Day 0 (Early Start) – 41 miles
Optional day for those that want to bicycle from Sioux Falls to Flandreau on Saturday. You have 2 routes to choose from. The longer route (56 miles) is for those who are planning on riding across the state of South Dakota, and want to make it official!
Day 1 (Regular Start) – 72 Miles
We leave the land of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe and bicycle north to Brookings, home to South Dakota State University. From there we will follow historic highway 14, visiting lake country and the communities of Volga, Arlington, and Lake Preston. We will finish at the Little Town on the Prairie, De Smet, setting for five of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. De Smet was recently named one of the twenty best small towns to visit in the country!
Day 2 – 77 Miles
Day 3 – 76 Miles
We’re visiting even more cowboys, starting with Ree Heights, hometown of the Etbauer brothers who won 7 World Championships in Saddle Bronc Riding, to finishing at Fort Pierre, where the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center is located. This center honors Casey Tibbs and others who have contributed to South Dakota’s rich rodeo history.
As we ride into the river valley, we will visit the capitol of South Dakota, Pierre. From there we will arrive at our overnight destination, Fort Pierre. Considered by many to be the most historic spot in South Dakota, Fort Pierre is where the Verendrye brothers claimed the region for France in 1743, where Lewis and Clark’s expedition almost met a violent end in 1804, and where in 1817 a fort was established marking the start of 200 years of settlement. This is also where the Deadwood trail began in 1876, and where we will begin our journey on day 4.
Day 4 – 94 Miles
While Union Center is the smallest community we have stayed at, it was also one of the most popular. Along the route we will see the beautiful Cheyenne River, at which point we will enter the land of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. We will also enjoy the hospitality of small prairie outposts such as Billsburg, Howes, and White Owl. Our last stop will be in Enning, where we will enjoy the hospitality of Nellie’s Mercantile & Saloon.
Day 5 – 83 Miles
Our ride will take us to Bear Butte, one of South Dakota’s most famous landmarks, and a sacred religious site to the Lakota, Cheyenne, and others. From there, we will head to a site famous to motorcyclists, Full Throttle Saloon. Along the route, we will see irrigated fields, courtesy of Orman dam – which at one time was the largest earthen dam in the world. Our destination is the geographic center of the United States, Belle Fourche. The word in French means “beautiful fork” which describes the rivers that meet there. Belle Fourche was a famous cowtown, but is now more famous as the northern gateway to the Black Hills. It is also going to be a lot of fun as we get to help kickoff the Hometown Thursdays celebration featuring live music, entertainment, kids activities, and more in downtown Belle Fourche!
Day 6 – 43 Miles
We will venture into Wyoming through the historic town of Alladin. From there we will climb over the Bear Lodge mountains and we will approach the beautiful Belle Fourche River valley and Hulett, Wy. The SD Black Hills & Badlands website calls Hulett the “Best Little Town in the West”, and we are going to be there on one of its biggest weekends to see the Hulett Parade and Rodeo! For those up for some more bicycling, America’s first national monument, Devils Tower (Bear Lodge), is 10 miles to the south. Bear Lodge is sacred to many Native American Tribes and has inspired people for centuries. RASDak hopes that you too will be inspired by this sacred place of beauty.