There are a few places in the lower route that do this too. One of the less offensive bugs hehe. Regarding the special stages, #5 is indeed tough but it whips you into shape. Once I finally passed it, 6 and 7 were simple. When I started a Tails run I ended up getting all 7 first try. Now I know you can beat #1 at least by completely lapping the UFO, and #2 backwards. I love that they're so free like that. Those special stages are one of the best things in Mania.