Some cycling videos to share from my family vacation to South Dakota.

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by maydog, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    I have just uploaded some videos to youtube from my weeklong vacation to the Black Hills with the family. I was able to take along 2 bikes and get in some rides in both the Badlands and around Keystone and Hill City. I took both a cross bike and mountain bike because I was not sure what the road conditions would be like.

    My first opportunity was to cycle the badlands loop. It was sunny and 100 degrees (f) when I started out. The wife and kids dropped me off at the visitor center a few miles in, I said goodbye and told them to just pick me up when the caught up with me. They were going to watch some videos and do some projects at the visitor center, then make several stops along the loop.

    The badlands loop road is in really good shape, but has no shoulder. Visibility is good and the cars travel pretty slowly. There are several passes that take you up and down the ridge. The westernmost pass has the longest climb. I did have my camera on, but the card was full with some other junk and I did not get a lot of footage - but what I did get gives you an idea of the terrain, which is very cool.



    I ended up getting all the way to Wall before my fam caught up. The kids were joking that Mom though I was dead - she does worry a bit. We went to Wall Drug and I filled my bottles with ice water and had a shake.

    We continued to our cabin just outside of Keystone and we spend the next day in Custer State park. To get there we took the Iron Mountain highway which is an adventure in itself, we left the par on the needles highway which is even more treacherous. I considered coming back to bike these routes, but I was a bit scared to do it as heights are really not my thing and I was white knuckled enough as a passenger in the minivan. I think I would have done it if there was less traffic - for skinny, windy dangerous roads, they have a lot of traffic too many cars zipped around the blind corners for me.

    Instead, the next day I made the climb up to Mount Rushmore National Monument, bikes and pedestrians get in free. The climb is about 750 feet at a 7% grade which is much more challenging that I can find in MN. The roads on the way up is relatively bike friendly - though I did the climb pretty early in the morning so traffic was low.



    The next day I went to check on the local state trail. It consists of a crushed limestone railroad bed, but would be mostly passable on a road bike. My cross bike worked just fine.


    On the final ride, I decided to try my old hardtail mountain bike and see if the lower gearing would help with the climbing. It didn't, the fork doesn't lock out so standing and climbing was awkward at best.



    I enjoyed the change of scenery and the challenge of the longer steeper climbs. There really were any flat sections. There were deer and turkey everywhere which is a hazard for both driving and cycling. Cycling in the area is not for the faint of heart. It is legal to ride on the interstate in SD; I saw only one brave soul doing so. Besides the trail and the few back roads, the roads are not bike friendly. The main byways are busy and the shoulders are small. There are not many places to take the family out for a leisurely ride.

    Overall, I give it two thumbs up for experienced cyclists.
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I'll check 'em out, Maydog. They're not NSFW are they?
     
  3. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    NNSFW - family friendly. Though I may have cursed a bit when I screwed up a corner or two. The audio is mostly the bike creaking, groaning and the wind rushing past. I talk a bit but it is barely audible.
     
  4. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    Mount Rushmore is where you see the heads of the deep purple musicians instead of the presidents ? ! very nice roads and very nice family you have in supporting your biking, thanks for the videos,
     
  5. Monte730

    Monte730 New Member

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    Great vids! Nice and relaxing to watch.
     
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