Another beautiful day for bike riding. It really makes one appreciate it after a day of rain. We met at 8:30am to get ready for the ride and left about 8:50 heading south towards Edgemont. The total distance today is 48 miles.
getting ready for the pic
It was uphill for a mile or so leaving Custer and then we finally got to go downhill again. Until today – I didn’t think there were any level sections of trail (and there weren’t for the first 2 days) but today we got some long stretches that were level or nearly level.
We went trough Pringle and saw a bicycle graveyard (or junk yard) not sure what the story is there.
While the terrain became more an more level there were still sections where water had created deep gorges with trees that we went over/around/through. We had lunch at the Minnekahta Trailhead 16 miles from Edgemont. A number of us decided we had had enough bike riding for the day/week. But 5 intrepid riders continued on to Edgemont to finish the trail
Terry wanted to take some pictures for Christmas cards:
Waiting for the shuttle to arrive!
Thanks to our SAG hosts/ picnic organizers/ and overall coordinators – Patti and Clark!
We had happy hour out on the veranda behind our hotel. Then we walked to dinner at the Frontier Grill a few blocks west. We had an unexpectedly good music entertainment while we were eating.
This is a picture of us with the artist.
Today was a wonderful day for riding bikes on the Mickelson trail. A Shuttle service picked us and our bikes up in Custer and drove us to Rochford. We got a later start than we wanted because there was a problem with one of our rental bikes.
Rick had a spontaneous flat while we were waiting, but he fixed it in record time and was ready to go before they finished fixing the bike. When they decided they couldn’t fix it they drove John back to Hill City to get a new bike and then brought him back to a trailhead just beyond where we were located.
The scenery was beautiful and highly varied. Lots of trees, valleys, hills, rocks, and flowing water. The trail went downhill for a ways and then started up again. For some reason we could make good time going down but going up seemed to slow us down more than we expected.
Rochford Trail Head
Mystic Trail Head
We had lunch at the Alpine Inn in Hill City (excellent!) and then waited at the bike shop while they fixed another flat and the brakes on another rental bike. We eventually got on the road to Custer at about 3:15pm. We knew that the 14 mile ride from Hill City to Custer was going to take a while – The map said it would be 9 miles up and 5 miles down. Again – it seemed to take forever to go the 9 miles and the last bit just zoomed by.
Rest stop on high trestle
Almost to the summit – one more mile!
Nearly to Custer!
We arrived back at the motel at 5:50pm showered/dressed and went out to eat at the Sage Creek Grille in Custer (also excellent!)
After dinner we gathered at the firepit behind our motel roasted marsh mellows and made samores.
Tomorrow we ride to Edgemont from Custer and then shuttle back to Custer. We are waiting to finalize our plans with a current weather update.
Because there will be thunderstorms in the area – we may modify the plan a bit.
More pictures soon!
We woke to rain – lots of it.
After lots of discussion we decided to shorten today’s ride by about 10 miles (except for Rick who did the whole thing). We started at a the Englewood trailhead and rode to Rochford.
There was lots of beautiful scenery along the way as well as lots of mud. The trail was good for the most part – but there were sections where the rain had soaked it til it was much softer than normal.
We had a great lunch in Rochford at the Saloon with a real double barrel stove and lots of hats on the ceiling.
Patty and Clark met us at lunch with a car and all the drivers rode back to the start with Robin then we picked up all the bikes and other riders and drove to Custer where we will be staying for the next 3 nights.
After showers and happy hour
We had dinner at the Begging Burro in Custer
We drove from Lafayette to Deadwood South Dakota with stops on the way for lunch In Lusk WY and Hill City South Dakota to pick up rental bikes and then on to Deadwood. We had a wonderful dinner at the Deadwood Social Club. We rode the local trolley to and from our motel. Tomorrow we start a 3 day ride on the Mickelson Trail:
Day 1 Deadwood to Rochford
Day 2 Rochford to Custer
Day 3 Custer to Edgemont
We are staying tonight in Deadwood and the next 3 nights in Custer.
Rain is in the forecast – so we are bowing to the weather gods hoping for a reprieve.
Preparation for our groups dinner
Big dinner table!
We are planning a bike ride on the Mickelson trail – stay tuned for updates and pictures.