The Ixion mailing list has evolved a tradition that members post a Mandatory Ixion Crash Report (MICR) if they have a mishap, explaining what happened, how they're feeling, and what they can learn from it.
This is the HTML version of the MICR I posted on 22nd May 2000, following my Ring crash on 23rd April:
MICRHi. Sorry if yer all bored of this already but I thought it needed a MICR, so here goes:
The Nurburgring's great. Pay your seven quid and do a fourteen mile lap which makes you wonder the point of circuits in the UK.
Just don't crash there. Ever.
The thing is, there's no run off, anywhere. It didn't look that serious to me before, but it does now.
I was at a bit between Wipperman and Eschbach, a fast right into a fast left where I run wide(ish) out of the right before moving back towards the right of the track to make room for the left. As far as I can remember it had never presented any problem before ...
But it seems I had some kind of problem this time. Ian was riding behind me and spotted me once I was on the thin bit of run-off wide of the exit. After that it seems I was doomed, keeping the bike up on the rough grass, down the kerb across the track in the left-hander, a bit of braking as I crossed the track, then down and into the facing armco ... then I hurt myself.
I've no idea why it happened (I have just a few seconds of memory between the day before the crash and getting to Luton more than two weeks later). I certainly wasn't going berserk and I know that bit of track well. Ian & I had been riding a few laps together that day, and this was the slowest. Also I'm a weeny bit faster than Ian so just being with him meant I was happy. Word on the street is that the bike was low on fuel, but the GSXR doesn't just stop when it runs low, and I don't see why it'd make me run wide on a bend either.
The question of "why?" will no doubt never be answered, which is a big pain because it would be good if I could base my future riding decisions on the answer. As it is the default reason is that I cocked up - not a nice conclusion.
Anyway ... into the armco. Ian says the bike bounced off the armco and hit me: damage to my leathers and helmet show all kinds of scuffs. I banged my head & broke my jaw, shoulder and collar bone. Apparently I struggled with the medics as they tried to inject me with stuff. Ian, Ben & Rich Browning sat with me and tried to cheer me up, stop me taking my helmet off and at some point rolled me on my side to stop me drowning in blood. Which was nice. (I ended up with a collapsed lung and 'aspirated' pneumonia, and some in-head bleeding).
The medics arrived with the world's biggest scissors and cut my Crowtrees into a zillion pieces, loaded me virtually naked on to a stretcher, and once they'd manage to land the thing on the track I was helicoptered to Koblenz.
Koblenz hospital was ace, apparently - the best military hospital in Germany and one of their best places for head injuries.
I acquired tubes for breathing, food and wee-wee. I got braces on my jaws too (ouch).
I was in Koblenz for 10 days, then BA stretchered me back to Heathrow and I got some blue lights to Luton, where I spent over two weeks before being allowed home on 17/5. There I took the next four weeks reading old ixion postings about me :-)
Aches and Pains
- My head feels OK but I can tell it's not quite as quick as I'd like (but then it never was);
- My left shoulder is weak and sore and I've exercises to get strength and movement back in;
- My jaw is weak and reduced in movement, and the teeth don't seem to fit right!
- My right leg mostly works, but is weak and feels odd - dunno how much of that is in the leg and how much in the head;
My futureWell let's just talk about the bikey future. I'm sure I want to ride again, and knowing me I'll _want_ to ride the same. But I definitely never want to crash like this again, both because of the pain to me and the distress to my friends and family. But I probly wouldn't be happy with croozin the Ring on a Gold Wing ...
So I don't really know. Thinking of a slower bike (e.g. RVF400) is IMHO a bit dumb because even a little bike could've run off the track at the speed I did, and I did some Ringing on the RVF and it was lightning fast - plenty fast enough to be very dangeous.
I won't be fit to ride for a while so I probly won't get another bike until next Spring. I'm hoping to come to Cadwell and have a dream that I might be allowed a lap or two (I've got a driving licence, Brands!)
Credits (not for tough bikers)Please humour me as I give my eternal thanks and apologies, and please don't imply the wrong order to my mentions. Virtually every doctor/nurse I spoke to said the large number of visitors I had really helped me get better. I'm honestly stunned by how many people visited in Germany, in Luton and at home. Makes me feel I've got a lot more "being offensive" scope.
I'd like to say a special thankyou to Keith McKay who tried to poach my contract off me while I was disabled :-)
- Amanda ... obviously. I still never forget how lucky I am.
- Claire Seabert: For helping Amanda amuse me and keeping her company when they were alone in Germany;
- Richard & Susan Seabert: For many things;
- Ben: Help at the scene, Lots of Amanda-helping admin things, posting info and organising Adam-supervising hospital days;
- Ian Archbold: Help at the scene, keeping Amanda company in Germany and general good-blokeness.
- Rich Browning: Help at the scene, driving our trailer & car home (it's fixed now :-) and for leaving his Elise for Amanda & Claire to blonde back from Germany.
- Martin Plant: For sorting out the paperwork with the Germans.
- Anders: For giving Amanda reassurance and secret inside medical advice. And for the visit and the Claes Oldenburg book!
- Ixies: thanks ever so much for your kind words and good wishes & visits (Kee Wei, Flossie, James Dening & Liam).
- My dad: for coming to Germany and then posting a thanks to ixion!
Ben, Ian & Rich deserve special thanks for helping at the scene. I've got a lot of time to think (as you can imagine) and one thought which keeps coming into my head is "If one of them crashed, would I be as good?". I hope so.
If you haven't had enough of the whole experience by now, Ian & Ben both have bits on video - mostly by luck, except Ian's videos of my catheter and my German Freezing Cold Sponge Bath were by judgement.