NORTH AMERICA TOUR

Patrick Edenfield - Jan 12 , 2023

Motorcycle Are Dangerous

The Alpha Omega Story…so far

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Ivividly remember the day I bought my first motorcycle, a blacked-out Honda Fury with a bunch of go-fast parts installed. I traveled some distance to get it, so I rented a trailer and pulled her home. Along the drive, I called my dad. We spoke for a few minutes and at the end of the conversation he told me to call him after my first ride. The next day I called him ecstatic, and he said, “Now you know why a dog sticks his head out the window of a car”. We shared a laugh, and just like that, I was hooked. Like most new bike owners, I rode every chance I had. And like most new bike owners I had no proper training, but off I went. Mountain roads were always my favorite, especially in western North Carolina where vehicles seemed to be more observant of motorcycles. Years later, I decided to try my luck with sport bikes and after six long months of owning a decade-old GSXr750, I became fully qualified to ride a BMW S1000RR. I was that good! The commute to work was an exhilarating one mile of subdivision intersections and stop signs, followed by another mile of four-lane main road…intersections a plenty. But it only took one.

Left-Turn Drama

On a beautiful Wednesday morning, my commute started strong through the stop and go section of my subdivision. I hit the main road and was met with a surprisingly empty four lanes. The second nearly empty intersection I came to had a red stop light about 50 yards ahead of me. I rolled off the throttle and as I let the bike slow, the light turned green. Just as I noticed the green light, a car in the oncoming turning lane noticed I was going slow. 200 hp motorcycles are fast (for those who may be unaware). It doesn’t take much throttle to propel a big bike from 30mph to 60mph. It also doesn’t take any time at all to cover distance quickly. A head-on collision with my front wheel and their passenger front tire was one of the last things I remember until I came-to rolling down the road only to black out again before coming to a stop, 215 ft from the point of impact, according to the police report.

Poster Boy

I looked like a motorcycles are dangerous commercial during my tenure in the ICU and beyond. Unconscious, limbs mobilized, with a resting heart rate of 120 bpm. Sleeping through that first bit probably wasn't the worst thing that could have happened. Four years, almost 30 surgeries, one year in a wheelchair, one year of crutches or a cane, and two years and counting learning how to move and adapt to a different way of life. Here we are. I knew I wanted another bike and had some time to kill, so I started a thorough research of spec sheets. When I was confident I picked out 'THE BIKE', the hunt was on. A few months later I found what I was after, and still confined to a chair went to the dealership. Now, going to a dealership and asking about a motorcycle I clearly couldn't ride was comical to me, but I see how it could have confused others. So, after I calmly explained to the sales guy the chair was not permanent, we agreed on a price, and I had a new motorbike. It was quite some time before I was able to ride and my new bike sat for over a year, just waiting. When I was given the okay to walk as tolerated, my confidence turned to hesitation when I thought about that first ride. On Thanksgiving afternoon I was mentally prepared and rolled out. My ride started strong through the stop and go section of my neighborhood and when I hit the main road intersection, and there was less traffic going right than left, so I went right. Stiff, nervous, and a little anxious, but that’s expected, right? Not even a mile down the road, a car approached a stop sign from a side street on my right. I panicked. Stabbed the brakes and almost came to a stop. I slowly rolled past the car stopped at the stop sign as the driver was probably wondering what I was doing. When I made it back to the safety of the sidewalk on my right, I went directly home. Disappointed but not defeated, I hit google thinking there had to be a riding school on a racetrack (which I had never been to before), that I could attend and get my bike legs back. First search result, Yamaha Champions Riding School. I clicked the link and read through the interactive website. I was going. Did some more digging, found the price, and blacked out. To this day we don’t know whether the blackout was accident related. 😉I bought a blue canopy since I was going to a Yamaha school and put a pristine GSX-R 1000 underneath it. Yea, I was still that good. What took place over those two days of on-rack training, with that group of instructors…these were my new coaches.

Ouch, That Hurts

At my first school, there were very few body positions I could get into correctly, but I stuck with it, and they coached me through what I couldn’t yet do. When I write stuck with it, what I mean is I rode with Champschool as a student for two years. They changed their approach with me as I got healthier and was able to move more freely but the principles and champions’ habits always stayed the same. Champschool introduced me to N2 trackdays, and I had a wealth of knowledge to draw from, and an incredible amount of support available to me. Wheelchair to novice, novice to advanced... Really???? Yes. My goal in getting back on a motorcycle was to conquer the thing that conquered me. I have a big fear of heights, so I jump out of airplanes to try and curb that fear. It’s just how “we” are wired. And although I am still afraid of heights, I now know that I can put my leg over a motorcycle, any motorcycle, and ride in control through any conditions (relatively speaking, of course). I can throw my leg over a bike, settle my nerves with my mantra, and go out with a plan, wherever out may be that day.

Pay Back Time

Alpha Omega is for those racers, coaches, and mentors, who taught me that falling did not have to be a part of the learning curve. That I could get on a motorcycle and not be fearful, going out with a plan and 100 points of focus every time I ride. How many points of focus are headphones with music playing worth? I don’t know, but I had headphones in and on the day I went down. Could it have been avoided? Alpha Omega was created for those who give themselves to be a part of the solution. Proper information, proper training, practical skills in real-world applications. What started out as a thank you to my friends and coaches who gave me back my ability and confidence to ride, has since grown to be a movement of positivity, family, and friendships. Alpha Omega clothing is inspired by the riders and coaches we sponsor and is sold so the proceeds can go back into their programs and keep them doing what they love. It’s only fair, they did the same for me. With four National Championships in two short years, through four classes…we’re here! The atmosphere created is as strong as the riders we support and is proof that when things are done with the right people, and for the right reasons, it’s hard to fail.

We live big. We train hard. We ride like champions. Welcome to Alpha Omega.

Racers are born. Legends. Are. Built.

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