Grass roots gravel at its finest. And it's right here, right now.
The Black Hills Gravel Series returns for Season 5, with a full slate of free rides this spring on Saturdays April 10, April 24, May 8, and May 22. More information is on BlackHillsGravel.com and the FaceBook group Black Hills Gravel FB Group. Sign up at BH Gravel Series Signup.
|Lucas Haan, out in the Hills, leading a group through some chunky gravel.
Lucas Haan, the force of nature behind the Black Hills Gravel Series, meticulously creates each unique, back country route, provides gpx files and cue sheets for self-navigation, and offers the empowering opportunity to ride self-supported. All of this free of entry fees, elitism, and pomposity. Just show up with most any bike, wearing most anything weather appropriate, and ride. Everyone is welcomed.
To be more accurate, at each ride, three courses will be offered, increasing in length and difficulty. They're named by color: Green (10-20 miles, moderate elevation gain), Blue (20-30+ miles, moderately more elevation gain and difficulty), and Black (50+ miles, significantly more elevation gain and difficulty, likely with an added challenge). There truly is a course for every level of ability, experience, and ambition.
|Sturgis 2017 - the first ride of the first season of the Black Hills Gravel Series!
This year, the Black Hills Gravel Series will not have a Group Start at a specific time. Instead, on the scheduled date, Lucas will be at the Start/Finish area from 7:30 am to 9:30 am to answer questions, talk you through the route, and to receive waivers, if you haven't electronically sent one to him. Start on your own at your own time, solo or in your group.
Lucas generally posts updated information on the FaceBook group Black Hills Gravel, but the best way to stay informed is to sign up in advance for the Series. Lucas then will send you timely emails, including waivers, gpx files, and cue sheets for each route. So, you just show up and ride.
|Hill City 2018 - cyclists of all kinds ride into the back country at the Black Hills Gravel Series.
The Black Hills Gravel Series started in 2017 when Lucas created routes from 6 different start locations on 6 consecutive weekends. Folks showed up. Word got around. More folks kept showing up. See, A Six Course Feast. And it just keeps getting bigger and better.
The popularity and growth of these rides has not been fueled by local racers chasing prizes or enthusiasts chasing the latest trends. And it certainly has not been fueled by big production starts, finishes, celebrities, or awards, since there are none of the above. The Black Hills Gravel Series is simply a spring challenge to ride some unique back roads with like-minded folks in a low-key, social environment. And you know that the routes will be fun. Every one.
|Spearfish 2019 - about 200 cyclists stream onto gravel at the Black Hills Gravel Series.
|Piedmont 2020 - South Dakota social distancing at the Black Hills Gravel Series.
This is the place. Now is the time.