Gravel is everywhere and everything in 2020. Rebecca's Private Idaho was an early event in this space. How has it set the tone for other events and what can folks expect if they're just doing it for the first time?
Each time I’ve pivoted in cycling, I’ve done so because of my own personal passion to explore, not because I was following a trend. This happened with 24 hour racing, stage racing, gravel exploration and now bike packing.
I launched Rebecca’s Private Idaho, an endurance gravel road event, in 2012 for two reasons: to show people the magical, remote terrain in my home state of Idaho and to support my local community and the cycling community. I was already riding and exploring around my home area, seeing places for the first time that were right outside my door. It was so obvious that other riders would love being there too and that I had the opportunity to show it to them.
The event is meant to be a gift to the individual rider and to the cycling community as a whole. I did not launch the ride to make money, get exposure or follow a trend. In fact RPI has always been a fundraising ride that contributes to local, national and global cycling charities.
8 years later with the explosion of gravel events and participants, my mission with Private Idaho has not changed. The event is there to celebrate remote places, getting off the beaten path, pushing your personal limits, connecting with your tribe and giving back to the cycling community. The course and the type of riding mimic what appeals to me and obviously to lots of other people. Is it a race or a ride? It is whatever you want it to be. I provide a platform, a place and the people to push yourself, connect and celebrate being outside. First time guests (pro to beginner) can find any distance to push themselves, a multi-day festival in the most beautiful place on earth, laid back friendly people and you probably won’t want to go home. Riders should expect to be challenged (after all, they do call me the Queen of Pain), you can expect to have your breath taken away by the beauty and then you can expect a hug from me at the end. My goal is that everyone who comes to my hometown feels like a local and leaves appreciating nature, impressed with their own strength and like they belong to the cycling community.