It’s been over two months now since I made an update on how I’m doing since I got hurt on July 3rd.  I’ve been wanting to post something. I just don’t know what to say anymore. I feel like old news. A burden.

“That’s just Joe again, whining about hurting himself. Don’t worry about him. Fuckin broken record…

Such a wimpy little tip over turns into this life changing event for me… and it might seem silly to everyone; “Oh you broke your knee? Feel better! Heal up!”

Hell, that’s what I would have said. In fact, I pretty much HAVE said that before to at least two friends who have had a similar type injury. I didn’t know any better.  I had no idea. I had no idea that 0.02% of people have the type of injury I have and that it’s so severe I’d be down for at least six months.

I had no idea about any of this.  And I’m still struggling to come to grips with it still to this day. It’s fuckin bad. Everyone that messages me asking for an update and when I tell em, they’re always surprised. I guess everyone just thinks I broke my leg or something. I fuckin WISH I’d have only broken my leg. I’ll take 2 pair of broken tib/fib over this shit. Hell, even throw in a broken arm and I’d be happier than I am now.

After all I’ve been through already, right here, right now, this exact second I would trade it all for two broken legs and a broken arm if my knee injury could be magically undone. I’d be all better in 6 to 8 week that way! At current rate of success, I might not ever be all better with my knee injury.

My last surgery was the beginning of August…the 5th, I think? I don’t know for sure. I was in such a drug induced state that I feel like my entire life was only a few weeks ago. Everything. All of it.

“When was it that you…?”

“Just a couple weeks ago,” is my reply.

“What about the time forever ago that we were…?”

“Yeah, that was a couple of weeks ago too. You mean you don’t remember?” I’ll ask incredulously.Read More →

TL;DR:

On July 3rd, 2022 I looped a slow wheelie on my friend’s YZ250FX dirt bike. I missed the rear brake and stepped off the back and fell onto my left knee at 12-13mph. My knee disclocated doing a bunch of damage and was medically labeled as an open compound tibial fracture. The injuries listed below put me into a 0.02% category of occurrence. Basically, it’s about the worst you can have with not losing your leg entirely.

My kneecap fractured and patellar tendon was severed. My kneecap recessed itself into my quadricep. My femur crushed down onto my tibial plateau, breaking it off. In that process, my tibial spine was crushed, severing my ACL and my MCL and tearing my PCL, and my tibia saw daylight. My meniscus was damaged, flipping upside down.

I’ve been out of work since July and was unable to save up any money to get my family through the winter off season. I generally save up around 15k to last us from mid November through mid March of the next year.

If you’d like to help us out, you can donate through gofundme or you can buy photos through 4theriders.com or donate directly through my paypal link.

Donate through PayPal

www.gofundme.com/f/he-yeeted-when-he-shouldve-yutted

I can’t even begin to thank everyone enough for the outpouring of love and support over the last 3 and a half months. I still can’t walk yet and I’ve only got 30 degrees of flexion so far…It’ll be January or February before I can walk again.

The entries below are copied and pasted from my facebook feed.

//End TL;DR.

 


 

July 5th, “Put me in, Coach!”

0800 wake up call from the surgeon… Just updated me on what he’d done yesterday as well as what he intends on doing tomorrow…

In my best Aussieman Review voice, “destination fucked!”

He said in 27 years, he’s never seen so much damage. He was talking reconstructive surgery as my patellar tendon is severed and my tibial spine is also crushed (taking the ACL with it). My MCL is also torn.

So add those to the tibial plateau fracture, the compound patella fracture, and the dislocation of my knee entirely.
My best guesstimate was that I was doing approximately 12 to 14mph when I looped the wheelie. I haven’t looped a wheelie since I was 14. And I’ve never before broken a bone from a dirtbike…

I guess I’m just getting real old. It was an awkward landing on my knee, for sure…but dang. This road to recovery is gonna be a little steeper than I realized…I got this shit. I’m still gonna send it!

Ps – Sorry, bribri! I love you!


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I haven’t yet made an announcement that I’ve put a deposit down on the 2022 Tenere 700. I mean, I may have flirted with mentioning it a pair of times in public, but nothing more than that.

See, I’ve never actually owned one of my dream bikes before. I’ve always just had whatever happened to be laying around, settling for “this is good enough. It’ll do.” I’m still a bit hesitant to post about it, because what if it doesn’t work out and everything falls through?


