"Reba's Ride," the mountain bike ridden by Rebecca Rusch in her record-setting third Leadville100 winning ride, will live on in the Colorado town where it became famous.
The 2011 Specialized Fate mountain bike, which carried Rusch to her third straight victory in the Leadville Trail 100 race in 2011, had been listed on the auction website eBay by Rusch as a benefit for the Wood River Bike Coalition. Rusch intended for the bike to be shipped to a winning bidder for their riding pleasure.
But the winning bidder, mountain bike racer Nate Whitman, had other plans.
"There's a lot of history in that bike," said Whitman, who has been racing Leadville for 10 years and has been a top 10 finisher for the race.
Whitman, who lives in California but travels to Colorado annually for the Leadville Trail 100, will be donating the bike for a display in honor of Rusch's achievements in the Leadville Race Series headquarters in the former mining town.
"As much as any athlete out there, male or female, Rebecca Rusch gives back to the sport of mountain biking," Whitman said. "This bike is going to be a symbol of Rebecca Rusch and the spirit of the race."
The 2012 Leadville Trail 100 is set for Saturday, August 11. Rusch will be racing for her fourth time.
The bike's auction fetched $4,200, after a flurry of dozens of bids for the bike, which began its listing at $2,500. The proceeds benefit the Wood River Bicycle Coalition, a group devoted to bikes and bike culture in Rusch's hometown of Ketchum, Idaho and the Sun Valley area. The Wood River Bicycle Coalition advocates for a bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly community throughout Idaho's Wood River Valley.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for full coverage from the Leadville 100 this weekend.