Midwest - South Dakota
Gravel Mixed Surface




Date: Jun 11, 2022

Location: Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota

Region: Midwest - South Dakota


Directions: Get Directions

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Pine Island Gravel Odyssey (formerly Gold Rush)

June 11 - June 13

The Pine Island Gravel Odyssey is the event formerly known as the Gold Rush Gravel Grinder.  This is South Dakota’s premiere gravel event which operates under a special use permit for the Black Hills National Forest.  There are four route/event options meeting the needs of all rider types.  The longest and hardest route is dubbed the Lodgepole Voyage.  This is your event if you are looking for more of a self supported, ultra endurance, adventure type of race.  This race is not for beginners as it is a very challenging ride.  You must have completed the Pine Island-Gravel Odyssey, or a similar race of at least 100 miles before registering for this event. It is an ultra, 210 mile ride that takes you on a long tour through both the Northern and Southern Black Hills of South Dakota. There is a total of approx. 185-190 miles of gravel, with the rest being pavement. It is a challenging course with about 13,000 ft. of climbing.   The gravel in the hills is unique in that there aren’t a lot of rolling hills.  You will find long steady climbs and descents on roads that don’t make many 90 degree turns, but rather wind their way through the beautiful Black Hills landscape.  During the ride you will get to enjoy a section of the famed Mickelson Trail where you will take a “car free”, winding path through the woods, crossing a multitude of bridges and going through 3 tunnels.  This a self supported race, in that there are no aid stations and you are responsible for organizing your own support crew to supply you at 4 specified checkpoints, or you can purchase a Ridge Rider Rescue package to drop supply bags to each of the 4 checkpoints.  They will also give you a ride back to town if you need to abandon the race.

The Ponderosa Escapade is the next most challenging option at 110 miles.  This is a single-loop route that will take you through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. The event is intended to be a fun, yet challenging endurance gravel road race/ride that will use open public-access gravel and dirt roads, through the Black Hills National forest and into Wyoming.  The course consists of mostly gravel, some dirt, possible mud, and a bit of pavement while rolling over open prairie, meandering through beautiful canyons with flowing creeks, exploring the deep forest, and  climbing to several spectacular vistas. This race is intended for people familiar to gravel riding that can average a minimum 10mph pace. This is challenging race with nearly 7,000 ft. of elevation gain.

Rounding out the options are the Limber Escapade at 70 Miles and 4500 feet of elevation gain and the Pine Cone Frolic at 45 miles and 3,800 feet of elevation gain.  Both of the shorter options are about fun and the challenge of just finishing.  Everyone who makes the cut-offs, makes the check-point, and crosses the finish line will get a finishers award If you are new to gravel riding/racing, these are great events to get started with, however don’t be fooled, these are still challenging courses.


June 11
June 13
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