Ok the 3rd and final ride was also on the centennial trail. I started at the same place, Badger Clark Cabin Trail Head, and head down the 1/2mile connector trail however this time I headed right down The Iron Creek Trail instead of left and instantly started going down. I wasn't too sure if this was good or bad, will the return trip be longer now? But shortly after it leveled out and started going back up hill. This trail started as single track for the first part, just winding through the prairies. The occasional climb, all ridable and a lot more tame then the French Creek side. The scenery was absolutely beautiful! I couldn't believe how tranquil it was out there. I was the only one there.
Two hitches in ride today weren't the terrain but the buffalo! As I was riding I ran into two different buffalo, right there on the trail. This lead to some hike a bike as I wanted to keep a wide berth as not to upset one of them.
The other side was much more ridable and a hell of a lot of fun I would love to do that side again but a little fresher this time. I made a few mistakes that I wouldn't have made if I was fresh with a clear mind and that ride could have been a lot smoother and faster but it was a great way to end a great ride and a great weekend in the black hills!
If you haven't been there to ride you need to get out there it's so much fun and definitely will bring your game to the next level!
Bike: 5-6inch trail bike but really any bike will work you just will be limited on what you can do.
Components: I would highly recommend a dropper post you don't want the ejector seat up when your going down, you can do what I did and just stop at the top and bottom and lower your seat with a quick release but why kill the momentum and tubeless tires, there are tons of rocks and roots and they aren't that sharp but pinch flats are very easy to get. Also wide bars and a short stem to make the cockpit feel secure and keep you in control because the roots, ruts and rocks really want to try and tell you where to go and don't forget your flats, easiest safest way to bail if you need to.
Equipment: Helmet for sure, knee pads probably wouldn't be a bad thing, gloves are optional- I don't typically ride with them because I loose them all the time but they will save your hands on the hard ground if you fall. You will also want a good multi tool, a tire repair kit and some sort of air source and finally a good hydration pack, need lots of water even in the fall. The elevation go to me and I drank a ton on 2-3hrs rides. You are working hard out there! but it's worth it. Nothing is more rewarding the earning your turns!
Keep it real!