Posted on by Keelin Burke

THE BEST BIKE PATHS IN THE NORTHERN PLAINS

Think the Northern Plains is just a flat piece of land? Think again.

THE NORTHERN PLAINS

If anyone tries telling you that the Northern Plains are just a flat wasteland, don't believe them. This area of the U.S. is filled with mountains, prairies, lakes, and more. There are limitless opportunities to exploring the region on foot, or as we recommend, on two wheels. 

To kick things off we're getting patriotic; and how appropriate that is considering the Fourth of July is nearly a week away. The famous Mt. Rushmore National Memorial boasts the chiseled faces of four U.S. presidents; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. There are multiple hikes to conquer in the Black Hills National Forest where the monument is located, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge you can hop on an intensive bike route from nearby Rapid City to the famous memorial. The route takes you down a wide-shouldered highway (16 West), until you get to Mt. Rushmore. This straightforward ride is certainly not for the fainthearted due to its length. The trail decreases in elevation as you near the memorial, however be prepared for the sharp turns, dips, and slight hills as the ride progresses. The real challenge comes in getting back to Rapid City. 

This route can be completed in approximately 2.5 hours, so it’s advised to have someone meet you at the memorial so you can hitch a ride back into town! If you’re a hardcore human ready to break a sweat, then by all means start biking back! However, we’d advise that the reverse route is done on something other than a single-speed (like our Barron). Don’t say we didn’t warn ya.

YELLOWSTONE

Head approximately a day's drive to the west and explore the famous Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is the world's first national park with natural features dating back over 11,000 years. The park is known for its geysers, hot springs (too hot to chill in, unfortunately), wolves, bison, bears, and more. Yellowstone is home to some phenomenally scenic rides. Bicyclists are encouraged to come in the Spring and Fall when the number of tourists has slightly fallen, however the roads available to cyclists are still accessible during the popular summer months. 

Our call is to opt for something off the beaten path but with equally fantastic views. Old Gardiner Road is an old stretch of highway running parallel to the main route from Gardiner, Wyoming straight into into Mammoth Hot Springs. The road is one-way for cars, but ideal for cyclists heading in either direction. From start to finish, the route takes around an hour to complete. This road isn't completely paved, so bicycles with wider tires and better shock absorption are recommended. 

MISSOULA

Missoula is a hidden gem of the Northern Plains. As the largest city in Montana, Missoula has a ton of great restaurants and places to shop. The city itself is nestled between a multitude of state and national forests as well as mountains, lake, rivers, and streams. For a more relaxed approach to cycling in Montana, the Kim Williams Trail navigates through downtown Missoula alongside the Clark Fork River. The trail's proximity to downtown Missoula doesn't prevent it from being chalked full of wildlife and natural sights. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, deer, kingfishers, mountain lions, and bear that may appear alongside the road. 

There is zero elevation gain on this path, so single-speeds, city bikes, and beach cruisers can easily tackle this comfortable 2.5 mile ride. Access the Kim Williams Trail from Old Van Buren Street and E Front Street. Take the bridge over the river, and you're on your way.

START THE JOURNEY

You want to get from point A to point B, right? We've got what it takes to get you there.

BARRON

Leave the tick-tock of the city behind and pedal your way past the norm on a pure comfort bike. Discover the land you live in like never before and find the serenity that comes with a bike ride well spent.

HARPER

The Harper single-speed fixed-gear is the next generation of commuter bike designed for your city adventures and beyond.

CHATHAM

You’ll find the Chatham-7 step-through beach cruiser where classic beach style meets an I-can-do-anything attitude with top-shelf componentry. The seven-speed Shimano drivetrain tackles flat suburban roads just as well as it does grassy knolls.

BEAUMONT

Our latest offering in city-dwelling transportation has something for every type of rider, riding on any type of urban terrain.