Smackdab is held every year on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice:

June 20, 2015* ✔︎June 24, 2023 ✔︎June 21, 2031
June 18, 2016* ✔︎June 22, 2024 ✔︎June 19, 2032*
June 17, 2017* ✔︎June 21, 2025June 18, 2033*
June 23, 2018 ✔︎June 20, 2026*June 24, 2034
June 22, 2019 ✔︎June 19, 2027*June 23, 2035
June 20, 2020* ✔︎June 17, 2028*June 21, 2036
June 19, 2021* ✔︎June 23, 2029June 20, 2037*
June 18, 2022* ✔︎June 22, 2030June 19, 2038*
*Falls on the same weekend as Father’s Day these years


DEPARTURE POINT: The Geographical Center of the Contiguous 48 States Monument, Lebanon, KS
DEPARTURE TIME: Between dawn and sunrise (5:35 – 6:05 AM CDT)

All participants must register online prior to 5PM the day before the ride.
There will be no opportunity for ‘walk-up’ registrations the morning of the ride.
Co-riders (passengers) who wish to get a patch and/or be included on the finishers’ roll must be included on the primary rider’s registration by name.

Free coffee and breakfast snacks are normally provided at the departure point through the kind generosity of the Smith County Chamber of Commerce.

  • RECORD YOUR START — Have a camera or cell phone with you when you show up at the monument Saturday morning. A Smackdab banner will be on display at the monument site. Take a picture of yourself with the banner somewhere in the background (as proof that it was taken that morning). No group photos! ONE photo per rider. However, a rider and co-rider on the same bike may submit one photo or separate photos.
  • TEXT YOUR PHOTO to the special number that was sent to you as a part of your registration material.
    You should receive a confirmation text within several minutes, indicating your photo was successfully received.
  • If you do not have a cell phone or cannot text a photo, you may alternately e-mail your photo to info@smackdab281.org, or print it off and mail it in with your patch/finisher form.
  • Co-riders who wish to get a patch and/or be included on the finishers’ roll must be included on the primary rider’s registration by name prior to departure.

There will be a short riders’ meeting and group photo at the monument in Lebanon @ 5:30 AM. Once the meeting concludes and you have submitted your photo, you are free to take off on your ride.


  • 1 mile east on KS Hwy 191
  • 640 miles north on US Hwy 281
  • 34 miles west on US Hwy 2

Smackdab is 675 miles long, but it is neither challenging to ride nor difficult to navigate. The route is smoothly paved and well maintained throughout. U.S. Route 281 makes up 95% of the distance, except for the first mile and last 34 miles. It is a combination of rural two-lane and four-lane divided highway. There are few curvy sections; be prepared for a lot of straight-line cruising. Fortunately, traffic congestion is largely not an issue.

Explore a detailed, interactive map of the route at Google MyMaps.

Speed limits vary from 55-70 MPH. With over sixteen hours to complete the trip, there is no need to exceed the posted speeds, even when taking fairly leisurely stops for gas, food, and perhaps even a bit of sightseeing. Smackdab is not a race. Elapsed times are not recorded. Relax, be safe, and enjoy your surroundings.

One potential concern on the trip is the availability of fuel for bikes that have small fuel tanks. In several stretches of North Dakota, it would be wise for riders whose bikes have a range under 120-130 miles per tank or that require high octane fuel to fill up whenever available.

Unlike many other long-distance riding challenges, Smackdab must be completed on one particular route, on one particular day. You can’t wait for weather conditions that suit you. June in the Midwest comes with unpredictable and rapid changes in weather. Come prepared! Crossing nearly 700 miles of the Great Plains in one day, Smackdab riders are very likely to face heat, humidity, rain, cold, buffeting winds, or a combination of these. Participants should make sure they have the training, equipment, and mental fortitude to complete a day-long motorcycle ride in adverse weather conditions. Stay abreast of Weather Service alerts and avoid severe storms, which can be damaging or deadly.


DESTINATION: The Geographical Center of North America Monument, Rugby, ND
ARRIVAL TIME: Between sunset and dusk (9:45 PM – 10:25 PM CDT)

RECORD YOUR FINISH — After completing the ride, take another photo in Rugby with the monument in the background. Submit it in the same manner described for the departure photo.

Your photo must be submitted by 10:30PM Saturday night to be valid.

ALTERNATIVE VALIDATION — Riders who arrive at the monument prior to 10:25 but are unable to text their verification photo by 10:30 can still get credit for completing the ride. These finishers must submit an original, electronically-printed cash-register receipt from any business in Rugby. To be valid, the receipt must—

  • Be dated and time-stamped between 4PM* and 10:30PM the day of the run.
  • Include the business name and/or Rugby address.

*If your receipt is from earlier than 4PM, you’re either trying to pull something shady, or you stupidly used Route 281 as a public racetrack. There will never be any Smackdab speed records, official or unofficial—Got it? Relax, be safe and enjoy the ride.

Riders gather at the monument in Rugby for a group photo as the sun sets, between 9:30–9:45. You are encouraged to participate, but the group photo is not a requirement for your finisher’s patch.


After filling out patch/finisher order form, mail it with the appropriate payment to the address provided on the riders’ instructions.

  • Even if you don’t want a patch, you should mail in this form if you wish to be recorded as an official finisher on the website.
  • Co-riders are eligible for their own patch only if they were properly registered. Rider and co-rider should each fill out a separate form, but may be mailed in one envelope with one check.
  • You will receive your patch(s) within 3–4 weeks.
  • Orders for patches arriving more than six months after the event will be honored at the discretion of the organizers.

Patches are made available at the cost of manufacturing, without any additional mark-up.


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The International Peace Garden (www.peacegarden.com) is located less than an hour north of Rugby and is well worth visiting. This unique and remarkable attraction is nestled in rugged, picturesque hills unlike anything seen along the Smackdab route. It makes a great side trip after you depart Rugby on Sunday, and you’ll likely run into some other Smackdabbers there.