Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from to Sundance, WY to Deadwood, SD
Date: 2006-08-19
Distance: 77 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 4.02 Hours
Average Speed: 19.24 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 2,359 Kilometres  

Thoughts for the Day


  Another Hot Day    
  Today the sun returned. Clouds did not move back in until the last few minutes of the trip and then only shortly. With it came higher temperature. Before seven this morning in Sundance, cyclists were making their way for the MS ride. We left shortly afterwards and enjoyed a mainly downhill ride for until Beulah at the state line, save for two hills to be climbed.


  With some support from mainly a tail wind, we made good time into Spearfish. After that the climb of about 700 metres started. A short lunch stop was taken at Spearfish. We saw some racing cyclists out for their ride. The final four turns towards Deadwood became more challenging until the summit. Then a 7% plunge into town came. With the heat of the day, the last climb became more tiresome.  
  Goodbye to Wyoming, Hello to South Dakota    

After a pleasant few days cycling in Wyoming, it is now time to enter South Dakota. Cycling on relatively clean shoulders has made the trip more enjoyable. The boom in oil and gas certainly has provided the state with additional revenue that has allowed maintenance to a level not enjoyed by other states such as South Dakota.

Cycling on I-90, there is such a contrast in the quality of the highway in the two states. It looks like normal maintenance and improvement of the I-90 in South Dakota has been neglected for many years.

  The scenery changed during the day. First there was high plateau riding in semi-arid, non-treed lands. Some farming and ranging was evident. Then as we made the ascent into Deadwood, the tree line reappeared.  
Deadwood - Black Hills of Dakota The site of the last gold rush town, Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, this turn of the century town has retained its brick building man street. Now it is a visitors' trap providing a place for people to stay and walk down busy streets lined by gambling halls. It is a compact town and with that comes its appeal. The streets are relatively compact. The town is situated at about 1,500 metres elevation in a small, tight valley surrounded by higher peaks well treed. Good clean, high elevation air, natural beauty of the hills, and the liveliness of the town makes it worthwhile coming here. All said, if one is sensitive to cigarette smoke, then it is difficult to enjoy the atmosphere and restrains here.

A forest fire in the hill behind the regional hospital happened a few years ago.

This town is also the end of the G.S. Mickelson Trail, a rail-trail that runs about 160 kilometres to the south. It is mainly limestone screen based.


Cycling Facilities


I-90 Wyoming Paved Shoudlers While exemplatory to other states that we have cycled through on the I-90, some sections could use some maintenance and cleaning improvements. Dead animals do not seem to be removed, except by nature itself.


I-90 Rumble Strip – South Dakota

Approaching the state line, one noticed that the width dramatically changed, being significantly narrower on the South Dakota side by about 0.7 metres. Also, it would have been useful to have a bush wager with it cut down the forest of vegetation on the paved shoulder. Fortunately, after a few kilometres from the state line, the shoulder widened a bit and the condition of the pavement improved.

  The rumble strips are cycleable. The design does have a flat width between the depressions that accommodates bicycles. Also the top of the rumble strip is even with the pavement around it.  
Rumble Strip - SD Highway #85 From I-90 after Spearfish a recently rebuilt highway #85 runs to Deadwood. The road is now a four-lane highway with half being a divided highway. Initially, the shoulder is very wide, about 3 metres plus. Then it narrows to a bike lane width. One basically has to climb on 6% to 7% grades the full length to the summit just before Deadwood and then descend on a 7% grade into the town.




This could have been a good cycling highway but is not due to the needs of cyclists not been considered during the design stage. Every 7 metres or so there is a metre long rumble strip going across the full length of the shoulder. While the rumble strip is cycleable at slow speed one would not want to go too fast over it.


Again, engineers have shown lack of understanding of road users into heir design. The rumble strips installed on this road could have health consequence for cyclists with disk problems. Also, speeding downward there is a safety issue if one is forced to cycle on the shoulder over the strips. Keeping a bike at slow speed when descending can cause people problems in the palm of their hands. Some may to have the strength to brake for the distance. Also, it cannot be too good for the wheel rims. Plenty of safety and health relate issues. Such a design will keep people from cycling this highway. Meanwhile the four-wheeled ATV machines are speeding by on the traffic lane of the highway.