Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Attack of the Kamakaze Pheasants!

Posted by graycat on 12 May 2008

T’other day I was heading up north on the motorbike just generally enjoying the lovely day and freedom (plus speed of course) that comes from riding a sports bike or indeed any type of motorbike on the public roads. The trip is going well but boring as it is mostly motorways for a good 80% of the 100 mile plus trip and the roads were reasonably clogged with traffic. At least it was all moving, huh?

Anyway, I was riding lazily using the full range of power and revs on the bike as I rolled onto the final motorway session. Another car was entering the motorway was the same time so to make a bit of space I rolled full throttle to move round a car already on the motorway ….. and a thought occurred to me: the motorway is five lanes wide and empty not to mention it is a beautiful day …. so it would be rude not to. So I slid my arse back, hunkered down behind the screen and opened the throttle to the max!!

Oh my god!!! I was expecting fast but Jesus H Christ not that fast! On the flat it was doing over twice the national speed but with a long run ending in a slight decline, the rev counter climbed up and up and up and up and up into the red!! Splitting my attention between the rev counter and the road (with the very occasional glance at the speedo) I bottled out just before the needle hit the rev counter. As the power came off, the speed dropped and the bike settled back my heart rate and indeed whole being seemed to slow down from Star Wars style hyper-speed to mere normal speeds. After that blast to the pinnacle of speed the national speed limit seemed like doing 30 and it was a struggle to keep back down to those speeds. Fortunately five minutes of gentle cruising calmed all my systems down to mortal levels and the rest of the motorway section was completely uneventful.

This wasn’t to last all that long though.

I soon peeled off onto minor a-roads and then onto empty b-roads. These roads I’d driven many times to knew well in a car sense but not in a bike sense so I had a good working knowledge of the route. Using my usual default setting of “even if you know the roads, give it 20% and only ride to what you can see” to keep me in the condition I’ve become accustomed to (ie: alive). So blipping along the empty vaguley twisty bits I it the final straight not even a mile from my destination. A smooth roll on of the throttle out of the bend and I was soon sitting at 90 mph enjoying the wind down from a long but fun ride.

All of a sudden this ninja pheasant rises out of the long grass and like a heat seeking missile wearing a rising sun bandana, a death my care glint in its eye and a death cry on its lips …. it dove at me with intent!

A moment of shock and WTH flitted across my mind as all I had time for other than to duck my head out of the way and …… BAMM!!! Impact. Like being hit with a bag of wet sand. Well wet sand that smells like hell and exploded everywhere!!

There was feathers, there was dust, there was bird crap, there was blood and there was guts. Everywhere. No, seriously I’m talk everywhere! All over my arm and shoulder where it hit. All over my upper leg. All over the whole of the fuel tank. All over me and the bike in general! I found out later I’d even managed to get it on my back under my backpack. How? I just don’t know!

After the exploding bird was a few moments of interesting riding getting the bike under control and doing a quick fit check of all systems. All was good except for the blood and gore that was prevailent all over me …. and my left arm which for some reason had gone all numb with pain and I could no longer feel my fingers. After a moment’s hesitation, I decided to plug on through the last mile to where I was going but had to ride most of it with only one hand on the bars. This made some of the tight turns and slow work tricky round the village where I was forced to use my left arm and literally guess what was going on with my hand and trust it was all still working even if I couldn’t feel it.

I made it to where I was going and stopped.

Peace.

Silence.

Pain.

Receding shock.

What the hell is that smell and where’s the rest of my screen gone??

Anyway, after dismounting and getting the folks I was meeting round it was time for a quick assessment. Other than there being blood, guts n gore all over the place which a quick attack with soapy water and a sponge sorted, the only damage was numb / tingly fingers for a good few hours and a huge chunk missing out of my screen.

I’d consider myself lucky especially as there has been a report of one biker taking a bird to the face, breaking nose and cheek bones before stuffing the bike in a ditch due to pain and sudden blindness brought on by high velocity poultry to the face. Not to mention the one that was reported dead at the scene after head-butting another low flying bird. Personally, I think luck, good kit, darn good reactions all played a part.

End result?

Ninja Pheasant Army 0 – Me 1

Note: drove back along that road on the way out that night and there was not a lot left of the bird. That’s the last time it messes with a biker!! 😉

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