What happened?

Leading up to a race meet in Darwin (Hidden Valley Motorsport Complex) I was participating in race practice the days leading up to the meet.  I had never raced Hidden Valley before and loved it immediately.

The track was very physically demanding (I didn’t love that so much as my current aerobic activity includes chasing a two year old who is streaking around the house without his nappy) and technical which we all love. It also has the longest straight ever which means braking into turn one is an exercise in torture physically and scary as shit.  I remember asking my husband who is my ‘god’ where motorbikes are concerned as he builds them for a living, “how hard can I pull that front brake lever??”.  He smirked and said “until it breaks, which it won’t”.

So I did a half day of practice where my husband babysat me showing me proper race line, apexes and where I should be entering and exiting corners for maximum speed.  We were having a ball.

Day 2 I arrived at the track excited to build on what I had learned from my babysitting sessions and went out for my first session.  Unfortunately I did not even make one lap.  I made it all the way around to the straight in a group of four bikes and turned the throttle.  Whilst I didn’t need to go flat out I needed to get some reasonable pace up to start to manage braking into turn one.

Unfortunately a bike in front of me was hiding the hazard that was about to change my life.  Up ahead at 3/4 of the straight length was a bike with an engine failure who had wandered onto race line (race line is a small section of the track where the fastest riders place themselves to optimise their speed around the track – the fastest line).  Now this (wandering onto race line) is something that never happens and should never happen. There were also no flags on the straight warning us of danger.  So I rang the neck of each gear hitting approximately 200kph at the top of fourth when the bike in front darted to the right of the failed bike (toward pit wall) and I took the normal option of going left into the open track.  Unfortunately the first bike passing him at 200kph on his right very close made him move suddenly left and he clipped me.  There is very little avoidant action that can be done at that speed.

Imagine travelling at 200kph on the freeway and a car slowly backs out of a driveway right into your path.  It was all but impossible for me to avoid him.  I am very lucky he did only ‘clip’ me as had I hit him dead on, I would most certainly have been killed.

My husband who watched everything from pit wall (right there) said he saw a red bike ‘explode’ and then he realised it was me.  Can you imagine?

I hit the rider | bike and was thrown off onto the track. My bike kept going and I slid for about 100m on the track.  My Arlen Ness leathers lived up their reputation and saved a lot of me.

Unfortunately the impact (how many times have I said ‘unfortunately’ kill me) caused massive trauma to my brachial plexus nerves (hence the dead arm), broke my arm, separated my clavicular joint and blew up my knee.

Here is the poor old girl post accident.


About Me

I am a 42 year old mother of two who suddenly finds herself with only one good arm.  Before my accident I lived a fairly full life chasing my children (husband included), working full time in a senior executive position of a large company, managing a team of 17 people and a portfolio spanning the whole country.

I am also a Solicitor and hold other qualifications relevant to my work. However being a lawyer is not my job, law was just a lifelong goal which I was very proud to achieve.  For fun I ride and compete my horses at the highest level and my husband and I also race motorcycles.  I race an R6 (Yamaha 600) and we have more motorbikes than you can poke a stick at.

My accident put an irreconcilable dent in those hobbies.  However I do have a friend who still races and he is missing both his arm and leg on one side so all hope is not lost.  In fact I sound a little defeatist by comparison.

I am loud and try to be funny. I am a brunette, tall with green eyes.  I love to laugh and I hope my humour carries me through the journey I am now on.  Like it or not I am now disabled.  But that is ok as I am not dead. I get to watch my babies grow up, smell the roses, kiss my gorgeous husband and do so much more than many others. Life goes on.