These are not my only crashes, just the ones I remember best.
1975 Top of the World, UT: Okay, so starting early. My schwinn bicycle with the bananna seat. LOL. Red. Rad. Ruled! Okay so it had about .005 HP i.e. ME but it was awesome. I was going down a big hill. I found out at the bottom of the hill, no brakes. Not a good thing to find out at the BOTTOM of the hill. First experience with road rash.
1975 Top of the World, UT: Mini-Bike. Think it had a briggs and stratton engine. Don't remember crashing that much, but my brother Dave had a Honda CB350 at this time. He was riding a fire road with no shirt and thought a wheelie was a good idea. It wasn't. When he came home his back was hamburger. I remember it quite well, it was gruesome. My mom was picking gravel out of his back for a few hours and he was in agony. I learned by observation that a good jacket is your friend.
1980 Long Island, NY: Trees are stronger than you and your bitchin JR50. Need I say more.
1987 West Lost Angeles, CA: Knobbies are NO HELP on 50 GALLONS of OIL! I was cruising to Uni High on Barrington in Lost Angeles. A flat bed dropped a 50 gallon barrel of recycle oil on the road and I encountered it on my way to Burger King for lunch. I saw the barrel fall. I saw the oil spread. I might have even had time to stop, but it took a second to register on my teenage brain. I was riding my XL 500. I put both feet down and it was NO help. My feet slipped more than my tires did and I went down HARD. I got some major road rash. First lesson. Oil does not prevent road rash! Good to know. Second lesson OIL stings like a @&%$@# *@$^!! when it's under your skin.
1988 Phoenix (Tempe), AZ: DO NOT ASSUME. Do not assume that drivers obey the speed limit. We don't why should they. I was crossing a 4 lane road from a 2 lane. There was a school bus in the near lane coming my way. I had plenty of time to cross in front of the bus so I went. As soon as I could see past the bus I saw a lady speeding past the bus. Uh Oh! I slammed on my brakes. The bus had time to stop. She didn't. Have you ever flicked a quarter. Well, that's what she did to me. She hit my front tire so hard that it was like flicking a quarter. I spun a full 360 put my foot down and lifted my other leg and the bike just went sliding down the road following her car. I was left standing bewildered in the middle of the road. She did stop and I being 17 and pissed decided the best thing to do was throw my helmet at her car. Not the best idea. Long story short. She left and I had levers/handle bars to replace, but amazingly not a scratch. Same XL as above. I rode it from LA to Phoenix. P.S. Want to test your mettle, drive a dirt bike through the desert from LA to Phoenix at night with no gloves. Okay another lesson. Gloves are our friends.
1988 Phoenix, AZ: Pity can get you out of a ticket. I had expired tags. I was on my way to High School. A police officer was following me. I felt sure he saw my expired tags. In my haste to get to school I failed to notice the gravel at the entrance to the parking lot. I slid and skinned my knee TO THE BONE. OUCH! When the office came up and saw my state the first thing he said was "Do you need an ambulance." I said "No, I need to get to class." LOL. He said, "No, you need medical attention." I said "The school has a nurse." Amazingly he said, "OK, go to the nurse and by the way, get your bike registered." I said "Yes, officer." and counted myself lucky.
1999 Point of the Mtn, UT: Me and my superfast Polaris Scrambler 400 were tearing it up at the hang glider park. These guys wanted to race. I was clearly a lot faster so I offered them a head start. STUPID. Do the fast guys in races start at the back. NO! I don't think so. Anyway, I gave them a 50 yard lead then took off to catch up. I was planning to take the first turn at MY, speed but they were planning to take it on their speed, so when then slammed on the brakes I was totally unprepared. I couldn't maneuver fast enough, so I thought "Jump for it!" So I did at 40+ MPH. No gear. No protection. It was then I learned that I was more concerned about telling my wife about ruining my new jeans than about the bruise as black as night on my rear.
2001 Tooele, UT: Desert Peak dirt track. Me and my DR 350 that I treated like an MX bike. I had been running the track all day. Faster and faster. I had been jumping a double followed by a 40 foot table. Once I jumped the double and landed on the table so I got the bright idea to link them. I thought, hey, if I go fast enough I can clear this whole section. I was very tired. Sweat was pouring into my eyes and I was in the top of fifth when I hit the take off. I was higher than I have ever been on a bike. I felt like I was flying. I looked down and quickly realized that good sense had not prevailed. I was about 5 feet short of the end of the table. I was going to miss my landing and endo. Nothing I could do about it. The last thing I remember for a while was thinking "This is going to hurt." I was right about one thing. Knocked myself silly and shattered my ankle. Drove my medial maleolous(sp?, not a doc) half way up the inside of my calf. Endorphins are pretty amazing. When someone woke me (don't know who) first thought was, how is the bike? It looked fine so I thought I would kick it over. I threw my leg over it and kicked and ALMOST passed out from the new found pain. Fell over, the bike fell on me AGAIN and this time the guy said, "Uh, I think you need help." I said "Yeah, do you have a phone?" Luckily he did and I called my awesome brother David, who came and got me and took me to the hospital. P.S. Full body bruises SUCK! Several surgeries and many years later my ankle still hurts and has a limited range of motion.
2008 Berryessa, CA: More to come ...