5 turned into one of our best rides in ages. It was only 88
miles, but had over 8300 feet of climbing. As usual, most of
the riders left before we rolled out. We took it easy for a
while and warmed up, but picked up the pace as the rollers increased.
Riding every other day left our legs fairly fresh, and after
4 days of riding, other riders were starting to fatigue. We
zoomed past quite a few riders on these fabulous tandem rollers
that we could fly down and use our momentum to zip up the far
side at over 30 mph. We caught quite a few riders by surprise
as we flew past on climbs, and joked that we would need to reintroduce
ourselves, since so many of them seemed to think our names were
Oh and Jesus. Fellow crew member, Roger Mankus reserved the
spot behind us for his own. Roger has a fair amount of experience
riding and drafting a tandem, and it showed. Staying with a
big bike on this type of terrain takes a little practice, but
he was quite proficient. Usually it means working your tail
off on the downhill, and eventually getting a little break on
the climb. Let a gap form at all, and all hope is lost.
None of the climbs were really bad, usually just long and gradual.
They were the type to just get into the rhythm and go, and we
did. Then we hit a descent that could have been a complete speed
rush, but unlike East Coast roads, where trees block the view,
we could see forever. After hitting 58 mph, we had to stop for
pictures. We stopped over and over again until we ran out of
we had another roll handy and reloaded. Then we saw one of the
best signs of the trip that proclaimed, "Animals on Road
next 20 miles." I had to get a shot of the sign and the
two cycling animals I was riding with.
We beat the lunch van to the motel, so we had a little time
to run errands before getting back to work. John found a barber
to fix his haircut. I made him promise not to tell the barber
that his girlfriend did this to him, since he'd get teased mercilessly.