Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Bends, but not the one I'm talking about!
I've been driving now for close to sixty years. And I can truthfully say that there isn't a road or a part of one that worries me.  That includes a lot of foreign ones.  I always worry a little when I go back to England that I'll adapt OK to driving on the "wrong" side, but so far so good.  However there is one small piece of a local road that has always bothered me.  It's Highway 18 from Lucerne Valley up to Big Bear.  Locals will recognise the bit I'm talking about as it's the second right-hand hairpin after you reach the first set of twisties.  It's a hard right hand and many trucks have gouged grooves into it; also you can't see what's coming the other way.  In other words all the things motorcyclists hate.  We're not as good with sharp right handers as left - U-turns are nearly always made leftwards.  No sight of approaching traffic, very steep and a bad surface all contribute to making this a bad section, and it's only about 100 feet in length.  However recently instead of trying to get through it as quickly as possible, I changed down to first gear - there are five on Harleys.  Hey Presto, it became manageable.  I've been up it a few times since and now always make a point of dropping down to first.  And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

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