Honda (2020 February edition)
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[GUIDE] Lil Wayne's Less Popular Mixtapes
Mixtapes not included: Da Drought 1 or 3, No Ceilings, Sorry For The Wait 1 and 2, and any mixtape in the Dedication series besides the original
- Everything Will Be Fine – Wayne shows his soft side on this upbeat song guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Pretty nice hook as well which isn't that common for mixtape Wayne
- In The Booth – We all know that Birdman Jr. spends a lot of time in the booth, so much in fact that he had a recording studio installed on one of his tour buses. He spends this particular studio session reminding weak rappers why they should fear the drought
- Moment of Clarity – Wayne takes on Jay-Z’s classic Black Album track and does a pretty good job. One 3 minute track of straight rap with no hooks, this is an early glimpse of the Wayne we all know and love
- Dec. 4 – Few things are as entertaining as hearing Lil Wayne over a Just Blaze beat and this song does not disappoint
- Public Service Announcement – The recording quality is pretty shit but the song still bumps in the whip. That PSA beat will never always be good no matter who spitting on it
- 93' 94' Baby – Wayne raps a tribute to Birdman over Jeezy’s infectious Go Crazy beat. Hurts to listen to now :(
- Suffix – Wayne reminisces about his New Orleans childhood over the Just Blaze produced Dear Summer beat first used by Jay-Z
- Damage is Done – A nice beat with some nice rapping by Lil Wayne. Not much else to say, just sit back and enjoy!
- Dedication – Weezy starts off his legendary Dedication series with an amazing electric guitar backed. His lazy flow has never sounded better and no one else could come up with lines like “Keep that Mary Poppins poppin like a toasteI’m Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious/”
- Motivation – The high pitched flute of T.I.’s track of the same name provide the backdrop for Tunechi to bemoan getting blood on his $650 sneakers
- Please Say the Baby – What does the F in Weezy F Baby stand for? According to Rap Genius, Wayne gives at least 28 different meanings throughout his discography. I guess the world will never know
- Down & Out – Kanye’s Down and Out beat has always been one of my favorite beats of all time and while Camron’s original verses are legendary, Wayne does an admirable job of living up to expectations. Funnily enough this isn’t Wayne’s only remix of the song, although it is his best version
- Rewind – An unbelievably catchy beat with an effortlessly cool Wayne while Juelz chills in the crib playing EA Sports and buys cars because he likes the smell of new leather. What more can I say? I can’t feel my face
- Bird's Flying High – Built around a sped up Nina Simone sample, this beat is so chill it could double as a muscle relaxant. Wayne goes hard and Juelz does a decent job of keeping up
- Clockwork – After extensive research, I discovered that this track is merely Wayne’s verse from I’m With Whateva added on to the end of Santana’s album track Clockwork. Either way it’s still a dope song with a catchy beat.
- Get That Bread – A beat made from one extended horn? Hmmm where have we heard this before? I don’t think I could ever get tired of hearing rappers trading bars about how much money they have.
- Nigga Like Me – The dynamic duo is joined by Currensy and a Philly rapper named Bezel. The song has a nice beat and Wayne tells a chick to “ride his dick like a new Honda”. What is there not to like?
- When You See Me - Braggadocios Wayne with an amazing flow. An incoherent birdman mumbling a hook comes off surprisingly well
- Suck It or Not – Though technically a Cam'ron song, it’s a really awesome song so I'll include it here. You may think it’s just another song about blowjobs, but really it’s the best song about blowjobs you'll ever hear
- Holla At Me Pitbull is on the official version of the song, but for some reason in this version his verse is cut off thank God
- Kryptonite Part 2 – A remix of a Killer Mike track, Wayne holds his own against the Atalanta legend. This beat would later be used for Ridin With the AK on Dedication 2
The Drought is Over 2: The Carter III Sessions (2007): The songs here were originally slated to appear on Tha Carter III album, but were leaked to the internet early. Sometimes I imagine what a great album it could’ve been if a few of these songs were still on it. This is IMO Wayne’s most under-appreciated mixtape
- Pussy MVP – A short track, but undeniably catchy track about the Lil Wayne sex game
- Talk It Over – Chipmunk soul samples and a hard lines. I’m getting tired of writing these just listen to the damn song
- I Feel Like Dying – A classic track about the blissful highs and suicidal lows of being a drug addict. Weezy uses some vivid language to describe his world as a “prisoner trapped behind Xanax bars”. There is also a well known conspiracy theory that when played backwards the song is about devil worship
- Prostitute Flange – A woozy drug-addled auto-tuned up Wayne sings a love song to his girl telling her that he would love her even if she was a prostitute. This song is very divisive between Wayne fans, it seems like most people either hate it or love it
- Zoo – Hollygrove duo and childhood friends Lil Wayne and Mack Maine trade bars over a thumping Rockwilder beat
- I Know the Future – Timbaland provides a sizzling beat for Weezy and Mack Maine to look into the crystal ball and see their future success
- I’m a Beast – “Rapping is my hobby/my house has a lobby/my bitches act snobby/because I feed them thousands”. Only Lil Wayne could open a song with that and not come across as childish
- Diamonds and Girls feat. Currensy – A song about the good things in life. The beat is similar to 100 Winters, but this time featuring Currensy!
