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Thread: Hope on Two Wheels

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Hope on Two Wheels

    My BMW motorcycle went into a shipping container yesterday-- it's headed for Germany. Who would have thought that life would let this happen...

    Today is my seven-year anniversary. On the night of November 7, 2003, I crashed hard during an indoor motocross race. Three vertebrae trashed (T1-3), spinal cord messed-up, traumatic brain injury, broken ribs, punctured lung. etc. etc. I was unconscious and my wife was stunned. Hours of delusion. Days in the ICU. Weeks of surgeries. Months in the hospital. Years of rehab. Depression: they said I would never walk again. More depression: my wife left. Now, seven years to the night. Life is good.

    Hope-- the stuff that hospitals have a hard time giving. Hope-- a future worth living. Hope-- I'll make it.

    The speech therapists helped me get my voice back. Hope.

    The occupational therapists taught me new living skills. Hope.

    The physical therapists didn't have much to work with. NO Hope.
    Wait-- that's not fair. Their Hope was about adapting to my new body. I wanted more.

    Now, seven years later, I have more. I'm back in the shop. It took hundreds of hours to get my BMW1150GS into road shape because I am so slow with a wrench now. I can't hold a bike up at a stop sign anymore, so I adapted. The bike has a sidecar now. Make it happen one bit at a time.

    I'm back on the seat. Miles of Smiles is my new motto. Yes, I walk with a cane now and it's ugly. But it gets me to the gas pump. It didn't happen overnight. Years of working out six days a week. Be patient.

    I'm back on the road. Next summer I'll be riding in Europe: Germany, England, Spain and beyond. Seven years ago this was out of the question. But Hope is not about the now; it's about the future. So put up with all the crap and see the possibility of change. That's Hope.

    So what's the message here? Sometimes it takes years of adjustment to find a smile. Hope lets that happen.

    Hang in There...
    Ramey 'Coach' Stroud
    Oregon, USA

  2. #2
    Hi "Ramey,"
    Welcome to Care Cure Community. Sorry about the motorcycle accident, but you traveled through the recovery and rehabilitation tunnel and came out smiling on the other side. Good for you. Hope all your hopes and plans come true.

    All the best,

  3. #3
    Hey Ramey, That was a good post. I enjoyed hearing your story and everything you have accomplished.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Whately, MA United States
    Blog Entries
    Hey Ramey, good post! I'm 17 years into it, and because I'm T3 complete, I elected to go for acceptance and adaptation rather than hope. In both cases, it seems that a positive attitude won the day - goodonya. Have a great time touring Europe, and be careful on the roundabouts.

    Don - Grad Student Emeritus
    T3 ASIA A 26 years post injury

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    North of the 49
    awsome Ramey. looks like you got the bike set up good for you. good luck in your europe journey. I`m also a T3 but a complete from a nasty bike wreck too last year. But as bikers we never give up, I elected to get a 09 Canam spyder to ride. I miss two wheels but as you know it`s awsome to get the wind thru your hair.

    good luck.
    Mark 9:23 - All things are possible for those who believe.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramey View Post
    Now, seven years to the night. Life is good.
    yeah man! Thanks for the post, I'm going on 15 months post-SCI, C7 quad. I too was on a dirtbike. Your post gives me hope, thanks a ton for that. Make sure you come home with a hot European woman.

  7. #7
    Hope is my motivational goal
    Ramey Sooo kool
    I love motorcycles also and definitely know where youre coming from
    Tipping my helmet to yours
    Dedication and Passion keeps my heart going and I was thinking of doing the old vintage harley military side car idea ..... Still pondering in my mind ...

    Theres something about freedom and rolling

    Live to Ride Ride to Live
    Sincerely ;

  8. #8
    Hi Ramey,

    T'was my R90S Beemer that took me from 2 wheels to 4. Actually not, t'was the bitch who made the infamous left-hand turn into my lane of travel. All I had time to think was "Oh my...". Not even enough time for the word "God"! I refer to her as a bitch because she never sent me a simple "get well" card or even mumbled an insincere apology. Probably on orders from her insurance company but that's no excuse according to my ethics.

    Since this is the "Happy" thread I'll limit my bitchin' to those few sentences.

    If I had the money I'd get a trike set up for cruising and come along with you. I've never been to Europe. We could stop in and say "Hi" to WFE and a few other CC Europeans. I'm 31 years post injury but still a spry 55 year old T-4. Unlike you, I was a T-4 when they scraped me off the road back in '79 and remain the same today. I'm glad you got back quite a bit of return. Be safe on your trip and don't forget that they drive on the wrong side of the road over there.

    Take care Coach,

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    The Long Road Back

    Hi All,

    It was a year ago that I posted about shipping my motorcycle and sidecar to Europe. It arrived and I travel to Germany last May to begin a journey.

    Actually the journey had begun many years before. For years I had dreamed and prayed and worked and sweat to get out of my wheelchair. After 1,000's of trips down the parallel bars and countless hours on the suspended treadmill I did. Oh, and after so much e-stim I now glow in the dark.

    So then what? I crashed racing motorcycles so it was only logical (stupid?) to go back to two wheels. But it is too hard for me now to hold a bike up at stops. I'm walking but it's ugly and with a cane. So I hung a sidecar on my rally bike and now I don't have to put my feet down at stops. And I learned to get on and off and drive with special controls.

    This summer that bike and I wheeled & hobbled around Europe and the United Kingdom and North Africa. And it was a solo ride. No care-givers. No PT's. Just one man wanting to be self-sufficient. Twenty countries, twenty thousand kilometers over 20 weeks, alone on the bike physically. But in reality you all were in the sidecar with me. WE did it together as a community.

    I remember a few years back when I couldn't even wipe my own butt. I almost gave up. Many times I almost quit. But I kept thinking about how we all are facing the same challenges. That we as a community support each other and so I wasn't alone. I also realized that I had been training for rehab all my life. Rehab is just like getting ready for a big race like the Baja1000. And I have prepared for literally 1,000's of races over thirty years of competition. There are no guarantees that all the time and effort will pay off. You just pump the iron and keep training on the hope that you can start and finish and maybe win.

    All the time in the gym and all the effort learning how to live with a different body is the race you are training for. So keep going. Don't lose hope. NEVER quit. And someday you'll be telling us about your adventures. Whatever that is, go for it... and take us with you.

    I'll return to the Netherlands next year and finish my around-the-world sidecar journey. So pack your bags our trip is not over.

    Thank-you My Friends,
    Ramey 'Coach' Stroud

  10. #10
    Great story. Congratulations on your accomplishment..

    Onward & Upward,


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