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Old 08-27-08, 12:02 PM   #1
mkwdrs
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On your tour, What made you nervous/scared that you had to overcome?

I am afraid of heights. If I was to tour across the US, I would have a difficult time going over high bridges or mountains with no guard rails, etc.

What have you encountered on your tour where it took a little intestinal fortitude to to overcome the obstacle. Feel free to include pics if needed.
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Old 08-27-08, 12:08 PM   #2
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Cycling through London traffic and cycling in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports was a little scary the first time or two. Once I got started, everything was fine.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:28 PM   #3
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Tunnels, and to a lesser degree, major bridges. Both mean narrow, probably shoulderless roadway. The tunnel compounds the problem by being dark. Sometimes there's an easy way around, sometimes not. Once I called a taxi to take me over a major bridge, which worked because it was near a town.
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Old 08-27-08, 03:06 PM   #4
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Open steel grated deck bridges Especially if they're high as I don't like heights.

I encountered a couple of these on a recent trip along the shoreline of Lake Erie in Canada and held my breath across both of them
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Old 08-27-08, 03:24 PM   #5
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Strictly speaking, this wasn't touring, but the hardest fear I ever had to overcome was this bridge: 3-Mile Bridge, Pensacola. If you look closely in this picture, on the right, just outside the white line, you can see a change in the concrete. That was where there used to be a curb and sidewalk. When I used to ride this bridge, all you had to ride in was that 1 foot wide strip. Cars and semis zoom by at 50+mph. After that, just about everything's a cake walk. ;-)

Of course, it's all worth the fear, when you get to the top and see this view: bridge-top view Of course, attaining the beaches was where the real reward was. (but that's another 5 miles+ and another bridge)

:-)

-Jon
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Old 08-27-08, 05:41 PM   #6
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Black bears ravaging my campsite.
Every nite.
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Old 08-27-08, 05:55 PM   #7
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I guess I am pretty lucky. The only thing that has made me nervous or scared is that I knew the tour had to end.

Actually, I don't think I would really like to tour for more than 6 months out of any given year, but still there is that dread as the end of a long tour approaches.
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Old 08-27-08, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Open steel grated deck bridges Especially if they're high as I don't like heights.

I encountered a couple of these on a recent trip along the shoreline of Lake Erie in Canada and held my breath across both of them
I love those, especially if going fast! You can look down and it feels like you are flying. I can see where they would be scary if you are afraid of heights though.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:01 PM   #9
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+1 on bears. Never saw one, or evidence of one, but man did people ever talk them up.

Traffic on twisty mountain roads. As it turned out, the big scary trucks also had some of the most considerate drivers. Which is good, because they could kill you and not notice.

Intense downhills. I'm afraid the only cure for that was getting a recumbent trike. Then they became amusement park rides. Wheeee! I'm still working on my turning confidence on 2-wheelers, honestly. I have to work at it on purpose, but it's getting better. Never did get used to drop bars--I've got "north road"-style bars on my new commuter, and it just feels a lot more confident. If I tour on an upright again, I'll get Albatrosses, I think. Easier on my sensitive wrists, too. But I digress.

Not knowing where the hell I'm going to sleep. I'm not so great at advance planning, and started my tour early in the season, so got away with it at first. Had a couple pretty anxious days of full hostels and campsites, though. Eventually I politely asked to share a site with a nice RV'ing couple, and they were very thoughtful about it, and I got new friends! Yay! I was prepared to camp wild, but that was nicer.

In general, much of what terrified me at the start of my tour became minor irritants later on.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:16 PM   #10
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Human beings.

I have cycled across the Port Arthur Bridge, 150 feet above the channel, with open grating.
I have camped alone on gravel bars in the Yukon - in prime grizzly country.
I have awakened to find grizzly bear tracks around my tent.
I have had a mountain lion track me - fortunately with a raven screeching overhead.
I have been in hailstorms, snowstorms, and driving rain.
I have shivered in a remote outhouse on the brink of hypothermia.

But the most dangerous things that a cyclist has to deal with are human beings.
I have had drinks and cans thrown at me from vehicles travelling at 60 mph deadly projectiles.
I have been sideswiped and knocked off my bike - then had people scream that I had no right to the road.
I am fortunate. Many others have been killed in such situations.
And I have been held captive and assaulted by someone who offered me shelter.

Yes, the most dangerous things out there are of the human variety.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:04 PM   #11
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" And I have been held captive and assaulted by someone who offered me shelter."