- Beat Without A Bass – Wayne laments that a rich nigga can’t find freedom and calls out old rappers that should be retired instead of touring. “I got my capital S-W-agger up, ya dig?”
- Kush – This ode to the sticky green is Wayne at his goofiest. Four minutes of quotable lines with a beat so chill it could give you frostbite. “I got a grill I don’t have to get my tooth fixed/The tooth fairy would retire if I lose it”
- Did It Before – Although Wayne’s rhymes actually get a bit repetitive on this song (never thought I’d say that), Kanye West’s strong saxophone beat carries the song home
- Time For Us to Fuck – Never one for subtlety, Wayne raps yet again about his sexual exploits, but mixes up his flows enough to stay interesting
- La La La – No not the wack song from Carter III. If you listen to one song from this guide, make it this one. This is literally my favorite Wayne song and quite possibly my favorite song ever. It features a great chipmunk soul beat while Weezy takes you on a nostalgia trip through his childhood neighborhood
- Something You Forgot – It’s always been hard to make a love song in hip hop. Act too tough and it doesn’t sound authentic; act too lovey-dovey and you come across as soft or weak. Lil Wayne toes the line perfectly in this over a sample from Heat’s 80s rock ballad What About Love
- Help – Lil Wayne meets the Beatles. When I played this song to my white middle class Republican dad he appeared visibly disgusted and disowned me
- Brand New - Minimalist beat with Wayne coming out some hot fire as he reminds us that he is both the president and the assassin
- We Come and See About –An absolutely filthy violin provides a background for Wayne to denounce all of his haters that are all talk and no action. Also known as I’m Me on some youtube videos
- One Night Only – Ladies know they only got one shot with Birdman Jr. so they better prepare their calendars and start making excuses to their boyfriends. A powerful vocal sample goes well with the frantic beat
- Ask Them Hoes – I’m looking in the mirror and I see a dollar sign/ I had a CAT scan and I had money on my mind/
One of the saddest and angriest days of my life
I’ve ridden motorcycles since I was a little girl—my dad and brothers riding around on Honda Trail 90s and Trail 70s when we would camp. I would also ride with friends on old Honda and Kawasaki 125s, which at the time seemed HUGE! But we had a good time.
Fast forward through much of my adult life. I stopped riding for a while outside of a Vespa Granturismo 200 which is a lot of fun. But ever since I took my first trip to Italy and actually saw a Ducati in person, I knew it was a bike I would own someday. That first time seeing that Ducati was 15 years ago. It was a marvel of elegance, power, and grace. I’ve never seen a man-made thing exude these sorts of qualities before this intensely and it was love at first sight.
Due to some savings and a healthy tax return this year, I finally had enough money to buy a used Ducati Monster–the very model I fell in love with 15 years prior while visiting Italy. I managed to find a 696 ABS version, one in stealth black with MIVV pipes on it, and the prior owner even knew to take the gas tank stickers off as it makes the bike look soooo clean. I was smitten with this particular bike and purchased it sight unseen.
The only problem was that it was in Chicago, IL and I’m out west near the left coast. I had some extra airline points from work travel so I took a Friday off and pulled off a day trip to Chicago to meet with the seller and ensure all looked good in person and make the transaction. This bike was super clean—only 5k miles, 5 years old. still 2,500 miles from next major service but already broken in. He changed the oil yearly, kept it garaged, kept it on a Battery Tender, and had just bought a new BMW so didn’t ride this as much anymore.
