The George Mickelson Trail is 109 miles of hard pack and gravel running along the Black Hills of South Dakota.
On our trip out west we interspersed site seeing with a couple of bike rides. As low landers, we gave our bodies a little time to adjust to the 6,000 foot altitude by spending some time in The Badlands (another beautiful place to cycle) the previous day.
The riding is mostly through uninhabited areas, with a few moments passing limited civilization or a stretch alongside the highway.
About three blocks from the trail head in
The section of the trail we rode from
The trail flowed through several changes of scenery and was lightly traveled. We started out rather slowly, partially to get used to the different bicycles, but also because of the altitude. The ride up the first nine miles put us in a mellow and pleased state of mind as the views unfolded and the quiet surrounded us. At the top we saw the profile of Chief Crazy Horse sculpted from granite, in the side of the mountain. The ride down to Custer required little pedaling if you were not in a hurry and was a good change of pace from the climb up.
After a brief snack in Custer we headed back up the six miles to Chief Crazy Horse. Unfortunately a strong headwind had developed so we had to really work for awhile.
At the water stop the sky clouded over and rain seemed imminent. In a strange sense this was good news for me. Nothing lights a fire under Susan as the prospect of rain while cycling. We flew down the last nine miles and beat the rain that never came. The people at Rabbit Bicycle, however, did tell us it was just as well we were back because they not only get rainâ€¦.but sometimes hail!.
A great ride in a new area of the the
Feel free to comment or tell us about a great ride of yours, with or without photos. If it is interesting and detailed enough, I may publish it as a separate blog.