Lessons learned – what Rally Cycling riders have taken from the last twelve months


Riders share how they’re focusing on the positives and appreciating the small things

As the world reached a year into the pandemic, Rally Cycling asked its riders about the lessons they’ve learned over the last twelve months, and how these lessons might affect their lives moving forward. From the meaningful to the mundane, the frank to the flippant, these are their responses.

“After a year in the pandemic, I have learned the true value of my chosen profession outside of cycling: public health. I’m proud of all the hard-working epidemiologists and public health professionals who have dedicated their lives to understanding and fighting the pandemic.” – Leigh Ann Ganzar

“I’ve learned that I’m not very good at handling a pandemic. I think being social is something that I enjoy, and being in society helps me feel better.” – Colin Joyce

“This past year has emphasized the importance of human connection.” – Sara Poidevin

“I’m sure everyone was pushed beyond what they thought was possible in one way or another the last year. I’ve learned that we’re all capable of more than we think.” – Gavin Mannion

“No matter how hard we work, what we do, or how lucky we get, we are bound to undergo seasons in our lives. – Madeline Bemis

“I took time away from the rigidity of training schedules to do some big exploration rides. I gained a lot of confidence from learning how to prepare for and execute long rural rides!” – Stephen Bassett

“Control the controllable. Don’t put energy in things (like the pandemic) that you can’t control.” – Arvid de Kleijn

“I’ve learned to embrace each and every unique opportunity as they arise.” – Krista Doebel-Hickok

“I’ve learned to let go of what I can’t control. It hasn’t always been easy, nor am I great at this yet, but I realize how much unnecessary pressure I was putting on myself to try to manage things.” – Lily Williams

“Mine is a Maya Angelou quote which I was reminded of when staying with my friend’s family in the UK: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ – Holly Breck

“I learned how much spending time with the people I love is important and should be cherished, even when all of this ends.” – Pier-André Coté

“I will carry with me the belief of ‘staying the course’. Just put on the blinders and go forward!” – Keegan Swirbul 

“A baby! Ha! I used the time to develop my wildlife photography hobby but I also think we will all be way more conscious of our hygiene practices like washing hands.” – Ben King 

“This might be a weird answer but I appreciate doing nothing more. The simple act of sitting on the couch reading a book or sitting in silence doesn’t bother me as much; it doesn’t feel like it’s wasted time.” – Emerson Oronte

“Making sure you make the right decisions and only trying to control what you actually can have been a big part of getting through this past year for me.” – Nickolas Zukowsky

“I will never forget the time I spent at home before and after the birth of my daughter, I am so happy I was able to be present.” – Kyle Murphy

“The time we spent at home last year when racing was on hold gave me an unexpected opportunity to check off so many bucket list items. Truly an unforgettable time of my life. Memories I’ll never forget.” – Rob Britton

“ I feel like it will be more socially acceptable to wear a mask in public places and I can take my athletic germaphobe dreams to new heights!“ – Robin Carpenter

“ Take nothing for granted! Our time with family, social lives, opportunities we’re given, etc are not guaranteed. I also learned how important being the recipient of a smile is!” – Emma White

“I’ll carry on the mindset to enjoy life in the moment as nothing lasts forever.” – Magnus Sheffield