You gotta applaud any effort to make a cross-state bicycle tour more fun, interesting, and relevant than it could be on its own.
So I’m tickled to learn that the theme for RASDak (Ride Across South Dakota) is the “Grit and Bear It Ride.” It commemorates the saga of local frontiersman Hugh Glass, whose escapades have been made into the major motion picture “The Revenant” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Let’s just hope this 525-mile week-long bicycle tour from June 4 to June 11 bears little or no resemblance to the hardships faced by Glass back in 1823.
What made Glass a legend, and the subject of a motion picture nearly 200 years later, is his amazing will to survive.
His associates, seeing Glass’s condition, relieved him of his gun, knife and food and left him on the plains to die. Legend says that when he came to, he set his broken leg and let maggots eat the dead flesh in his wounds. He proceeded to limp and crawl all the way to Fort Kiowa — a distance of some 200 miles.
It’s like you’re riding with some friends, experience a tire puncture, lose your balance and get road rash from a fall. They ride off after failing to help you patch the tire. OK, it’s worse than that. You’re probably not 200 miles from civilization and you have a cell phone to call for assistance.
Don’t worry about being left on the windy plains of South Dakota on this tour. The organizers say roving SAGs will patrol the route.
This fourth RASDak bike ride tours northwestern South Dakota. Generally heading east to west, there are a couple of 90-plus mile days.
The ride starts at Fort Sisseton with overnight stops in Britton, Eureka, Mobridge, McLaughlin and Lemmon. The ride ends in Buffalo with an optional ride to the Montana border.
Shuttle bus transportation is available at the start and finish.