Now, it’s important to note that the Ducati 696 is not a big bike, nor is it particularly twitchy I’m told, unlike their bigger bikes—but it is a Ducati, and has those Italian mannerisms—like the throttle only really being in an “off” or “on” position, without much in between. And sometimes it’s hard to find neutral. It’s air-cooled so it can run a bit hot between your legs. It’s opinionated, it can be loud, and it knows what it wants. It’s Italian, through and through, and I absolutely love it.
So after 30 long days from purchase to delivery, I patiently waited for my shipping delivery guy to drop off the bike. It felt like Christmas in the middle of summer. Though he ends up being a week late, the bike finally arrives.
I plan to meet him my house and by the time I arrive, he already has it unloaded and parked in my driveway. It’s beautiful. It’s ready to ride, and it’s mine. I of course already arranged all the paperwork for the insurance and a thirty day moving permit. I would have had a license plate ready for it as well but the DMV worker couldn’t tell if the seller wrote a “5” or a “6” on the mileage entry of the title, so we have to file an Affidavit of Proof. Oh bureaucracy. But I obtained the thirty day permit, insurance, and my license, and it was time to ride.
Now, I’m 41 years old, so I’m no spring chick, but I like cute clothes. However, protection comes first. I don’t bounce back quite like I used to, and I’ve never been much of a speed demon. So I invested in some really great, comfortable female riding clothes—thankfully of which there are an increasing amount these days! I have Dianese Bahia boots, Oxford kevlar leggings, my super favorite Roland Sands Maven jacket in that beautiful oxblood
So, my first day was just to get used to the bike. Where I live, we have a ring road that circles the city, and it’s about a 30 mile length, all in. Lots of intersections (read: dangerous), but lots of long twisty stretches of road to get used to the gearing ratios and general handling of the bike.
I took off and began to get a feel of things on a residential road. Things I notice immediately, it’s a pretty simple bike—not a lot of gadgets and doodads, and the dash is simplistic. It’s impressive in its torque even for a 696, but it seems to like the higher RPMs to really reveal what it’s made of. The throttle is responsive and Ducati-like, which just means you ride the clutch more at low speeds. It’s air-cooled, which I really like. Something about the simplicity of never having to see an “overheat” warning light come on seems to be in the spirit of this bike’s design in general—simple, authoritative, and elegant. And since the bike and I are becoming fast friends, I decide to anthropomorphize her, she’s no longer an “it”. She’s a she, and she’s fucking awesome, and we’re going to be best friends.
I finish my 30 mile ring road ride and am fully smitten. I’ve never had so much raw unadulterated fun on a motorcycle like I have with this ride. It’s difficult to explain why, but I now get what people meant when they would wax on about the “Ducati thing.”
In purchasing this bike, I soon after decided to participate in the Babes Ride Out event that was happening in Joshua Tree, California in October. What could be more fun than hundreds of women riding their bikes out to the desert to camp for four days and have a grand ol’ time? Now, the Monster is no touring bike, and this ride would clock in at a smidge over 500 miles one way. Quite a ride on a Monster, but I’m willing to bet it could be done. (Turns out, it’s definitely doable: the amazing Amytracker has done 10,000 miles on her Monster 696 so she’s already made the point moot. For a fascinating read, check out: https://amytracker.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/touring-on-my-2012-monster-696-abs-and-how-i-farkled-it-for-a-10000-mile-camping-road-trip/). I decide that I’ll need to plan several ramp-up rides before then to see what my own endurance is with her. Will it be 200 miles a day max or would I be able to pull off a 500 mile day with frequent breaks in-between? It also helps that for most of the trip it will be on one of the most beautiful west coast autumn roads during that time: Highway 395 South.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, this road is north/south, and passes along the eastern Sierra Nevadas in California, alongside the eastern entrance to Yosemite. There are gorgeous aspens that turn bright yellow, snow capped mountains, and the wonderful smell of pine trees everywhere. Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, Bridgeport with all their hot springs, Mojave Desert, Death Valley, ancient Bristlecone Pine forests with 5,000 year old trees—are all along this wonderful road.
So my plan is to first try a 100 mile round-trip ride with her, then a 250 mile round-trip ride, and then a 500 mile round-trip ride. I’d certainly know the goods and bads of endurance rides with her by then. So, first up—100 mile ride.
