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?"