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Mick from Isle of Barra, Scotland on 1/18/2024 12:39:49 PM:
Hi ,

My wife and I are visiting the Black Hills in mid June this year and want to bike the trail over 5 days, stopping in different towns alomgbthe way and taking our time.
Where is the best place to hire a regular, not e, bike, with panniers etc for luggage? Plan to leave bulk of suitcase contents in car at start point then get a shuttle bus? back to car with bikes.
Hoping to do the whole route but doesnt have to start from Deadwood...could start halfway, do one section south, shuttle up to Deadwood then cycle back to our start point. Ideas?

Eric from KCMO on 1/18/2024 3:33:58 PM:
Here is a link to a group of local businesses that are trail related. I commuted from Kansas City with my bike, so I don’t have rental experience. I did use Black Hills Discovery Tours, but not as a shuttle. I hired them to drive/move my truck from Deadwood to Edgemont where it was waiting for me when I finished the trail. The owner, Bill, has been doing shuttles and regional tours for decades and if you call him he will be glad to give you good advice/options. In the link I noted that the rental place Bicycles & Boats may be a good option. It appears they are affiliated with Acme Bicycles in Rapid City where I stopped while driving from home to Deadwood. They had a supply of Bike Jerseys that were trail related ( it was a shop shirt with the addition of a trail map imprinted on a topo map of the area plus listed the trail heads) I called a bunch of places trying to find a Mickelson Trail bike jersey and theirs was the closest I could find. They were helpful on the phone and even texted me pictures of the jersey. Coincidentally the cross street adjacent to their shop was Kansas City Road which I didn’t realize until I arrived. Small world! You might talk to them about bike rentals also.
I rode the whole trail over 1 1/2 days starting in Deadwood and riding to Custer day one, 66 miles. I stopped at Crazy Horse Memorial which is a really easy detour because the trail goes under the road up to the memorial. Be prepared for a short climb via paved road to the toll gate ($10 per bicycle rider) then another short climb to the visitor center. There is a bike rack in the parking lot.
Day two was Custer to Edgemont, 45 miles, and took me almost 3 1/2 hours. It was pretty easy and I enjoyed the change in landscape from the Black Hills into more of a prairie landscape. Dead Horse Canyon was very scenic to the north of Edgemont.
Back to Bill and his advice: He said some people hire him for a ride to/from Dumont, depending on where they park or stay. This allows riders to avoid the steepest part of the trail which is uphill all the way from Deadwood to Dumont. By riding that section northbound they are riding downhill. Then they start the next day at Dumont and ride south, which is predominantly downhill for the rest of the trail. I’m going to include links to my Strava so you can see pictures and feedback from my recent experience. Also if you are on Facebook I suggest joining group “Mickelson Trail Black Hills SD” then search for my name Eric McCollom. Another good facebook group is Rails to Trails.
If you wanted to go to Mt Rushmore it is generally not a bicycle safe route due to narrow highways with distracted drivers. I will ride on highways myself if it can be done without too much risk of being run over.
Good luck!