Author Topic: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires  (Read 2666 times)

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Offline Marlowe

Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« on: April 19, 2016, 11:12:12 am »
Will be heading thru the hills in June 2016 and am thinking of taking the Mickelson Trail N to S and exiting near Hotsprings.   Bike has 700c X 38C Marathon Plus tires.  Was wondering about the trail and loose gravel.   I did a google of narrow tires and the trail but only came up with some pretty old dates.   You think I will be OK with this tire setup?  Otherwise will stick to highways.
Thanks,
Marlowe
Great Falls, MT.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 01:56:01 pm »
Bike has 700c X 38C Marathon Plus tires.  You think I will be OK with this tire setup?

Did nearly all of the Mickelson Trail last June: A short, paved portion north in Deadwood and then the rest south from the Englewood trailhead to the end in Edgemont.  Those tires will be fine. I rode 35c Conti Top Touring II tires and was fine notwithstanding the fact that the trail was in relatively bad shape due to the seriously heavy rain fall the area experienced that month. A woman in Custer told me they were 15" above normal for that time of year.

Are you planning to do Deadwood to Hill City in one day? If so, be prepared. The only service (besides the water cisterns) south of Lead, which in only 5 miles, from Deadwood is a bar/restaurant in Rochford, and there is some climbing as rail-trails go.  IIRC, there is a climb out of Deadwood. From Englewood south there is a incline of some 5 miles. There is another long incline after Mystic that fakes you out with a false summit. The relatively rough surface compared to finely crushed limestone causes you expend more energy. Bring sustenance. But don't let that dissuade you. It's a fabulous ride.

If it would fit with your itinerary, I highly recommend staying as Spearfish. The campground and municipal park there are out of this world, and they are right next to a fish hatchery and museum. From there you can climb through Spearfish Canyon and then head to Cheyenne Junction where you can head north and pick up the trail at Englewood. That's what I did. Here is the map for that day:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8789073

In Hill City I camped at Crooked Creek. Decent place that you can access right from the trail. There is a place closer to the town center, but it doesn't look as nice.

If you are headed to Hot Springs I assume you will leave the trail at the Minnekahta trail head at U.S. 18. If so, U.S. 18 can have some traffic, but it has a wide shoulder. I circled back to Hot Springs from Edgemont via Old Rte. 18 to U.S. 18 I remember flying along on U.S. 18 with a great tailwind and finally looking up an seeing what turned out to be about a 1 mile climb over a ridge. It felt like a cold, slap in the face:

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8789349

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 07:50:47 am »
BTW...If you can swing an extra day in Custer, riding Needle's Highway (SD 87 south from SD 89) is well wort it. Fabulous scenery.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8771954

Definitely go clockwise unless you like torture. I stayed just a bit outside the center of town, but there is a campground in town that's right off the trail. Heavily shaded tenting area, but it looked like it could be a bit buggy, especially since it's near a creek. The upside is that you can walk to the main drag a few blocks away, yet it's still pretty quiet back there:  http://www.fcrvpk.org/index.html

Offline Marlowe

Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2016, 07:25:07 pm »
BTW...If you can swing an extra day in Custer, riding Needle's Highway (SD 87 south from SD 89) is well wort it. Fabulous scenery.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/8771954

Definitely go clockwise unless you like torture. I stayed just a bit outside the center of town, but there is a campground in town that's right off the trail. Heavily shaded tenting area, but it looked like it could be a bit buggy, especially since it's near a creek. The upside is that you can walk to the main drag a few blocks away, yet it's still pretty quiet back there:  http://www.fcrvpk.org/index.html

Thanks Indyfabz.    Boy I'm not real sure about any of the trail, i.e. where I will stay, where I will exit the trail, etc.   I'm coming from Montana, over to Bowman, ND and then south to the hills and then down to Chadron, NE and then heading east on Hiway 20.   My tires are great for the hiways but just wasn't sure about the Mickelson Trail.   I did call Acme Bike Shop in Rapid City and the fellow said I would be fine with my 38C tires.  So it will be a go if I do take the trail.   

One of the issues I will have is if I don't take the trail I think I will have to do some miles on the I90 north of Rapid City as there isn't a frontage road all the way from Sturgis to Rapid.   I don't like riding bikes on interstates. :-[   I did that last year from Forseth, Mt to Miles City.   Ugly is the best way to describe it.

Thanks for the links, I will study them.

Marlowe
Great Falls, MT

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2016, 03:59:20 pm »
and then down to Chadron, NE and then heading east on Hiway 20.   

If you want to try something really remote, take the trail to the end in Edgemont and then head south on SD 471 to SD 71 to NB 2 to Crawford and pick up U.S. 20 east to Chadron. I was supposed to do that as part of my trip but ended up bagging it for a couple of reasons. There is a municipal campground with showers in Edgemont. From there to Crawford there is nothing in the way f services. Even the state highway turns to gravel for a while. A guy I met at the campground in Edgemont said it's one of the most remote areas of Nebraska. I did ride a bit of it (maybe 10 miles out and then back) while in Edgemont. The only things I saw were trains and antelope.

Many of the trail sections are quite nice. You should really give it a go.  Here are some photos from my trip. The ones of/from the trail are obvious. (Note that the trail is paved in Deadwood and Custer.)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/albums/72157655263744881/with/19287419942/
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 08:16:02 am by indyfabz »

Offline Marlowe

Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 11:28:23 am »
and then down to Chadron, NE and then heading east on Hiway 20.   

If you want to try something really remote, take the trail to the end in Edgemont and then head south on SD 471 to SD 71 to NB 2 to Crawford and pick up U.S. 20 east to Chadron. I was supposed to do that as part of my trip but ended up bagging it for a couple of reasons. There is a municipal campground with showers in Edgemont. From there to Crawford there is nothing in the way f services. Even the state highway turns to gravel for a while. A guy I met at the campground in Edgemont said it's one of the most remote areas of Nebraska. I did ride a bit of it (maybe 10 miles out and then back) while in Edgemont. The only things I saw were trains and antelope.

Many of the trail sections are quite nice. You should really give it a go.  Here are some photos from my trip. The ones of/from the trail are obvious. (Note that the trail is paved in Deadwood and Custer.)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/105349603@N05/albums/72157655263744881/with/19287419942/


Hey nice pics in the link.   They bring back lots of memories.   I grew up in Rapid City.  Age 2-14.   Sent lots of time in the hills.   Everytime we would get company to the family we would have to drive up to Mt. Rushmore.   I did enjoy the pics.   June is a great time to travel also.   Lots of green. 

Where was the pile of bikes at?   I would like to see that if possible.

My webpage has my last June's trip from Montana back to my HS reunion in eastern SD.   www.mrames.com

Thanks,
Marlowe

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2016, 06:29:29 am »
Where was the pile of bikes at?   I would like to see that if possible.

It's right along the trail in Pringle, which you will pass through if you stay on the trail to U.S. 18 for Hot Springs.

I flew into and out of Rapid City. Shipped the bike to Cranky Jeff's.

Offline cgarch

Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 03:42:12 pm »
We rode the trail - Custer to Hill City and back - in 2006 on a tandem with 30c cyclocross tires. Other than one soft spot, it worked well, though we had to work for it. Look forward to riding more of it one of these days . . .

YMMV
Craig
Santa Rosa, CA

Offline Marlowe

Re: Black Hills Mickelson Trail and 38C tires
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2016, 10:43:07 am »
Thanks to all.  Looking forward to my trek.  8)

Marlowe