In this monthly series, we check in with one of our adventurous locals to find out how they would spend a perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley.
Is that a chill in the air? Fall is fast approaching in Sun Valley, and after twelve years of living in this mountain town, I can confidently say it’s my favorite season. Warm days, cool nights, uncrowded trails, and perfect starry evenings make September hard to beat.
September is also when seven-time world champion cyclist and local resident Rebecca Rusch hosts over a thousand riders for Rebecca’s Private Idaho, a multi-day gravel biking festival and stage race. Since 2013, this event has welcomed athletes ranging from professional to amateur to compete and race along the trails in Ketchum.
This year, in light of the pandemic, Rebecca transitioned this iconic event into a global race, with a flexible, interactive membership training plan that leads to cyclists riding their own “Private Idaho” courses at home over Labor Day weekend.
Rebecca is one of the most generous humans you can hope to meet and an incredibly tenacious athlete. She’s known as “The Queen of Pain” for her remarkable ability to tackle the world’s most grueling endurance cycling events. Her kindness is also legendary. As the Marin Museum of Bicycling so eloquently says, “She’s one of the boldest, kindest, most determined champions you’ll ever encounter, a maverick whose influence as mountain biking royalty has ignited loyalty for the sport among legions.”
So how would Rebecca spend her perfect 24hrs in her hometown of Sun Valley in September? Let’s find out.
What would you do first thing on your perfect September day?
No matter the month or season, my first go-to is definitely grabbing a cup of coffee.
Once you’re caffeinated, what’s next?
I have two furry friends who have some strong opinions on how I should spend my mornings. Once the coffee is brewed, it’s in my insulated mug, and I hit the trail with my dogs, Gracie and Diesel. We’re fortunate to have so many amazing trails right outside our door. I let the dogs lead and choose their trail of the day to explore.
What would you do for lunch?
I usually try to steer towards something quick and healthy! I’m either just getting off the trail or about to get on it. Some of my local favorites are WrapCity Cafe and KBs Burritos. You really can’t go wrong with anything on either menu!
How would you enjoy the afternoon?
Every Labor Day weekend, I hold my annual Rebecca’s Private Idaho (RPI) Gravel Race. So, depending on what day it was in September, I would either spend my afternoon on my bike training for the race or on my bike enjoying not training for the race!
This September will look a little different since we are holding a hybrid version of RPI. Instead of everyone coming to Sun Valley, riders will be competing from wherever they are in the WORLD! I look forward to when we can host everyone again, but for now, I’m enjoying having the course and trails to myself.
Any happy hour for you? Where would you go, and what would you drink?
Can I cheat and say my own patio?? September is such a beautiful month to be outside in Sun Valley. If we’re not enjoying a cold beer, I might put together a “Head Rusch” (shameless plug, I have a delicious drink named after me!). All credit goes to my sponsors Red Bull and Patron for putting this recipe together!
What’s for dinner?
I’d keep it simple and hit the back deck of the Limelight Hotel. If you couldn’t tell already, I’m partial to being outside! Plus, they allow dogs, so it’s one of Gracie and Diesel’s favorite places too. We’d order a pizza and hopefully catch some live music.
How would you finish out your perfect 24 hours in September?
Assuming I did all these things in one day, I’d probably be spent from riding and stuffed to the brim from pizzas and drinks…so I’d gladly retire for the evening to the couch with my husband Greg, and our two dogs. We’d finish watching the sun go down or peek our heads outside to see how brightly the stars were shining that night and regard to each other how lucky we are to call this place home.