Kristy Swanson’s Favorite Ride

Just west of Sturgis, SD on I-90 you’ll find a town called Spearfish and its magnificent Spearfish Canyon—a ride that is “the ride” for me. The first mile or two has long twisting turns and a little straightaway where riders take their place in the lane one after another. It’s here I start to feel that it’s not only myself and my friends, but a never-ending family of riders searching, enjoying and realizing together why they ride.

No speed is needed on this ride, and maybe that’s why I love it so much. The road and the scenery require each rider to slow down and enjoy the open air, the smell of the morning and the continuous sounds of crackling pipes. As we head through 22 miles of incredible cliffs and continuous twists, the sun stays slightly hidden behind the rock faces, only peering out every now and then, and the air becomes much, much cooler. 

Riders stop everywhere on the side of the road. Some take photos of the cliff faces or Bridal Veil Falls. Others stop simply to rest and chat with fellow bikers. There’s always something new to see. With trees that overhang the road and a creek that runs almost the entire length of the ride, this is some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. 

The ride slowly comes to an end as we reach our destination, Cheyenne Crossing—the best breakfast place I’ve found while in Sturgis. The people are so friendly, the food is great and they even have fun games at the table to test your mind. The talk at the table is always about the memories created over the years of coming to a place where you’re treated as family. My day can now begin as this early morning adventure has given me a sense of why I ride. 


Kristy Swanson