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Dakota Five-O

September 3, 2023


In early Fall, the Dakota Five-O is a popular 50-mile endurance mountain bike race in Spearfish City, North Dakota. Riders enjoy the incredible single track, big crowds with many riders, and good event organization.  The Lollie-pop event loop begins in Spearfish City Park with a mass, neutral rollout and leaves town to the west up Tinton Road. Three miles of gravel road climbing allow the lead riders to vie for position before funneling onto the twisty, smooth Tinton Trail single-track.  The event alternates direction from year to year at mile 7, which is the beginning of the Pop.

During even years, the course is ridden clockwise, so after the fun flowy Tinton Trail, at approximate mile 7 (at the course split), you will make your way down into a gully we call Twin Bridges and will eventually make your way to the first aid station, at about mile 11, at Big Hill Trailhead.  After fueling up, you will be riding the Big Hill Trail system, which consists of a little single track mixed with two tracks, along with possible bovine sightings (as well as their droppings)…this is South Dakota!! The Big Hill Trail system will dump you onto Iron Creek drainage road, taking you to the single-track climb Cardiac Bypass to the top of Recovery Ridge. This section of single track along the rim of Spearfish canyon has some great views and may seem like a long haul. Still, eventually, you’ll see the crowds waiting and cheering for you at the second aid station, approximately 21 miles in, at Old Baldy Trailhead. Relax, stretch, and continue through the Old Baldy trail system, which consists of some fun, flowy singletrack.  Leaving Old Baldy, you’ll head up Taco Alley and cross Beaver Creek road at sheep flats, approximately 27 miles into the race. Are you tired yet?  You’ll make your way up a short climb called Sheep Steeps, and ride another 4 miles of snowmobile trail, then jump across a gravel road onto a nice flowing section of single track to the last aid station at mile 32 known as Ball Park or Higgins Gulch.  Beware of the bear of a climb ahead! And don’t forget to stop at the Bacon Station for your official on-course PBR stop…(don’t ask for water) and some nice greasy bacon!! Now you’re ready for the all-new, hand-built single-track of Dakota Ridge that takes you along the eastern ridge near citadel rock, to some spectacular views of Crow Peak, and back onto the forest service road. Finally, you will climb, climb back out and onto your last 6 miles of single track that takes you back down Tinton trail, and back down Tinton Road and into Spearfish City Park, where music, food, and a cold brew are waiting for you.   On odd years, you will do all this in reverse order!



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