Please tell this story.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:22 PM   #12
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When Roger said,,,,"Now we ride home." NO NOT THAT PLACE AGAIN! HELP!
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Old 08-27-08, 07:24 PM   #13
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" And I have been held captive and assaulted by someone who offered me shelter."

Please tell this story.


Thats nothing,,, I been married 31 years.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:42 PM   #14
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I had completely blocked out all memory of this bridge, lol.

I was at Corey Station for about a year back in the mid 80's, and have crossed this bridge many times in a car and on a bike.

That bridge can be a near religious experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joninkrakow View Post
Strictly speaking, this wasn't touring, but the hardest fear I ever had to overcome was this bridge: 3-Mile Bridge, Pensacola. If you look closely in this picture, on the right, just outside the white line, you can see a change in the concrete. That was where there used to be a curb and sidewalk. When I used to ride this bridge, all you had to ride in was that 1 foot wide strip. Cars and semis zoom by at 50+mph. After that, just about everything's a cake walk. ;-)

Of course, it's all worth the fear, when you get to the top and see this view: bridge-top view Of course, attaining the beaches was where the real reward was. (but that's another 5 miles+ and another bridge)

:-)

-Jon
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Old 08-27-08, 07:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Tunnels, and to a lesser degree, major bridges. Both mean narrow, probably shoulderless roadway. The tunnel compounds the problem by being dark. Sometimes there's an easy way around, sometimes not. Once I called a taxi to take me over a major bridge, which worked because it was near a town.
Tunnels are not nearly as scary if you have a decent set of lights, especially a good taillight. Major bridges sound scary, I would look for a walkway.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:03 PM   #16
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Two years ago it was the Leggett hill. It was like the boogie man! Last year it was a known quantity. My new boogie man is Rainy & Washington Pass.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:13 PM   #17
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Hello All,

Bridges are a bummer for me,
I usually call bridge commission
or police for a ride, I've never
been turned down.

I suppose they're happy
a possible catastrophe has been avoided.

Cheers.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:52 PM   #18
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Sorry -

But I really do not care to be so public about it.
Suffice it to say that it was life threatening.
Looking back I can see where I may have made a few lapses -
However, as all counselors say, the blame lies entirely upon the attacker.
To second guess oneself is to continue the abuse.

I urge everyone - especially women and solo riders - to be vigilant.

J
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Old 08-28-08, 12:12 AM   #19
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Wild camping, followed by tunnels. I am now more or less at ease with wild camping, provided we are well hidden. Narrow tunnels or those without good lighting and especially those going uphill still give me the shakes. I will do anything possible to avoid them!
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Old 08-28-08, 11:07 PM   #20
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Animals, and then property owners. I hate wild camping, I learned this summer.
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Old 08-29-08, 01:12 AM   #21
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I hate crossing bridges and feeling them sway as traffic passes.

One big fear is to be caught out in a storm with lightening popping around me.
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Old 08-29-08, 02:36 AM   #22
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My current fear is a combination of hills and traffic while towing my baby about. Every car that passes I whisper a thank you for not hitting her.
Traditionally I have always had an irrational bear fear.
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Old 08-29-08, 06:10 AM   #23
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Grizzly bears - without a doubt. I've had nightmares about them. Very creepy.

Two of my past tours went thru Grizzly territory. One with a group and one of the solo variety. I did sleep on the ground a few times - but I don't recall actually getting much sleep!

Locally, the bridge grates here in south Florida can be very tricky, especially when wet.

And of course, anywhere in the southern USA, we should be wary of pickup trucks flying that idiotic Confederate flag.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:27 AM   #24
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  1. Bears. It used to be black bears, but this summer I toured through Montana. The signs warning about grizzly bears really worried me.

  2. Logging trucks. The closest I've come to dying on a tour was because of a reckless action by a logging truck driver.

  3. The bridge over the Columbia into Astoria. That freaked me out!

  4. The bridge over the Columbia into Kettle Falls. The "sidewalk" is blocked, and there's barely enough room on the roadway for two cars side by side. If you were on there, passed by a logging truck (there are lots), and a vehicle came from the other direction, you'd be toast.

  5. Weird people in campgrounds. It's not often that my campsite neighbors scare me, but sometimes.
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Old 08-29-08, 08:54 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.bill View Post
Hello All,

Bridges are a bummer for me,
I usually call bridge commission
or police for a ride, I've never
been turned down.

I suppose they're happy
a possible catastrophe has been avoided.

Cheers.
How do you avoid bridges in Bucks County? They're all over the place.
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