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To Fantail or Not to Fantail

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Sunnyhello on 8/13/2023 9:34:39 PM:
I'll be bikepacking north to south starting in Deadwood in late August. We're taking our time, focused on getting a few nights of great Black Hills camping, so traveling heavier. The guidebook indicates a 17% grade, more singletrack like section between Kirk and Englewood. However between the guidebook and other sites, I'm seeing conflicting information on which direction to go from Kirk to avoid the heavy hike a bike. To avoid the steep section, do we go toward the Sugarloaf trailhead or straight on to Englewood? Are there any similar gotchas we might want to know about? Many thanks for info

Eric from KC MO on 8/13/2023 10:24:14 PM:
I want to know too! If it’s more scenic maybe a little hike a bike will be worth it……or ride the fantail then turn back north and ride both sections. Would that make the steep part generally downhill? I’m riding the 24th and 25th. Looking forward to replacing many calories at the Purple Pie Place in Custer.

Sunnyhello on 8/15/2023 5:26:29 AM:
Ok, it looks like taking the fantail avoids that section. As for doubling back north to hit it, you couldn't pay me to ride fully loaded down a 17% grassy grade. Maybe if I were running from from fire or zombies.