Million Dollar Highway but i hate heights!

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Doowrah, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Doowrah

    Doowrah Rogue Fleener

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Shaftsbury, VT, USA
    So I'm sitting in Idaho Springs thinking of heading out in the morning for Ouray and Durango when I google some pics. Now I don't do well with heights and I guess I hadn't thought about the drop offs. Is that road as evil scary steep as it looks with no guard rails? I just don't want to get up in the mountains and lock up. I don't do well with being on a second story roof let alone a 1000 foot cliff.
    #1
  2. Hondo

    Hondo What if it's a Samsquamch?

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    13,009
    Location:
    Front Range, CO
    It's not that big of a deal unless you ride off the side of the road - :lol3

    Really, it's a nice, twisty 2 lane road with great views.

    Just watch out for sand, rocks and traffic coming from the opposite direction.
    #2
  3. RockyMtnScotsman

    RockyMtnScotsman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    #3
  4. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    33,294
    Location:
    8000ft.
    From Silverton to Ouray do it south to north so you are on the "inside" :lol3

    Seriously though.. that TV show is awfully sensationalistic. I'm afraid of heights but the million dollar isn't bad.. you are on quality pavement so when you get to parts with exposure just focus on the double yellow. They drive 18 wheelers on it safely every day.. its not like Deals' Gap where you have people coming at you head on in blind corners.

    Don't be tempted to go over Black Bear Pass though (its half way between Silverton & Ouray) :eek1

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. Doowrah

    Doowrah Rogue Fleener

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Shaftsbury, VT, USA
    My crackberry won't play the hulu link, probably a good thing! Geek that pic you posted makes my taint hurt! Good thing its a small screen or I may have fallen off my bar stool.
    #5
  6. RockyMtnScotsman

    RockyMtnScotsman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    468
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Geek's right - the show does hype it up but that edge isn't CGI. In good weather it's an unforgettable ride that's not to be missed IMO.

    Go

    If you don't you'll always kick yourself wondering what you've missed.
    #6
  7. Doowrah

    Doowrah Rogue Fleener

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Shaftsbury, VT, USA
    Yea, I intend to suck it up and do the run. It will make Kansas worth it. Any of you good folks have weather information? I have been getting my arse kicked by weather since I hit Colorado and would rather not hit snow up there.
    #7
  8. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,399
    Location:
    Placerville Co.

    Its supposed to be nice the next three or four days, maybe a little breezy, but no rain or snow. This could all change if someone buys a new bike though.


    I know the older guy (dad) in the dangerous drives show, he used to be a PE teacher at my school...Mr. Wilson!!
    #8
  9. Doowrah

    Doowrah Rogue Fleener

    Joined:
    May 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Shaftsbury, VT, USA
    Great woke up after a night of dreams involving driving off high ledges. Nice start to the day. I know I sound like a massive sissy, and probably am but I'm still unsure. I get around stuff like that and I feel like I'm being sucked over the side. I can't be the only person that gets that way. It sucks.
    #9
  10. Blacknblue

    Blacknblue "I'm outa' here."

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,522
    Location:
    San Francisco, California


    Turn it into a flying dream and you're good to go.

    I had a dream about a massive earthquake that was turning my building into rubble as I awoke.

    Anyway: A road is a road is a road. . .
    #10
  11. Tilt2turn

    Tilt2turn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    588
    Location:
    Western Slope, CO
    Your bike will go exactly where you are looking. Stay focused on the road, and don't lock your gaze on the rocks, the edge, the shoulder, etc. Focus on where you want the bike to go.
    It is a beautiful area, so stop often and enjoy the mountain air!
    #11
  12. cptmoney

    cptmoney Two wheels, only one seat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    645
    Location:
    Western Slope, CO
    I rode Red Mountain/Molas/Coal Bank one spring day...and it was SNOWING.

    I was terrified! Fortunately, the other rider I was with had stones of steel, so we just pressed on nice and slowly. Made it just fine - but I was one scared mutha.

