Rapid City, SD – Biking in the Black Hills of South Dakota has traditionally conjured up visions of motorcycles and roaring engines. But a local tour company is demonstrating that non-motorized biking has broad appeal - as evidenced by increased registrations for the 2009 season.
Jim Books, co-owner of Rapid City based Dakota Bike Tours, isn’t exactly sure what’s driving business their way, “It could be any number of factors including the economy, people’s desire to be fit or green, or maybe cyclists around the country are beginning to discover the high quality bicycling offered in the Black Hills.” Whatever the reason, Books reports that registrations for the 2009 season are double those of the same time last year, with reservations coming from fifteen states. “Last year was a good year and we were hoping to do at least that well, not knowing how the national economy would affect us. To be off to such a great start is a pleasant surprise.”
Dakota Bike Tours provides bicyclists with eight different options for all inclusive, fully supported, on-road bicycle tours in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota. Books says his company tries to encompass the national treasures such as Badlands National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, Mt. Rushmore National Monument, and Crazy Horse Memorial, connected by a blend of world-class scenic roads, including the Badlands Scenic Byway, Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Custer State Park Wildlife Loop and the Mickelson Trail. Their guests stay at lodges, inns and guest ranches that embrace the look and feel of the Black Hills and Badlands.
Books believes the Black Hills is on the verge of becoming a widely popular bicycling destination, “With the beautiful settings, variety of terrain and courteous drivers, we believe this area is the perfect location for bicyclists of all abilities to have a very enjoyable and memorable experience.” He also pointed out that many of his guests are over fifty years of age and prefer to visit during the “shoulder season” with September being the most popular month.
Since starting Dakota Bike Tours in 2006, the company has hosted 152 cyclists from the U.S. and Canada.