A Motorcycle Collision and Lessons Learned

A Motorcycle Collision

 Two days ago my wife and I decided to go to town to get a few necessities. It was not too much so we just took our motor bike. We did what we needed to and on the way out of town I accidentally passed up the ATM. I meant to stop by and get some money. Ahead of us was the Municipality where we could turn around and I can also check to see if I have any mail at the community post office from the office of Veterans Affairs which I am counting on as well.

I turn my turn signal on and get to the left side of the lane, look in my mirror and over my shoulder. There was a bike coming but he is far enough back and there is plenty of room to my right for him to go by. I start making my left turn and BAMM! He hit me hard, dropping my bike with my wife and I to the ground. The first thing I said before hitting the ground was, “Mother F#%ker!” I was really pissed off for the moment that I lay there. I can’t believe this dude just hit me. I could still hear his bike sliding along the concrete and then a sudden crunch of his bike against the curb of the drive way that leads into the municipality. I looked up and no one was moving at first. My first thought of the situation was not good. My bike is a 2015 Kawasaki Rouser 200NS and his was a much older Kawasaki CT 100 Bajaj. 

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2015 Kawasaki Rouser 200NS

 

 I slid my leg out from under my bike and Asked my wife if she was ok. Thankfully she only had a decent scrape on the elbow. I looked down at my bike, the turn signal was still flashing and it was still in 1st gear with the rear tire still turning. I switched the master power switch off that is next to the throttle shutting off everything.

I looked at the other bike and seen that he was transporting 2 college girls with him. I looked at my wife and I told her to check the girls immediately as I pick my bike up from the road and get it out of the way.  The driver of the other bike was ok. The girls were a bumped up, scared, and maybe in shock a bit. The Locals here are the most helpless, useless people I have ever seen. The all gathered around to watch and get in the way, but none lifted a finger to really help the girls. They are excellent spectators and love drama but useless otherwise. The local Hospital was only 50 feet away so we had them taken there immediately to be checked. The worst of the deal was some bruising and maybe a concussion because they were not wearing helmets. The extent of my injuries was a scraped up Knee, shin, and elbow. None of which I was concerned about. I dealt with worse in the past and lived, my concern was for the girls on the other bikes.

Between the Hospital and the municipality was the police station. We went there to do a report on what happened. The other driver had no license, no insurance, a dented front rim, and no Money. He looked scared as hell and I know he would be screwed. So my wife and I covered the girls’ medical expenses and the rest was on him. He was speeding and did not observe the right away of the vehicle in front of him since it is a single lane.  The only damage on my bike was a broken after-market hand guard that I installed about 6 months ago, Front left turn signal housing came apart, and my clutch lever broke in half. I was able to snap the signal housing back together. The hand guard was a wise move as my hand did not get injured.

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Busted Hand Guard and Clutch Lever

 

The lessons to be learned from this is to Observe other vehicles, pay attention to turn signals and brake lights, observe the right of way of other riders and drivers, wear helmets and other safety gear, and be insured. Your safety and those riding with you comes first above all else. Don’t be in a hurry through town or in congested areas. Try to learn some basic first aid as most of the Caramoan community was helpless and only getting in the way. If you can add features to your bike to improve your own safety, do so. 

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Minor case of road rash

 

I am 38 years old. Been driving since I was 16. I have driven everything from Motorcycles to Army Tanks. This is my first accidental collision with a motor vehicle. I guess it happens at some point or another whether you’re at fault or not. I guess it was my turn. Thank God No one was severely injured or died. Best we can do is to do our best to be prepared in case such an event like this happens. 

 

David Lee Martin

Functional US Army Veteran

I wonder who….

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Day Two: “Mystery” – Manipulate Light

Seems every other day more and more of the decal on my bike gets picked apart. I have no garage so I park the bike under my balcony. As of yet I have not caught the person. Maybe a kid. I live in a poor village and many kids in the evening watch tv at our door or through the window. I don’t mind being courteous to the less fortunate. Least they could do is respect me and my bike.  

David Lee Martin 
Functional US Army Veteran 

Riding is Bliss

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I love riding my bike around the Caramoan Peninsula. My bike small compared to me, very small, it’s only 200 cc. When I ride it takes my stress and worries away. I just focus on the wind, road, and obstacles in the way. I can enjoy myself and appreciate the beautiful  environment around me.

My 2015 Kawasaki Rouser 200NS

David Lee Martin 

Functional US Army Veteran 

Living In Paradise

Life in Caramoan.

 

Having left my job in Kuwait and came to the Philippines to live with my wife Kristine; I would have to say it was a pretty wise move. While in Kuwait I was getting up at 5 am to go to work on the US Army Base and not getting home until almost 9 pm, 6 days a week. I had no time for cooking, my wife was busy with her job as well, so she did not always have the time to cook, we also did not have enough time for each-other. Almost every day I was buying my meals from a fast food joint or from the frozen microwave section in the store. A very bad unhealthy diet of Sodium and GMO supplied food and I knew it. I weighed up to 137 kg (302 Pounds US), at least that’s where I caught myself one time. I was starting to have very high blood pressure. Walking 3 flights of stairs made me feel like my heart was gonna jump out of my chest and the pain in my back and shoulder was unreal. Work stress and lifestyle was taking its’ toll on me.

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Being in Caramoan, Philippines has maybe saved my life, well, not maybe… I am sure it has. I am living healthier. I am eating Organic vegetables, seafood, and not too much fatty Meats raised on hormones. I have time to walk around and to spend time with my wife and her family. I can relax as I want or spend time in our Garden. I been here 10 months now. I have gradually lost weight. Most of it within the first 4 months of being here. I am now 108 kg (238 pounds US). My blood pressure is normal now. Stairs are no longer a problem. My goal is to get between 95 to 100 kg. (210-220 Pounds). I now climb Mount Caglago occasionally to a monument of Mother Mary, Over 500 steps without suffering. I am definitely sweating a lot, It is quite a workout, but my heart is not jumping out my chest.

