When you are on a big touring bike, gravel is not something you really want to be riding on.

Unfortunately this past weekend on the Freedom of the Press Defense Fund Poker Run and Rally, out by Mulhurst Bay, our ride captain missed his turn and we all ended up on a gravel road and the gravel was very loose.

I got caught in some loose stuff and went down, and that would have been bad enough on its own, but then another rider hit me from behind.

The damage to the FXR(Corrected from DYNA) he was riding was pretty severe as he bent the front forks, the handle bars and damaged the tank. He ended up with a severely swollen hand as well.

My bike didn't fare too well either. The front fender was damaged and the crash bar took four guys to pull it back so that the floor board could be pulled down and the fairing separated and is pretty scared up. The bike could have been ridden if it hadn't been rear ended.

He hit me hard enough that the back fender was driven into the tire and could not be pulled away from the tire enough for the wheel to turn without binding.  It took 5 guys to load the bike on a trailer because that back tire just kept skidding.

I have ridden gravel roads before, they are not my favourite thing at all, but hard packed gravel I don't mind near so much, like the Top of the World highway, although very challenging and nerve wracking on a touring bike, I rode it very successfully.

I had another occasion, riding with the Regina CAV, where we ended up on a loose gravel road and I caught a ridge and the front end of the bike started swinging violently, but by talking to myself to keep my hands soft, elbows down and rolling on the throttle gently, I was able to pull myself out of it.

I did not get so lucky this time, it happened too fast.

Loose stuff like we were on is treacherous and as you can see from the footage below it happens so fast.

This road had tons of washboard on it and the gravel was not packed down yet from vehicle travel. No one was very happy to be on it, that was for sure and our ride captain felt like crap about it.

I am going to say it again folks, crashes happen and they can happen to anyone and they happen fast.

Because we were wearing proper riding gear, we seem to have come through relatively unscathed.

My Draggin' Jeans prevented road rash and although I did end up with a nice bruise on my thigh, the jeans don't have a mark on them!

My new Viking Cycle Jacket from Motorcycle House did its job and again, it's hardly any worse for the wear.

My chest is sore where I took the right hand grip of my handle bar in the chest and I am stiff from head to toe today, but I am alive and will ride again and that's what matters.

The other rider is also going to be OK, while he suffered a very swollen left hand, and is stiff and sore, he too will ride another day.

The Freedom of the Press Poker Run and Rally was a huge success for something that was organized and promoted in such a short space of time. It was a bit disorganized, and frantic, but successful.

The Poker Run generated $1300.00.
Orland from the CAV won first place and donated his $300 back to the cause and Yvonne Walsh donated half of her second place $200 to the cause.  I don't off the top of my head remember who won 3rd place's $150 and not because he didn't donate anything back, but because I simply can't remember and haven't had time to go through the paperwork.

The poker run generated $1150.00 towards the cause.
We made $90 selling 50/50 tickets and another $160 from burger sales.
I was also given $570.00 in straight donations.
The silent auction generated another $915.00 for a total of $2,885 raised! 

We were so late getting back in that some of my volunteers had to leave and we didn't sell much for 50/50 tickets.

By the time I paid for fuel to have the electric bed that was donated by Mark LaFountain delivered to Doug Jenson,  the DJ, printing and a few other small expenses to put the run on and paid for fuel, in a borrowed truck to get me and my ride home, the total netted was $2150.00

We also sold some $700 in tee shirts but that money is going straight to the tee shirt guy!

The silent auction for Doug Jenson generated $430 and I delivered the money to the man personally along with a few gifts.

He has asked that I thank everyone who cared enough to contribute - he deeply appreciated the helping hand.

All in all it was a very successful run in spite of the crash.

The showing of support by so many people over the course of the day blew me away.

I want to thank Justin King for putting on a stunt show for us, everyone loved the show!

Clarence and the gang from Blackjack's Roadhouse in Nisku - what a great job everyone! 
Thank you to all of the staff who looked after we riders so well.

Blair Weber, our ride captain, in spite of the missed turn, he did a great job.

To my brothers and sisters form the CAV who manned three of the poker run stops, THANK YOU!

Tracy Nessler who helped me out at the event in the morning selling 50/50 tickets - thank you!

I want to say a special thank you to Cori from Steel Horses Photography and her cousins, the Dinning's, who lent me a truck and trailer to get home with. You guys went above and beyond!

I love this community and your support means far more than words will ever be able to express.

I will be doing a proper write up for the Busted Knuckle to acknowledge our sponsors and all of the supporters that I can remember. The day was such a blur!

To see photos from the day visit Steel Horse Photography's Facebook Page!

I need to sign off now as I have to go the hospital to get checked out and the RCMP station to file my written report.

I will let you all know what the fate of my bike is and whether or not I will be riding the rest of the season or not.  Although I have collision coverage, the bike is 7 years old and all I will be getting is fair market value if it is a write off and I will never be able to replace the glide if that's the case.

I will also follow up with the other rider to see how he fared.  

It was a crappy thing to have happen but it could have been far worse!

Have a great Monday everyone and watch this coming week's Busted Knuckle Chronicles for the article on the Freedom of the Press Poker Run & Rally.

If you are blessed enough to be riding today, please ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you and please consider wearing good riding gear, you just never know when it will be your turn to slide instead of ride...

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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  1. Glad you are all still alive ... bikes can be fixed or replaced you cannot.. MLH&R coming your way be safe

  2. No prob with the back wheel to fender thing. He had it in gear when we pushed it onto the trailer.

  3. There is a problem Graydon, my husband spent quite some time yesterday getting the back wheel to actually turn - the back fender was/is totally binding the back wheel up.

  4. Actually Graydon, my husband spent a good amount of time yesterday unbinding the back fender so that the back wheel could freely turn, and he had the bike in neutral. The back end of the bike is in really bad shape.

  5. bike had to have been in gear when we loaded it from the scene. No tire rub when we put it on the trailer at Mulhurst

  6. Perhaps it was, but I am hear to tell you the back tire is in rough shape. The fender buckled on the sides and caused gouging of the side walls. There are two flat spots on the tire from hanging up as well. The tire has to be replaced and it's at 90% + as it was put on last summer at the end of the season.