I plan a ride south on 395 for a 50 mile one-way destination. It’s still summer here and incredibly hot and it’s also fire season and since pretty much all of California seems to be on fire at the moment, everything is smoky everywhere. Otherwise it would have been a beautiful blue sky ride.
I head out and take the wonderful windy roads to the main highway and head south. It’s about 2:00p on this Sunday afternoon, and traffic is usually pretty calm at this time of day. I get it out on the highway and start to see how the bike handles at higher speeds. She’s surprisingly...unsurprising. 50, and up to 65 she just does what she does. No strangeness or unexpected behavior. She seems alert but tame at around 3,000 - 4,500 RPM. Going above that and you can really feel the torque of this machine come into play. It’s exhilirating! I find that 4,000 RPM in sixth gear is a nice 70 MPH pace, engine isn’t working too hard, sounds like it’s just opening up, and really comes into its own.
As I’m cruising along in the slow lane learning the nuances of the gearing, I see a motorcycle rider pass me on the left. He passes me with a glance back, and gives a thumbs up. I wave back, and it begins to settle in that the motorcycle subculture is now a part of my life—both the goods and the bads of it—especially when it comes to women riders. I do chuckle because I’m so geared-up that I have no bare skin showing anywhere, and he’s whipping by at around 80mph in a t-shirt and jeans flapping in the wind. It was about 100 out, but I don’t do bare skin on bikes. Too terrifying to me after having experienced a nasty open palm road rash injury in my younger years, with my mom then making me put my hand in a bowl of epsom salt, oh my god that was such horrific pain. So leather and armor and kevlar are my jam now.
I make my way to the halfway point, a Starbucks I remember seeing on a prior trip months ago. A great place to take a break, get rehydrated and use the bathroom. I find a spot to park, shut the engine off and the quiet heat eminating from that air-cooled engine makes me realize I made exactly the right choice with this particular bike. Even in this weather, she’s not burn-your-legs-to-a-crisp hot, a concern I had read about prior. Perhaps stop-and-go traffic could be worse, but I won’t be doing much stop-and-go city riding with her.
I get an iced green tea, use the restroom, and relax for a few minutes. I text my husband to let him know I’m halfway and I’ll be back in about another hour or so. Feels good to stretch the legs a bit, and the pace is so chill down south here, but I’m already anxious to get back riding.
I hop back on, circle out of the parking lot, and begin to head back north. It’s now cooled down to high 80s, and the road just opens up so beautifully. I bring her up to speed, and feel the bike begin to connect with me. You know, that moment where your legs squeeze the tank and your hands loosen a bit on the grips, and the slightest movement of your body puts the bike excactly where you want it. The bike and you begin to fuse, with control slowly becoming second nature.
The ride back is mostly highway, but I decide to take part of the loop road back home, to get in a couple more twisties and try to get as close to exactly a 100 mile ride in as possible on the odometer—I’m a nerd like that and try to make things exact when it comes to ride mileage. I’m winding down a quiet suburban road at 30mph, both sides of the road outlined by fancy homes with green grasses and picket fences. The sun is just starting to cool off, now that it’s 5:45p, on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. I turn this slow left hand turn next to a golf course, and glance down to my odometer, 99 miles. 1 mile left to home, as I turn onto the street that I live on. I smile, knowing I’m almost home, and I’ll follow this straight road just a short ride further and I’ll be turning into my driveway. I see a car opposite me in the middle turn lane, and I see a bicyclist to my right. Plenty of time to pass the bicyclist before he makes it to the intersection. I cup my brake/clutch levers as the intersection comes up, and slip my foot under the gear shifter to begin the upshift and...
The world spins around me, with the loudest and most ungodly sharp noise I’ve ever heard. Time slows down and then stops. The world stops spinning and I’m looking at the mountains towards the eastern side of the valley, but I’m seeing the world sideways. I’m laying in the street, my bike no longer under me, my body beginning to turn numb from the waist down. I try to sit up and move my legs to stand but I cannot move them. They don’t work. I am so very hot. Why is it so hot? What just happened?
I lay back down, and the world begins to get very strange. I begin to see me, not from within my own head and through my own eyes, but as if I’m looking at me from a second person point of view. I can see my face cradled by my helmet padding, my eyes glassy and searching, with a look of terror that I’ve never witnessed on anybody before. I’m looking up at the sky, then down, then left and right. Then I close my eyes, then I try to get up again, to no avail.
