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Day 4
Gila Bend, Arizona to Globe, Arizona
147 miles, 5540 feet climbing

We were back to work on day 4. Gladys, Karen, John and I headed out to the designated lunch stop to set up a delicious burrito lunch. But first we tried to destroy Susan's tandem. The lunch van is a big Ford van pulling a small trailer. We keep most of the lunch supplies in this trailer. There are several bike racks on top of the van and the trailer. Crew members kept their bikes on the vehicle they were in. So our tandem was on the roof of the van. Susan's tandem also stayed on the van - on the other side. She was either riding her single or the other tandem with Lon that day. Anyway, as Gladys was pulling the vehicle in toward the shelter, the handlebars snagged a low tree and got tangled up before I looked up from what I was doing to scream stop. Unfortunately this tree was full of thorns, and we spent the next 20 minutes attempting to free the bike from the thorny tree. We finally got it down, and managed to setup lunch just before the first riders arrived.

Riding in the van that afternoon was one of those truly torturous experiences as we passed through spectacular scenery. John and I drove Gladys crazy asking to stop to take pictures over and over again. We probably sounded like people who had never left home with all our oohs and aahs about the cacti and mountains and clouds and such. We stopped in at the final snack stop to report on rider progress, grab some snacks and head in.

We drove up through a breathtaking canyon, and then saw an absolutely heartbreaking sign. My favorite ones show a truck on a triangle aimed downhill and usually have percentages over 10. While this percentage was only 6, the miles indicated were 12. Oh how I wanted to be on my bike. But in less than a mile, something seemed terribly wrong as the slope was decidedly up rather than down. Was the sign missing a slash to indicate 1/2 rather than 12 ? I could imagine a few bummed out cyclists ! The next sign claimed seven miles of downhill, but this descent ended after only 2, with more tough climbing ahead. The final truck on a triangle sign truthfully reported 4 miles of down, but after being burned twice, I wouldn't have believed it.

After all the false descending, we reached the motel. John and I could have predicted that it was on top of a killer steep hill and across from McDonalds. Lon seems to have a sick sense of humor this way, and always finds motels on top of hills, and for some reason, they are usually quite close to his favorite eating establishment.

We got in, checked the mail and found our new eccentric. So after working on lunch for the next day, we played bike mechanic for a while, and even got in a very quick 2 mile test ride.

Not a store you are likley to find in Ireland!