Diesel Spill, sliding, sliding, bang!
November 30th, 2008
I can’t think of anything that has enraged me in my life so far, as much as my first motorcycle accident of my long and illustrious 25 year biking career. For the last 5 years I have been riding 80 miles per day commuting into Hammersmith from North Herts.
So diesel spills are nothing new, I’ve been dodging them pretty much every day for 5 years. By the way, what the hell goes on, on the A40/A3220 roundabout at White City.
It’s like a rainbow pattern skating rink in the wet, an everyday diesel fest. Anyway, it was a dry sunny morning, I had picked up my Brother and we were off, heading for work. I came off a clear dual carriageway roundabout on to the dual carriageway banked over a bit, nothing too rash. Then smack I was on my arse sliding towards the centre barrier and faster than I would like, the three month old FZ-1 sliding along ahead of me and my Bro somewhere behind.
It’s funny, the whole thing probably only lasted a few seconds but I felt like it was happening in slow motion, I remember thinking, I need to slow down or I’m going to be meeting up with the barrier (it didn’t look too inviting), so I lied flat on my back, which thank f$ck did the trick, I jumped up looking for Broski. Thankfully, he was up and heading for the central reservation. The realisation that had previously crossed my mind, that any number of bone crushing vehicles could be flying up behind, ready to send me into oblivion, so in a brisk manner similar, I would imagine, to those nutters in Spain with a raging bull fast approaching, I too was off to the relative safety of the central reservation.
Within seconds the boys in blue arrived. “What happened here then?” looking very disapproving. “I slipped on that flipping diesel” I retort, getting the impression they thought I lost it on the corner. So off they go to investigate. “You’re right we’ve called out the Highway Agency to clean it up” as the other one puts cones around the spill. The proceedings from then go on pleasantly, the policeman tells me he has just brought a bike after many years driving cars and this is putting him off! Good Luck!
The computer in the cop car was an eye opener, the whole time I was giving my statement the screen was scanning and reporting the status of every car that passed. One came up stolen when my brother was in the car, the guy got all agitated as they can only transmit when the channel is clear and another colleague had the line, stopping him reporting it. What a ridiculous radio system.
By this time the adrenaline was wearing off and was starting to get really pissed off about the whole situation.
So, from what I understand (please correct me) some truck drivers overfill their fuel tanks with the deluded impression that they won’t have to fill up again as soon. But of course what they are actually doing is a total waste of time, fuel, money, bikes, bikers lives, police, ambulances, nurses and doctors time and the associated cost, as they spill the diesel on every corner they go round.
So, the recovery guy turns up and winches our once beautiful ex-£7,000+ bike from under the barrier up on to the truck and gives us a lift to the nearest town. We discuss the spill, which carries on to the next roundabout, he tells us its probably the Highway Agency lorries as their depot is off of that roundabout. How infuriatingly ironic is that.
By this time the apathetic, matter of fact manner of everyone is really getting to me, no one cares that due to some idiot, not only have I trashed a perfectly good, brand new, shiny bike but I could have easily have killed my brother. I can’t come to terms with how this can go on.
Surely, fuel tanks can / should be sealed. The whole time we were waiting for the recovery guy the bike was on its side with a full tank, I mean 5 miles from filling it up and not a drop was spilled.
And the culprits aren’t just old privately owned skip lorries, its the Highways Agency, major bus companies. I know the Guys...