I close my eyes and open them again, and then I see a man looking at me through my helmet visor, asking me my name and I tell him my correct name. And my phone number. He asks me about family member names/numbers, and I give him my husband’s number. I’m now looking through my own eyes again, and I for the life of me can’t lift up my right leg. I’m so exhausted, and it’s so so hot laying in the street. This whole thing feels like a dream, and I cannot tell you what just happened, or if I’m actually alive or dead right now. I remember seeing the 99 miles on the odometer just through the curve, and then seeing a car in the middle turn lane heading towards me and a bicycle rider to my right, and now I’m in a dream world.
More people run over, and now I see six or eight people looking down at me. They all look extremely concerened, and I still don’t know what’s going on. I know I was riding a motorcycle, but I no longer see or hear the motorcycle, or the car, or the bicyclist, or anything else. The man asks me who our president is. I blurt out “an asshole”. I remember him laughing, and then asks me what the current date is. I can’t for the life of me remember what the date is. Is it October already? It’s 2018 think. But I’m pretty sure it’s October.
Then, there are police looking down at me, and then paramedics. They take my gloves off, and then slowly disengage my helmet ratchet and slide it off. Fresh air blows over my head and hair, and feels so incredibly good. I see more paramedics moving equipment towards me, and slide me up onto a flat board. I seem to keep leaning to the left, I cannot lift my right leg, and it’s so so painful to lay flat on my back. They remove my riding boots. They try to get my leather jacket off and just barely make it with all the sweat on my arms. My riding pants however aren’t able to come off easily, so they cut them with scissors. The cool air feels so good filling my lungs, but I am so confused and feeling very little from the waist down.
I’m then moved into an ambulance. I don’t remember much of this ride except that the paramedic also asks me about the president and I have the same answer, but still can’t remember the current month. I do remember there is blaring hip hop music in the ambulance, and I feel a pinch in my arm with a pic line going in. He then tells me that I’m going to feel very strange and things are going to get very quiet, but not to worry, just relax. He then injects me with what I later learn is Ketamine, and the world...
Do you remember those old-timey black and white movies from the 1920s that have a vignette around them, and everything’s really grainy and slow motion? This became my experience, my reality. I still didn’t know what happened. Am I dead? Am I clinging to life? Am I just in shock? All of these people standing over me are now wearing surgeon masks. Where did they come from? Maybe it’s Act 3 of this really strange dream trip I’m on. They’re asking me things, but I’m not really answering. They’re doing things to my body. Both of my arms are in other peoples’ hands. My legs are strapped and then unstrapped and then strapped again. Their voices sound so distant, like they’re talking to me through a walkie talkie. My body’s answering, my mouth is moving, but it’s not me. I’m sitting in a movie theater watching this old-time film. It then fades to black.
The next act fades in from black, and I’m looking at this spinning machine. It looks sort of like a space station in those old 1970s sci-fi tv shows. It’s moving in slow motion, and it’s dark—like the movie 2001 or something. I study it more, and it begins to get brighter. It’s not a space station, it’s a CT Scan machine. It stops once I recognize it, like it knows I’m watching it. It’s very close to my face. It’s inspecting me like a strange robot, curious. Like I’m an alien creature it’s caught. It’s so quiet, so mechanical. Then it begins to move again, as if of its own accord. This too then fades to black.
I then see yet another act fade from black, and there is my husband, holding my hand and walking quickly alongside a gurney going down a hospital corridor. This is straight out of a prime time TV drama with a gurney being rushed down a hospital hall. I’m in the gurney, he’s telling me everything will be okay. He doesn’t look scared. He looks calm. His calmness makes me feel calm. This is such a strange movie. Or is it a dream?
I wake up, and no longer see the vignette, I’m in a room, and I can understand everyone around me again. Dare I say, I feel more, normal? My hips are in excruciating pain. But I’m laying flat on my back now, not crooked. I try to wiggle my toes, and I think I can feel them move. I try to lift my toe and foot up, and they both move, barely, but I’m unable to lift either foot from the bed. I can feel my hands, but I cannot roll or move much more than this.
