We don't think about gravity much. It sticks us to the road. Its friend, centripetal force, pins us in the twisties. And it will make your bike hit the pavement when you forget to put the kickstand down. And you know you will, if you haven't already.
So, I was capering about to Flogging Molly last Saturday, and stepped on a piece of waxed paper that put me down on the tile before I knew what was going on. I slammed down hard on hip and elbow.
Gravity said 'hi,' and reminded me of its presence. Now I am gimping around pondering elements of The Fall.
I haven't fallen over very often in the past 30 years of riding. And when I did, it usually wasn't my fault. Except when I forgot to put the kickstand down, which I have done exactly twice ever.
There was the time I put my foot down on Texas Street at a signal, and stepped into a pothole. You know when you take a step, only you miscalculate and jar your spine? Like when you're taking people around Tijuana and fail to notice none of the curbs are the same height? It was like that, and I fell over.
Wasn't moving, the bike just slowly went left and kept on going. I rolled free and glared at the pothole. It was at least six inches deep. When you are 5'4" six inches can make a difference. YOU MEN GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER! You know who you are…
Gravel is a good way to kiss the ground. I take the back way to my friend's house in Lemon Grove; he lives on a hill and the short route winds up through the neighborhood. There's a corner on a bluff that sheds gravel. It's a tight curve. Go off the road there, and you wind up rolling into a field, fortunately. That bluff and section of road is a hazard, but try to get the county to do anything. It's easier to go the long way.
There was a rare day when I went camping with a pack of cops at Cuyamaca. Had my friend on the back. Sailed into our campground, he tried to put his foot down. Yeah. THAT kind of passenger! Bike started to lose balance so I put my foot out, skidded in gravel, fell over and wrenched my spine. Gravel. It's not your friend.
We don't really need to discuss ice, do we? Good. I have ridden in snow. Suffice it to say, not a great idea on two wheels.
If you're new to a bike with stuff sticking out, like heads or a motor guard, cut wide around cars in parking lots. I don't know how this happened, but I hooked someone's bumper with a head when I was new on my Boxer Twin. Went down and then around like one of those bugs that get in your picnic beverage and motorboat around in a circle. I did that and almost wanted to keep doing it because it was funny. Scraping the paint, though, not funny at all.
There are a lot of ways to drop a bike, but it's the slow, negligent low speed not-paying-attention stuff that'll get you.