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Thread: Well meant,but, anxiety causing info

  1. #1
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Well meant,but, anxiety causing info



    A l-o-n-g comment on listening too much to other's opinions of road technical/difficulty levels...from friends to magazine articles.

    We have been to most of the "have to ride" states with exception of the Adirondacks and the northeast states...next years plan. Been to NC,GA, SC ,TN,KY, W VA ( Thanks Ian for the Super Twisties route and others at last years National!) and everything on the way from TX all the western states except WA & OR. Arkansas & Missouri have always been fun and made for motorcycles on the twisty state roads. Done the Midwest and into Canada. Finally started documenting our mileage for fun and both have over 100K each on BMW's, more on all brands combined...low compared to some...but we are just getting rolling after I retired.

    I recall the hype of the Dragon and 28 in NC/TN...Have ridden the area a few times and it's great. However, many folks told tales or their perception of how difficult and scary the area roads can be...Helen listened and was anxious to say the least, which caused her to worry needlessly her first pass down the Dragon three years ago.
    She is a rider...she can outcorner and outhink a lot of other riders but is not testosterone driven and doesn't need to show her "superior" skills as some of my genetic makeup do..she is a rider. After the first time on the Dragon and surounding roads, she commented.."let's do that AGAIN!". And we did...
    The only road that truly got my attention the first time was the Coronado Trail, the Devil's Highway/US 191 in AZ between Clifton and Alpine...It took me a while to get a rythym on that bad boy. I had not been "warned" at all when Chuck waved me by...I stopped in Alpine and said 'WHEW"

    This past week we crossed NM, CO for the 5th or 6th time,UT,WY,MT,ID, into Alberta and BC and back to TX. A quick and too short 6K adventure due to my brothers schedule. We took my older brother along on his first cross country trip to attend our nieces wedding in Glacier ,he was riding a Victory Visian. He had been told by the Cruiser crowd as well that he would struggle...he did fine...was tired as heck a few times from cornering a 900lb bike with his 250+ lb frame...but was fine. He growled at me a few times...but is already telling stories to his Cruiser buds. I never told him how technical the roads were...just to ride at his pace and have fun. He did see the curves coming on his GPS

    We rode Beartooth Pass leaving WY after many told her " So&So, one of the well known LD riders, won't ride that road. too many tight switchbacks". A older fellow on a Goldwing w/trailer was yakking about how steep it got past the Top of the World store...I asked him to keep his opinions to himself and not put worries into my groups heads. She got thru it and wondered what the deal was as she had a huge grin that wasn't going away.
    Rode US 12/Lolo Pass the whole length and also wondered what the big deal was after many said it was really difficult. We rode many of the roads & passes throughout the multi state area ,rarey hitting any slab...if we could avoid it. She took off along UT 128 along the Colorado River canyon out of Moab one evening and was waiting for some time for us to roll up...wondered where the two old men had gone Said she had to ease up as a testosterone powered pickup had to pass her when they realized it was a ...Woman... after she had passed them for creeping along way under the limit. Said they about went into the rocks in a curve...real men...anyways...back to the story...

    Now to my point...I think

    She, and I, have come to realize difficulty is in the eyes of the handlebar holder...and to stop listening to others tales of dangers, it is their reality,their perception. When asked about the technical level of roads by others...we will not be negative or give scary feedback warnings... Just ride and enjoy the road...ride your own ride and know your limitations. Maybe some of you will do the same to others and not cause unfounded anxiety to them.

    We met up with some folks Sunday and overheard one telling the others how tight and technical Beartooth was to him and warned the others going thru in the next few weeks...he didn't know we had just returned from there...we just smiled at each other and said "really?"
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  2. #2
    Down twice- my fault
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    I feel so much better now...
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  3. #3
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more Steve.

    Having ridden all of the roads you mentioned, you comments are spot on. Sometimes folks like to brag about how difficult the road was to make them seem like better riders.

    Ride your own ride is always good advice. BTW did you ride up to the fire tower lookout on Beartooth? Fantastic views from the top. Hope to stop by there on the way home from Redmond.

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  4. #4
    criminaldesign
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    it's along the lines of non riding community tell us how dangerous bikes are and go into a story of their cousins cousins friend losing their life on a bike.

    makes you roll yer eyes.

