It started out as a beautiful day in July. Some friends and I had planned to go riding up through the NJ/NY border towards a place called Mountain Rest. My brother Glenn, a new motorcyclist, was going to join us for the day. I thought it would be perfect: Take him up through the twisties in the sun for a few hours, see the sights up around the Bear Mountain area, and get some dinner. It was supposed to be the type of day that would be burned indelibly in his mind. It was supposed to be the final cement, bonding man to motorcycle permanently. I guess indelibly still applies, although not by the intended means. Glenn was aboard his new(old) yamahaha which had proven to be a troublesome steed thus far. (no foreshadowing here, the G bit it on his own) Little did he know that he would retire his first bike that day.
We making our way through some beautiful country, noticing how the roads get narrower and narrower, twistier and twistier. There comes one turn, uphill, reverse in the middle, off-camber, closing radius, drops elevation at the reverse, that put a little fear in my heart. I've been riding for over 10 years and should've have been driving a little more slowly in unfamiliar territory. I planted the floorboard pretty good, but saw my way through it as I'm accustomed to pushing the old FL to it's limits. As I'm considering the close call I notice that Glenn is no longer in the rearview. OH SHIT! I threw a u-turn and hauled ass back to the turn that had almost taken me out. I knew he had gone down. I should've known that he might've had trouble.
Sure enough, I arrive to find his bike wrecked with him laying down in the street. Luckily, my friend Jeffrey had been behind him and was able to avoid running over him. Jeffrey is a master of the big Electra-Glide and skillfully managed to brake enough to allow Glenn to roll out of the way without straightening out his own turn and repeating Glenn's performance. God forbid, with the drum brakes on the FL, I would certainly have had to cut around the outside of the turn potentially eating guardrail myself. Jeffrey moved Glenn and his bike off to the side of the road as cars were continually flying around that blind curve. Frank figured out that no one was following him at that point and came back to help us. He gets credit for the fine photography witnessed below.
Ever deal with a person in shock? Do you know that immediate reaction of invincibility that comes right before unconsciousness? Glenn says "I'm OK. Let's just keep moving, I don't want to hold you guys up" or something to that effect. . . right before he turns as white as a sheet and his eyes roll back in his head. From the looks of him and his bike, I knew he must've been in shock. We stretched him out on the side of the road with his feet suspended hoping he'd regain a little color. Glenn looked up and said "I think I broke my finger" as he lifted his hand to reveal a disjointed pinky, jutting out 90 degrees from his other fingers. He was hesitant to remove the glove, as was I, for fear that it was the only thing holding it on. As if from nowhere, two hikers arrived with EMT gear.
The EMT's are hikers from the area and happened across us as if by ESP. They were wholly professional and gave us a great deal of comfort. We were all thankful for their help and felt blessed that they were in the area. In the bustle following the accident I managed to forget their names. I guess, a little spooked myself, I thought I would remember without writing them down. I thanked them sincerely, and am thanking them again now if perchance they ever read this. Before we knew it he was being packed up into an ambulance and on his way to the hospital having suffered only road rash and a broken finger.
I could continue at length but will cut this short for everyone's benefit. Besides, I have to keep some story left to tell in person. I love my brother dearly and never felt closer to losing him than I did that day. I'm glad you're still here Glenn.