Broken wrist a small price to pay for no dings on brand-new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650

“All okay?” the doctor asked the anaesthesiologist.

“Yep. I gave him 30mg,” he replied.

“Eh… bukan 20mg ke... (eh, not 20mg?)”

While all this was going on, I was flat on my back on a cold slab of metal in the operating theatre of the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Just 13 hours earlier, I had broken my left wrist, trying to stop a 214kg lump of iron and steel from tipping over.

I had just pulled up into my underground parking spot on my newest acquisition, a Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 after completing a post-delivery, shakedown hop. I pulled up into the parking space, went through the shutdown process, and extended the kickstand. Except that I hadn’t.

You can’t really fight the laws of physics. I felt the entire dead weight of the bike as it made clear its intention to lie on its side. The only thing keeping it upright at that point were my arthritic- and osteoporosis-ravaged left knee and wrist. The odds were not good.

As the entire 214kg of pure iron and steel bore down on my left wrist, it finally succumbed to the inevitability of the moment. I heard a faint ‘pop’ and felt a searing pain in my wrist. It suddenly went limp. I could not hold up a 130-250gsm piece of paper, much less 214kg of motorcycle. In motorcycling parlance, this is known by its technical, and highly descriptive term of ‘jatuh bodoh’ (stupid fall).

Back in the operating theatre, before I could say “Hey wait… let’s talk about this for a minute”, the 30mg of pure ketamine kicked me like a horse in heat. Suddenly, the bright sterile pastel green walls and the blinding, shiny lights of the operating theatre morphed and coalesced into swirls of bright blue, orange, purple, and Rela-green digital camo patterns. Sine waves emanated from the left and right, merging with the kaleidoscopic swirls in a psychedelic, hypnotic cadence, which added to my confusion.

Just then, go-go girls popped out from out of the ether, gyrating their hips to the strains of Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’ and German-techno-pop duo Modern Talking’s ‘Cheri Cheri Lady’. Hendrix knew what he was talking about. Thomas Anders and Dieter Bohlen, not so much. Me, I was caught in the middle of the opening credits of a bad Austin Powers movie.

I sensed, rather than felt, my left hand being propped upright. Then, a weird, slightly disconcerting sensation, like it was being vacuum-sucked and cling-wrapped like a frozen Christmas turkey. I could barely form a coherent sentence by now, so I just hung back a enjoyed my acid trip, funded wholly by the Malaysian taxpayer. By the time I was discharged at 11am on May 19, 2023, my left radius and ulna had been properly set, negating the need for additional surgery. My entire left arm was in a cast. The whole adventure, from start to finish, with medication, cost me RM5.

The third day, after the purple haze had finally evaporated from my brain, I hobbled to the basement carpark to check on my three-day-old Royal Enfield Interceptor 650. I was ready to face the aftermath of the fall – most likely a dinged fuel tank, bent clutch levers and foot pegs, or worse, bent S&S slip-on pipes. My close friend, Maej Adiputra, who is built like an ox, had used brute strength to lift the 500lb bike soon after the tip-over, even as I was writhing in pain and bawling my eyes out on the floor of the basement carpark.

Takde apa, bang (No worries, brother),” he had told me after he lifted the bike back up and helped steady me after my fall. Somehow, I didn’t believe him.

I turned on the flashlight on my phone and went through the entire left side with a fine toothcomb. With the exception of small abrasions on the left side mirror and the doublestand, the bike was completely unscathed. My left wrist broke the fall. Fair price, I’d say.

So, for the next three-and-a half months, I was grounded. I couldn’t even ride Little Nellie, my diminutive little Vespa. The doctors had warned me to let my wrist heal properly, or risk having it break again, which would most likely mean that I would have to kiss motorcycling goodbye and pick up cross-stitching, instead.

The day the cast came off, I was overjoyed. My left hand was not, though. It had atrophied to such an extent that I could not even hold up a tube of toothpaste.

What followed was almost a year of physiotherapy to enable me to once again squeeze the clutch lever, and finally, really ride that beast.

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