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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friday morning, I was going into Brunswick, GA on HWY 17. The winds that morning were about 5-10 mph on the ride in. I had to cross the Sidney Lanier Bridge which is over 200 feet above the water and 180 feet above land. http://www.johnweeks.com/cablestay/pages/csb06.html

About half way up, the wind started gusting really hard. It was a morning land breeze and the it was blowing at a 90 degree angle to the bridge. There is no turning around once you start up the bridge and going up from the south end the climb is 200 feet in about 1/2 mile. Half way up, I had already dropped to 4th gear riding the center line of the two northbound lanes. At the top, winds were steady at 25 and gusting to 35-40. Talk about a pucker factor. I made it across and when I was ready to head back south, I took the longer route and skipped the bridge.

So if you are riding in SE Georgia and North Florida, there are three of these bridges. Savannah, Brunswick and Jax each have one of these tall suspension bridges. There is also one down in Tampa. The one in Jacksonville, from what I understand, closes down when the winds exceed 45 mph. That's because the damn things move. So you get blown sideways by the wind and then the bridge is moving as well. That can make for an interesting riding situation.

Point is, on windy days, be VERY aware of these high bridges and what you might get into when you get to the top. The winds up there are unobstructed and are a lot higher that they are at the bottom.
 
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Good point, I've been on the one in Tampa, Jacksonville, and Brunswick, my scariest experience was on the one in Tampa, but all can cause concerns when there's wind or bad weather.
 

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Oh man I remember the time I cross the Mackinaw Bridge in a stiff enough cross wind they had it closed to 18 wheelers. I swear the bridge was swinging about 2-3 ft at the top. It was the most exciting ride I had in a long time and it was on a chopper with about a 10 inch over sized front end.

Talk about pucker factor.
 

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I agree about high winds and pucker factor on bridges but there's few things I love more then riding across long tall bridges. I've been known to ride 50 miles out of my way to ride across a large bridge. In my mind some live up to the hype, some don't. I loved the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Florida but after years of wanting to go finally crossed the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan last summer (3 times) and was kind of disappointed.

Are those 3 bridges you talk about in Savannah, Brunswick and Jacksonville all on US 17? Due to circumstance I'm not road trippin' right now but when I do that sounds like a road trip to me :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Savannah Bridge is on HWY 17 crossing the Savannah River from Georgia to South Carolina.

The Brunswick Bridge is on HWY 17 on the south side of town. The southern end of the bridge is where you would make the turn to St. Simons Island.

The Jacksonville Bridge is on I-295 on the northeast side of JAX. You can't miss it. It usually has significant wind at the top and its a steep ride up and down both sides with a nice curve on the south side of the bridge. The bridge is about 2 miles long. Traffic is usually running 65-70 mph on that bridge so on windy days, you have to watch where you are in a lane. Give yourself some room to move side to side.

Here is some info on it: http://www.ask.com/wiki/Dames_Point_Bridge?lang=en
 

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The Mackinac bridge can either be dull or hair raising dependig on the conditions.

The inner lanes have open grates where you can see the water below and your tires tend to "follow" the grates, which makes for quite a squirelly ride.

Two pucker-inducing trips. First one was a June trip, it was 45 degrees and a driving rain and windy.

Second was very sunny but a very strong cross wind. There was construction on the bridge (almost always the case), and they had construction equipment parked on the side at various points which blocked the wind. So at various points youd be leaning against the wind, then you'd come to the equipment and it suddently blocked the wind, pass the equipment and get nearly blown off your bike. Several times throughout the span.
 

