Upon arriving in Rapid City, my first order of business was to stretch my legs and tour the city, and what better way to explore than by cycling? I grabbed my bike and my helmet and hit the street. Riding down Main Street I looked at the surrounding hill sides, and to my surprise, saw a large dinosaur overlooking town, and immediately turned in that direction. After climbing up a small hill, I found myself in the foot of the Rapid City Dinosaur Park, complete with life sized busts of a T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and Long Neck dinosaur, what a treat!
The Dinosaur Park also provided a great vantage over Rapid City, from which I could see all of Main Street, the City Of Presidents, and the surrounding trails. As the second largest city in South Dakota, Rapid City still appears as a very homey and easily navigable area.
Riding back down the hill from the Dinosaur park, I turned my attention to checking out the local bike shops and picking up a few tubes and snacks for the weekend of riding. Rapid City is home to a handful of bike shops, including Cranky Jeff's on St. Joseph Street, Acme Bicycles just a few blocks west, and Black Hills Bicycles located adjacent to Founders Park. Each bike shop had a slightly different offering of bicycles and apparel, but all of them had the most friendly and helpful staff who were more than happy to share their local trail suggestions with me and wish me happy riding.
Back on the bike, I continued touring Main Street, stopping on every corner to admire the bronze busts of former United States Presidents and distinguished individuals. Each life size bust is beautifully sculpted by a local artist, and is a wonderful addition to Downtown.
Pedaling onward I came to the Rapid City Main Street Square, a large outdoor community area with a grass field, picnic tables, fountains, and large outdoor stage for summer concerts and events. The area, which hosts an outdoor ice skating rink in the winter, was full of kids playing in the sun and snacking on ice cream, which appeared to me as a capital idea. A moment later I had my bike locked, ice cream in hand, and settled in for a wonderful, relaxing afternoon in the sun.