The Motherload is a 210 mile self-supported gravel race through both the Northern and Southern Black Hills of South Dakota. This was a very challenging course with about 13,000 ft of climbing and approximately 185 miles of gravel. The race was self-supported so I had to carry all of my own food, water, and gear. I enjoyed a section called Mickelson Trail, which was an old train track and car free path winding through the woods, crossing a multitude of bridges and going through 3 tunnels.
This race interested me because of the distance of 210 miles. I also had never been to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Perry, the race director I’ve ridden with at the fat pursuit, so I decided to make the trip up.
I had a lot of highlights on this one. The early morning start was in the rain and it rained for nearly the first 100 miles. At 140 miles my rear hub bearing started doing things it is not supposed to do. It was spinning when it was supposed to be free wheeling. I thought my day was over. I nursed it along to the next stop but realized there was no fixing it. I decided to keep going and hope for the best. After the last checkpoint we had 20+ miles of downhill in below freezing temperatures so after never drying out over the day, the last stretch proved challenging. I had to stop a few times to readjust the magazines I had put up my shirt at the last checkpoint. The down hill at night was a little scary with a rear hub in disrepair as I never new whether it may just lock up and send me into oncoming traffic.It was after midnight in South Dakota so not a lot of traffic around. The boys where at the finish line waiting after approx 18 hours. A quick ride over to my camper in the camp ground directly across from the start line. Then a race meeting the next day for all Motherload participants for prizes etc. A great race