When we got to Pikes our biggest fear (no, not dying while trying to perform a highside base-jump off a parachute-less motorcycle) was realized: TRAFFIC! I had flashbacks of Yellowstone--bumper to bumper cars, miserable heat and nothing to see you wouldn't see in a parking lot in anytown USA.
I started feeling the magnetic pull back to the lonely and isolated ribbons of black we had covered on our way. We sat there in front of the entrance in about the same amount of time it would take to get to the top at race pace (if you're immortal). But fortunately after the initial section, cars spread out, pulled over and after one too many rockslide covered turns, started enjoying ourselves.
Flynbulldog rode his 1098R in and the beast just looked and sounded sinister. Was great to 'introduce' the Panigale to its older big-brother.
The road climbs quickly. There's a lot of twists and turns, but it seemed every three or four we were having to adjust and re-calibrate our wrists to deal with the lack of oxygen and power the bikes were making. None-the-less, the road is fucking epic:
Being eye-level with clouds on the edge of barrier-less cliffs has a way of instilling a sense of self-preservation that I've just not experienced on any other road ever. One mistake--which could be caused by something as innocuous as admiring the scenery for a little longer than prudence would dictate could easily end in disaster. Not only are there no barriers in most places, the shoulder is sometimes only a few inches wide, with nothing to stop a thousand foot free-fall except a bunch of jagged rocks.