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Thursday, October 1, 2015

The One Ride Still Ahead

Last year about this time, I dreamt up the odd idea of creating a bike route that crossed the entire state of South Dakota, from North to South, along the spine of the Black Hills, on the best remote gravel and dirt roads I could find.  Call it the Black Hills BackBone.  Make it public and make it happen.

A rough outline soon took shape and details filled in as I researched roads and resupply possibilities by pouring over county, U.S. Forest Service and even internet satellite maps.  Eventually, I posted the proposed BackBone route and set out to check it all out.  Here are links to my prior posts on the Route OverviewCue Sheets and Maps and GPS.

A vague idea took hold and eventually took shape, over miles and time in the saddle.
Over the course of 2015, I rode every bit of the Black Hills BackBone route, in various bits, pieces and chunks, up, down and sideways and through all kinds of weather.  I have found, considered and rejected many possible re-routes and add-ons.  The course is a keeper.  I like it.

The view forward, from Flag Mountain Road, about mile 185 on the BackBone.
However, my plan was not to just re-con the route, as much fun as that was.  It was to ride it all, from border to border, on a single, continuous ride.  That's still my plan.  But my time window this year is closed.  No excuse.  I didn't get it done.

So, it's getting pushed to next year.  And the course record remains open.


  1. Don't worry about it Craig. All the roads and trails will be there next year! And maybe by then I'll be able to do it!

  2. Thanks, Chris. I'd love to share those roads with you.