Sweet Dreams, Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart (1983)
|Scouting back roads in search of the Black Hills Bounty.
The Black Hills Bounty is my name for a 5 day, remote, rough road bikepacking tour of the Black Hills of South Dakota that I am designing for cycling buddy Paul Brasby. Later this year, I plan to ride it with Paul, along with a few other friends from Nebraska. Afterward, I'll post a ride report with pictures and digital maps.
For now, I'll describe the daily rides in mileage, elevation gain, and road type so that Paul and his friends know something of what lies ahead and can prepare. To preserve an element of surprise and discovery for them, I'll wait to reveal the details of the route until shortly before we start.
As currently configured, the Black Hills Bounty bikepacking route covers about 300 miles and gains about 25,000 feet of elevation gain over 5 days, with little deviation. In other words, it's about 60 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain every day for 5 days. Overall, the mileage is split pretty evenly between USFS Primary, Secondary, and Low Standard roads, with the exception of one day that is primarily paved. For descriptions and illustrations of what those types of roads look like in the Black Hills, go to my prior post The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.
As I confirmed this route, I kept adding more rough Low Standard roads to connect things and to dive a little bit more remote. So, mileage is reduced from earlier drafts, but the degree of difficulty per mile is increased. For me, this is a mountain bike tour, for tires and gearing, except for the primarily paved day.
Here's the overall outline, with one photograph somewhere along the route for each day and a break down of mileage of each type of road for the day. Further changes, if any, are likely to be minor.
5 day Total = 290 miles/24,802 feet. Or, about 58 miles/4,960 feet of elevation gain per day average.
So, that's what I've been working on.
What fun, memorable, challenging routes lie waiting for you to create in your neck of the woods?