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Occasionally we go to the beaches or Island hopping here. It’s a very beautiful place to be. Caramoan does have a tourism industry but it is very small. It is not over taken by foreigners like Boracay or Palawan. The people here are friendly and hospitable. The kids are behaved and not so much for trouble making. I like to hop on my motorcycle and just cruise from one side of the Peninsula to the other. Motorsycle’s are the primary mode of transportation around here and I had to get me one. I have a 2015 Kawasaki Rouser 200 NS.

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In town there are a variety of shops; meat shops, hardware, vegetable markets, souvenir shops, and General trading shops. There is a very nice and old Spanish Catholic church. There are no Mosques here which is great. Keeps it peaceful here. Transportation is easily accessible and traffic is not insane.

Buses run daily from Naga City, Bicol to Caramoan and vice versa. You can also come by boat which is very scenic as well. It has a great view of the Mayon Volcano from across the Lagonoy Bay. To do that you must take a white UV express van from Naga City to Sabang port really early in the morning. I recommend leaving Naga City around 4 to 5 AM. From Sabang you will get on a Harry boat. It will take you to Guijalo Port where tricycle drivers, jeepneys, or the Hotel/resort driver will transport you to Caramoan proper or to what ever destination you require here. I have even seen some diehard back-packers foot it in.

 

If you are traveling on a budget I recommend the Istaran Hotel. It is a 2 star. Rooms start around 1000 Philippine Peso. It is centrally located down town, WiFi, Air conditioning, friendly staff, kitchen with a dining area in lobby. They also have a Generator for during times of Brown outs. They can arrange local trips for Island Hopping and snorkeling. They can be reached at istaran@ymail.com or see their WordPress site at istaran.wordpress.com. I am not getting anything for putting them out there. I just personally know some of the staff and I would recommend them.

I have taken up some hobbies since being here. I am growing vegetables like Squash and variety of Chili Peppers. I tried tomatoes but they never do well for me. The one breed of tomato that did grow well happened to be a favorite for birds, they keep eating all the blossoms. I started some seeds from Cacao pods (chocolate). I now have about 30 Cacao trees growing. I did the same with Papaya.

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I also thought I might try writing some books. So I decided to start this blog as writing practice, to better perfect my craft in writing. Feel free to read my other posts, be a critic and let me know what you think and how I am doing. If you have an Idea for a blog subject throw it at me.

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Food here is great. I really love to eat! There is nothing better than being able to eat what you want and not feel bad for it. I love the natural rice, Adobo’s, Sinigang, Tinola, Fried Fish, and Pancit. There are no GMO or fast-food chains in Caramoan which is good for me, not even a Jollibee… I love cheese burgers and pizza; the lack there-of has helped me to stay healthy. Everything around here is fresh and tasty. Fruit is growing everywhere. If you are someone who is Over-weight and unhealthy, I feel this is a good place to recover yourself without the use of Dietary supplement or drugs. I refused Blood pressure meds in Kuwait because I did not want to become dependent on them. Now I am down to normal, no need. Big Pharma does not create cures, just more Patients.

 

 

Take time to visit Caramoan. I love this place. It’s my home away from home. I can not Imagine living anywhere else right now.
David Lee Martin
Functional US Army Veteran

KAWASAKI ROUSER 200NS Motorcycle

Living in the Philippines can be crazy when it comes to motor transportation. Many people here  drive wrecklessly and without care to others on the road. Having no kids with my wife yet and no plans to haul any major items myself I decided to just get a motorcycle for the time being.
I am a tall guy. I am 6 feet 4 inches tall. My weight is now 112 kg. I was up to 137 prior to coming to the Philippines. I was looking for a bike that was not expensive, had a good seat heighth, and enough power to push me up and down the Mountains where we live.

I looked at the Yamaha FZ 16 and the SZ 16. Both had the 153cc engine in them but had a big price gap between the two. I looked at Honda and it seems like you were buying the name and they are not much for size or looks in quality. Then I took a look at Kawasaki. I seen the Barako’s, CT 100, Boxer, and the Rouser 135, 180, and the 220. The dealer said they had a bigger body model coming and showed me the specs on the KAWASAKI ROUSER 200NS. Higher seat, good fuel capacity, 6 speed with a top end speed around 160 kmh, and recommended weight capacity of 130 kg… more than myself. I was happy to find it. I was only disappointed in there being only the 2 color schemes, black and yellow. The turning radius is really wide as well.

After buying the bike and familiarizing myself with it I would have to say that I am quite pleased over all. It gets my wife and I around to where we need to go safely. Even we exceed the recommended weight together the bike still handles well. Excellent in braking distance. The KAWASAKI ROUSER 200NS IS Great in Power and Torque  for having a small engine. For anyone looking for a great deal on a bike in the Philippines and getting better than you paid for, the KAWASAKI ROUSER 200NS is the motorcycle to get. I paid 98,000 CASH Philippine Peso for mine with about an additional 3,000 for insurance and registration at Premium Bikes in Naga City, Bicol. Not A bad shop and good people to do business with.

If you like to dress your bikes up for looks or technology there are groups all throughout the Philippines on Facebook. I have joined A few and I have went through some of the vendors selling goods in the groups. Most are reliable, just pay attention to who is doing what.

I personally recommend the KAWASAKI ROUSER 200NS, but I hope everyone finds what is right for their riding style and stay safe. Don’t  drink and ride. Be responsible, wear a helmet,  safety gear when trip requires, and do not get complacent on the Philippine roadways. Keep your eyes and ears open for observing others, others are not looking out for you.