Rebecca Rusch has achieved some impressive things during her lengthy career as an endurance athlete. Most of us already know about her sporting accomplishments, but beyond that, she’s created what’s become one of the most popular gravel events on the calendar. Rebecca’s Private Idaho is heading into its 6th year and will be bringing more than 1,000 riders to Ketchum/Sun Valley over Labor Day Weekend to experience Rebecca’s own bucket list-worthy gravel race.
Just like any worthy gravel event these days, RPI came about simply as a passion project. For Rebecca, it was a way to share her hometown and local riding terrain with others. “It’s pretty simple, I started RPI because I wanted to share”, Rebecca told us. “I wanted to share the beauty of Idaho with other riders. I wanted to share funds that I could raise from an event with bike charities that are important to me. Ultimately all of those charities do work that also shares riding with others either at home in Idaho via the Wood River Bicycle Coalition or in Africa with World Bicycle Relief.” Last year alone, RPI raised over $30,000 for cycling charities.
Considering that Rebecca wasn’t even sure that anyone would even be interested in what RPI had to offer initially, the growth rate has proven she had nothing to worry about. “I’m surprised at the growth, the success, the ability of a very small team to pull off an ever-growing event like this”, said Rebecca. “Honestly, I wasn’t even sure the idea would work or if people would come and also continue to come. But it’s been steady 20% growth each year and I’m continuing to add other distances, training camps, and now the Queen’s Stage Race.”
The new Queen’s Stage Race option Rebecca mentioned gives riders an opportunity to get in more miles than what the 93-mile Big Potato route alone could deliver, with riders tackling four days of racing and about 200 total miles. Think about how many boiled and salted potatoes you can eat after riding all those miles…and yes, potatoes are one of the many options in each of the feed zones.
In case you’re wondering what the ideal equipment setup might be, ENVE’s Gravel Guide rated RPI as Category 3 Gravel, where a tire range of 35-40c would be recommended on the G23 wheels. Those are the very wheels Rebecca will be riding, along with a number of ENVE employees that will be present.
“I always warn people that no one comes to Ketchum once”, said Rebecca. “Everyone comes back because they fall in love with the beauty of the terrain, the community, and the small town atmosphere. This place is hard to get to and that’s what keeps it special and unspoiled. It is quiet and alive at the same time. That’s how RPI is too, you might line up with 1000 riders, but you will have your solitary experience riding in the Copper Basin in a landscape that looks much like it did hundreds of years ago. Then when you return to town, the community will welcome you back with open arms.”
Everyone always seems to think they have the best riding terrain where they live, but in the case of Rebecca, she might just be right.
ENVE is proud to partner with Rebecca Rusch and Rebecca’s Private Idaho. For more information on Rebecca’s Private Idaho visit www.rebeccasprivateidaho.com