The Ride That Changed a Life
Written by Laura Klock   

CapDDadLauraandMarkave was relaxing in the ride, enjoying a little hog therapy, with the summer sun dancing against the brilliant blue of his bike, the wind whipping past, and his tires massaging the mountain roads in a familiar growl — then it happened…

“I remember the collision, which happened at about 50 miles per hour,” says Dave.  “The other rider was screaming.  He had pulled right out in front of me and when he realized his mistake, it was too late.

When I realized I was in the air with no helmet on, I thought I was going to die.  I hit the ground standing up and thought, ‘My God, I landed on my feet!’ and then I fell over on my back so hard it felt like my hip was broken.  I tried to get up because I knew I was still in the road and I could hear bikes coming up the pass.  I fell back onto the road and a guy named Rick came over and asked my name.  Rick told me to lie still because he could see my right leg was broken.  I found out later that the four bikes right behind us were all EMT’s from Colorado.  What a blessing – to this day they are MY ANGELS.  Rick and his wife Dee poured water over me, talked with me, and gave me hope until the ambulance arrived.  I was taken to the Sturgis Emergency Room and sent right on to Rapid City.  The only person I could tell them to call was my daughter.  She arrived in Rapid City right after I did — and she stayed with me for over a month.”

Just before Dave left for the rally in Sturgis, you could say he felt like it was one of those times when the bad was piled up.  He had recently met with physical challenges, including a shoulder surgery that left him not working.  Worse yet, he’d had a major disagreement, first with his son Mark, and then his daughter Laura, right before he’d left.  Hurt people hurt people they say.  As Dave drove out for the rally, his son was toying with the thought, “He’s dead to me.”  Dave had struggled through the years with alcohol and anger issues, leading to divorce and time spent in treatment centers.  He simply was not a man of faith, so Laura was startled when she met her dad at the hospital.

“As soon as I got to the hospital and saw the x-ray, I realized how bad the accident was,” says Laura.  “My dad kept saying ‘Laura, there were angels all around me’ and ‘The good Lord must have kept me here for a reason.’  While I believe those things, my dad was not a man of faith.  I stayed with him through the multiple surgeries at that hospital, afterwards he was moved to my house, and we were then flown to Mayo in Rochester, MN, where the next decision was amputation.  About the third night alone in the hospital with my dad, I asked him if I could pray with him and he said yes.  This was the first time we had ever done anything like that.  I had stepped out of our family cycles of dysfunction and addiction just a couple years previous, and had begun an intense faith journey.

God was absolutely my comfort, my peace and my rock, especially during this time.  The chance to see my dad as a saved man of God gave me smiles during a time when you wouldn’t think that could be possible!  I reported this to my brother and he had a hard time believing it.  Yet for both of us, after years of craziness in our lives, there was instant forgiveness, instant grace, and an instant reaction to wrap our arms around him, pray for him, and be there.  That is God.”LauraMarkandDad

Mark had followed his dad’s path with alcohol, however after receiving the phone call about his dad from his sister Laura on August 6, 2008, he was delivered from his struggle with alcohol as he too turned to God in this time of adversity.  Mark vowed to do whatever he could to get Dave’s home setup to accommodate a wheelchair and to be there for his dad when he came home from the hospital.  Mark was able to make it to Rochester and be with Laura and Dave during the crucial amputation surgery after attempts to save the leg had failed, a total of 13 surgeries in all.

These days the family still has good and bad days.  “Sometimes God will take you to a point where you almost lose your life to actually learn to live,” says Laura.  “However rigid the human spirit can be at times, ultimately it conforms to the will of love and in that, we can overcome great adversity.”

While Mark was back at home helping Dave adjust to his new normal, Laura’s shop, Klock Werks Custom Cycles was putting the pieces of his motorcycle back together in South Dakota.  Eventually Dave was able to walk into the shop on a new prosthetic and finish the assembly himself.  On Memorial Weekend 2009, Dave rode his trusted motorcycle again for the first time.


“My story is not one of loss but rather one of all that I gained through a tragic event,” says Dave.  “Struggles are different now.  They don’t compare to what we’ve come through.  Going through something like this you realize who really matters in your life.  Who is really there when you can’t do much of anything for yourself.  Who is encouraging you, praying for you, and believing for you.  Since the accident, my kids and I have done some amends, shared forgiveness, and our relationships have changed.  God used this accident to pick me up, turn me around, and set me on a better path for my future, a true pivot point.”  PivotPointEndingBug

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