'Riding to where my father was shot down in Vietnam gave my cycling a purpose' world champ Rebecca Rusch tells SRAM

SRAM's new podcast features ultra endurance rider and multiple world champion Rebecca Rusch on riding the 1,200-mile Ho Chi Minh trail to the crash site where her father died - and there are five more inspirational episodes with SRAM athletes

Rebecca Rusch after winning the 2011 Leadville 100
(Image credit: Getty Images)

SRAM has launched an all-new podcast with accompanying YouTube videos that went live on November 10.

The US component brand's Changing Gears podcast shares conversations with SRAM (opens in new tab)’s athletes and ambassadors from around the world who, it says, inspire others, challenge themselves, and make change that counts. 

The podcast is hosted by David Zimberoff - aka ‘DZ’ - the VP of marketing at SRAM.

There are a total of six episodes available with Kate Courtney, Payson McElveen, Sarah Swallow, Alistair Brownlee, Rebecca Rusch and Braydon Bringhurst

In episode five DZ talks to Rebecca Rusch, ultra endurance rider and seven-time world champion in disciplines including gravel, MTB and cross-country skiing, and a multiple winner of Dirty Kanza and Leadville 100.

How’s this for a quote to kick it off: “Pain is a word that some people take negatively, but really it’s like passion. The things that we really want, that we really work for… it’s the same edge of the sword.”

Rusch is also a motivational speaker and author.

Rebecca Rusch wins Leadville 100

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Without giving too much away - and it’s in SRAM’s intro anyway - Rusch talks to DZ about not being defined by gender, starting the Be Good Foundation (opens in new tab), which is aimed at getting people of all ages and all backgrounds on bikes - “enriching communities by using the bicycle as a catalyst for healing, empowerment, and evolution” - and about riding the 1,200-mile Ho Chi Minh trail to the crash site where her father was shot down and killed 40 years earlier in the Vietnam war, which she describes as the “biggest expedition of my life.” 

There, Rusch says, she found a purpose for her cycling, asking herself “Why do you go these long distances, why do you do all this suffering?” Her father signed off all his letters home from Vietnam with “be good” and there, she says, standing in the place where he died, she came to a realisation that her life shouldn’t be about being a world champion or Hall of Famer, it should be about being what her dad always asked her to do, which was to be good, so she went home and set up the foundation in his name.

Rusch's journey was documented in the Emmy Award-winning film Blood Road.

Check out SRAM's YouTube channel (opens in new tab) for all the episodes.

SRAM asks you to subscribe and to also follow along on Instagram (opens in new tab) - we will be.

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