We rode the Loveland Pass yesterday, heading out from Keystone with the plan to make a big circle back through Dillon. Looked fun and challenging, but I thought I could handle it.
What Google Maps fails to tell you is that this rode is 2000 feet straight up and 2000 feet straight down. Oh, and that there are those sheer drop-off cliffs right along the side of the road with no guardrails so you get a good look of where you’ll end up if you go off the road.
It’s the kind of road I feared when we started talking about riding to Colorado. The kind of road where if I had been in a car, I would have my head between my knees to keep from passing out. Scratch that. I would rather pass out so I wouldn’t have see down that drop off.
Kept telling myself – “you’ve never gone off the road before; what makes you think you’ll do it now?” And just took my time, tried not too look down and finally got off that damned mountain. Going down six miles of steep grade on I-70 never looked so good.
What did we learn?
- Google Maps doesn’t tell the whole story. Remember there’s more to things than just what you see on the surface.
- Don’t look down! Keep your eyes where they’re supposed to be and don’t let crap around you distract you from where you want to go.
- Get off my butt, car! You can only control yourself. Stop worrying about everyone else. Even when they’re being jerks and aren’t appreciating the fact that you’re helping them get down the mountain safely too.
- You can barf and still be brave. Acknowledging the fear is the first step to finding the courage to proceed in spite of it. (Maybe someday you’ll overcome it.
I didn’t actually barf, but I wanted to a few times. (Did I mention I was scared?) There are a few things that should never be done with a full-face helmet on, though.
What fear have you tackled lately?