Who Said Arkansas is Flat?

Mt Riante - Humble Pie

With work relocating me out of cycling heaven (rolling Kentucky hills), I have been exploring the countryside of SW rural Arkansas.  Needless today I’ve made a handful of friends that happen to be cows, literally.  After about 2 weeks of riding some epic gravel farm roads, I decided to try to find some roads that resembled my Kentucky roots (meaning more than 15m of climbing).

After scouring strava for anything withing a 50km range of my hotel, I found a segment “Mt. Riante Rd”.  Feeling up for the challenge I headed out on a day where the locals were scared to drive on the interstate because of some early morning sleet.   As I started the ascent, I quickly realized that a 2km climb with 225m of climbing was not going to be easy on my winter legs.  Making it through the switchback that topped at 35% I was labored, but knew I would survive.  It wasn’t until near the top when I encountered an icy road, which skyrocketed again to 30%+.  When I finally made it to the top, and stood next to that cellphone tower, I did feel pride from conquering one of the toughest climbs I’ve ever seen, even if I couldn’t feel my fingers.

Mt. Riante, you may have put me in a world of hurt, but I will see you again soon.

-Matt Wright

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One Response to Who Said Arkansas is Flat?

  1. Sam Lowe says:

    Fabulously, lactic-acidly written.

    I used to live in Kansas. Yes, the land of Dorothy. And contrary to popular opinion, it too is not entirely a kitchen table. I know the sharp pain of heading west into the prairie wind for several hours, only to encounter a surprising spike that puts the cherry on top of the hurt.

    Surprising that we love this so much…

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