Recently I saw a custom safety flag which had “I do all my own stunts” on it. That got me to thinking and so here I am writing this article. I can identify with that. I wish I had some of the things that have happened to me recorded on video. Of course, most of it would be on the embarrassing side. I am talking about tip overs, running into things, running over things, etc. Some of those times I was “hot dogging” a bit. Most of the times they were just accidents. And most of the times I was either sitting still or moving slowly.
I learned how easily a tadpole trike can tip over when on uneven ground or when backing up while turning going too fast. I have been fortunate in that I haven’t had any really serious injuries.
One time I was picking up trash alongside of a trail. I was doing so while seated on my trike. I had gone over near the edge of an embankment near a river to pick up some trash just over the edge of the embankment. I tried to reach it but couldn’t so I leaned out just a little bit further. That is all it took to cause the trike to tip over and dump me over the embankment with my trike on top of me. I had a time getting out of that mess. Nobody was around to help me so I had to struggle thru it. I didn’t get hurt but it was sure embarrassing.
Another time right in a curve on the trail my two fiends I was riding with suddenly stopped right in front of me without any warning. I had to brake hard to keep from running into the trike in front of me. Braking hard in a turn is not a good thing to do. Over I went and ended up with some road rash on my arm.
Another time I was downtown riding on the sidewalk. I was watching a motor vehicle out in the street concerned that he was turning into the driveway I was approaching. Ahead of me the pavement narrowed and a curb suddenly appeared. I didn’t see it as I was watching the motor vehicle. I hit that curb and it violently tipped me over and slammed me to the ground. I just missed hitting a concrete column which could have resulted in extremely serious injury. I was laying over and trapped in my trike. I struggled to get out of it. I got some cuts and abrasions and bled a lot. It was quite embarrassing.
One time I had unloaded my trike from the back of my pickup truck and was getting ready to go for a ride. I had parked over alongside the road and a river was quite nearby over an embankment. I sat down in my trike ready to ride when I made the bad decision to back up and turn around. As I backed up I didn’t realize my trike was quickly approaching the edge of the embankment. I got stopped okay but I could not go forward. If I dared to release my brakes in an attempt to go forward I only went further back and was slowly going over the edge of the embankment. I was in a real predicament and there was no one around to help me. All I could do is sit there with my brakes locked. After awhile a jogger ran by me. I hollered out to him asking for help but he just ran on ignoring me. A couple of more people passed by as I sat there and the same thing happened. Finally a guy I knew was going by me and I hollered at him by name. I explained to him what the problem was and asked him to take my hand and pull me as I released the other brake and tried to pedal forward. It worked. I got out of that mess. It would not have taken much more backwards movement before I would have gone over the embankment and possibly into the river.
Hot dogging can be bad. I have been fortunate as I never been injured as a result. A friend of mine has had serious injuries as a result of hot dogging. I hit a bollard once trying to turn off of a road onto the trail. I was going too fast. I was able to get almost stopped so when I hit the bollard I wasn’t going fast enough for any damage to happen. In the picture below the trail runs right along side of a street for a little ways. My friend was riding on the trail (blue line) and I was out in the street (red line). I wanted to get ahead of him so I was going faster. I didn’t slow up enough to make the turn. I hit the center bollard attempting to turn onto the trail.
Not looking where you are going can, of course, result in things going wrong. Once I was looking off to my side at a pavilion downtown. I was riding on the wide sidewalk in front of it. There were handrails protruding out over the sidewalk. They were part of the railing that went up steps toward the pavilion. They were just the right height to modify my face if I were to hit them. Again, fortunately I turned back looking forward just in time to swerve and miss them.
Years ago I created this picture of a trike jumping thru the air. Much to my surprise it has fooled several people as they thought it was real. Anyway, the air time might be fun but I sure would not want any part of the landing.
Yep, I have always done my own stunts. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That is mainly because I wouldn’t want to see anybody get injured in my place. I am quite hopeful that my stunts are pretty much over with cause at 73 I am getting a bit too old to do my own stunt work. May we all be safe and .simply …
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