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.