Updated: Jul 10
It’s a different kind of tour I’m taking you on this week. Many of you were in church this morning, and I hated to miss it. I was in the cathedral of God’s creation. I’m doing RASDAK (Ride Across South Dakota). If you want to learn more about the sites to see, follow along this week on Facebook while I do the work on my bike.
We arrived last night by bus in Pollock, South Dakota. The temperature was 102 degrees and there was a ferocious south wind. The 200 riders plus support doubled the town’s population of 241. The entire town was relocated and rebuilt in the 1950’s when the 4 dams were built in South Dakota.
We began the morning with a 9-mile ride north to the North Dakota border. Did you know North Dakota is the only state with border markings? 800 lb. granite markers are placed every ½ mile. From there we turned around and headed south through rolling ranch lands to Mobridge South Dakota. Lewis & Clark traveled this same area in 1804 and discovered 3 stone idols that can still be found today (but not by bike).
Our route this week follows the Missouri River from North Dakota and SSE to Nebraska. The route with some longer optional routes and a few side trips is anticipated to be over 500 miles. Thankfully, prayers were answered today, and the winds switched and came generally at our tail from the NNW. A few jogs back to the west however were brutal with 35 mph headwinds & crosswinds. Today was our shortest day at 55 miles and I can tell you between the hills and the wind this is no ride for sissies. Tomorrow is 77 miles into strong headwinds. My longest day is expected to be over 100 miles.
RASDAK is an entirely different experience than RAGBRAI. Some days on RAGBRAI are estimated to have 30,000 people including bikers and their entourage of supporters, SAG teams, food trucks, vendors, musical acts, and bike shops.
Though RASDAK is small it is fun so far. It’s easy to meet people. I even connected with a number of Sioux County Dutchmen, one who even went to High School with Rhonda and I a long, long time ago. The ride is well run with good communications, route markings and SAG vehicles. I do admit I’m missing the Amish pie stands and evening entertainment.
In Mobridge, I checked out the Murals of Oscar Howe, a Native American Artist. I also went to see the Walleye Up Sculpture by John Lopez. His Mobridge-Pollock Tiger is guarding my tent tonight. (See pic)
Assuming I’m not exhausted, and I find more paper I’ll be back tomorrow with a shorter version of this blog. Consider this an introduction to my RASDAK ride and some sites to see in South Dakota.