Day 21 Rapid City to Kadoka – 102 miles – Cycling Through the Badlands

Cycling through the Badlands National Park
Cycling through the Badlands National Park

Cycling through the state of South Dakota takes time; it is a wide state and there isn’t a whole lot going on there. The University of Mines is in a pretty big town with full services, including a taxi service which we used to get supplies.  Once we left Rapid City, the landscape quickly gave way to more sparsely populated countryside with very few people, limited cell services and very few towns along the way. South Dakota’s economy, so far as we have seen, has a hefty tourism segment because of the parks and lots of agriculture and farming industries.

The day started out early with a group photo and then breakfast at the University cafeteria.  We headed out for a century ride through rolling hills as we made our way into the Badlands National Park.  The “mapmyride” report gave us an average speed of 15.5 mph with the duration taking about 6 hours and 37 minutes to ride.  The e-bike used two full batteries and was just starting on the third battery when we pulled into Kadoka.

2014 Big Ride Across America – Riders

The bike ride was not difficult even though the mileage was 102.  The wind was slight and the terrain was mostly flat.  The Badlands are dried up sandstone riverbeds that are mostly abandoned.

Badlands National Park is a national park in southwestern South Dakota that protects 242,756 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The park is managed by the National Park Service.  The park has several tourist spots where you can walk between the sand pillars and touch the crumbling rock towers that dot the earth.  There are several large fields of grass within the park, but generally it is like being on the moon.  The rock formations are very unusual and it taps the imagination to wonder how this place came to be at an elevation of just over 3000 feet.


badlands national park
Exiting Badlands National Park

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Is that a dinosaur?
Downtown Kadoka, SD. Population 685.  We ate at the H&H Restaurant which opened at 5:30 am for us to enjoy a hot breakfast.  The town’s mayor welcomed us to the city park.

Day 19 Newcastle, Wy. to Rapid City, Sd. – 81 miles

Bike Ride through the Black Hills
Bike Ride through the Black Hills

Beautiful Biking, Clear Skies, Friendly Riders….We are happy!

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The ride from Newcastle was 81 miles to reach our destination for the night.  We stayed in a former elementary school that was air conditioned.  The staff was very warm and friendly and we felt welcome in the center.  The day was challenging with some great climbs and descents through the Black Hills and Custer State Park.  We had several buffalo sightings and will keep looking for more tomorrow.

We spent the night at this former elementary school that was converted into a Senior Center. The staff was very hospitable and served up a wonderful homemade dinner of lasagne, salads and home made pumpkin cake. Yummy.
The people from South Dakota value their industry like this refinery. Even though it is stinky, ugly and noisy, it means “jobs” to the locals.
Sunrise in Wyoming
This is the sunrise on the start of our day at 6 am.
custer state park
The roads between Newcastle and Rapid City had wide shoulders and very little traffic – making it easy to enjoy the views.
State #5 on The Big Ride Across America
Insect clouds were so thick that the bugs collected on every part of our bodies. These insect patches were all through the Custer State Park.  The forests were lush and moist.
Lush pine groves in the Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills National Forest




Publicity for The Big Ride Across America

Here are a couple of articles that feature the Big Ride…..


Electric Bike Touring: 3,300 Miles from Seattle WA to Washington D.C. on a Pedego Interceptor

Cathy Rogers and her Pedego Interceptor electric bike. Ready to ride 3,300 miles!

Electric Bike Touring: 3,300 Miles from Seattle WA to Washington D.C. on a Pedego Interceptor

Cathy Schnaubelt Rogers, President of Aero Tech Designs Cyclewear will ride a Pedego Electric Bicycle across the US in The Big Ride.




Paul Rogers, CCBC Professor with his road bike has been training for two years.