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Old 04-16-09, 09:24 PM   #1
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I just had to laugh... America's scariest roads.

Huge link here

Two of the roads mentioned, I have bike toured on, and quite enjoyed.

Highway One/Big Sur California

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Alfred Hitchcock could not have conjured a scarier highway—122 miles of vertigo between Monterey and Morro Bay. Two lanes for nearly its entire length, the road meanders along cliff tops poised high above the Pacific, including 33 bridges and countless drop offs into liquid oblivion. Anyone faintly squeamish should not attempt to drive this route.
Oh give me a break... My wife and two other friends and I toured this road... it was beautiful. Only the large RVs made it a bit "iffy" in places where there was no shoulder and the road was narrow.

Big secret... go slow. Worked fine for cyclists.

The other road...
State Highway 170 Texas

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This rollercoaster desert road along the Rio Grande is straight out of No Country for Old Men (which was filmed nearby). A dipsy-do roadway, stray animals and floods are just a few of the hazards along the 99 miles of the river road between Lajitas and Candelaria. Much of the highway runs through picturesque Big Bend Ranch State Park.
Picturesque is right... the roller coaster aspect simply meant getting speed up enough to go down the dips and try to sprint the humps.

What makes roads "dangerous" and "scary." Uh, could it be the vehicle operator?
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Old 04-16-09, 10:36 PM   #2
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the description of CO 82 over Independence Pass is good for a few laughs, too. 187 miles from Leadville to Aspen? Funny, my map of Colorado makes it 59 miles, 15 of that on US 24. Royal Gorge Bridge? Nice bridge, but it's nowhere near CO 82.

And yes, I have cycled (and driven) across Independence Pass quite a few times. Pretty ride/drive, but scary? Maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 04-17-09, 03:15 AM   #3
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The guy is probably from Kansas, and just like my Kansas relatives, found everything over six feet high, scary. We use to love taking the relatives on some of the narrowest CO mountain roads.
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Old 04-17-09, 08:39 AM   #4
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The guy is probably from Kansas, and just like my Kansas relatives, found everything over six feet high, scary. We use to love taking the relatives on some of the narrowest CO mountain roads.

Heh! Tell them ya found Mt. Sunflower scary...its the highest point in Kansas, a bump in some farmer's wheatfield in the northwest part of the state. There is also part of the state called 'little switzerland.' Watch out toto!

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Old 04-17-09, 09:01 AM   #5
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I have driven cars, bicycles and motorcycles on Highway 1 and it is by far the most spectacular road I have ever been on, including mountain passes in the Pyrenees.

It's a little dicey, but, come on, it's a modern road that is well maintained and well patrolled.

However, I would recommend going from south to north on Highway 1, since you are in the inside lane the whole way. Going north to south, you are on the outside, and there are numerous left-hand turns with no guardrail and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet to the foot of cliffs which are pounded by huge surf.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:43 AM   #6
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I have driven cars, bicycles and motorcycles on Highway 1 and it is by far the most spectacular road I have ever been on, including mountain passes in the Pyrenees.

It's a little dicey, but, come on, it's a modern road that is well maintained and well patrolled.

However, I would recommend going from south to north on Highway 1, since you are in the inside lane the whole way. Going north to south, you are on the outside, and there are numerous left-hand turns with no guardrail and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet to the foot of cliffs which are pounded by huge surf.
Yeah, but all the views are on the outside.

We did it from San Francisco (started on the Golden Gate) and went south. It was a great ride.

Traffic is fairly light until you get near Santa Barbara and then near Malibu... from there south... Ug!

Big Sur is south of Monterrey... but the route from San Francisco to Monterrey is also heavily traveled.

But still worth the trip.

I recently drove this, and still feel it should be no big deal for any skilled cyclotourist.
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Old 04-17-09, 11:47 AM   #7
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I loved driving on Highway 1. People need to slow down. I lived off of Highway 89 in Utah. The locals complained when it was declared one of the nation's most scenic highways because they can't control their cars, and they refuse to slow down. I used to see people reading books while driving on it. It really is a beautiful drive if the self-destructive urges of your fellow drivers can be controlled.
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Old 04-17-09, 06:43 PM   #8
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Hwy 1 in Baja at night is interesting. Decided to get a 3 AM start from East Cape, hadn't gone 2 miles when an owl met my windshield. It flew off, apparently unharmed.

One time near Guerrero Negro I thought, Wow that looks like a BIG moth. I was pretty sure it might be in my grill, so I stopped. Flattened up against my radiator was a PINK bat, staring me down. I got a stick (rabies precaution), and convinced it to let go of the radiator. It went to the ground, then flapped off into the night.

