BaseCamper Michele Moreno shared her experience at Rebecca's Private Idaho 2023.
The Queen's Stage Race was the stage I was most looking forward to, and it did not disappoint! The singletrack climbs were crazy steep, and I had to walk some of them, but I felt ok about that after last night’s racer meeting when Rebecca said even she wasn’t able to ride all of them on a gravel bike. 😊 Even though I was exhausted and legs were fried from those climbs, I still felt strong the whole time, which surprised me given how much my training was derailed over the past few months. So that's a testament to how awesome the BaseCamp training program is, even if you don't nail every workout!
For those of us who love riding technical singletrack on gravel bikes, those bermed singletrack descents were SO FUN! I passed well over a dozen riders in the singletrack section, and only lost a handful of those places during the last 3 1/2 mile gradual gravel climb before the finish. Overall a fantastic day on the bike!!
After such a hard effort on the first stage, I wasn’t able to push my legs very hard on the second day. Just no strength. Luckily the first 20 miles are a nice gradual climb. Waiting in line to start the timed section (20+ minutes?) did not help my cause either, legs were SO heavy after that. Finally felt relatively "good" in the last mile or so.
I knew going into this that making the 11:45 cutoff was a stretch goal, even if I had fresh legs (which I did not, after stages 1 & 2 of QSR). I had a very slow start, and really felt like I was dragging heading up Trail Creek. But boy were the next sections fast, especially with my awesome 50/45c Maxxis Ramblers making the washboard & chunky sections much more bearable than most people were experiencing. From mile 15 to 35 I was actually on pace to make the cutoff, but then the headwind and rain came.
That 10-ish mile stretch out to the start of copper basin was tough, being all alone in the headwind. I ended up missing the cutoff by literally a couple of minutes. Which was actually way faster than I expected to go. I was not at all disappointed, as I met my goal of getting out there in under 3 hrs 45 min of ride time. (Garmin said I did it in 3:41). But since ride time doesn’t equal elapsed time (I started at the very back of the group, stopped at first aid station for a couple min, then stopped briefly to put on rain jacket), it wasn’t quite fast enough.
I was able to push pretty hard on the return, and still got in 80 miles today. The El Diablito section was a fun challenge, and probably would have been less enjoyable if I had done that additional 20 mile loop. 😂
Other than the highlights of the course itself and the accomplishment, two other memories stand out. First, as I was struggling on the trail creek climb, I heard a voice from another cyclist who was passing me, saying, "Namrita Brooke would tell you to eat right now!" Thank you Bethel Steele for that awesome and timely reminder! And of course, having that brief chat with Rebecca Rusch as she let me know I had missed the cutoff was actually another highlight. Truth be told, I was relieved to be heading back, and happy that I was actually so much closer to the cutoff than I had expected.
It was great to meet so many amazing and inspiring BaseCampers this week, and especially out on the course today!