2nd Accident (with dog this time)
August 23, Riobamba, Ecuador
Yesterday afternoon about 20 miles south of Riobamba I hit a dog, or actually he hit me and the outcome was not good. I was going about 45mph when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a dog running toward me from the left. They do this all the time in South America, especially down in the Patagonia region, and 99.9% of the time they run along side of you and bark because they just need to know they're chasing you out of their territory. Adam, one of the many bikers I've met along the way, learned that you don't try to kick them. If you've ever thrown a table scrap or doggie snack to any dog you are well aware at how fast most of them are at catching things in their mouth. Adam's foot was quickly caught by that dog, just outside of Ushuaia, and the dog actually held on for several seconds and Adam needed treatment for the puncture wounds. I usually ignore the dogs or sometimes bark back at them just to see how they react, which can be sort of fun. But this has nothing to do with my doggy incident, sorry.
I chose to ignore this particular dog but he was one of the .1% that was either chasing something on the other side of the road, trying to race me to a finish line that only he knew of, or trying to commit doggie suicide. As with all of these things it all happened much faster than me telling you about it; it was only about a second between seeing the dog behind me to my left, then looking forward, then seeing a big brown flash of fir, then laying by the side of the road.
Anyway, this medium/large size dog, running full speed from my left, made full impact with the front left side of my front tire and I immediately went down hard on my left side. While I was rolling down the side of the highway I felt the pain in my left ankle, just like the other little mis-hap in Argentina [if I could determine which part of the moto keeps on hurting my ankle I would have it removed, but I think the better option is to simply remain upright]. Actually most of the left side of my body was hurting. The only other thing I was thinking about was the very loud crashing sound the moto made when it hit the pavement and I was sure it would be messed up pretty bad.
This all happened in front of a house where there were a 8-10 locals watching. 3 of the guys helped me pick up the bike and to my surprise it seemed to work. I rode across the street to a more level spot where I could check things out and it seems that other than a bunch of new deep scrapes, broken left blinker, bent handlebars, cracked wind screen and other things like that, it generally still seems functional. There was no sign of the dog and I asked the locals if they saw it and they had no idea what I was talking about. I sort of expected to see him on the side of the road next to me but he wasn't around. I really wanted to take pictures of the skid marks on the other side of the road where the moto slid about 15-20 feet, but my ankle hurt so bad I could hardly take a step, never mind the 20-30 steps it would have taken to get there and back so I got on my motorcycle, limped my way to Riobamba, checked into a hotel and went to get X-rays to see if I would need more than just ice and Advil.
The X-ray tech and the first "doctor" that looked at the X-rays seemed to think that something was broken but they found the bone doctor guy who determined that it was just a sprain. X-rays are more expensive in Ecuador than Argentina - $51.50 here and $18.00 in Argentina, if I remember correctly but good news nonetheless.
My left shoulder, which had never really fully recovered from my little diving injury in Bacalar, Mexico, hurts like hell. My left hip is very badly bruised (they actually X-rayed that as well) and of course there's the ankle. The only skin I lost was a small round spot on my left knee, smaller than a dime. I've always been a good "roller" when I fall, whether on motorcycles, skateboards, skiing or whatever; it minimizes injury and helps you keep skin on your body.
Now I'm in Riobamba debating whether I should take the short 130 mile trip to Quito or re-coop for a day with more ice and Advil. Never mind, I'm staying another day, I've got pictures, GPS stuff and other things to catch up on.