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South Dakota Department of Tourism photo.
South Dakota Department of Tourism photo.

Faces to the Falls

Mar 28, 2013

I suspect many of us have driven the length of the state by car. You’ll have your chance to do that by bicycle this summer. The first annual Faces to the Falls ride is set for June 9-14, kicking off with a party in Hill City the evening of the 8th.

The tour covers an average of 81 miles per day with planned refueling stops at convenience stores or fundraisers held by local community groups. Kasey Abbott, Faces to the Falls president, says you need to eat quite a bit when you bike that far, though it is possible to gain weight. “You end up eating every 10 to 15 miles because you don’t want to turn down a church lady’s homemade pie,” he laughs.

Cyclists will overnight in Hill City, Hot Springs, Martin, Winner, Pickstown, and Freeman. “Our plan is to camp on high school football fields or soccer fields and use the high school showers,” says Abbott. He hopes participants will explore the communities they overnight in and gives suggestions for sightseeing on the ride’s website.

The Sioux Falls resident is organizing the ride along with Marilyn Zimmermann, Jodi Erickson and several volunteers. The group often discussed a statewide bike tour during their years biking the Argus Leader Tour De Kota. Tour De Kota’s switch from a 6-day tour of southeastern South Dakota to a weekend tour of Sioux Falls provided the catalyst.

“Originally it was just going to be a few of us,” Abbot says, “but it just snowballed.” They set the participant limit for the inaugural ride at 100 riders. 80 have registered as of yet from as far as Wisconsin and Montana.      

Registration is $150 if you register by April 15. The fee covers camping, luggage transport, pre-ride and post-ride party, and SAG support. I had to ask Abbott what SAG support was. It’s for those “sagging behind” because of mechanical or physical breakdown. Wind and heat can be a challenge, so there will be several cars following to make sure cyclists are doing OK. 

The ride ends in Sioux Falls’ Falls Park with water, snacks and discussion on how to improve the ride for next year. “Mostly we’ll celebrate that we survived a 488 mile ride across the state of South Dakota!” Abbott says. For more details visit


11:02 am - Thu, March 28 2013
Laura Andrews said:
It's really great that these folks stepped up and filled the Tour De Kota void. I'm so excited that I almost wish I owned a bicycle. I think it'd be a great way to see South Dakota.
12:35 pm - Thu, March 28 2013
Heidi said:
Really cool name too!
05:56 pm - Thu, March 28 2013
Keith said:
I am going to go ride it, Back-to-back 100 miles days look tough, but I am tougher.
08:40 am - Sat, March 30 2013
Wonderful article! And to those who do not own bicycles or cannot come along...get a bike anyway! You will never regret the feeling of being a kid again!
05:51 pm - Tue, April 30 2013
steve dietz said:
I'm from Iowa. No more need be said. I wish all the riders the best and hope this is just the beginning of what will be an annual event. I wish I could be at the end just to listen to the stories. GOD bless and be safe.
06:45 pm - Wed, June 19 2013
Joyce said:
We here in Idaho are hoping this continues to be an annual event as I've met many who miss Tour DeKota!
06:15 am - Thu, June 20 2013
Laura said:
There was a list of other great summer bike rides in our June e-newsletter. See it at:

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