One continuous ride, a series of days, or sections over time.
Self supported, shuttled or fully supported.
Solo, buddy or group.
Maybe some combination, or even all of the above.
|Rough map hand drawn from the DoubleBackBone cue sheets.
Sweet dreams are made of this.
Here's a few thoughts to kick start your own daydream.
1. Dakota Marker Start: After a night at the Picnic Spring Campground, start at the North Dakota border, ride the original BackBone route to Nebraska and return on the DoubleBackBone route. That's a border-to-border-to-border ride, through a big chunk of the Black Hills, sandwiched by some surprisingly sweet prairie to the North and South. This was my initial concept of the Black Hills DoubleBackBone.
2. Spearfish Start: Ride south on the original BackBone route, dip your wheel into Nebraska, return to Spearfish on the DoubleBackBone route, restock and reassess if necessary, ride north on the DoubleBackBone through Camp Crook to North Dakota and return to Spearfish on the BackBone. By eliminating the three hour drive to North Dakota and by knocking off that Tinton Road climb right off the bat, this is my current preference.
3. Anywhere Start: The beauty of a looped course is the ability to start wherever you choose and finish at the same spot. It may be convenient for you to start from Custer. If you're driving in from Colorado, maybe from Edgemont. If from Nebraska, perhaps Oelrichs.
4. Something Completely Different: It's not all or nothing. For example, take a look at just the Southern Loop, which takes one through about 200 miles of Black Hills and 100 miles of prairie, with about 15,000 feet of elevation gain. Talk about a DoubleBackBone sampler.
I'd start a Southern Loop in Buffalo Gap, ride North to overnight atop Flag Mountain for the sunrise view, ride the second day to Edgemont for steak dinner and spin home to Buffalo Gap on day three.
That actually sounds pretty good. Now, to find a three day weekend.