And yes, it is true, cows occasionally bed down in the middle of the road. So you have to go slow there at night in spots without long sight lines. There's usually enough room to pass them gingerly. Otherwise blast the horn until they move.

I don't think I'd try riding here. Anyone here done so?
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Old 04-17-09, 06:52 PM   #9
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Stupid. People make a big deal about Saddle Road, but it is not dangerous unless you drive like a moron or fall asleep at the wheel. By now I've put more miles on Saddle Road than any other road in my life, driving it 4-7 days a week. Never had a problem.

However, you are a total tool if you try to ride a bicycle on it.

High volume urban and suburban roads and highways...now those can be scary.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:02 PM   #10
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Stupid. People make a big deal about Saddle Road, but it is not dangerous unless you drive like a moron or fall asleep at the wheel. By now I've put more miles on Saddle Road than any other road in my life, driving it 4-7 days a week. Never had a problem.

However, you are a total tool if you try to ride a bicycle on it.
Why?

OH, because of the people that drive like a moron or fall asleep at the wheel. Get rid of them and Saddle road would be a great ride.

Which, to me makes the bad motorist tools, not the cyclist.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:05 PM   #11
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Why?
Because nobody expects anybody to be stupid enough to ride bicycles on Saddle Road! They'll come around a curve and either drive right over you or lose control trying to miss you. Riding a bike on Saddle Road would put everyone in danger. There are some roads bikes should never be on.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:06 PM   #12
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However, I would recommend going from south to north on Highway 1, since you are in the inside lane the whole way. Going north to south, you are on the outside, and there are numerous left-hand turns with no guardrail and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet to the foot of cliffs which are pounded by huge surf.
I grew up in Colorado and we always liked the cliff side view the best, especially when we had flatlanders with us.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:07 PM   #13
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Because nobody expects anybody to be stupid enough to ride bicycles on Saddle Road! They'll come around a curve and either drive right over you or lose control trying to miss you.
Which means the TOOLS ARE THE RECKLESS MOTORIST!
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Old 04-17-09, 07:44 PM   #14
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Which means the TOOLS ARE THE RECKLESS MOTORIST!
No, tools would be people who are selfish enough to insist on bicycling on a road which obviously isn't safe for it. The motorists aren't "reckless", the road just isn't at all safe for such mixed traffic. There's no way around that. Bikes don't belong on every road, and this is a prime example of one they should never be on. There's not legitimate reason to bike on Saddle Road anyhow.
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Old 04-17-09, 07:52 PM   #15
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No, tools would be people who are selfish enough to insist on bicycling on a road which obviously isn't safe for it. The motorists aren't "reckless", the road just isn't at all safe for such mixed traffic. There's no way around that. Bikes don't belong on every road, and this is a prime example of one they should never be on. There's not legitimate reason to bike on Saddle Road anyhow.
And the is no ligitimate reason to motor on Saddle Road either.

Your post confirms why so many Big Islanders have problems avoiding head on collisions.
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Old 04-17-09, 09:40 PM   #16
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And the is no ligitimate reason to motor on Saddle Road either.
Now you've gone from difficult to just plain silly.
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Old 04-17-09, 10:16 PM   #17
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Hwy 1 in Baja at night is interesting. Decided to get a 3 AM start from East Cape, hadn't gone 2 miles when an owl met my windshield. It flew off, apparently unharmed.

One time near Guerrero Negro I thought, Wow that looks like a BIG moth. I was pretty sure it might be in my grill, so I stopped. Flattened up against my radiator was a PINK bat, staring me down. I got a stick (rabies precaution), and convinced it to let go of the radiator. It went to the ground, then flapped off into the night.

And yes, it is true, cows occasionally bed down in the middle of the road. So you have to go slow there at night in spots without long sight lines. There's usually enough room to pass them gingerly. Otherwise blast the horn until they move.

I don't think I'd try riding here. Anyone here done so?
Oh man, I have toured the length of hiway 1 in Baja with perhaps my most wonderful experiences being the high ridge just before Santa Rosallia down onto the Sea of Cortez side. Beautiful views finally descending into a really unique town right at the Sea. I did this back in the late '80s, but knowing Baja, this has not changed much.

