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Day 5
Globe, Arizona to Show Low, Arizona
88 miles, 8300 feet climbing

 

Day 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 film.

Fortunately 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.