“This should be a picture of me…”

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I see posts nearly every day asking which oil is the best, which seat is the best, which windshield is the best, etc… well…for $23, I’m gonna have to say this one is the best:

Goldfire Universal Motorcycle Windshield Airflow Adjustable Windscreen Wind Deflector

No joke! Someone posted about it saying that it helped, and for $23, I figured “what the hell?” and bought one.

IT’S AWESOME! No more buffeting. It’s a million times quieter. I can communicated with my passenger clearly without wind noise over comms at 85mph now. Before, anything above 60 was hard to hear. I can hear my music better. I can even ride with my visor open to about 65 comfortably! I love it!

GREAT SUCCESS!

Yesterday, as we were heading south on hwy 93 down eastern Nevada, the RV began to surge and stall. It threw a check engine light at me. Brianna retreived the OBDII reader for me while mid motion and I checked it out. It was the same code I got a month ago: P0191; Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor A Circuit Range / Performance.  Fuel pressure was all over the map…as high as 70psi and as low as 11psi.

obdii p9191
GAH!

40 miles from ANYWHERE I felt the first hiccup. 10 miles away, I was quietly wishing to just make it to the small town of Ely, NV. 4 miles away, I was already thinking about how I was going to have to unload my bike and ride the rest of the way into town to get parts. We were so low on fuel already as well, that I wouldn’t be able to run the generator in case it were too hot… I was pretty stressed out. It’s very rare that I feel so stressed.  I’m also pretty stoic about it, so when Bribri reads this after I’m done writing, she might even be surprised.
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Last night, I’m parked in about a 4 acre desert lot next door to my friend’s apartment complex that we’re visiting at the edge of Tucson, AZ. It is mostly desert foliage and the likes with a few dirt spots for oversized parking. It’s completely unoccupied aside from a single vehicle that looks like it’s been parked there for weeks and has a tow-tag on it.

I wake up at approx 0130 to what sounds like footsteps outside my window. I perk up and so does the dog. Brianna wakes up as well. I peek out the windows into the moon lit night and see no one. There is a strange car though, parked about 4 feet from our bedroom window. Wtf? It’s occupied as well. We can hear whispers from inside. These dudes gonna steal gas or something? Why are they parked so close? And why are they parked in the actual weeds, lights out, hiding behind us?

I turn on the rv running lights (which are bright, and there’s a lot of em) and start the motor. The red glow from my tail lights is directly in this guy’s face. The driver of the car peeks his head out his open window, says “jesus…” and then closes the window. Ten minutes elapse, and they’re still there. Double wtf?

I put my big boy pants on and go outside and creep around the back between my RV and the trailer. As I approach the driver window, they notice me and I turn on my 500+ lumen tactical Streamlight directly into their faces. You know when you touch a snail’s eyeball, how it retracts back into their head? Well, they basically both do exactly that with their heads tucking into their bodies and their necks dissapearing completely as my bright ass light hits them right in the eyes.

The driver starts to open the door and fumbles as his walkie-talkie radio falls out of his lap. I immediately see that he’s also wearing a bullet proof vest. His radio has a mic attached to his shoulder. Otherwise, he’s in plain clothes.

“Can I help you, gentlemen?” I asked politely.

“Sheriff,” he says. His eyes still unfocused in the beam of my flashlight.

“Do you have any identification?” I asks, as he’s keeping both hands up where I can see them while flashing me his badge.

I lower my light from his eyes and point it at the ground as he retorts “Do you? You realized you’re parked off the street, right?” He started trying to flex on me verbally. Tired, and uninterested in making a scene, I reply “Alright. I just thought you guys were gonna try stealing gas or something from me. Have a good night. Be safe.”

I walked away—not the same direction I came out—without fully turning my back on them as I may have been imprinting. ;) They sat there until 3am before leaving, splitting into 2 cars, and going into the apt complex. Then I went back to sleep.

Weird stuff happens on the road.

Last night, maybe 5 mins after getting into bed, Bijou and I both heard it at the same time. My window next to my bed was open and we both stopped in our tracks and started listening, barely breathing. There it was again. It was quiet and almost imperceivable, but I was certain I wasn’t hearing things after the second gentle rustle of weeds in an otherwise completely silent, moonlit night.

Rather than go berzerk, Bijou slowly got up, staring towards the window, methodically and slowly inching towards the direction of the sound and started gruffing angrily. For a 3 lbs teacup poodle, it was a surprisingly deep and low, choked back, soft bark while growls came from within her tiny little vocal cords.

