So it's no secret that our former hometown of Champaign-Urbana is the flattest place on Earth. For a long time I assumed most of the midwest was similar, but it most certainly isn't. Last Sunday I did a 50 mile ride with my friends Nick & Mike, along with a new guy Kurt (or is it Curt?) who showed us a heck of a route about a half hour west of the city.
We started at Matson Hill Park (any hill with a name earns my immediate respect), near Defiance, MO. Traffic was relatively light, which was a welcome change from the city. There were 10 or so good hard climbs in the 200-400 foot range, many of which were extremely steep, a few were in excess of 20%. These suckers were tough.
Aside from the big hills the route had rolling hills that dwarf anything in Champaign County almost non-stop the entire way. As we approached one of the big hills Kurt turned to the rest of us (who had never seen this route before) and said:
Oh... I forgot about this hill.
He then beat me to the top rather handily. When I eventually caught back up with him the only response I could muster was:
Where I come from we don't forget about hills like that.