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Rebecca’s Private Idaho

August 31, 2024 - September 3, 2024

gravel cyclists at rebecca's private idaho

Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) is a long-haul gravel grinder that takes place annually on Labor Day weekend and is arguably one of America’s most beautiful gravel events with its base of operations in the amazing towns of Sun Valley and Ketchum, Idaho. The team here at Strambecco consistently rates it as one of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in  the Rockies. Riding and racing occur in the pristine backcountry of the adjacent Salmon-Challis National Forest, and the landscape is one of pure beauty and one that will drop your jaw to the floor the first time you lay your eyes on it. Rebecca Rusch, the event namesake, is an American ultra-endurance pro athlete, world champion, author, entrepreneur, Emmy Award winner, and motivational speaker whose career has spanned numerous adventure sports, including rock climbing, expedition racing, whitewater rafting, cross-country skiing, and mountain biking. Her company, Rusch Ventures in partnership with Bike Monkey, have built Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) to be commonly recognized as one of the best gravel events in the world.

Since Rebecca Rusch inaugurated Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) 11 years ago, it has emerged as not just a race but an experience, a blend of Idaho’s picturesque landscapes with the vigor of gravel racing. Both professional cyclists and amateur enthusiasts earmark their calendars for this event, ensuring that they don’t miss out. What sets RPI apart is the commitment to a greater cause. Each participant rides with a mission, supporting the Be Good™ Foundation, an initiative that sees the bicycle as a vehicle for community enrichment, empowerment, and evolution. Moreover, whether you’re setting out for the 19-mile Tater Tot for the first time or you’re gearing up for the 197-mile, four-day Queen’s Stage Race, at RPI, everyone’s royalty.

Event & Course Info

Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) allows participants to choose from one of the one-day races or the infamous multi-day Queen’s Stage Race for experienced and elite racers. The Queen’s Stage Race is the ultimate challenge, with a route that stretches over 196 miles, navigated in three timed stages across four days. It offers backcountry riding like no other, demanding peak preparation from participants. Specifics of the Queen’s Stage Race are as follows:

  • Stage 1: Opening the Queen’s Stage Race, on Thursday this 35-mile track with a 2,500’ elevation gain is set to be faster and more suited for gravel bikes. The route challenges with a tough singletrack loop before treating riders to a mesmerizing descent back to Harriman Trail. Note: the start location has moved in 2023!
  • Stage 2: Friday’s race features a 49.65-mile stretch with a 3,003-foot ascent, this stage involves a gravel road time trial up the challenging Dollarhide Summit.
  • Stage 3 (Optional): on Saturday, a 20-mile leisure ride for socializing and enjoying Idaho’s scenery, all on a mix of paved and gravel roads.
  • Stage 4: taking place on Sunday, it is essentially the Baked Potato route detailed below, with aid stations strategically located for rider convenience.

The single day events all take place on Sunday and include:

The Baked Potato for those looking for an intense challenge, at 103 miles and an elevation climb of 6,271 feet, it’s a course that’s 90% gravel. French Fry is a middle-ground route that’s sure to challenge. Covering 56 miles with a gain of 4,386 feet, it’s predominantly gravel, constituting 80% of the path, while the rest is paved. Finally, Tater Tot is an ideal starter for those new to gravel grinding. Spanning 18.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1,473 feet, it’s a balanced mix of 50% gravel road and 50% pavement. Riders can expect camaraderie with other enthusiastic cyclists.

Apart from the mileage, what elevates RPI’s experience is the infrastructure. From well-stocked aid stations to on-point mechanical support, and from incredible scenic vistas to an army of dedicated volunteers, it’s a comprehensive gravel racing package.

Participants can expect a plethora of awards across different categories. Stages have their individual award ceremonies, with the grand Queen’s Stage Race winners being announced at the RPI Festival Day following Stage 3. Podiums, food, drinks, parties, and the camaraderie of fellow cyclists combine to make Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) a memorable event.

Be sure to check out the official 2023 Rider Guide for all of the nitty gritty details.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

A plethora of housing options exist, from luxury estates to rustic campsites, concierge service to DIY self-reliance. Labor Day weekend is popular and packed in Sun Valley, so as soon as you’ve registered to ride Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI), booking travel and lodging should be your next priority. The host hotel, The Limelight, offers rooms & suites in the heart of downtown Ketchum, while other great options are Alpine Lodging Sun Valley, Hotel Ketchum, and Tamarack Lodge. If you have a group and you’re looking for a spacious condo or private home to stretch out, reserving a property through Natural Retreats may suit your needs. ​If camping is your thing, check out the Wood River Valley‘s camping options while abundant designated campgrounds and dispersed camping can be found in the Sawtooth National Forest outside of town. 

The culinary scene in Sun Valley, Idaho, seamlessly blends rustic mountain charm with sophisticated dining, offering a diverse array of gourmet restaurants, local eateries, and specialty food shops that showcase regional ingredients and flavors. With influences ranging from traditional American to international cuisine, the region promises a rich gastronomic experience set against a stunning mountain backdrop. Local favorties to try while you are in town for Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) include Rickshaw, GLOW for fresh juice and vegan grub, and Konditorei for coffee and treats.

Sun Valley, Idaho, in the summer offers a plethora of activities for athletes, family and friends to enjoy. The area is renowned for its world-class singletrack trails. The Bald Mountain trails, in particular, offer a combination of technical descents, flowing paths, and challenging climbs, making it a top destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. The Pioneer Mountains offer a range of hiking trails with breathtaking views. The Hyndman Peak Trail, for example, provides a challenging trek to one of Idaho’s highest peaks, with an elevation gain of over 5,000 feet and panoramic vistas at the summit. Finally, for the anglers of the group, the clear and cool waters of the Big Wood River are teeming with trout, making it a fishermen’s dream. With various spots along the river, both novices and experienced fly fishers can enjoy casting a line amidst the serene and scenic backdrop of Sun Valley.

Related Events

Bike Monkey one of the producing partners of Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) is a well known professional events management and services company specialized in cycling events, primarily in Northern California and Nevada. Their gravel cycling events consistently make our list of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in California, the Southwest and the Northwest and include events like Heart of Gold Gravel, The Hammer Road Rally, The Bovine Classic, Fish Rock, Stetina’s Paydirt, Truckee Tahoe Gravel. They also produce Boggs MTB one of the best MTB events in the Northwest, and Levi’s Gran Fondo, one of the Best Road Cycling Events in California and the Northwest.


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