Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spink - Akron - Elk Point Loop

This loop takes you out on Hwy 50 past the interstate a couple miles and then North to Spink, SD (don't blink or you'll miss it Spink, SD). From there you head east all the way to Akron, IA just across the river into Iowa. Returning on the same route until just past the Clay Rural Water tower. Heading South you will connect back up with SD Hwy 50. A couple miles to the west you head South on Hwy 11 and come back into Elk Point. Follow the Burbank Road back to Vermillion.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Vermillion to North Sioux City

This is a variation on the Elk Point/Jefferson loop. Coming West out of Jefferson you will hit a paved road in 2-3 miles that you can go South on. This will take you into McCook Lake/North Sioux City. I usually take this to the Casey's General Store and turn around and come back the same way. Upon hitting the point where you initially turned south, go back west to Elk Point.

To turn this into a (near) 75 mile ride I also rode a small little loop on the way home from Elk Point. A mile west of Elk Point is a paved road that drops down and comes back around to the Burbank road.

As you can see by the profile, it's a super flat and fast course. The only hill is coming back into Vermillion.

Vermillion to Laurel, NE

Looking for a tougher 75 mile option from Vermillion? Here is a great down and back route to Laurel, NE. This route has a nice five mile warm-up and then once you see the bridge to Nebraska, the fun begins.

There are a few initial rolls to Hwy 12 in Nebraska and then just one hill by Maskell and then it's flat to Obert. Once you hit Obert, the rolling hills are pretty much there until Laurel, save for a couple short flat sections.

The main thing to remember, to make sure you don't miss a turn on this trek, is to watch for the Hwy 15/Laurel sign off Hwy 12 once you get by Obert. The Hwy 15/Laurel turn is about 1/2 way down a hill and is at a funky angle. So, if you hit Wynot, NE, turn around, you went about three miles too far.

Enjoy the hills! It's a good workout and the area is pretty scenic.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Elk Point - Jefferson Loop

Here are two looks at a loop we ride from Vermillion when the wind is out of the S/SE (which it often is). One loop is 50 miles and squaring it off from the beginning makes it a little over 53. Flat route that is good for speed work or just a casual 50 miler.