2020 Reflections and 2021 Predictions
Like you, I’m eager to say a hearty HELLO THERE to 2021. However, I do not want to forget 2020 and push it under the rug as if it never happened. Instead, I will remember the challenges, struggle and heartbreak. I will use those hard lessons in resilience to motivate and elevate my behavior in the future.
From my point of view as a professional athlete, entrepreneur and host of one of the world’s largest gravel races, Rebecca’s Private Idaho, the cycling event industry has experienced a major shift. Our behavior is forever changed and here are a few of my insights of what the future will look like for cycling.
Events are no longer either or….virtual or in person…remote or local, they are now both! This hybrid concept, like we developed for our 2020 RPI Challenge, taught us that community can be built and sustained digitally. Of course we all love and miss being in person, but the digital aspect wasn’t a temporary replacement, but rather an expansion and a way to connect globally. Note: I won’t call RPI Remote a “virtual” event…because it’s not. We may be connecting digitally, but the experience is REAL.
Although we weren’t able to physically gather for RPI in 2020, we still held an ACTUAL cycling event for over 400 riders in 11+ countries! We test drove this concept first with our fundraiser Giddy Up Challenge and had nearly 900 participants join us to raise over $130,000 for Covid-19 relief! The best way for me to describe the events I hosted in 2020 is intimate and global…because that’s how they felt.
What I predict for the future is that this hybrid concept will continue in events, and not just cycling. A key part of a hybrid, global, digital format is providing education – people want to grow and evolve. Everyone wants to learn more about exploring on their bike.. We all want to feel connection, so even with the expansion of the digital world, the human element is crucial. Like I said…it’s no longer either / or. Being able to connect in personal and digitally is going to expand our reach, grow our communities and bring our events to a global stage.
Digital will allow expansive connection. The human element will always be the fuel that feeds that connection. And 2020 has really caused us all to take stock on what’s important to us. Our intentions and needs are crystallized. We may travel less, but ride more. And that’s a good thing!
See you on the trails!