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I was once riding from my brothers house out east in NY home to NJ going over Verrazano Narrows bridge on my Wide Glide, I got blasted with side winds so strong that I was leaning full force against it like I was in a sharp turn, then gusts stop off and on. scary shit, seems like it took forever to get over that bridge. An inexperienced rider would have been in trouble. Most of the time they ban MC's and trucks going over tall bridges on windy days, but sometimes that wind comes out of nowhere. Another bridge there's always wind is going over Driscoll bridge on GSP, even in my car I can feel the gusts sometimes. Always anticipate winds over tall bridges and roadways.
peace, ride safe and have a nice Cinco de Mayo
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, that Verranzano Narrows is a tough one. I've been across it and had didn't like it at all. There is also a long one on the bypass around Richmond, VA that's a little spooky. The suspension is in the center and some of the outside lane sections are sagging. The old highway 17 bridge in Savannah had the grates that you could see through and if you weren't expecting that, it would pucker your putter. That bridge was replaced by the new one after a ship hit it back in the 90s.
 

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The Mackinac bridge can either be dull or hair raising dependig on the conditions.
You're right it is the MackinaC Bridge at MackinaW City :D....+1 on the metal grates too. My first time across I had to ride the grate lane exclusively because of the construction.....you can see the water beneath you but besides the bike tending to roam around on the grate it was more a pita them anything. I was lucky both times across in June and again in August the weather was pretty good albeit a little cold in June. I do know they close it as well during times of high winds and bad weather.

As I said though I love that stuff. Some people freak out on bridges like that even on a pretty day. I've heard they had people that would ride your bike across if you were to scared to but saw no evidence of anyone available to do it.

One thing for sure a ride across the Mackinac Bridge followed by lunch at the Leggs Inn then a trip through the Tunnel of Tree's with a stop on the south end for a cold one at the Petrosky Brewing Company makes for a nice afternoon :D:eek::D
 

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On the West Coast, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco can get interesting at times.

I've seen plenty of times when it was gusting pretty good along that route (Highway 1). There are mountains (high hills) on the northern approach and all the hills in San Francisco from the southern approach. Only way for the wind to go is through the San Francisco Bay inlet which is spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge. At 220 feet above the bay, the funneled winds can get a bit on the blustery side, and are usually at a 90* angle to the roadway.

The bridge across the Carquinez Strait can be just as interesting for the exact same reason. All that wind that comes into the San Francisco Bay has to co somewhere. The Carquinez Bridge is the next big bridge upstream from the Golden Gate. It's also in a wind funnel area and stands 148 feet above the water at a 90* angle to the winds.

I know there are others, but those are a couple in my neck of the woods.
 

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The scariest damn bridge I've ever been across is the Huey P Long Bridge in New Orleans. I've been across it in a car and on a bike. Neither is fun, but the bike is actually better because that bridge is NARROW. Two skinny lanes each way. Going across in a small car, I swear I could have reached out the window and touched the wheels of the semi next to me. Oh, and I forgot to mention, trains run down the middle of it too. Hated that bridge when I lived there.

Here's some video of rail cars actually blowing off of that bridge during a storm just a couple of weeks ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7WfeV01A4g
 

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Back in '95 on a RK with 130 n rear, 2-up fully loaded (one of her first x's), went over the Hood River bridge fr WA-OR over the Columbia, a mile of GRATE (you could see the inspection accesses) in the dark, they charged .50 on the other side...didn't get any for three days after that...bout put her on a bus back:D
 

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I love riding over the Talmadge bridge in Savannah. It can get a little hairy on a windy day . It's not very long though. Pretty much up & down. Only had the chance to ride over the Sidney lanier bridge once, but one of the riders with us was scared, so we diverted. I also like the Mile high bridge in Tampa Fl. It is awesome because when your up high your also in the middle of the bay 2 miles from land. Very cool. One of the only bridges i've seen were they have peeps to drive your car across for you.
 

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You're right it is the MackinaC Bridge at MackinaW City :D....+1 on the metal grates too. My first time across I had to ride the grate lane exclusively because of the construction.....you can see the water beneath you but besides the bike tending to roam around on the grate it was more a pita them anything. I was lucky both times across in June and again in August the weather was pretty good albeit a little cold in June. I do know they close it as well during times of high winds and bad weather.

