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Rapid City SD RAGBRAI Riders?

Being new to Rapid City I’ve noticed its almost all off-road riding out here and not a lot of road riders like where I was from. But it would be fun to meet and ride with other local RAGBRAI riders for low key more social rides now and then. Currently I just ride to Nemo (sometimes an extension to Johnson Siding) and back but would like to find new routes also. If there are some local RAGBRAI riders out here reply to this post or PM me. I did buy a mountain bike and started riding Han-Lars also. Awesome trails right in town here.

5 Replies

Brian Wallenburg, April 10, 2019 at 8:43 pm

My wife and I have done pre-RAGBRAI rides up Iron Mountain road to Needles then back to Keystone. That route will certainly get you in shape. Not to mention it’s a beautiful ride. Mickelson Trail is still our favorite ride though.


mootsman, April 11, 2019 at 9:43 am


Someone at ACME told me that even though summer has lots of tourist traffic in the hills that it is safe. That because they are driving slowly and paying attention. True? (maybe avoiding Sturgis week though)

I’ve heard great things about riding the needles route and we drove it. Very scenic.


Patrick Allgood, April 11, 2019 at 10:43 am

My son goes to school at SD Mines, I’ll be picking him up early May and planning on hitting Mickelson trail – if you haven’t ridden on that trail yet, it is gorgeous and will get you in shape for sure..I’d be a little apprehensive of riding the Needles during tourist season – even though they do drive slow, their eyes are on the scenery and not what’s in front of them.


Brian Wallenburg, April 11, 2019 at 4:39 pm

We’ve always started early, before the sightseers are out. Always felt safe on both Iron Mountain and Needles. Everyone is traveling slow. Once you get to Hill City, bicycle traffic was actually faster than automotive traffic. It’s a great ride as long as you’re up for a lot of climbing. Beautiful, smells good and the surface is decent. Bring plenty of water and snacks! I’d highly recommend it! Mickelson Trail is also beautiful scenery but a walk in the park compared to Iron Mt and Needles.


mootsman, April 12, 2019 at 8:12 am

Patrick, I’ve thought about the tourists being distracted. I do take extra measures though. My red-blinking rear taillight is a Garmin with radar that connects to my Garmin head unit and alerts me to traffic approaching from behind with a progress bar that shows how close it is. Really nice safety feature.

Brian, the climbing sounds good even though I’m slower at it these days. I’ll bring the extra water bottle and a snack to refuel. A club I am in from back east use to hit the BH and they always road the Needles Highway as a highlight of the trip. I assume a headlight might be a good idea for those narrow and dark single lane tunnels.

When I hit Nemo & back from Rapid it is about 2,300 feet of climbing and sometimes I add in Norris Peak road to Johnson Siding & back which is a tough climb (once in each direction). I’m also thinking about extending the Nemo route out to “The Boondocks” convenience store where Nemo Road hits 385.

Patrick-&-Brian. Yes, the Michelson is on the list of rides. I want to ride it to Deadwood and get lunch sometime too.


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