HIghroller’s Ride #2: Mulberry 2013

18 Apr

On Sunday April 14 2013 a group of Highrollers set out on a ride.

Cue Sheets and Map

Cue Sheets and Map

The idea was that we all needed a fitness check and prep for our annual Mt. Magazine ride in May. I came up with a good route that would offer us a couple of good climbs and some nice scenery. The basic premise of the route was leave from the Mulberry River, ride a rectangle in a counterclockwise direction, eat some food along the way, and return to the starting point. More route details can be found at the link below:

The Route

I had a sinus infection the week prior and didn’t feel I had quite gotten over it so I decided to drive the follow car. It bummed me out to not be on the bike but ultimately it was the best decision. As we headed out through the river valley I snapped a couple of pics of the group. I always love the way that the Highroller Shop jerseys look in a group. That vertical line is very visible on the road and looks very classy.

Heading over the Mulberry River Bridge

Heading over the Mulberry River Bridge

Cool old barns are some of my favorite backdrops

Cool old barns are some of my favorite backdrops

A few miles past Turner Bend the road kicks up for the first time. The climb isn’t really long but it does have several steep and winding sections. The sweeping left-hand corners would provide a level point to gain some speed before the steep right-hand blind corners. We were a pretty evenly matched group overall, but a couple of the riders were much better climbers. Consequently, our group split up a little bit on this climb. After the hill topped the group enjoyed descending rollers with huge panoramic views into the AR river valley. The rolling nature of the road and car traffic kept our group somewhat separate. We didn’t get back together until the first left turn on 352. Once the group reunited the pace was brisk but comfortable all the way to the first rest stop.

Sweeping corners were a super feature.

Sweeping corners were a super feature.

Rolling down 23 after the hill topped out

Rolling down 23 after the hill topped out

Our first rest stop was at the Swiss Family Bistro in Altus

Our first rest stop was at the Swiss Family Bistro in Altus

I drove ahead of the group after the rest stop in order to try and get in a few miles in my legs. Even though I was in a car I was still impressed by the beauty of the route. I knew it would be nice but I never thought it would be as nice as it was. The views were magnificent as we made our way through the valley towards the foothills of the Ozarks. The only downside to the scenery was the knowledge that those hills had to be conquered before the end of the ride. As I drove my car up the switchbacks on 103 toward Oark I was somewhat sad that I wouldn’t be suffering up the climb with everyone. I didn’t take any photos of this section because of the unique nature of this road. It was so impressive that if you want to know what it is like you should just go and ride it yourself.

The Foothills of the Ozarks loom in the distance

The Foothills of the Ozarks loom in the distance

After I had driven a bit ahead of the group I parked and readied my bike for a little ride. I tooled along and eventually found myself climbing up the back side of the 103 climb toward the group as they descended into Oark. I waited for The last rider to top out and rode back down into Oark with them. Only half of the group made the turn to go to the cafe for lunch. The rest of them somehow missed both the sign pointing the way and the turn listed on the cue sheet. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves but rest assured those of us who did make the lunch stop won the ride even though we ended about an hour and a half after the others.

Rest stop number 2

Rest stop number 2

Winning

Winning

Homemade pecan pie with ice cream, of course

Homemade pecan pie with ice cream, of course

After the lunch stop We rode the 15 miles mostly downhill to the finish where we found our mates all huddled under the one shady spot in the parking lot. They looked tired and hungry. We tried not to rub it in too much.

Thanks for reading.

Branton

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One Response to “HIghroller’s Ride #2: Mulberry 2013”

  1. danimal May 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    given that this ride was on sunday would perfectly explain why no one was there on saturday when i showed up to do it. listening had never been my strong suite.

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