As I said though I love that stuff. Some people freak out on bridges like that even on a pretty day. I've heard they had people that would ride your bike across if you were to scared to but saw no evidence of anyone available to do it.

One thing for sure a ride across the Mackinac Bridge followed by lunch at the Leggs Inn then a trip through the Tunnel of Tree's with a stop on the south end for a cold one at the Petrosky Brewing Company makes for a nice afternoon :D:eek::D
You have NO idea how close your were to having to ride my bike across that bridge that day you SOB:eek: Or do you?:D Somehow I think you knew :eek:
 

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You're right it is the MackinaC Bridge at MackinaW City :D....+1 on the metal grates too. My first time across I had to ride the grate lane exclusively because of the construction.....you can see the water beneath you but besides the bike tending to roam around on the grate it was more a pita them anything. I was lucky both times across in June and again in August the weather was pretty good albeit a little cold in June. I do know they close it as well during times of high winds and bad weather.

As I said though I love that stuff. Some people freak out on bridges like that even on a pretty day. I've heard they had people that would ride your bike across if you were to scared to but saw no evidence of anyone available to do it.

One thing for sure a ride across the Mackinac Bridge followed by lunch at the Leggs Inn then a trip through the Tunnel of Tree's with a stop on the south end for a cold one at the Petrosky Brewing Company makes for a nice afternoon :D:eek::D
Try doing it at the end September! in 2010, I rode with my wife and 2 other couples up to the UP for our 23rd anniversary. The winds were so strong (40 mph +) they were restricting cars and trucks to 30 mph and bikes to 10. If the winds were any stronger they were going to shut the bridge down, and we had reservations for the weekend in St Ignace for a weekend of UP riding! Only problem is they made the bikes ride the grate while the other vehicles rode the asphalt. Now ordinarily this wouldn't be much of a problem but when a truck was next to you you were shielded from the wind and when it passed you you were riding sideways again. Needless to say I left fingerprints on the grips! thought I'd never get the bride on a bike again after that little trip
 

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Wife and I will be headed across Mackinaw Bridge next Tuesday.
There is a cool video on you tube of the dirtiest jobs guy walking the cable. He is with the guy that changes the light bulbs. FREAKY
 

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Yeah, that Verranzano Narrows is a tough one. I've been across it and had didn't like it at all. There is also a long one on the bypass around Richmond, VA that's a little spooky. The suspension is in the center and some of the outside lane sections are sagging. The old highway 17 bridge in Savannah had the grates that you could see through and if you weren't expecting that, it would pucker your putter. That bridge was replaced by the new one after a ship hit it back in the 90s.
I had some trouble crossing that bridge you mentioned in Virginia, wife and I were returning from a three week trip, my bike was really loaded down, as I had all the wife's luggage and mine, so her bike would be light. I had to slow to 40 mph crossing that bridge. Had a direct crosswind that hit like a sledgehammer,
I'm glad I had forty years riding experience, other wise it would have been scary. It definitely gave me pause, and on all future rides I declined to carry an "not required " luggage on the bike when traveling. My wife and I were never one to carry excessive gear, but that day still sticks in my mind
 

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You have NO idea how close your were to having to ride my bike across that bridge that day you SOB:eek: Or do you?:D Somehow I think you knew :eek:
Man tough crowd :D Funny you didn't look skeered :eek: ....on a clear day like this with little wind the bridge doesn't seem that intimidating to me. Its long and tall enough for the big ships to go under but there are no steep inclines or anything....

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I don't feel so bad about dropping a couple of gears crossing some of the aforementioned bridges in the wind. If the Sidney Lanier hadn't been so steep and long, I might have considered pushing the RG across it. After I hid my face, of course. :p. I've been in some tough riding situations but that was the most tense I've ever been thinking I was going to get blown into a wall.
 
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