It has been a couple of weeks since I have been back from our little group ride down The Mickelson Trail in South Dakota. I wanted to digest it all before writing up this ride report plus it seems that when you leave town for a week you must pay with busy times ahead!!
This trip was started during last summer's KATY trail ride. We all were ready to try something new and this trail was close enough for everybody to get to and there was an appeal to give it a go. Our friend from our group, Richard Welch rode the organized ride here in September and his recommendation of the trail sealed the deal.
FIRST EVENING AND FIRST RIDING DAY
After a day of driving we all met at our campground in Deadwood for the big reunion. Camp was set up and we headed downtown and found a joint for a hamburger, beer and a little sports on TV.
Next morning we split up with Kyle and I driving up to our finish point and riding back to the group so we can shuttle vehicles and people along the way. Rob and Kelley, Teesie, Janiece, Gary and Ruth rode up the long hill out of Deadwood, Kyle and I the long hill out of Rochford. We planned on meeting on the hill top of both hills just above the trailhead comfort station at Dumont.
This first day really set the tone for me how much different this riding would be than the Rails to Trails riding of the KATY. KATY is very flat with some occasional grades up or down. Mickelson turned out to hardly have any flat to it. You seemed to always be grinding up a long grade, or coasting down the back side for many miles. On KATY there just was not any coasting to be enjoyed, it was easy but you pedaled almost every mile of that trail.
Here we go heading out of Rochford.
You guys know how much I enjoy the cuts through the rocks. I can let my imagination run and really see the trains chugging through these cuts.
First tunnel of the trip. They sure have done a great job rebuilding these tunnels with beautiful doug fir beams for the entrances and interior roofs and the screening to keep rock falls off the cyclists and trail.
We drove the vehicles back up the hill to Dumont where Janiece offered to drive my truck back to Deadwood and Kyle, myself, Rob and Kelley wanted to roll the downhill back to Deadwood. Very fun ride!! A lot of coasting at 20 mph with zero pedaling or work. Dream cycling!!