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Monday, July 13, 2015

Adding a Little Zip

Over the past several months, I've had a lot of fun exploring back roads in western South Dakota to create the 306 mile Black Hills BackBone route.  A shake out ride on the 210 mile Gold Rush Mother Lode confirmed my plans for logistics, such as bike, gear, clothes, water and food.  Then a push-the-pace race at the 170 mile Odin's Revenge confirmed that my endurance is sufficient to legitimately contemplate attempting the BackBone.  But I know the cost of these long, relatively slow rides:  speed, or more accurately, loss of speed.

M-Hill.  The name of every graduate of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is up there, forming the M, or the S or the D.  This picture was taken by John, a 1991 SDSM&T grad from Norway, here on vacation with his family. 






Back to basics for some short, fun, faster rides.  For me, that means starting with the sweet flow of M-Hill single track in the heart of Rapid City on my rigid, 2-9er single speed.  It's impossible not to have fun on those trails, with that bike.

Pointing uphill for Sun Climb, a trail for which I have neither the skill nor the conditioning to clean.
Doesn't mean I won't ride as much as I can.
These 20+ miles of single track goodness were designed and built, for the most part, by "Trail Dave" Dressel of Trail Arts, a talented and dedicated trail master.  There's something for everyone up there, with new loops and connectors added every year.  If you're in Rapid City and have an hour or two, you won't be disappointed scouting around M-Hill, on wheels or on foot.

Finally on top, with the Cathedral Spires and Harney Peak on the horizon.
You could call such a ride "intervals," or a "hill work out," or worse yet, "anaerobic threshold training."  I call it a short, faster mountain bike ride on cool trails.  Whatever it's called, the result of a couple of these a week will be a little zip in the legs for the BackBone.

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