What happened? By now it’s 7:30p and I’m told that I was in a motorcycle accident at 5:45p and I’m in the intensive care unit at the hospital, and just got out of triage. My husband is there, holding my hand, and I stare, incredulous, trying to piece everything together. I remember the ride. I remember my odometer showing 99. I remember the left hand turn and the golf course. I remember the car in the turn lane and the bicyclist. The only thing I can imagine happened is that the car coming towards me didn’t see me, and turned into/in front of me as I had the right of way. That’s the only thing I can piece together. I’m told there were eye witnesses. I remember back to being trained that cars at an intersection turning left in front of bikes going straight with the right-of-way are among the most common forms of motorcycle accidents. That was drilled into us.
I begin to berate myself—how did I miss this? I saw that car in the turn lane. I saw the bicyclist on the right. I had the right of way, had my hands cupped on the brake and clutch as you do coming up to any intersection, but this was as if it came out of nowhere. Maybe I was hit from behind? It was that surprising, as I didn’t even have what I would imagine is that moment a split second before you get in an accident where you see the car enter your path and you know something’s going to happen. This was just out of nowhere. My mind can’t make sense of it, and I keep apologizing to my husband in ICU over and over, he explains to me later.
See, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned some things about myself. One of those things is that I have a massive fear of being incompetent. I don’t know where it stems from, I don’t know if it’s healthy or unhealthy. I don’t know if it is a result of some childhood trauma or abuse, or what. But I know that I take being competent in the things that I like to do very seriously. So that I was apprently in a motorcycle accident two fucking days after having my bike delivered is tearing me up inside. I know motorcycle-riding is more dangerous than not-motorcycle-riding. But where did I go wrong? I was alert, geared up, focused on that last mile, scanning for danger. But I didn’t even see what hit me. I can’t stand this.
Shortly later, the surgeon comes in and tells me the news about my body. I have a fractured pelvis. Luckily, the full body CT scan shows no other fractures. I do have some abrasions on my left calf, including a pretty deep divot above my ankle—probably caused from the gear shifter, that now has several staples in it. They tell me to wiggle my toes, push down with my feet, pull up with my feet, and I’m able to barely do all these things, though painfully. They ask me the date and it’s becoming clearer, it’s August, but I don’t know the actual date. Early August I think.
The pain at this point is manageable, because I have a significant amount of morphine and oxycodone in my bloodstream. And as the warmth of the opiates do their magic, I begin to learn more. Continuing to berate myself—this is unbelievable. This can’t actually have happened, could it?
Soon after, a policeman comes to my ICU unit. He introduces himself and I’m thinking what is going on? Am I in trouble? Did I do something illegal? He says he’s with the victim’s advocate unit with the police department. “Victim?” I asked?
“Yes, I’m with the victim’s advocate program because you were a victim of a crime, not just an accident. A driver hit you broadside by not yielding to your right of way. Once police arrived, she was found to be uninsured. She was then given a field sobriety test, and though it’s inconclusive until we complete the blood labs as evidence, she showed a blood alcohol level of 0.2. The legal limit in this state is 0.08, and so was almost 3x over the legal limit. She was inebriated to a level where she was unable to conclude the rest of the sobriety test because she was unable to continue standing.”
I’m floored. I’m a victim? Could I have done something different? How did I miss seeing her fail to slow down and yield? How fast was she going? It’s not my fault? Does it matter? I’m the one with a broken pelvis and cannot walk. I don’t really care about titles at this point—victims and criminals, but I’m furious. So. So very angry at the gross negligence of this person choosing to get so hammered that they changed my whole life. Will I ever ride again? Will I have chronic pain for the rest of my life? Will my insurance cover all of my soon to be massive bills? (It’s sad that I even have to consider that last one living in the US, but, here we are.) I think about that bicyclist to my right. Would she have hit him if she hadn’t hit me? Bicyclists often fare worse than motorcyclists vs vehicles because they end up under the car instead of over it.
The police officer continues; that in my state, we have the same state law that covers DUI leading to significant bodily harm and leading to death. Whether the accident results in a death or not, it’s treated the same way. He explains that she is currently in being held in jail, and based on the evidence gathered and trial—if found guilty—will be facing between 2 and 20 years in prison, half of the final sentence ineligible for parole.
What. the. fuck?