I opened the blinds and stared out into the darkness, using my periferals to help me see into the wild under the moonlight. I stared, quiet and motionless for several minutes. I thought I could see a shape against a darker shadow about 30ft away, but I wasn’t 100 percent certain…then it moved it’s head slightly.

“OH SHIT!”

I knew instantly what it was. I whispered over to Brianna to look out the window. She didn’t have her glasses on and couldn’t see anything. I didn’t have my flashlight next to my bed as I usually do, so I crept towards the front of the RV to hit my 52″ LED lightbar so she could see what I knew was out there. It turns night into day.

Nothing. It was gone from view, even with 25,000 lumens shining into the forest. I was certain I wasn’t imagining anything and I grabbed my favorite flashlight and went back to bed and stared out the window with Brianna also watching for many minutes. Movement again! I shined the flashlight directly at it, but first hitting the window screen with bright light nearly blinding us in the process…but there it was! It’s bright, yellow, knowing eyes reflecting 500 lumens of tactical Streamlight glare directly back at us! An adult Mountain lion was sitting just within the grass line, not 30ft from the RV.

Yeehaw. It’s been many years since I’ve seen a big cat in the wild. It was pretty exciting. It slunk off quickly after hitting it with my spot light. Several minutes later, I could hear angry barking from a dog in the not too far distance. I imagine it head that way.

I love RV life. :D

It was just in front and to the left of the grove of trees closest in this picture.
forest rv boondocking

I’ve spent an incredible amount of time thinking about this… and still, I don’t know exactly what to say or how to say it.

I signed up for a Patreon account nearly a year ago with the intention of creating content while on the road in the RV. I’d envisioned making fun videos of cool places, of random rides around back roads…I dunno, all sorts of stuff.  I’ve filmed a bunch of random stuff over the year. I’ve got hundreds of photos all stock-piled from random adventures…but I’ve yet to do anything more than simply create an account on Patreon.  Nothing.

Part of it, I think, is fear of rejection. I usually think that people enjoy the stuff I write or post or take pics of and the likes. But…would people be willing to actually subscribe to content I create? Man, I dunno…and I’d feel really dumb creating and posting all this stuff only to have no one interested in it enough to actually PAY me for it. I’ve always felt that way…about everything. Even my full time gig of shooting photos at the track…I tend to have the negative “no one is gonna buy em” feeling. I think I’m good at what I do. In fact, I think my photos rank amongst some of the best in the world…but I have a hard time taking money.

Another part of why I haven’t done it is the fact that I know I’d have to dedicate SOOO much time to creating content that people may or may not ever see.  Photos, for me, are easy. I ride. I know EXACTLY what all my settings need to be at any given moment. I have capable equipment (not as good as the stuff the big name pros have, but I can certainly make it work), and I know what looks good and what doesn’t. Boom. I can shoot my little heart out. The sorting and stuff is the hard part…luckily for me, Brianna takes care of 99.999% of all that for me now and has taken a HUGE burden off my shoulders. But creating photo+video content NOT at the track? Wow…that’s a LOT of time spent in front of the computer.

So, back to what I was originally saying…I’ve been thinking about this for a looong time…and I’ve decided that I DON’T want to create a Patreon page where people will have to subscribe. I’m too scared.

On that same token, I’m running on empty now.  Literally empty. I’ve always been really good with my money. I’ve never had much…but the little bit I’ve ever had, I’ve always made it work. I’ve always stretched it out. I’ve not really ever been stuck. But I’m stuck now.  People sometimes comment “you must be rich!” when I say that we live on the road full time. I guess you could say that I am…Brianna and I lead pretty damn rich lives. But in dollar terms? No, not rich. Not even remotely close.  In fact, I’m the exact opposite of rich. I’m maxed out. Totally. All of our income goes to groceries, bills, and mostly fuel. We almost never just buy ourselves random stuff. When we do, it’s typically out of necessity.

Together, Brianna and I are a single stream income. We both work together to accomplish the same goal: shoot events at the track and sell em to all the trackday riders and drivers. This year has been bleak. Some of it is circumstance, some of it is the economy. Some of it might just be my fault entirely.

