Mickelson Trail Trek pedals this weekend

Charity Wessel
The 24th annual Mickelson Trail Trek rolls through Custer, Hill City and surrounding towns this week.
The event’s registration is already full with 600 bicyclists riding the three-day, 109 mile course.
Custer will first see the cyclists this Thursday and Friday. Friday’s crew bikes from Custer to Edgemont (44.5 miles) and Saturday’s pack rides from Custer to Rochford (39.5 miles).
Then, Sunday’s bicycle ride is from Rochford to Deadwood (24 miles).
Dana Garry-Reiprich, Mickelson Trail manager, notes the Mickelson Trek isn’t a race. 
She said it’s “a ton of fun and the riders are fed well” with treats offered in virtually each town along the way (snacks in Pringle and Mystic, lunch in Hill City, desserts in Edgemont) and Saturday night, there will be a band performing for the cyclists in Rochford.
The Mickelson Trail Trek began in the 1990s with 45 entrants and it has now gained rock-concert popularity with registration filling up in a matter of hours. There’s a cap on the amount of riders allowed because the event requires coordination between communities to bus/host hundreds of cyclists.
Garry-Reiprich said she’d like to “thank the community support” she’s seen at each Mickelson Trail Trek and especially notes there’s one cyclist this year who will earn an Emerald 20-year rider award. Also, 20 cyclists will earn the Gold 10-year rider award.
Preparing for the Mickelson Trail Trek is a feat in and of itself. Garry-Reiprich reports many riders pedal at least dozens of miles a day, for months, to gain the stamina needed for this month’s open trail.
Garry-Reiprich said she appreciates all the chambers in each of the Black Hills towns they ride through and said she’s grateful for those who sell Mickelson Trail passes, merchandise and answer riders’ questions.
Next year’s 25th annual Mickelson Trail Trek bicycle ride is Sept. 15-17 with slots opening online this Dec. 14 at 8 a.m.
Additionally, the Mickelson Trail Summer Trek is June 13-15, with its online registration opening Nov. 16.

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