Cabo San Lucas has grown terribly... but La Paz and Todos Santos have not changed much over the years. I'd go any area south of Ensenada on bike without issue.
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Old 04-17-09, 10:28 PM   #18
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I hear all this about roads out west ! Telegraph road in S E Michigan is a NO go for cyclist IMHO . The old timers call it death row from all the folks killed on it in so many ways cars bikes what have you over the yrs . NO place for a cyclist IMHO ymmv .
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Old 04-17-09, 10:36 PM   #19
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Now you've gone from difficult to just plain silly.
Cars, buses, trucks, and extra large military transport vehicles fit on the road, but bicycles do not fit on the road?

And you are calling me silly!

Fine with me if you want to stick to your Hilo sidewalks!

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Old 04-17-09, 11:25 PM   #20
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Oh man, I have toured the length of hiway 1 in Baja with perhaps my most wonderful experiences being the high ridge just before Santa Rosallia down onto the Sea of Cortez side. Beautiful views finally descending into a really unique town right at the Sea. I did this back in the late '80s, but knowing Baja, this has not changed much.

Cabo San Lucas has grown terribly... but La Paz and Todos Santos have not changed much over the years. I'd go any area south of Ensenada on bike without issue.
That's cool!

Where'd you get water, that's really arid country with long unpopulated stretches.
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Old 04-19-09, 08:15 PM   #21
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What, how is the PCH(highway 1) along the Big Sur scary? That was one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken and there is an annual AIDS benefit ride along the PCH through that section.
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Old 04-19-09, 10:42 PM   #22
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The scariest roads in America are the long, empty and straight stretches of highway in New Mexico - especially when driven in the middle of the night. Abandoned buildings, rusty machinery, not a soul in sight. Biggest enemy is your mind. Yeah... scary.
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Old 04-20-09, 02:10 AM   #23
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No, tools would be people who are selfish enough to insist on bicycling on a road which obviously isn't safe for it. The motorists aren't "reckless", the road just isn't at all safe for such mixed traffic. There's no way around that. Bikes don't belong on every road, and this is a prime example of one they should never be on. There's not legitimate reason to bike on Saddle Road anyhow.
Any road that can accommodate motor vehicles can safely accommodate bicycles. If not then the speed limit on that road is set much too high and the motorists are the problem.
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Old 04-20-09, 05:05 AM   #24
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From a drivers viewpoint, the twisty roadage you see in the article in
NC and WV are line many roads in any mountain area on the East Coast
from the Appalachians on up to Maine. I dont find them even 1/4 as 'scary'
as the totally straight, flat 50-100mph stuff in SC and FL for instance.
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Old 04-20-09, 07:22 AM   #25
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That's cool!

Where'd you get water, that's really arid country with long unpopulated stretches.
Little stores along the way... the little stores may be 50 to 70 miles apart, but they always had stock of basic stuff. Bottled water in plastic jugs, canned food, batteries, bread and cookies. You would not even see these stores or the small homes that served food if you were driving. The only indication would be a Coke or Pepsi sign in a window or a Bimbo bread sign. You could catch a quick meal of huevos rancheros, frejolies, papas, and a tortilla and coffee at these home/cafes for about 1 dollar... but you had to have Mexican money... these folks just did not go to the bank. This was the first time I ever had one centavo coins.

So anytime I saw a little store, I stock up on canned goods, and get water. I carried 4 big bike water bottles on my bike, and usually a 1/2 gallon of water strapped on someplace. My front panniers were more for food than anything. I usually had cans of little oranges, tuna fish, canned corn... and some tortillas in the front panniers.

Over night when camping, the deal was usually to eat in some nearby town... then set up the tent and bed down for the night at a place that would allow camping. Once or twice a little girl would come by and bring hot fresh tamales. This was really a treat, and only happened at a couple places... Both times it was some young girl with a 5 gallon bucket just going out to vend tamales... I would guess to local workers... and she would see these gringos in tents and stop by first. What a treat... hot steamy tamales first thing in the morning.

I was with a group of about 30 cyclists and the camping had been pre-arranged each night. But we rode on our own during the day. Everyone would rise on their own and take off. A couple of guys did minimal camping... I mean they had these tiny tents and carried hardly any food or clothing. They would use hotels if we were near a town. Other folks like me were fully set up for camping, cooking, etc. There was no "sag" wagon of any kind. If you broke down, you hitched a ride. All of us carried some common parts, in case something broke. I had a tool kit and a spare derailluer. Others had chains, freewheels, FD, spokes... brake pads, etc. Nobody really broke anything though. Couple folks did turn back. And the rains and mud made it difficult for others. Really only a hand full of us rode the whole way.

One guy crashed bad... went to a local hospital down near Gurerrero Negro. (about 9 of us were in a pace line, in heavy rain, and he just lost concentration for a second and crashed... ) He was OK, but had to get stitched.
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