted the bike up and thought and started to wheel her back to the driveway to check her over.
On the way back I felt what I assumed to be blood running down my right leg, so I thought I’d just check it out, dress it, and try again to go for a ride. Once indoors, I slowly dropped my leather trousers and saw the problem: there looking up at me from my left leg was my entire knee cap and all the flesh ‘ripped’ open from one side of the knee to the other. I kind of guessed what was needed next (a quick visit to A&E!) but a second opinion from the rather nice lady across the road, who happened to be a nurse was required. She asked me to drop my trousers, which I did and she said oh my, that is a big one isn’t it, the wound that is, I think you need to go to hospital. So off I went.
On arrival, I explained what happened and they took me straight through, fortunately, casualty was quite on Sunday afternoons, and got a nurse and doctor to have a look. The next that happened was rather funny. The doctor called all student doctors and nurses that happened to be around and gave them all a lecture on the make up and build of the knee cap and used mine, as was fully exposed to demonstrate. They then took some photos, which I never saw, and sent me for an x-ray before sewing me back together.
Up to this point, I strangely had felt no pain or discomfort whatsoever but that was about to change. The rather nice lady doctor / nurse started giving me local anesthetic injections around the wound before stitching me. Now, I knew pain. Every touch was agony. Anyway, eventually, I was all sewn back together, bandaged and strapped and told I could go home and come back in ten days for the stitches to come out.
And that was that, all I had to show was rather a flashy looking scar running across me knee from left to right. It was a scar to be proud of.
Anyway, I had an early night that night.