  5. #5
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    A great point. I see the same thing up here often when people talk about the haul road to Prudhoe, or other area roads. Once I was on the ALCAN and getting a bite to eat at Nugget City at the intersection with the Cassiar Highway. I asked a couple of travelers coming off the Cassiar how the road was. The first were riding two-up on a Goldwing and said the road was in great shape; an easy ride with just a few areas of gravel. Next a few minutes later were two guys, each on a 1200GS. They were shaken and described the road as the worst they'd ever seen and pure hell. What to believe? Often the info provided by riders about a road is really info about the rider's comfort level and experience.
    Kevin Huddy
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  6. #6
    Rally Rat Sue's Avatar
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    Your post made me laugh. A few years ago, the Great River Road Rally experienced 9 inches of rain.... Brian waited until the worst was over, and rode his 1996 RT to the rally on Saturday morning.

    The half-mile gravel road to get into the site was under water in a few places - slimey throughout with a few deep puddles to keep it interesting. He just rode it at a pretty-good clip, and actually rode past two guys who were duck-walking their GS's through the worst parts.

    He still laughs when he talks about it. It's all about the rider's comfort levels.
    Sue Rihn #43753
    BMW MOA Director - Ambassador
    Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride.

  7. #7
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBeemer View Post
    A great point. I see the same thing up here often when people talk about the haul road to Prudhoe, or other area roads.
    Also a run to Alaska is on our to do list...in two years at least!

    That example of Goldwing vs GS'r is spot on! How funny
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  8. #8
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIBUD View Post
    BTW did you ride up to the fire tower lookout on Beartooth? Fantastic views from the top. Hope to stop by there on the way home from Redmond.
    Didn't see the tower turnoff or any signage...still 6' walls of snow lining the way near the top along freshly laid asphalt. The ski lift at the top made us do a double take however as a couple were strapping on some skis along that valley.

    A definite "will do that again" road !
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  9. #9
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    Also a run to Alaska is on our to do list...in two years at least!

    That example of Goldwing vs GS'r is spot on! How funny
    I have to provide another example...... Last week Annie and I rode to Deadhorse. The day we left a fellow who was staying on campus and riding a KTM 990 turned back because he found the road too daunting. I do not fault him for exercising good judgment and and getting out of a situation he could not handle, however, that same day Annie and I were passed by a guy on a Honda Interstate on the same road the KTM rider found to be too much. Imagine the variance in the descriptions these to guys would have given of the same road on the same day.
    Kevin Huddy
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  10. #10
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Some people are great at sitting on motorcycles on a straight road holding the throttle open. They may not be especially good at actually getting a motorcycle around a corner.

    Those folks think Deal's Gap is difficult or challenging or scary.

    They should really avoid California.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by criminaldesign View Post
    it's along the lines of non riding community tell us how dangerous bikes are and go into a story of their cousins cousins friend losing their life on a bike.

    makes you roll yer eyes.
    I love to watch the crawling horror in those kind of people, when I describe (what doesn't at first sound like) cage fatalities I have personally seen, in minute excruciating detail (drip drip) etc. Just when their reality felt safe and superior......funny how they don't want to hear of the risks they run.

  12. #12
    Registered User texanrt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    Some people are great at sitting on motorcycles on a straight road holding the throttle open. They may not be especially good at actually getting a motorcycle around a corner. Those folks think Deal's Gap is difficult or challenging or scary. They should really avoid California.
    I remember coming up behind these three guys on the dragon last year and they must have worked themselves up into a state of high anxiety. Their big cruiser bikes were lugging single file down the center of the road at about 15 MPH -- white knuckle grip on the bars. I doubled back to the beginning, turned around, and caught them again. I could tell these guys weren't accustomed to cornering, but I do give them for not being intimidated into speeding up by all the traffic passing them and riding their own ride. As slow as it was.
    Texan RT | Houston | IBA
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  13. #13
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Often times it is more about the person than about the road.

    Some people just love drama. They can package everything in their lives in it, work, family and even motorcycle roads. Cracks me up

  14. #14
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    Some people are great at sitting on motorcycles on a straight road holding the throttle open. They may not be especially good at actually getting a motorcycle around a corner.

    Those folks think Deal's Gap is difficult or challenging or scary.

    They should really avoid California.
    Four years ago, I rented an RT and Burns and pals took me out to Livermore and up and down Mt. Hamilton, etc. The whole time I was thinking "holy #*@^, can this stuff just let up a bit!". But I loved every second of it.

    Last Summer, back here in the East, I thought the Dragon was a lot of funÔÇömore attention was paid, by me I think, to all the other traffic and the picture takers in the cornersÔÇö but the Cherahola Skyway was fun with beautiful vistas.

  15. #15
    franze
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessler View Post
    Four years ago, I rented an RT and Burns and pals took me out to Livermore and up and down Mt. Hamilton, etc. The whole time I was thinking "holy #*@^, can this stuff just let up a bit!". But I loved every second of it.

    .
    the back side of Mt. Hamilton to Livermore is some of the best riding in the Bay Area.








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