Over the years, I’ve worked with most trackday organizations in northern California either full time or part time. I’ve worked with Keigwins, Pacific Track Time, Zoom Zoom, Fun Trackdayz, Precision Trackdays, and a bunch of other smaller orgs.  For one reason or another, my relationship with them was severed. A few were my fault… either quitting them based on personal differences, or not my fault as my place was only temporary or location-based to begin with.  Ultimately, it’s always ends up being gotbluemilk who started with them and is back with them. He pretty much has a monopoly on the entire norcal market. It’s exceedingly frustrating.  I know I provide a better product at a better price. I get texts, emails, messages, and phone calls all the time saying they wish I were there shooting instead of gotbluemilk all the time. But nothing ever changes. I no longer work with any motorcycle trackday companies in northern California. But I want to.

Last year, I started shooting 2Fast up in the Pacific Northwest. I also shot them this year. It was a really rough year for the 2Fast organization and attendance was very low for nearly every event. Even as low as 11 riders one day. That doesn’t bode well for either 2Fast or myself.

As hard as I’ve tried this year, I haven’t been able to get ahead. I don’t need much money to survive, but it seems like I’ve been making even less than that lately. Everyone always says that there’s no money in the moto world…Maybe I just need to try harder? Maybe I need to throw in the towel? I don’t know… I mean, I KNOW that I just want to work MORE. I want MORE events. I want to work with more trackday providers. I want to create. I want to see people happy.  I want people to have affordable awesome memories of the fun times they’ve had at the track riding will all the homies and such.

Ugh. I’m just so frustrated.

Times are tough as fuck right now.

So, now that I’ve dwadled off on the “back story”, I decided that I do not wish to make a Patreon account…instead, I want to ask for a donation. Not free money either…I plan on working for it. I’m asking for a donation towards more content on my blog. More fun, entertaining reads. More maps of super bad ass rides you should do. More photos and videos of things we care about like motorcycles, like great places to visit, see, do, eat, and experience. If you’ve enjoyed the thousands of hours I’ve put into all of this so far, if I’ve helped you out in some way with my writings, photos, or advice, can you throw a few bucks my way?

I’m only asking those of you that enjoy reading my blog and my posts and who will continue to enjoy my blog and posts. If you’re not interested in my writings and videos and photos and words, then no worries. I don’t want a subscription based portal of content. I want it to be free to anyone who happens upon it.  But if you could chip in to help me get through this rough patch, it would go a long way.  I’ll work my ass off to repay it and hopefully keep you entertained with more content and with more love thrown into my blog. :)

Thank you.

//END OF SUCKY AND EMBARRASSING POST

DONATE HERE WITH PAYPAL





This weekend, I decided to make a comeback to AFM and take pics. Something I hadn’t done in almost exactly a year. Mostly because I’ve been away at other events, but partly because I know AFM is in good hands with Max and Koi out there doing their thing. This weekend, I just happened to be free, it was along the way to my next event, and because, frankly, I could use a bit of extra cash.

I got to see a lot of faces I hadn’t seen in some time. It’s always great catching up. I also met many new faces…racers whom I’d never seen in events past…everyone’s numbers were different. Half the time, I didn’t recognize who was who out there…on one hand, it was good. I shot all my photos fresh and new, as if i didn’t really know anyone out there. There was no favoritism. I didn’t particularly lean heavily on anyone (except the few that preordered photos and I’d commited their race numbers to memory). I simply did what I know how to do best: made memories of everyone to have and share.

Bear with me, if you’d like; I have no particular path with this post, only a final destination. I’ve got many, many thoughts, and they’re in zero particular order.

I’ve been taking photos of motorcycles, riders, and racers for about a dozen years now. I’m not sure there’s anything left that I haven’t seen. Both good and bad.

On Saturday while on track, I was thinking back to one instance in particular some years ago where Michael Earnest had crashed in the opening laps of Formula Pacific while cresting t3a at Sonoma. I caught it all on camera. He’d hurt himself, but managed to get the bike up and going again and restarted the race. Honestly, I don’t even remember where he’d finished after the restart, but I do remember it like a hero-story. I chased Formula Pacific around the track that race as fast as I could, capturing this “saga” of Michael Earnest. I was at start/finish when the race ended. As Michael crossed the line, he pulled off to the tire wall on the left, put his head down, and whimpered, leaning on the tire wall, unable to dismount his bike, unable to even finish the cool down lap. He was in a lot of pain.

I captured all of this. It’s something I’ll never forget. I was proud of man-kind at that exact moment. I don’t fully even know how to describe it, honestly. Michael was able to do something that not a lot of people can. It may not have been smart, but the pure guts and determination of it all…it was memorable. It was honest. It was pure.

