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Old 11-13-2012, 05:23 AM   #1
henryroten OP
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Dealing with Heights

I have been riding forever but have found that I have now developed a rather dramatic fear of heights...but mostly just when riding my 990R. High bridges over running water scare the crap out of me as do riding high ridges found here in Utah with steep slopes on each side without guard rails. I get through it, but almost makes me re-route trips to avoid a tense situation. I was thinking that the cause may be inner ear or eyesight, but annual checkups don't reveal anything odd.

Just wondering if there is a pill, or a technique, or a hypnotist that anyone has used to overcome this syndrome (or am I the only pussy out there?).

Thanks
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryroten View Post
I have been riding forever but have found that I have now developed a rather dramatic fear of heights...but mostly just when riding my 990R. High bridges over running water scare the crap out of me as do riding high ridges found here in Utah with steep slopes on each side without guard rails. I get through it, but almost makes me re-route trips to avoid a tense situation. I was thinking that the cause may be inner ear or eyesight, but annual checkups don't reveal anything odd.

Just wondering if there is a pill, or a technique, or a hypnotist that anyone has used to overcome this syndrome (or am I the only pussy out there?).

Thanks
Look up, so that the bottom of your vision only gets so far as to show the bridge, but nothing underneath it. Tell yourself you're riding on a level road.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
1911fan
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Same problem here, been scared of heights all my life. Just suck it up and go- it gets easier the more you do it, but it still scares me. I talk to myself, things like "Okay, you're halfway across, you can do this!" so make sure your helmet mike is off or your riding partner will give you endless grief.
How the hell I'm comfortable strapped to the side of a helicopter is beyond me.


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Old 11-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by henryroten View Post
Just wondering if there is a pill, or a technique, or a hypnotist that anyone has used to overcome this syndrome (or am I the only pussy out there?).
Simple solution: move to Florida. Problem solved.


As one who is not afraid of heights at all, I'll have to go with the pussy idea that you brought up.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
espacef1fan
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fear of heights. This is a fear of mine, but I experience it strangely. I'm terrified of working ont he roof of a house..or standing near a window ina skyscraper. I ok sitting on the ramp of a Chinook helicopter with my feet dangling..more than 10000 ft off the ground....Make sense? It doesnt to me either.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:06 AM   #6
eepeqez
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Originally Posted by espacef1fan View Post
fear of heights. This is a fear of mine, but I experience it strangely. I'm terrified of working ont he roof of a house..or standing near a window ina skyscraper. I ok sitting on the ramp of a Chinook helicopter with my feet dangling..more than 10000 ft off the ground....Make sense? It doesnt to me either.
Makes perfect sense to me.
Fall off a roof and it hurts very immediately.
Fall out of a Chinook and there is about a minute to do something to save yourself (never mind that without a parachute, there's not actually anything useful you can do in that minute), and you're not going to hurt when you land anyway.
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Old 11-17-2012, 06:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by eepeqez View Post
Makes perfect sense to me.
Fall off a roof and it hurts very immediately.
Fall out of a Chinook and there is about a minute to do something to save yourself (never mind that without a parachute, there's not actually anything useful you can do in that minute), and you're not going to hurt when you land anyway.
and if it does hurt, it will be briefly!
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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You'd have a rough time on the Mackinac bridge in MI. The center two lanes are steel grating so you can see straight down. I usually use the concrete curb lane, mainly because the grating can be slippery.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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Far from an expert here but you mention this is a new "fear", have you considered why it may have developed?
At the begining of the year I had a bit of an accident on the 640, lost the rear on a 120km/h sweeper and bounced around the road a bit. Once recovered, I had a lot of trouble commiting to right hand corners and it took me a day on a track to go from "arms locked on bars / upright stance" to being able to hang off the bike and drop into corners, two months later and I am still nervous of right handers and have to think myself into commitment.
I suppose my point is that I don't think it's a case of "suck it up", more a case of re-learn your skills / overcome your fears, and then get on with enjoying it. I don't have any real suggestions of how you do this other than to start back at easy levels and work up to harder (more fear generating) exercises.
Something else to consider, as we age we tend to get more cautious, we do realise accidents hurt more and recovery is longer, maybe it's a bit of natural caution? I know that at 56 I am less likely to do some stuff that my 25 year old son thinks nothing of, there is no dishonour in holding the beer and watching!

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:33 PM   #10
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there is no dishonour in holding the beer and watching!
Can I git a "amen" up in here, people?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:30 PM   #11
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http://www.wimp.com/mountaintop/

One could watch this vid as a kind of practice in the safety of the arnchair till one got the hang of it?
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
achtung3
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I have no problem riding or driving or flying, but man! I can not stand on my feet when it comes to height, no tall buildings, cliffs, bridges, ferris wheel, ledges of any kind my legs just goes limp and I get queasy.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:10 AM   #13
ChadHahn
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Years ago I went on a multi-state motorcycle ride with my dad and his friends. One of the stops was at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge outside of Taos. If you haven't been there the bridge is 565 feet above the river. I could barely walk out onto the bridge for photo opportunities but Dad was climbing up on the railing and throwing one leg over and generally freaking me out. I was able to get close enough to the edge of the bridge to stick my camera over and take a picture but then I scurried off.

That day we rode to Mesa Verde and camped. The next day we stopped somewhere in the park for pictures and I hopped up on a wall that was maybe 10 feet high to take some pictures. My dad wouldn't go close to the wall. He said, "I thought you were afraid of heights?" I said that I was but the worse this fall could do would be to break my leg and that I'd rather have a broken leg than die. Dad said that he'd rather die than have a broken leg.

So what I'm saying is that I'm with you. Certain bridges freak me out. I've been on high narrow bridges that scare me driving across in a car. If you add to that the grates that some bridges have that make your wheels float around it can be nerve racking. In Phoenix there are some exchanges on the interstate that are three levels high. I hate driving on those in a car or a bike.

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Old 11-14-2012, 08:50 AM   #14
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I've had inner ear issues my whole life. Started getting more and more vertigo in situations around them. Told my doctor and he sent me to Physical Therapy for Vestibular Rehab. They determined my balance was over reliant on my vision and out of sync with my inner ears. 8+ weeks of vision/balance exercises to help get them back aligned. Still working on it, but surprised how much it has helped. Still don't like bridges, cliffs, etc, but don't loose my balance around them as much as I used to.

Some other good advice in this thread on how to get through it. When in doubt, speed up, a rolling wheel can't fall over .
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:09 AM   #15
perterra
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Originally Posted by cafebmw View Post
I've had inner ear issues my whole life. Started getting more and more vertigo in situations around them. Told my doctor and he sent me to Physical Therapy for Vestibular Rehab. They determined my balance was over reliant on my vision and out of sync with my inner ears. 8+ weeks of vision/balance exercises to help get them back aligned. Still working on it, but surprised how much it has helped. Still don't like bridges, cliffs, etc, but don't loose my balance around them as much as I used to.

Some other good advice in this thread on how to get through it. When in doubt, speed up, a rolling wheel can't fall over .
Hmmm, I grew up working on roofs, metal buildings and the like and high places were really no issue. Developed some vertigo on high places about 20 years ago, just about the time I had to start wearing glasses. I wonder.

What kind of vision balance exercises do you do?
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