    You'll be fine. That ride is absolutely spectacular.
    #12
  13. Bill Shanks

    Bill Shanks Stumbler

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    662
    Location:
    Colorado
    Some free advice to flatlanders coming up to the mountains:

    1) Watch the weather. It will change fast and with little warning. In the summer, it will usually start off beautiful, clear and cool, then warm up and maybe get hot. In the early afternoon it will cloud over and there will often be a thunderstorm. It will usually clear up before a beautiful sunset and get cold at night. It can and does snow every month of the year. The hail can get 6" deep. Make allowances for weather changes and be flexible. Rain washes sand, gravel and large boulders on the road. Have gear with you for snow in the 30s and sun near 100. It will be summer in Denver and winter on Mt. Evans around 40 miles and about 9000 feet of elevation away. Beware of lightning, especially above timberline. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>


    2) The altitude takes a couple days to get used to. Take your time, get plenty of sleep, and drink much more water than at home. Go easy on the alcohol. Take time to get off the bike and stretch your legs. Have a flexible schedule and if you get a headache or nausea or are short of breath, stop and don't get back on the bike until you feel better. Altitude sickness is real, common, and can be life-threatening. <o:p></o:p>

    3) 200+ miles a day might be easy around home, but it is different in the mountains. This is the destination, not the trip to get there. Do plan to do some hiking. Even short hikes get you away from the crowds and offer a wide range of experiences you miss from the saddle of a motorcycle. The best plan is no plan at all. When you come to a fork in the road, take it. There are no secret "best" or "most scenic" roads. Every road west of I-25 (and a few east!) is a good road. Explore!

    4) There are deer and 1000 pound elk and they are out there waiting to kill you. Try to avoid riding early in the morning, at dusk, or at night. There are more critters on the road than you can imagine. Too many motorcyclists are killed by deer every year.

    5) Our roads are fun, but keep the speeds within reason. On blind right-handers, assume there is a dead horse in the road just out of sight. There just may be, along with the gravel that washed on the road during last night’s thunderstorm. In the summer, the roads are packed with locals, RVs, trucks, sheep and cattle drives and other tourists. With all the traffic, deer, road washouts, construction, idiot tourists who do not know how to drive (or ride) in the mountains, incredible views and other dangers, you have to be extra careful.

    6) If you want to ride your motorcycle over some high mountain 4x4 pass, be sure you know road conditions and have the skills. Baby-head sized rocks and three foot deep ruts at a steep angle are tough at 10,500 feet elevation or higher. Don’t do it alone. Be able to fix things, especially flats. Stay on the roads!

    <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape style="WIDTH: 18.75pt; HEIGHT: 11.25pt; VISIBILITY: visible; mso-wrap-style: square" id=Picture_x0020_3 alt="http://s3.amazonaws.com/advrider/wave.gif" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1025"><v:imagedata o:title="wave" src="file:///C:\Users\CNB\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape>
    __________________<o:p></o:p>
    #13
  14. * SHAG *

    * SHAG * Unstable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Oddometer:
    4,679
    Location:
    Bradford, Pa
    I took this vid a few years ago. Turn volume down..

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/p09uzs_yO8o&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/p09uzs_yO8o&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
    #14
  15. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,399
    Location:
    Placerville Co.





    :lurk


    It sure was a nice day for a ride!!:ear
    #15
  16. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,859
    Location:
    Centennial,Co./ Grand Lake,Co
    The only scary thing is all the tourists! They ar not watching the road, or thier driving. They are just sightseeing.
    #16
  17. KTMitch640

    KTMitch640 KTMitch640

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    #17
  18. Mac

    Mac Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,217
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    It's not the heights that scare me. I'm afraid of widths.
    #18
  19. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    10,528
    Location:
    Fort Collins
    Minor correction: It's not that big of a deal until you hit the bottom after riding off the road.

    I drove that last fall with the RV in the dark, then discovered that I'd been carrying a screw in one of the tires. Thankfully, it didn't go flat until we were in camp outside Silverton.
    #19
  20. bouldergeek

    bouldergeek Filthy, poor KLR dweeb

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,074
    Location:
    Palmer Station, Antarctica
    I remember riding it with a group in 1995.

    My boss tried to gank me through a corner on his CBR900RR, while i was riding an R100GS/PD. Not a fair fight. I touched my front brake to slow the 21" front wheel before dipping into a turn. he took the brake light as an "OMG, get all over the brakes!!" moment, and slid the back end out.

    The 900RR slid off the edge of the road. I only saw a cloud of dust in my mirror, a cloud with boots sticking out of it. Returning to the scene, I saw the rear wheel spinning in the air.

    it took four of us to lift the bike so that it could get back on the road without going over. Good times.

    I love riding CO-50/550, and hope to get there on my VFR this summer.
    #20