On the flip side, I’ve seen many riders crash to greater and lesser degrees. Not all of them get up. At least, not right away. One of the first things I do when someone crashes in front of me is take pause and listen. Why? Because the next sound they make tells me how hurt they really are. When I hear a string of curse words first thing, I know they’re good. When I hear the moan of pain, I know they’re hurt, but it’s likely not all that bad. When I hear the wet gurgles, then I know it’s not good at all. When I don’t hear anything…well, I just keep listening because eventually they’re gonna wake up and I’ll hear something.

Twice now while shooting photos, I’ve heard the nothing. I kept listening, but they never woke up.

Allen Rice was a track rider on a Triumph 675. He hit the wall at about 50 miles per hour. Right in front of me. I didn’t know Allen. I’d never met him in my life. I don’t ever recall seeing him at the track prior to that afternoon. But I remember his name. I remember the way his face looked as he lay there on the asphalt while medics did CPR. I remember the sound his body made as they did chest compressions. I took one last click with the camera and walked away dazed. I didn’t ride that day as I’d intended. I briefly wondered if I even wanted to ride motorcycles anymore. It was a haunting memory for a long time.

Joseph Pusateri was a racer on a Kawasaki 636. Another human I’d never met before. It was my first time shooting a WERA race. I clicked away at 6 frames per second as he lowsided, seemingly gently, in a pretty slow corner. I remember thinking to myself that that should be a guaranteed sale. Everyone loves to get their crashes on camera. Except…he didn’t get up either. Instead, he lay slumped in an awkward position next to his bike. The medics came. Then the coroner.

I can’t even remember anything else about that weekend. I don’t know if the races continued. I don’t know if they were cancelled. I don’t know if I even took more pictures after that. The only thing I can remember was thinking about Joe’s wife running out onto the track, fighting with the corner workers and medical personel trying to get to Joe. I cried then. I’m fighting back tear now.

Inherently, motorcycles are dangerous. I’ve joked about how dumb we are as motorcyclists in the past. Really, we are. We’re not smart beings. To take the risks we do, day in, day out. On the track at speeds “normal” people would consider ludacris. On the street dodging cars and thousands of other hazards every day. In the woods, avoiding cliffs and trees. On the motorcross track jumping 100 foot triples. It’s risky. And to put yourself at continual risk like that…it’s not smart.

But it’s what we do. It’s what we need to carry on. It’s in us like the blood that runs through our veins. Smart or not, it’s what we motorcyclists need. I can’t refute that. If i said I could quit riding, that would be a lie. I’d never be happy again not riding.

I’ve seen SO many people injured doing what we do. Bad. Life alteringly bad. Dave Stanton, Mario Bonfonte, Eric Arnold to name a few. Eric ended up taking his own life rather then carry on. I’ve wondered to myself many times how I could cope. IF I could cope. I really don’t know those answers. I only know the questions.

In all this, I’ve learned to hit the “off switch.” At least, I try. I guess it’s never truly off, but I’ve been able to close off most of the dam, so that it’s only a trickle that gets through anymore. I’ve even been accused in my personal life of being “robotic” at times. It’s true. I can be that way when faced with emotional things. I try and set aside emotion and instead rely on logic to get me through hardships.

Sunday was no different. Jason Blancas, racer #780 passed away at Thunderhill during a race. From what I’ve been told, he made contact with another rider in turn 8 and was highsided from his Yamaha R3.

I wasn’t in turn 8 when it happened. A few of my friends were. Glenn was there. As he told me about it, the lost look in his eyes was soul crushing. I didn’t say much. I only hugged him and fought back tears myself. Taylor came in to the building in tears. She was on com in t8, relaying information as best as she could, holding her composure like a true professional until it was time to come in. It was only her second time corner working at AFM. She just had her 18th birthday. Another corner worker came in, whom I don’t know her name. She was also sobbing.

I kept smashing the “off switch” over and over until until it finally stayed in the off position…and I went about my day, hoping no one would ask me about it.

So many lives change in literally a fraction of a second. Jason is gone. I didn’t know Jason, but many people did. I’m sorry for the loss you feel with his passing. I’m sorry for everyone who was there, trying to save him, if he could even be saved. I know that every single person at AFM feels it. I know the corner workers and the medical staff and race direction did the best they could in any role they could fill. I thank you guys and gals for everything you do. You are all amazing. Your efforts at keeping everyone as safe as possible in this crazy sport we choose to do will never go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you.

Rest in peace, #780.

jason blancas 780