People, place, and purpose. At Rebecca’s Private Idaho, these are the three grounding navigational tools we use as our guide. For the past nine years, RPI has been connecting people, celebrating place, and using the bicycle as a catalyst for the purpose of the Be Good™ Foundation. Today, we have an update to share for RPI 2021, taking place on September 1-5, 2021.
Our commitment to people, place, and purpose has never been stronger. This year we will further honor the people and places that came before us, and celebrate everything in the here and now that bonds us together as teammates in the human race. Our collective future is bright, as we learn from the past and work together to evolve.
Our first update is about people - where it all starts. More specifically, our approach to building towards a more welcoming and supportive future for the people in our community. Regardless of place and time, celebrating both our collective differences and similarities can lead to an environment where people are best able to grow and flourish, to be themselves, to enjoy a life well lived. The belief that everyone should have equal access to resources, opportunities, and experiences is indelibly woven into the fabric of RPI. It is seeped in our mission to connect people, ride with purpose, and celebrate the beautiful places we ride.
With this in mind, RPI is proud to introduce two new categories for 2021: Non-Binary/FTW (Femme, Trans, Women) and Para-Cyclist. This broadening of our categories will ensure all cyclists can participate in a safe and supportive setting. These categories will have the same podium recognition as our other options.
Non-Binary/FTW is for people who identify outside the gender binary, or for people who would prefer to race without a gendered classification. The Para-Cyclist category is defined by the same eligible physical impairments set by the International Paralympic Committee; you can read more about those here.
We are proud to celebrate our collective humanity, and as we continue our efforts to cultivate a culture of acceptance, we look forward to working with Riders Inspiring Diversity and Equality (RIDE) on our inclusion and diversity initiatives here at RPI.
History is shaped by the people who wrote it, so the stories we have been told do not paint the whole picture. The features and landmarks we cycle through were named by white settlers, who wrote their history into the landscape. Or, we should say renamed and rewrote. There were Indigenous people who occupied and named these lands long before.
In Idaho, these were the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. They had their own names for the mountains, valleys, rivers and streams that they knew well and called home, and they had their own beliefs, values, languages, and communities. It is within our power to reexamine our shared history, in order to acknowledge the people who have revered the same places that we all enjoy today. It is our responsibility, as humans and as current stewards of the land, to honor the people who took care of it before us, before it was taken away from them.
In our efforts to do so at RPI, we are committed to bringing awareness to the meaning that these spaces have held for others. And so to our second update. Look for changes coming soon - to event maps, signs and landmarks - as you prepare to ride through this beautiful place that we are fortunate to explore.
Many ways to participate
Idaho is a special place that we all treasure, and an incredible setting for RPI. We are always excited to bask in its beauty with our RPI riders, but we are cognizant of the limitations that make traveling to this corner of the world infeasible. To address the issue of accessibility, we have the RPI Remote category, which we first featured in RPI 2020 due to Covid-19. It is a powerful way to be a part of the RPI pack – you can compete in a place that is special to you, with riders from all over the globe.
Pedaling with a purpose is our way of taking initiative in the face of inequalities throughout the world. Anyone who participates in RPI is giving back for the greater good, as a portion of proceeds from the event go to beneficiaries of the Be Good™ Foundation. We believe that it is our responsibility to play an active role in propelling inclusion at local, national, and international levels, and we do this through the power of the bicycle. RPI participants also have the option to create their own fundraiser to share with family and friends, if they wish to further support this effort.
How can we build towards a world that offers opportunity and acceptance for everyone? You may have your own ideas about how to go about this, and we would love to hear them. For us, this evolution begins with honoring our collective past, and celebrating our collective future. Let’s keep working towards a more inclusive future in the cycling community, and in the world. Let’s start here at RPI by honoring people, place and purpose. Simply put, we are all teammates in the human race.