SPEARFISH, S.D. — The Black Hills are known for many things.
Camping, fishing and hiking to name a few, but something different has been a recent and quiet favorite in the area. Biking.
The first day of the ninth annual Gold Rush Gravel Grinder in Spearfish certainly exemplifies the message. Riders from all around hopping on and riding through in what they call a beautiful part of the country.
Probably my favorite event that I’ve done to date,” said Conor Dancy, from Leesburg, Virginia. “Just the scenery is spectacular, unlike anything that I have at home.”
The event featuring 4 different competitions yielding over 400 riders. A race for everyone.
“I’ve got a sister that came out from Colorado, she rode the 45, my brother-in-law came out, he rode the 70 and then my wife also rode the 70, and then, so ya, it’s a family event and just fun for everybody to come out and enjoy the nice day in the beautiful Black Hills,” said William Busse, from Rapid City.
It’s organized every year by Perry Jewett and his wife Kristi.
Perry has organized around 40 events like this over a span of just over 2 decades.
“To see people coming from really beautiful areas and other world class venues and giving us a pat on the back for the location, for the quality of the event, and for the beauty of the Black Hills, it’s really been fun,” Jewett said.
And his events keep people coming back.
Take David Woodbury from Spearfish, who started riding bikes in this very same race just a few years ago. After nearly placing last in his event then, he’s back year after year and near the top of the pack.
“Definitely got it done and I had a good race and I think today I got fourth place,” Woodbury said. “Pretty awesome, lost 35 pounds doing it, got myself back in shape and it’s really an excellent sport to be apart of.”
Events bringing the bicycle and spearfish community together.
“That’s the thing about cycling,” Woodbury said. “It’s definitely about the community, these guys here, Perry and Kristi Jewett put on just phenomenal events, I’ve been around a bunch of different events across the country and this is a grade a event here in Spearfish, South Dakota.