Yankton will play a feature role in a statewide bike ride set to happen this spring.
In a press release Sunday, Ride Across South Dakota (RASDak) announced the stops and route for its seventh annual seven-day bike tour across the state. Yankton will serve as the ending point for the ride, scheduled for June 2-8.
The 469/504-mile RASDAK Round Up 2019 will also make a stop in Wagner.
The tour will begin its tour in Custer on June 2. Cyclists will stay overnight in Hot Springs, Red Cloud, Martin, Mission, Gregory and Wagner before ending the ride on the Meridian Bridge in Yankton.
The RASDak 2019 will showcase the diversity of natural terrain making up South Dakota. Cyclists will begin their journey in Custer, pedaling through pine forests, grass prairies with the option of exploring lakes, caves and hot springs. As cyclists head east, the terrain will transition to open grasslands, buttes and sand hills. Cyclists will end their week in Yankton, after pedaling through the pristine Missouri National Recreational River Valley.
Cyclists will also experience firsthand Native American history, art and culture as the route passes through the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Yankton Sioux reservations. Cyclists will have the opportunity to visit historic schools, churches, missions, museums, forts and bridges.
RASDak is supported by volunteers and sponsors. Proceeds from the ride are used to support bicycle tourism along with communities and groups that help make RASDak possible.
RASDak provides a $500 scholarship to a high school senior making a difference in his or her community. In 2019 scholarships will be awarded to eight seniors in Custer, Hot Springs, Red Cloud, Martin, Mission, Gregory, Wagner and Yankton.
Since 2017, RASDak has donated numerous Saris bicycle service stations to support bicycling on various trails in South Dakota. In 2019, RASDak will donate a Saris repair station to Custer State Park in honor of its 100th birthday.
RASDak and its riders financially support community groups that are providing snack stops, meals and shelter to the riders and support crew. Sponsors for RASDak include the South Dakota Beef Industry Council, SDN Communications, Spoke-n-Sport, Harlans Bike & Tour, and South Dakota AARP.
This year, RASDak is expecting more than 200 riders will register for the tour. Ages of the riders will range from 13 to 80 and will represent 30 states and Canada.
Registration for RASDak is limited. Full-week and single-day riders are welcome. Registered riders receive on-route support and camping accommodations. Regular food and rest stops are provided along the way.
Riders may obtain further information and register for the ride on the RASDak website at www.rasdak.com or visit the RASDak Facebook page.