Rewind a second. A few hours earlier, I was considering the nuances of the whether the Ducati’s desmodromic valves have a better torque band at the 3,000-4,000 RPM range, or above 4,500 RPM. And now I’m laying in an ICU unit, uncertain of my future, apparently a victim of a crime where someone—if convicted—will be serving a multi-year prison sentence. This is too much. I just start crying, and my husband consoles me.
On Tuesday the surgeon team takes me in to do pelvis reconstruction surgery. I get a plate and a pin to hold the two pieces together. Apparently my hips were spread 3 inches wider from the accident and resultant fracture. The surgery goes without issue, and I’m back in my ICU unit later that day, and it’s already feeling so much better. Prior to the surgery they tried to shift my hips to put a pillow under one side to avoid bed sores, and I screamed out the loudest cry I’ve ever had—it was the most excruciating pain to have your broken pelvis bones grind against each other. All of your spinal nerves coming together into your pelvis—I have no words. It was horrible.
But now I can sort of shift, and it doesn’t feel like somebody shoving a knife into your back. My shins feel like they have massive shin splints, and my calves have knots as if they both have deep charlie horses. My ankles are swollen, and my legs are all sorts of purple, yellow, green, and red with bruises.
Tuesday turns to Wednesday, and Wednesday night I’m now able to sort of roll to one side while laying flat. It feels so. good. to. not. sit. upright. Oh my god. My poor ass muscles are praising glory hallelujah of a different sitting position.
Wednesday turns into Thursday, and I’m well enough where I’m now discharged from the ICU, and get moved to a normal hospital room. As I’m waiting to get transfered, a wonderful ICU nurse named Angie gives me a sponge bath and braids my hair—my helmet hair had turned into four day old hospital bed hair. She has such a wonderful heart and cares so deeply for others. She talks about how she has two young boys and misses braiding girls’ hair. I tell her I only grew up with brothers so I also missed it. She makes a care package for me with lip balm and hand lotion and wipes and a toothbrush and toothpaste and all the little things that make you feel a little more human and a little less of a specimen. We hug and I’m wheeled away.
Friday comes around and the nurses want to try to get me to stand up with a walker. I’m told I cannot put any weight at all on my right leg for six weeks, while the pelvis heals and rebonds. None at all. They say I’ll be wheelchair-bound for six weeks while it heals. But for the left leg, that’s my pivot leg, so a walker and my left leg make a tripod, and with that we’re going to try to get from the bed to a chair. The goal of the day? Eat breakfast sitting up in a chair. It sounds so simple, but also so so difficult and unattainable.
The walker arrives, two nurses stand on either side of me. They help me to the edge of the bed, just sitting up makes my head spin a bit. Then the oxygen comes off my nose, I get a little more woozy. Then I slowly try to stand up, and get very light-headed. They sit me back down and decide to give a go later. We try again later in the day, this time with 5-10 minutes between each step. First sit up, take a break. Then take the oxygen off, take another break. Then stand up, and I make it. The moment I stand up with the walker, my legs are tingly, like they’ve been asleep for almost a week. I can feel the warm blood rush down to my ankles, and it feels strange, but good. I realize just how sore my knees and calves, and ankles, and back, and shoulders are when I stand. It’s ilke every joint is super super sore and strained. You know that adage of “I feel like I’ve been hit by a car”? Yeah, that.
I’m starting to piece everything together little by little. It makes sense—if I car cut in front of me and t-boned me as I was riding straight ahead, my bike would have impacted with the car, and the inflated front tire would likely act like a spring or a pillow and bounced the bike back (and probably up, due to the rake of the forks), and all that force is going right through the pegs and seat of the bike, into my feet, ankles, knees, and fundamentally pelvis. All that force has to go somewhere, and if your body keeps wanting to move forward
Then I start to think how much worse this could’ve gone. A bike being sprung from underneath you like an ultra powerful bucking bronco and flinging you over the car is one thing, but getting hit from the side and ending up under the car is something altogether more terrible. I’m so incredibly thankful that my head and my neck and my back are intact and seem to be working just fine, despite the soreness. This then makes me think back to some of the stories the ICU nurses had shared with vehicle vs. bicycle and vehicle vs. pedestrian injuries. They’re often just as bad or worse. I asked in what way, and when they described my injury as a single sprung pelvis with a fracture in it that is bolted back together, and then described what they call a “sawdust pelvis”, I could put the rest together in my head, and my stomach turned.
