Ben Swift Reports on His Dakota Five-0 Experience


Fat-bike brother, Ben Swift, sent us this report from his participation in the Dakota Five-O on his fat-bike. Thanks, Ben!

A few week-ends ago I was lucky enough to get to ride the Dakota Five-O So, of course, I rode it FAT!


I got to go because a friend dropped out, and I wasn’t particularly trained-up or ready to do it… so I just planned to “try to finish”. I rode up with some friends and we made camp on Thursday afternoon and we did a little riding, confirming my under-preparedness.


We rode a couple more sections on Friday, which were also well beyond my competency, and we took Saturday off to recuperate and enjoy the town some more. Spearfish is a really neat town, the campground, bike shops and local restaurants were all really great. The Five-0 event organization was great, and the whole town was into it. Super nice!


Woke up Sunday at 5:30 (I think) to ride the Five-O. My Pugsley was in good working order, and I was feeling good as I started in the fourth wave. Made it to the first aid station pretty good, and knowing that the 2nd section would maybe be the hardest, I tried to relax and enjoy some of the amazing scenery.




It was a beautiful day to be riding in the Black Hills. I made it through the 2nd or 3rd aid station (not sure which one) before breaking my chain on a climb. A friendly rider helped me out by loaning me her chain tool, so I was able to continue. I hike-a-biked up a lot of climbs, and finally made it to the famous Bacon Station only to be informed that they were out of bacon and beer! Sad-face, but that’s not why I was here. I came to finish! A bunch of refreshing descending later, and I was done. It was not the absolute hardest ride I’ve completed… but it was damn close. I finished several hours after all of my friends, but I finished! And I created a goal to beat next year! Damn straight –┬á I’m going back!

Regarding fat-biking the Five-0: the Pugsley was definitely capable to handle the route. It was hard going up and hard coming down. Going up, the weight was the main issue, but for traction, it was really quite nice. There were rocky sections that the Pugs probably could have handled with a more experienced pilot in the cockpit. The fat front tire was good for handling almost everything, including some of the rougher downhill terrain, but my arms were pretty wrecked at the end. Front suspension would be preferred. Fat-bikes were not in great number: I played leap-frog along the course with the one other fat biker out there named Verry – riding a Salsa, and I also saw a dude on a Krampus.

Thanks and keep up the great work at!

Thank you, Ben! Folks, do you have a fat-bike riding experience that you’d like to share with our readers? Well, go ahead an put works to digits, add a couple of pix and send them to me at We’ll make you famous!


About Greg Smith 1127 Articles
Greg Smith, known to many site visitors as Sven Hammer, founded in 2011 and the site quickly became the #1 online community for all things Fat. You can currently find Greg outfitting Everyday Cycles; a Milwaukee, WI retailer of gear for fatbikers, adventure cyclists and urban assault riders.


  1. Nice job Ben! I love your comment: “It was hard going up and hard coming down.” Yup, that’s pretty much everything… ­čśë

  2. Did the chequamegon fat forty and felt much like you did. Will go back at some point but would prefer a fat specific ride. Suggestions? I live in central wisconsin

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