Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Flatlander goes to the Black Hills of South Dakota – A Ride Report
The family and I spent a week in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I brought my bike and was able to work in a couple of rides. Being from Minnesota, I don’t get a chance to ride sustained climbs. This vacation was a great opportunity to ride some different types of roads and see some great country.

My first ride was Sunday July 6th. I started at our rented cabin and rode to Mount Rushmore, down Rushmore and back up Iron Mountain Road on the Peter Norbeck Scenic Highway, down Iron Mountain onto the Custer State Park Wildlife loop, up the Needles Highway to Cathedral Spires and Needles rock formations, and finally down to Sylvan Lake. It’s not a complete loop because I arranged to meet my wife at Sylvan Lake, she hiked to the top of Harney Peak and I took over the child entertainment duties.

Here’s the Route:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Mount Rushmore

I started a little past dawn at about 5:50am. The ride started with a climb up to Mount Rushmore. I learned along the way that it would be a day riding the little ring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Norbeck Highway

One of the reasons Mount Rushmore was chosen for the monument site is because it sits all be itself. Once you’re at Mount Rushmore there’s nowhere to go but down. My first screaming descent of the week where I learned that my big gears would have very little role in this ride. After the descent, back into the little ring for the climb up Iron Mountain on the Norbeck scenic highway. Along this stretch of the road, an interesting alternative to switchbacks is used, the Pigtail Bridge. The road twists around itself climbing the entire length and then crosses back on a bridge. It’s a curly cue, like a pig’s tail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tunnel on Iron Mountain Road

As you ride through this tunnel you look ahead and see the Monument at Mt. Rushmore framed by the tunnel walls. It was stunning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MoreTunnels

This tunnel is cut halfway up a shear cliff face and a pigtail bridge twists up to meet it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Road

Here’s the scene along the way. It was a beautiful day and I had the road to myself for most of this leg. No cars went past me on my side of the road from the start to about the halfway point of the ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Top of Iron Mountain

Here’s the rewarding view of Rushmore from the top of Iron Mountain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Down Iron Mountain

Now I get to test my courage and handling skills on the descent. I’m on the road, looking down at the road below, and beyond that, the road once again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Custer State Park Wildlife Loop

After the descent from Iron Mountain I rode into Custer State Park and onto the Wildlife Loop. All the recent advice regarding cattle guards came in handy. My first encounter was the wild burros. This is a shot looking back. I rode through this group and stopped to take this shot. I didn’t want to get too close.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What the heck

I figured I don’t get this chance everyday, so I coasted back for a close up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bath Time

Just down the hill from the burros I came to a large herd of Buffalo. I coasted by this big boy taking his afternoon bath.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The Crossing

This was a big herd on the move. They were moving across the road. I stopped and waited about 20 minutes, looking for an opening. It never came; I finally pedaled through on the quarter panel of a big pickup truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A Scare for Both of Us

After getting through the big herd, the road descends down toward the southern entrance to Custer State Park. I hadn’t seen any buffalo for a couple of miles so I let the speed creep up on the downhill. Big mistake! I’m up around 40MPH and I round a corner and there’s 5-6 buffalo walking up the middle of the road in a narrow ravine. I slam on the brakes, the back wheels hopping off the pavement, I’m thinking I’m not going to get it stopped until I’m amongst them, then they see me! They’re as scared as I am, they all do a 180, an adult loses it’s footing and falls on it’s side, regains it’s feet and they all sprint back down the hill. I get it stopped at a safe distance, thanks to their reversal. I manage to get the camera out and snap this shot. The clack of their hoofs as they ran away on the pavement was as audible as the thump of my heart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
State Game Lodge – Custer State Park

The State Game Lodge was used as the summer white house for Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hole in the Wall

Here I am at the Hole in the Wall picnic area. Starting here, the road goes up and up to the Needles, a rock formation near Harney Peak (the highest point between the Rockies and the Alps).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,403 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A Needle

Here’s the top. I was too beat and too late for more photos. A quick coast down from here to meet my wife at Sylvan Lake.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Is that an MTBR gathering? Lotta jackasses hanging around!

Sorry, couldn't resist! Just seeing if the photo gets copied into the reply along with the text of the message being replied to...

Scot_Gore said:
After the descent from Iron Mountain I rode into Custer State Park and onto the Wildlife Loop. All the recent advice regarding cattle guards came in handy. My first encounter was the wild burros. This is a shot looking back. I rode through this group and stopped to take this shot. I didn’t want to get too close.
[editing after posting the above...] Nope! the attached photo doesn't get copied!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top