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The Scary Bridge

670cc

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Two years ago, I crossed a bridge riding the NC over the Ohio River in southern Illinois, US Highway 45. That bridge ride scared me so badly I refused to return back over it. I went out of my way to avoid it on the return trip.

I pride myself on being able to safely handle surfaces like sand, gravel, and metal bridge decks. I’ve ridden many metal grate deck bridges, including those on the Mississippi River and on the Alaska Highway. I even crossed the long, tall (but paved) Confederation Bridge off Prince Edward Island in a rain/wind storm, and the Mackinac Bridge in the wind. But this US45 bridge was so high, so long, and with the tires so wiggly, I nearly freaked out.

On another trip I’m driving a Ridgeline truck and pulling an enclosed motorcycle hauling trailer, and I’m thinking well, that can’t be so bad. Wrong. The bridge has a maximum width limit of 8 ft, and I later discovered my trailer was just three inches less than that. I had a really stressful moment when a boat trailer passed me coming the other way. I thought sure I was going to lose a trailer fender as we passed.

So, I’m back here today with the NC, but I am not crossing that bridge.

If you’re ever riding near Brookport, Illinois or Paducah, Kentucky, I invite you to take the Scary Bridge challenge!

F56103B8-B9C4-4C57-94AF-E1A7EC546537.jpegEC37D95C-9959-491E-A309-96DFF85F82F0.jpeg
 

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I'm having anxiety just thinking about crossing that bridge. And I've been riding for 40+ years. My biggest pet peeve is grooved asphalt under construction. I recently hit a couple mile stretch that I was sure was going to take me down. It was like 50 wiggly edge traps and moved me all over the place...and with my daughter on the back it was a butt pucker moment. I will NOT be accepting your challenge and I'm man enough to admit that.
 

Bskicrash1

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Wow. I’ve never seen a bridge like that! Here in New York, the longest bridge I’ve ever seen was just shy of a mile over the Hudson River, then in the other end of the state is the Rainbow bridge crossing the Niagara river.
 

670cc

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670cc

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Enjoy riding over the bridge yourself.
Guaranteed you won't crash!

The video takes about 10 seconds to load once you click on the link.


Click here to download the high-quality original digital file of this video.
That’s an interesting video, as well as the history and construction details of that bridge at the historicbridges.org site. I didn’t crash watching the video, but I still felt uneasy. The metal grate just keeps going and going. Halfway across on a motorcycle you’re thinking, “I want off this bridge!“ but nope, you gotta ride it out to the end.
 

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We have the Mighty Mac on the north connecting up the 2 parts of Michigan. 7 miles from start to finish. I was scared to death to cross it. We arrived on a windy day, while it was under construction. Turned out to be a very easy ride! Much of the bridge is made of steel mesh plating so you can see down through the deck all the way to the water below. Of course I'm afraid of heights. So that was my anxiety.

But we got lucky, due to the construction and the wind they lowered the speed limit for the day, and we had a semi-truck in front of us so we just had a leisurely cruise across the bridge without any issue and honestly the whole fear of heights thing was a non-issue too.

There is a nasty bridge going into Duluth, MInn from the south. Plenty of merging traffic and interchanges, with curves going into the short bridge area and then merging traffic again. The bridge wasn't so much the problem as it was the curve and the merging van that really wanted my lane, while I was still in it. Got off the other side and I was a bit shaken up. Whoever engineered all that mess should be taken out and thrashed. Too much going on into the bridge, and that curved section made for all sorts of traffic lane changes. Fortunately there is a scenic route north of Duluth that is mostly pleasant 2 lane and was worth the trip to get to.
 

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I've been across this bridge. I thought that the grates direct the bike more than other grated bridges I've been on. More than the Mackanac Bridge in MI. Without my dirt/gravel riding experiences, it would have been terrifying. Even with them, it was concerning. You have to keep a loose grip and allow the bike to wander a bit
 

mzflorida

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I have a question. Would a lower tire pressure help navigate these long steel bridges? I don’t know the answer and sincerely interested. My initial thought is that it would. I know lower is a relative term but you all get the drift.
 

670cc

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It's like crossing the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan with the steel grate.
I mentioned in post #1 that I had ridden the Mackinac. I’ve actually ridden it about 3 times, and it did not bother me (much).
 

670cc

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I have a question. Would a lower tire pressure help navigate these long steel bridges? I don’t know the answer and sincerely interested. My initial thought is that it would. I know lower is a relative term but you all get the drift.
We’re looking for a volunteer to try it.
 

Jt105

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The trick is to keep a loose grip on the handlebars. You want to be gentle and guide the bike in the direction you want, not force it. The bike will want move around under you and you'll have to let it. It certainly is a creepy and uneasy feeling.
 

mzflorida

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The trick is to keep a loose grip on the handlebars. You want to be gentle and guide the bike in the direction you want, not force it. The bike will want move around under you and you'll have to let it. It certainly is a creepy and uneasy feeling.
Oh yeah. We have quite a few steel bridges here. I don’t like it one bit. Add “say a quick prayer” and that is my routine. The bridges I have here are short though.
 

Doc True

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Let's not get too carried away with this bridge. It's not unrideable; It's just considerably more squirrely than other grate bridges for some reason. It could throw an inexperienced rider into an crash, but that's about it
 
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