LET'S DO THIS!
RASDak I am back! I know, those that followed me last year on this bike tour of South Dakota may find this hard to believe. Yes, I may have done a little whining. Last year’s ride can only be described as hard, hard, and hard. It was marred by those three swearwords to bikers, “heat, headwinds and hills.” To be fair, veterans of the ride universally dubbed it the most challenging version to date.
I took a no whining pledge halfway through the tour and I kept it (well mostly). With the help of a Platte pharmacist I found a miracle cure for what tails a guy on these kinds of rides. In keeping with my Dutch heritage though, I did manage to get a three for one deal on surgeries after the ride (neck, elbow, and hand). Turns out it is not normal for a guy to lose feeling and control in his right hand. I think a little whining was justified.
Why would I want to do this again? The great friends I met, the incredible backroads scenery you see at 15 mph, and the physical challenge are all factors. Thankfully, I will never know what childbirth is like, because if guys had to do it, our species may be extinct. Thankfully ladies, you forget the pain and produce more children. Perhaps being a RASDak repeater is as close a comparison as I can make.
RASDAK is an entirely different experience than RAGBRAI. Some days on RAGBRAI are estimated to have over 30,000 people including bikers and their entourage of supporters, SAG teams, food trucks, vendors, musical acts, and bike shops. RASDAK is small, just two hundred weekly riders. It is easy to meet people. The ride is well run with good communications, route markings and SAG vehicles. RASDak is for real men (and ladies). If last year’s ride is any indication, it is much more challenging than RAGBRAI. I do admit I miss the RAGBRAI Amish pie stands and evening entertainment.
This year’s RASDak starts in the “Heart of the Black Hills,” Hill City. There is that swearword again, sounds ominous. A town named “Hill City.” It is just twelve miles from Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Custer State Park. We will be traversing the Badlands and of course stopping at iconic South Dakota landmarks like Wall Drug and the Pioneer Auto Museum. We will be exploring some of same spots that Lewis & Clark did some two hundred years ago.
So join me on a different kind of tour this week, through the cathedral of God’s creation. Even if you are not a biker, I think you will enjoy this tour of South Dakota. I am counting on fun, praying for safety, and hoping this turns out to be a tale of tailwinds.
Todd Moss is a retired architect, a world traveler, a biker, and a blogger. Todd and his wife Rhonda organize and lead tours around the world. He has been in all fifty states, fifty-five countries, and 6 continents so far. You can follow this and his other adventures at https://www.facebook.com/extratouchtours