Heisingers' bike trip recounted in magazine It took Lewis and Clark 54 days to pull and pole their keelboat up the Missouri River across what is now South Dakota.
Jim and Barbara Heisinger of Vermillion made it in just ninne days � on their bicycles. Jim Heisinger relates their adventure in the September/October issue of South Dakota Magazine in a story titled "Biking the Missouri."
The retired USD biology professor and his wife rode the first half of the Corps of Discovery's route in the summer of 2003, not just the South Dakota stretch, but over 1,100 miles from the mouth of the Missouri near St. Louis, MO, to Bismarck ND. This summer they pedaled on west from Bismarck.
Exploring South Dakota by bike is faster, and perhaps slightly less adventurous than by keelboat, but a much greater challenge than traveling by car. The Heisingers encountered fierce head winds, steep hills, ferocious dogs and a lightning storm. Across the wide-open plains of central South Dakota they pedaled as much as 72 miles in a single day.
Barbara, with two titanium hip replacements, rode a touring bike hauling 50 pounds of gear; Jim rode a recumbent bicycle with 80 pounds of gear, including BOB, his Beast of Burden trailer.
Heisinger's travel journal includes everything from Lewis and Clark history to thoughts about river ecology to tips about good places to eat between Elk Point and Pollock. Not every couple in their 60s will have the energy for such an adventure, but most everybody will enjoy reading about it.