Put about 300 miles on my 2009 Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide Monday.
Nowadays, I mostly ride a 2012 Switchback, the bike to replace the Super Glide after my encounter with a cow on a dark patch of U.S. 221 at Poage Valley Road in Roanoke County on Nov. 9, 2012.
Doctors replaced parts of me after that accident — metal to replace and connect bones in my right leg, an eye socket and a good part of my face (thanks to Dr. Barton Thomas, an excellent plastic surgeon).
My memory comes and goes, a lingering problem from the TBI (traumatic brain injury) and I’m not limber or flexible as before but I wasn’t totaled.
Dairyland Insurance Company tried to total the Super Glide: Not from damage but because of mileage. The bike hit 100,000 miles the day before the crash in 2012.
But I kept the bike, replacing the engine guard broken when I went down, the auxilliary lights also torn off, and a few other minor items. The bike continues on, now with well over 100,000 miles on it. It still has a few nicks on it, but it doesn’t burn oil, the engine compression checks out fine and it runs like a Harley should. A full 100,000 mile service by Black Bear Harley-Davidson replaced the rear wheel sprocket, drive belt and several other items as part of the scheduled maintenance.
In a way, the bike is like me: A lot of wear and tear but still chugging along. On a beautiful day with the sun shining in a clear sky, the Super Glide and I toured roads in Floyd, Montgomery, Patrick, Franklin and Roanoke counties with just the sound of air and the Screaming Eagle Exhaust.
At a stop at the Shell Station in Riner, a fellow rider who knew of my crash in 2012, looked at the bike and asked: “Is that the Dyna you crashed?”
“Yes,” I said.
“I heard it was destroyed.”
“Nope. I suffered a lot more damage than it.”
“Well, I’m glad you and it survived.
I’ve thought about selling the bike. I have a newer one, with far less miles, but it survived a horrific crash, just as I did, on that dark road on a Friday night returning from photographing a high school state playoff football game near Staunton.
We’ve been through a lot together and you just don’t abandon an old friend.