RASDAK (Ride Across South Dakota) 2020

This year’s ride across South Dakota is going to be 7-13 June 2020. It will deviate from previous practice and go north to south along the Missouri River. Overnight towns are Polluck (on the North Dakota border, Mobridge, Gettysburg, Pierre, Chamberlain, Tyndall and ends in Vermillion. You’ll be able to dip tires on both ends of the trip. Pierre was a great overnight a few years ago. There is a bridge at Vermillion to take you over the Missouri to get some Nebraska miles if you like. A river run should be a lot of fun.

6 Replies

Jboz, January 12, 2020 at 6:58 am

I’m curious about the size of this ride, and a little tempted (although I’m also considering BRAG which is the week before). Approximately how many riders? I did some research on it a few years ago and it seems pretty small (like 200 riders). I’m open to doing a smaller ride, but 200 seems pretty small. Are there services (like shuttles from end town to start town)?

Also, I don’t know much about SD’s wind patterns in June, but Iowa July winds have been discussed here frequently and the conventional wisdom tends to hold that Iowa winds in July tend to be predominantly from the south. If this is factual, and if it holds true for RASDAK, 7 days of headwinds might be a discouraging factor for me.

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Bernard Schwartze, January 12, 2020 at 4:59 pm

We had around 200 riders when I rode two years ago. About 15 of them had family that followed with RVs and helped with SAG and stuff. There was always somebody every ten miles or so along the route parked at an intersection in case someone needs help. It was very nice to be that small. I thought it was easier to get to know people. Some that year were later on RAGBRAI. I enjoyed seeing them again and catching up.

RASDAK is definitely a different pace than RAGBRAI but fun in its own right. With that small a group, you bond pretty quick if you wish. If not, there is room for you to be alone too. There is a YOUTUBE video from a few years ago showing a skit they did to celebrate (make fun of) the ride director. They also have a few traditions that are fun to be a part of like the group photo. The year I rode, we took it on the monument to the geographic center of the 50 United States.

RASDAK always has a shuttle service, depends on the route which way it goes. This year, it takes you to the start (Pollock) from the end town (Vermillion). You are on your own if you want a ride back to the start when you finish the tour. The year I did it, the start was in Sioux Falls. They shuttled you back there from the end at Devil’s Tower that year. The fee is around $100 for the service.

As far as water and food stops, if there are not enough towns to stop in on the route, the ride seeks out the area churches, schools, etc. to have a staffed and supplied break stop in the middle of wherever as a fund raiser. Those are pretty well done, and the kids have great things to talk about.

As far as headwinds, I don’t know what to expect on a North to South along the river in South Dakota. When I did it two years ago, it was east to west and we had four days of headwinds, three of tail winds (not to mention being uphill the whole way). Yeah, headwinds suck. I just don’t let them get in my head.

RASDAK 2020 is 527 miles long with all the bonus miles and 14727 feet of climb. Two planned opportunities to cross the river over the dams and you could cross the other two as a very short side trip if you wanted to. Great overnight towns, quieter roads, fun people. I enjoyed it and will do it again.

http://rasdak.com/

I’m curious about the size of this ride, and a little tempted (although I’m also considering BRAG which is the week before). Approximately how many riders? I did some research on it a few years ago and it seems pretty small (like 200 riders). I’m open to doing a smaller ride, but 200 seems pretty small. Are there services (like shuttles from end town to start town)?

Also, I don’t know much about SD’s wind patterns in June, but Iowa July winds have been discussed here frequently and the conventional wisdom tends to hold that Iowa winds in July tend to be predominantly from the south. If this is factual, and if it holds true for RASDAK, 7 days of headwinds might be a discouraging factor for me.

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Bernard Schwartze, March 23, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Today, RASDAK put on their facebook feed that they will make a decision by April 12th on whether they will postpone or not due to COVID-19. The feed also mentions the options for refunds.

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John Richardson, March 24, 2020 at 9:18 am

RASDAK sounds like a great ride and I’d love to do, but it is the same dates as the Nebraska ride BRAN that I am already registered for. I would like to do more state rides but South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri all have date conflicts. Probably not an issue for many but I find it frustrating.

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Bernard Schwartze, March 24, 2020 at 5:37 pm

I hear you, the RASDAK/BRAN conflict the first full week of June is always a bummer. Roll Massif’s Elephant Rock Ride in Colorado seems to always be the Sunday RASDAK and BRAN start. I didn’t know Missouri and Kansas also conflicted with SD and NE this year. Usually they are a few weeks later.

Colorado’s Ride the Rockies is right after RASDAK and BRAN. The year I went on RASDAK, there was a woman I met who said she was doing both. Back to back is impressive.

Oklahoma Freewheel is the week before RASDAK and BRAN. If the movement between states lined up, it could be a heck of a three week tour: OK, SD or NE, CO.

Now Tour de Nebraska starts on 17 June, that is not so bad except that it conflicts with South Dakota’s Mickelson Trail Summer Trek 16-18 June and North Dakota’s Bike the Border 19-21 June.

Tour de Wyoming is 12-17 July but it conflicts with Iowa’s Ride.

Fortunately, North Dakota’s CanDAK is 1-8 August.

Lots of choices, lots of decisions. Hope we get to go on some.

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John Richardson, March 25, 2020 at 9:51 am

You are correct some of the other Midwest state ride dates are not exact matches but are close enough to make the logistic very difficult. I’m probably a rare case since I ride self contained to the start of the ride and back after the finish. I was very happy to see Iowa’s Ride move it’s dates up a week ahead of RAGBRAI.

In 2016 Kansas and Missouri got together. The Kansas Ride, BAK ended at the Missouri River and Missouri’s Ride, Big BAM started 2 days later just across the river and continued on to the Mississippi. I think there were a half a dozen of us that did both rides.
In 2018 Missouri teamed up with Oklahoma’s Freewheel that ended in Joplin, MO that year, and the Big BAM stared a couple days later from Joplin also. Since I love the BRAN ride I did it instead of the Freewheel, but it still gave me enough time ride to Joplin to do Big BAM as well. No way can I do that this year since Big BAM moved their dates up.
Unfortunately the way things are looking we’ll all be very lucky to get in any state rides.

Thanks for mentioning CanDak, I’ll certainly check that one out.

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