Grinding it out in the Arizona desert
June 1, 2023

By Suzanne Stack

Today was the dreaded 97.8-mile uphill with 6,000’ climb day. Tom Davies, a 5-time RAAM racer who came by to visit us at Salome High School advised going a different way. But our Neil is a studier and (after who knows how many hours of consideration) stuck to the original route.

And a glorious day of wee weee weee it was!!! Yes you had to get up the hill to have the joy of screaming down it, but my Garmin never measured anything over an 8% grade. Much to our delight, the narrow shoulderless switchbacks of “The Spar” had been replaced with new road. 

Several riders, of course, had to grind out that century, including first time rider, Bart, who only started road biking this summer. Also first into the church and probably the only one to see / find it easily despite no Garmin or Ride With GPS. Our host church was located right on The Square in Prescott and several went for ice cream after.

It was a long day at the office for sweeps who were out for 12 hours as well as sags who saw 3 hours between riders at the last rest stop and then had to take the laundry team after. And thanks to a completely sleepless night under whacky motion-activated lights, I was able to get this blog done promptly. It was a good day  😉

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