I make it to the chair, and I sit down veeeerrrrryyy sloooowwwwlly. Oh my god, I’m sitting upright. And I’m about to eat breakfast sitting up. I’m healing!
Later that day a nurse practicioner comes in to check the two drains that were inserted into my lower belly as part of the pelvis surgery. As part of the surgery, they gave me a c-section incision right above my pubic bone to do the reassembly work. And apparently pelvis fractures can bleed terribly, so they insert spring-loaded suction tubes in your lower abdomnial cavity to slowly draw out any pooled blood. I don’t have much after several days so they decide to remove one of the drains.
The nurse describes to me that this will be a very strange feeling. It’s not so much painful, but feels like a thread is being pulled out of your insides. Because, that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s a lttle smaller than the diameter of a clutch or brake line hose, and he pulls, and pulls, and pulls. And it’s like someone running dental floss through your insides. Out if finally comes, around six inches of tubing, and he gauzes me up. One’s still left, and if it’s also pretty empty tomorrow, we’ll remove that one next.
I’m able to sit up in that chair for one hour on the first day, and then am too tired so head back to bed. My terrible commute is chair, to standing up with a walker, to hobbling over three hops to the bed, turning around as elegantly (read: not elegantly) in the walker, and back up into the bed. I sleep for several hours. My hips are happy to have been moved and flexed a bit, but still so achy and sore, we keep the pain management regiment solid so I don’t slip into that horrible agony again.
Saturday comes, and I do the whole thing again, but this time I’m able to sit for 12 hours in the chair. I feel so human! I had multiple meals in that chair. I was able to spend time with visitors who came. I could sign for flowers. It was amazing. After the 12th hour, I’m exhuasted again, and need to lay back down.
And that leads to today, Sunday. One week from this fateful accident. Today I spent time with my husband and we both laid in the hospital bed watching Netflix—but most definitely not chilling. It was so nice to just spend time together, quietly. This whole ordeal put such a strain on us, from figuring out insurance, and logistics to “omg are you okay”, and also dealing with the emotional turmoil, that it was so nice to just....rest. Together. He’s been so strong through this, and hasn’t shown his own fear or emotion much, and we were able to process that today together. I’m starting to realize that a super important and often overlooked aspect of trauma injuries are the family members are often called upon to be strong, to arrange and organize, and they often don’t get a chance to grieve themselves. We just held each other and cried for a bit. It felt so good...We reconnected. I needed that so badly.
I am so incredibly sad that I’m going to miss the Babes Ride Out event in October. I’m so angry that someone’s choice to be negligent has completely changed my life and that of my family’s, and undoubetly, her own. To my knowledge, she’s still in jail. And I’m still in the hospital. It turns out neither of us would make it home that evening one short week ago. Luckily, we’re both still alive. And for that I’m the most grateful.
And for my bike? Well, it was towed to the local Ducati dealership who did an assessment. It’s totaled. The triple tree trellis frame—of which the Monster so proudly displays as part of its nakedness—completely split at the weld. The front forks were bent back so far the front tire was nearly embedded into the lower engine cylider. The front rim has a massive gash in it about 8 inches long, probably where it impacted with the car. And the handlebars were twisted forward about 90 degress and bent forward. I don’t know if my legs bent them forward when I flew forward, or if the car or momentum did it. But whatever bent those bars forward had some unbelieveable force.
Will I ride a motorcycle again? It’s really hard to say right now. I’m focused on healing. I desperately want to ride again. I’ve even started looking at spec differences between Ducati 696 Monsters and 797 Monsters while at the hospital. I want to, I love it so much, and I loved that bike so much. I don’t know what will happen when I someday have the opportunity to sit on one again. Will I be able to swing my leg over the saddle, or push the starter button, or put it in gear, or release the clutch? Will it be totally natural and no big deal? Will I experience PTSD? I have no idea. I know right now I’m focused on healing and learning how to walk again.
Please be safe out there you all. The love of riding is strong with us women riders, and please do everything you can to avoid someone taking that away from you. Take safety courses. Learn how to emergency brake in a parking lot. Get a super bright modulating front headlight so people can’t miss you at an intersection—even annoyingly so. Get one of those 120dB airhorns that is loud as hell. Make it so people cannot miss you.
Also, if anyone here is looking for a Babes Ride Out ticket, I’ll sell it for half-price. I promise it will come with the deepest of love and I’ll be riding there alongside you in spirit.