Ride 89 Day 11

97.8 miles, 4,032 feet of elevation gain

Some days are incredible. Everything works just as it should.

Today was one of those days.

With hotter days we’re getting up earlier. I started this morning’s ride at 5 a.m. by meeting Rich and Vicki Linton in downtown Kanab. It was dark as we started our ride.

Rich is an active septuagenarian who loves biking. He has been a Huntsman Hometown Hero for many years.

I love riding in the predawn hours. We started with the milky way over our heads. The sky eventually paled as we pedaled toward Venus in the sky above us. Dawn came shortly before we to top of the first climb. Our speeds went from 15 mph to 25-35 mph. We whizzed through a magical red landscape. We stopped to refill our bottles for the first time two hours into the ride. With the pace Rich had been setting, that mean we were more than 1/3 the way through.

We continued, generally downhill, all the way to the Glen Canyon Dam then started climbing as we reached Page. We’d had a small climb coming out of Kanab but the true climb was the 20 miles south of Page. I put on my cooling sleeves and wet them down. I was amazed at how chilly my arms and legs felt. I think the cooling layer is a winning idea. We’ll find out over the next week. As we started the climb, Rich and I used socks full of ice around our necks to stay cool as we climbed.

Rich is a mountain goat and as much as I love hill climbing, after 1,249 miles my legs are a little tired. I started falling a little behind, which is okay. At mile 92, we reached the top of the hill and enjoyed a very quick five-mile descent to Bitter Springs Arizona. We’ll pick up the ride there tomorrow.

We were done by 12:30. We found out that we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3, so we tried to go to Antelope Canyon, but it was a bit pricey for our budget. After I asked about the price, the guy behind the counter pulled down his mask and shouted, “Nobody asked you, legs!” He thought it was pretty funny and kept repeating it.

Tonight our family, and Kelly and James are going to dinner with the Lintons in Page. Today we crossed the border into Arizona. That means we have crossed through four states and are on our final one.

I’m looking forward to finishing tomorrow’s ride and having a rest day.