Dennis Tye - One Legged BikerBy: Dennis Tye

Injured Rider and Author of The Last Ride Strange title huh? Let me start at the beginning. On August 18th it was a beautiful day in Colorado and I was on my bike returning home from work. I was in a motorcycle accident and SURVIVED and am blessed to tell my story. Bits and pieces are pierced in my memory, I saw the SUV break to make a left turn, I saw the SUV hit the gas hard to get out of the way of traffic and I remember trying to goose it to avoid a crash.

Dennis Tye with friendsI began spinning… spinning… spinning. The thing I remember the most is severe pain and telling someone who stopped to call my girlfriend and son. Soon cops, paramedics, an ambulance arrived and before I knew what was happening doctors staring at me and my left leg was gone. This is the story of the aftermath, the people who influenced me and Life After an Accident.

The pain the next morning after enduring extensive surgery is unimaginable. I was in a hospital bed with IVs sticking in my arms, loopy and in pain between the 2 morphine drips and pain pills, I was ingesting one hell of a pain cocktail. When I opened my eyes, there was my brother who had fl own in from California, my son had flown in from Utah and my girlfriend was there holding my hand with a very nervous smile. What my family endured for the next 3 months is more than any family should have to go through.

Between 2 hospitals and a rehabilitation facility, my daily routine was lying in bed and healing. There was nothing else to do except take pills, wait for surgeries, and learn to live with one leg. Three months of recovery and I was finally scheduled to return home to my girl and our three dogs who all loved me.

Denise Tye Standing with prosthetic legThe downside was I was returning in a wheelchair. Everything would have to be relearned. I would need to learn how to maneuver thru our very small home in a wheelchair or walker. How to climb a flight of stairs to get to the only bathroom in the house. Everything was like learning it for the first time and grief would sometimes overwhelm me.

The morale of this story? As motorcycle riders we take our lives into our own hands every time we turn that engine over. No matter what your ride, we take along our loved ones and one bad move can affect the everyone around you.

Wearing a helmet is a decision each rider must make for themselves but the argument that, “It’s my life and if I go down…I go down.” But always remember, they will be the one’s responsible to pick up the pieces as you lay there healing.

I am riding again and those challenges will be covered in a future articles. The freedom of riding through the Rockies that first ride brought tears to my eyes, and there is never a time that I don’t think about my now fiancé, my son and my family. As I see the stream to my left and the aspens to my right, I continue to ride with a smile on my face.

Ride on brothers and sisters.