Riding an old friend

The 2009 Harley Super Glide: Still motoring on after more than 100,000 miles and a bad crash.
The 2009 Harley Super Glide: Still motoring on after more than 100,000 miles and a bad crash.

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.

 

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