After an exciting and dusty round of the Enduro World Series at Northstar California, the WTB van made it's way up north to Idaho for one of the most exciting and unique events of the year. Being a veteran of the cycling industry and attending over 100 bike races and events so far in my life, it takes something extraordinary to get me extra enthusiastic about a race. That being said, I was extra excited about attending last weekend's gravel race and expo put on by the mega bike star Rebecca Rusch.
Rebecca's event called Rebecca's Private Idaho takes place in her beautiful and breathtaking hometown of Ketchum Idaho and is named one of the top five gravel races in the world by the Global Cycling Network. However, this is not your regular gravel grind. Rebecca's Private Idaho consists of a 3-day stage race, along with a one-day race option with three different ride choices depending on your skill and endurance. There is also a two-day bike expo along with live music, parties, and great available the entire weekend.
Rebecca Rusch is one of WTB's sponsored athletes making this event special for the whole company. We love helping athletes pursue dreams, and being apart of the weekend is truly an honor. We also had the privilege of making the signature saddle for the event.
Don't let the stunning scenery and fun atmosphere fool you; this gravel race tests people's skills to the max. Each track is full of high miles along with technical and loose terrain. The 3-day stage race is the most rugged. Stage 1 of the race has athletes zooming through single track mountain bike trails on there cross bikes. Stage 2 is a 50-mile gravel grind in the Idaho backcountry. The event finishes with a 100 miles gravel grind for stage 3. The athletes who win the overall prove to be fit, fast, and have impressive bike handling skills.
People who don't want to compete in the 3-day race have the option to race Sunday with 100 miles, 67 miles, or 20 miles options. Sunday's race brought out everyone from top gravel professionals to young kids and first-time racers.
The event is not just for racers. People come from all over the country to participate in the bike expo and ride local trails. Ketchum and Sun Valley are full of fantastic gravel and mountain bike trails, and it is hard to find a trail that doesn't consist of a stunning view.
Although racing is in Rebecca's heart and soul, this epic event is about so much more. Rusch's goal for the weekend is to show people Idaho's stunning scenery and display Idaho's massive public lands. The event strives to show people how important this land is for us, and spending time in the outdoors can turn you into a different person. This theme of appreciating the public lands and the places our bikes can bring us is evident throughout the whole weekend.
Another big part of Rebecca's Private Idaho is the Be Good Foundation. This nonprofit organization Rebecca Rusch started is all about helping people be better humans by building vibrant, healthy communities locally, nationally, and globally. The Be Good foundation is a huge advocate of public land usage and protecting our "playgrounds." Many aspects of the weekend's profits go towards the Be Good foundation along with a vast auction.
Rebecca's Private Idaho was on the top of my Summer list, and it did not disappoint. I highly recommend this event to anyone that likes talking bikes, gorgeous scenery, amazing people, pushing yourself harder then you thought possible on a bike, or simply hanging out in a spectacular destination. Rebecca Rusch has created an event that leaves people with a new love for the outdoors and an open mind to what people can accomplish on a bike.
We can't wait until next year!