Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bent scooter and broken ankle

In September 2008, while riding down Market Steet (San Francisco) to work, my wife's rear tire blew out. She did not have a jack for her -- it was in my bike. Guillermo, of Lambretta Works, pulled over on his Lammy and gave her a hand. 

The following week Lisa was hit by a stray motorcycle, which broke her ankle and rolled the frame of her scooter's floorboard of her Bajaj Chetak.  Not the best seven days of her life.
A car was a full stop, with its emergency blinkers on, on Market Street just above the Castro. My wife stopped behind the car. She looked behind her and saw a motorcycle closing in to fast and the rider went down and was separated from his bike. He slid into the median and the bike slid towards her. She dropped her scoot into gear to move, but was hit before she could release the clutch. The motorcycle slid for quite a distance at quite a speed and bounced off of Lisa's scooter. The problem is it hit her ankle first, because her legs were down and she was at a complete stop.

Our estimate was done by Barry at SF Scooter Center and is for about $900. The bike would also benefit from a tune-up. Being that these bikes are not super valuable and our Bajaj Chetaks are our utilitarian transports, we likely will not have too much work done on the bike.

More to follow when we decide what to do with the bike. 

In the mean time, Lisa's ankle has gotten a lot better. There is a chip of bone that small and the ligaments are holding it in place and scar tissue is forming around it. She had to wear a brace for a month and use crutches. She is pretty lucky. I was able to ride the bike home.  The motorcycle rider was luck as well and was able to walk after the accident.  Clearly, it was his fault.  He lost control of his bike.

Due to the fact that the Bajaj is far from a rare desirable scooter, it doesn't make much sense to overly invest in the repair of the body work and paint, which could be $1000 to have that done; therefore Barry G. of SF Scooter Centre recommended just hammering it out.

I took my first crack at hammer and dolly today, after researching it a bit.  Note: for truly "moving metal" leave that to the artists!  Heat, cold, and a bunch of other stuff beyond me go into that.

Overall, my goal was to only clean up the dent, not have a perfectly restored piece.

The secret is not to hit hard and to keep the support weight stable.

Overall, for my purposes I am happy with the result and more importantly so is my wife, who owns and rides this Chetak.

The floor rail mat will cover this spot so to the naked eye people won't even know it ever happened, unless they lift the floor rail mat up or are beneath the bike.

Now all that is left is to sand the areas of paint that surround the bare metal. I will then put a coat of touch up paint on the bare metal to avoid rust in the future.

1 comment:

AtLarge said...

Sorry to hear of your wifes mishap. Fortunately, it wasn't any worse for either of them. That dent to the Bajaj is just like patina on an antique. It just adds character. ;^)