GRAVEL SERIES

 

Welcome to the Black Hills Gravel Series!  The Gravel Series is string of community group events that allow you to explore the area with like-minded people one ride at a time.  The intent of these rides is to be open to all abilities and ages. 

There is no entry fee for the rides, no support, no medals, no course markings.  Come for the experience, challenge and community! If this sounds like something you are interested in, make sure to sign up using the form on this page.  

  • 2020 Schedule

    Historically the Gravel Series has been held in April and May; however, last spring was extremely wet, causing events to be rescheduled and cancelled.  In an attempt to land in favorable weather and to continue the fun for more of the year, the Gravel Series is moving to having an event once a month for the majority of the year!

    See the schedule and details below!  

    • 3/21/20 - PIEDMONT - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID 
    • 4/05/20 - STURGIS - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
    • 5/02/20 - SPEARFISH - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
    • 5/31/20 - CUSTER  - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
    • 6/28/20 - MERRITT  - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
    • 7/26/20 - HILL CITY  - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
    • 8/29/20 - LEAD   - GROUP RIDE CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
  • Routes

    Regardless of where you are on your cycling journey, the gravel series has a route for you!  For now, there are three different route options to choose from on each event day.  Due to alliteration issues, the route names have changed for 2020 to a recognized system: Green, Blue and Black.

    GREEN: Routes will be 10-15 miles in length and will feature minimal elevation gain (<1000'). These routes are designed for getting someone new into gravel riding or pulling kids or dogs in a trailer.  The navigation and roads on these routes will be kept fairly straightforward. 

    BLUE: Routes will be 25-30 miles in length with 1500' to 3000' of elevation gain and are perfect for getting out on your bike with some friends and earning that post-ride reward!  

    BLACK: Routes will be around 50-60 miles in length and can have elevation gain ranging from 2500' on prairie gravel to over 5000' in the heart of the Hills. 

  • Navigation

    To navigate routes, cue sheets and GPS files will be provided.  Using only a cue sheet and simple cycling odometer, you will be able to navigate these routes.  For those that want their GPS to guide them, you can download the appropriate file directly from RideWithGPS. If you are using a GPS to navigate, I strongly recommend having a printed copy of the cue sheet as well.  Routes for each event will be posted as well as emailed out once the event gets closer. 

  • Start / Finish Locations

    Start and finish locations are selected on several key factors.  We strive for a combination of great access to gravel for all route lengths, ample parking, and options for food and beverages after the ride. 

    We hope you stick around after the rides to socialize with your riding pals old and new! 

2020 routes

August 29-30th - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

rochford, SD

For the series finale the routes take us back to the mining town of Rochford.  Enjoy remote roads and the remnants of an old fire lookout tower!  For a Green route, a spin up the Mickelson is tough to beat!

July 25 - 26th - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

Hill City, SD

Come on out to Hill City to enjoy the views!  More details will be up over the next couple of weeks as far as start location and the route.  Check back soon!

June 27-28 - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

MERRITT, SD

Welcome back to Merritt, home of the offroad trail system.  While it may not be as muddy and mucky as spring of 2019 it will still be a challenging course that tests your mental and physical fitness!  The Black and Blue routes sneak in a bit of everything from fast gravel, forest service chunk, atv trail and singletrack!  

Start Location: The Sugar Shack 

Parking: There is parking in the lot across the street from the Sugar Shack, but it also sees a lot of trucks and trailers for ATV/UTV riders. Since we are not holding a group start, parking should not be an issue. 

Schedule: 

  • No Group Start Due to Covid-19
May 30th - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

CUSTER, SD

Welcome back to Custer!  We have not been back to Custer since 2018 and if you were there, you remember the mudfest we had!  This year is a new route heading out to remote areas northwest of Custer and offers really spectacular views of Crazy Horse and the surrounding area. 

Start Location: The Custer Beacon 

Parking: Washington Street

Schedule: 

  • No Group Start Due to Covid-19
May 2nd - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

Spearfish, SD

Spearfish is always the best attended event of the year and is the last stop on the tour before we head higher up into the Hills. You won't want to miss the opportunity to ride these routes!

Start Location: Sawyer Brewing Company 

Details: 

Due to COVID-19 precautions, we will not be holding a group start or social after the ride.  However, Sawyer Brewing will be holding a random prize drawing that is available to anyone who completes the Sawyer Gravel Challenge!


1) Join Black Hills Gravel Strava Club
2) Ride one of the routes between May 1st- May 9th. Make sure to ride solo or socially distant!
3) Upload the ride to Strava
4) Post a pic on social media of your ride and tag Black Hills Gravel & Sawyer Brewing in it.

• If you do not use Strava, please send an email with proof of your ride to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 8pm on May 9th to be entered into the drawing.

Sawyer will be open in a limited capacity, so please show them support by ordering pizza and beer to go or enjoying the taproom and patio via social distancing!

April 5th - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

Sturgis, SD

Sturgis!  The city of (gravel) riders?  Definitely!  All of the Sturgis routes offer great prairie gravel with scenic views of Bear Butte.  These routes are great anytime of the year; however a few spots may be sloppy after a large rain or snow storm.  

Start Location: The Knuckle

Parking: Lynn's Dakotamart

Schedule: 

  • No Group Event Due to Covid-19
March 21st - CANCELLED GROUP START DUE TO COVID

Piedmont, SD

Welcome to the kickoff event of the 2020 Gravel Series!  This is a new location with all new routes.  Prairie gravel and a little bit of pavement make this location an excellent ride for early spring.  

Start Location: The Barn

Parking: Piedmont Valley Lutheran Church

Schedule: 

  • 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM → Rider Check-In / Route Review
  • 9:45 AM - 9:59 AM → Rider's Meeting / Group Photo
  • 10:00 AM - All Riders Depart
  • 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM → Social Hour @ The Barn!
Stay in the loop!

All routes provided are intended for individual use only.  All route users are accepting full responsibility for riding on open roads