Real Classic - - Letters - John Leigh mem­ber

I wanted to say thanks to all of you. The ed­i­to­rial team, the vol­un­tary con­trib­u­tors and the live­stock that make RC my read­ing of choice. Es­pe­cially right now, be­cause I can­not ride. Af­ter 43 years and half a mil­lion miles of mo­tor­cy­cling, I had the Big Off. A slow speed shunt flung me into some street fur­ni­ture.

Re­sult: bro­ken neck, bro­ken back, 10 bro­ken ribs, bro­ken wrist, punc­tured lung, dam­aged kid­neys. Twelve days in ICU. Al­most died. I am lucky. I am alive and nei­ther paral­ysed nor brain dam­aged. My con­sul­tant says my neck and back are fine, my ribs are heal­ing well. I am walk­ing, talk­ing and eat­ing curry.

Wot I ave lern­did:

Wear good kit. In my case 1.4mm leathers from Held, with D30 ar­mour. A top of range, brand new Arai was crunched and the visor torn off, but no face or brain dam­age. AlpineS­tars boots and gloves stopped the leg break­ing and lim­ited any wrist dam­age to a mi­nor bone. The am­bu­lance crew had trou­ble cut­ting this kit off me, and re­marked on how tough it was

Be fit. At 61 I was gym-fit and pretty strong. This was, in the eyes of those who know, a ma­jor fac­tor. Mus­cles pro­tect bones and or­gans, plus they pro­vide pro­teins for or­gan re­cov­ery

Have mates. Peo­ple have come to see me, of­ten­times from dis­tance. They’ve kept me sane, made me laugh and stopped me mither­ing

Men­tioned last but al­ways com­ing first, the First Lady. She’s nursed me, lifted me, smiled at me, washed me... There can be only One Dur­ing this spell of en­forced in­ac­tion, I have looked for­ward to, read avidly and then reread un­til dog-eared, my copy of RealClas­sic. I don’t ride a clas­sic at the mo­ment be­cause I do 12,000 miles a year which kind of dic­tates a mod­ern bike: mine was a Tro­phy 1200. But I love clas­sics and was restor­ing a Guzzi when the ac­ci­dent hap­pened. I love the scene, the peo­ple and the magazine that con­nects us all to­gether. So thanks a mil­lion for mak­ing my‘worst three months ever’ slightly more bear­able.

One love

You’re wel­come, John. Glad we could help in a tiny way, and thanks for the ex­cel­lent ad­vice. Hope to see you back in the sad­dle soon!

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