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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
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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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Quote:
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
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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 11-13-2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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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   #7
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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, 12:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
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.
Afraid of heights too and I have been over the Mackinac Bridge 3 or 4 times on a motorcycle. 300 feet over the water, riding on grates! Yikes!
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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Crisis is on the right track. I have an intense fear of heights. Pictures of heights freak me out. It's a thing. I hate it. Anyway - accepting the fear is key. Owning it. Then build skills so that you can ride past the fear. I took Eric Trow's Stayin' Safe course in So Cal. I came down a road I could never in my life ridden down with confidence, because I had this amazing set of skills now to manage it. I was also following Eric as he talked me down. Yes that helped. Now I ride roads in my neighborhood that used to freak me out.

Step one - accept it. Don't 'suck it up', that makes it worse.

Then skills/ tools building.

Oh, I love airplanes ;-)
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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You're not alone here! While I"ve always had slight fear of heights, I think it's gotten worse. I can ride in an airplane or helo, look off a balcony, climb up to my roof on a ladder, but tall bridges (Tampa in particular) make me nervous, and forget about things like roller coasters. A couple years ago, we were in Colorado and drove Trail Ridge Road (in a car). Going up was fine, but going back down was very disconcerting,even though that road is nearly three lanes wide. Funny thing, as a kid of about 12, I went up the old Fall River Road, which is dirt with much steeper drop-offs, and don't remember being bothered. Another interesting point I don't understand, walking a next to a steep drop-off doesn't wig me out as much as driving near one in or on a vehicle. Not sure why. I guess I won't be competing in the Pike's Peak or driving Yungas Road anytime soon.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #11
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
henryroten OP
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Thanks to all for the insight/wisdom of me dealing with heights. After my last trip that contained numerous high bridges and long dark tunnels (I didn't mention that I tend to lose my equilibrium or balance in dark tunnels) I was convinced that the time had come for me to hang it up and sell the bike, my day was done. After a week or so of deep contemplation, I decided that the best thing to do was for me to try and conquer my fears, perhaps one step at a time, and learn to deal with it. A doctor once told me that whatever the fear was that I was experiencing or feeling, that the reality was entirely different than my perception. That recollection now makes sense, and seems to help.

Onward I go, is there really an option?
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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A few resources

I'm not vouching for any of this, but some of this might be helpful:

http://www.changethatsrightnow.com/fear-of-heights/

http://www.amazon.com/Fear-Heights-C.../dp/B001HAUFL6

http://www.psychotherapy-center.com/...f_heights.html
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:02 PM   #14
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Never growing up had I been afraid heights. Climbed up roofs, would even jump off and no problems. Had my dad teach me how to rappel. I have bounded down 100' cliffs and had a blast. As I've gotten older (only 31), i have become terrified of heights. Only the last year or two. Since this fear is new to me, I take it all in (even the height), take a deep breath, wiggle the hands, and go. The more I think about it the worse it gets. That's why I try and just go before it truly sinks in.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #15
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Experience speaks..

Take a break, Fear builds and can become overwhelming, (you don't quite get over the first instance when the second , third and fourth come along..) sudenly that little pang of nervousness that you used to feel is a full blown phobia and no fun anymore. It can make you physicaly ill.
Two things to know.
1 The fear is real
2 it will subside with time if you let it (don't invite it back till you are ready)

Take a break.

An unattended tick bite years ago.. taught me (and a team of dr's) volumes on Fear and fear management. I am better now and Fearless!!!

Good Luck
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