| CYCLING WESTERN NEBRASKA |
Only eight years after the creation of the Robidoux Rendezvous, the event, created by Dr. Matthew Hutt, has continuously grown since 2015 with the help of both returning and new riders.
Story by: Hailey Ricky
Header photo: Aaron Raines
| QUICK AND DIRTY
The local event, originally created to showcase the rugged terrain of Scotts Bluff County and raise awareness of cycling opportunities in Western Nebraska, quickly grew to attract pro riders along with national media attention and sponsors and attracts athletes and travelers from 25 states including New York, California, Colorado, South Dakota, Texas and more. Settled in the heart of Scotts Bluff County, what attracts the attention of people from all over the country to Gering, Nebraska for a simple bike race?
Though several other bike races exist throughout several parts of the country, what sets the Robidoux Rendezvous apart from the rest is its all-gravel trails. With the creation of the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club, the idea for the Robidoux Rendezvous sparked local interest in 2015, with the intention of “showcasing the unsung gravel terrain that flows through the Wildcat Hills of Scotts Bluff County.” From there, the Robidoux Quick and Dirty was created, which would now become known as the Robidoux Rendezvous.
Once known as the Robidoux Quick and Dirty, the event grew to include varying distances of trails and introduced a 100-mile race, which does not follow the expectation of “quickness,” quite as it used to. However, marketing coordinator, Aaron Raines, also chalks the name change up to the historical meaning behind the name Rendezvous. “The word rendezvous refers to large fur trapping shows which occurred in the 1840s and 50s. It was an event where everyone was welcome and was not limited to only businessmen and fur trappers. Everybody was welcome, which is something we want to incorporate in the race moving forward.”
Although the Robidoux Rendezvous has faced several challenges in the past years including the finicky Nebraska weather, COVID-19, and the limited popularity of the sport. However, despite the trials and tribulations faced in past years, Aaron Raines attributes most of the success to the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club and the surrounding community. He stated in an interview, “There is something to be said about the way the community treats each other and guests in the area.” Along with the welcoming community, the Western Nebraska Bicycling Club has played a large role in preparing trails for the race, organizing, and donating time to volunteer and assist with the race. Majority of proceeds from the Robidoux Rendezvous aid the WNBC in various community projects.
This year, participants will see more than just a name change as the committee has expanded the event with activities starting on Thursday, June 23, and running throughout the weekend. The event has grown to include 25-mile, 46-mile, 67-mile, and 100-mile races, and they have also coordinated live music performances by the Cottonwood Boys, Area 308, and Avid Discord, along with several other activities to take place on race weekend. The committee has also teamed up with Flyover Brewing Company to release a limited edition Robidoux Rendezvous Edition Summer Ale, which will be available on race weekend.
| REFERENCES AND MORE INFORMATION
More information on the history of the event and an in-depth itinerary for race weekend may be found on robidouxrendezvous.com.