SINCE 2011, WE HAVE BEEN COMPETING IN THE EASTERN COLLEGIATE CYCLING CONFERENCE (ECCC) WITH RACES ALL OVER THE EAST COAST, FROM VERMONT TO PENNSYLVANIA. WE ARE THE NATION'S ONLY ART SCHOOL CONTENDANT IN CYCLING, AND THE ONLY TEAM THAT KNOWS THE TRUE MEANING OF A CRIT.
:: Our teammates are real people.
Remember that everyone on the team, and everyone you race with, is a real person. We each have hopes, desires, and aspirations just like you, and the people in this sport are some of the most intelligent people you will ever meet, all from universities across the east coast and beyond. This is a sport unlike any other, where you’ll meet people like yourself with other more important interests, unlike teams in the NCAA where the sport is their job and their life. So if you’re ever feeling nervous right before a race, chances are the person next to you is just as nervous too. If you’re frustrated about how something, talk about it with each other! It’s more than just a bike race, it’s about the people you will meet. You’ll learn to be grateful for getting to know them, as a few may become your life friends.
:: We pursue our passions.
Each of us has reasons in our lives that keep us ticking. You’re here at RISD for a more important reason besides bikes. I’m not going to force you to train every day, or race every weekend, or attend community events with the team. Everyone that has been on this team has done these things because they want to, and they develop as individuals by just being on this team. And that’s what makes the RISD Cycling team so unique. Not just because RISD Cycling the only art school competing at the national level, but everyone who has been on this team has always kept sight of their passions, and has learned more about themselves from every experience with this team. That’s what keeps this team together. These are the reasons why the team has some of the best cycling kits, or stickers that people place on their phones, or socks that people are buying from all over the country, or why there are alum competing in pro cycling, or why alum travel around the world to ride bikes. If RISD is not the best at racing, RISD has the best team in cycling.
:: Our team is worth protecting.
This means that our team will do whatever it takes to stay together. What you experience with this team is something no one else at RISD will experience. There is no other program at RISD that allows you to travel every weekend, that has an international alumni community that unconditionally welcomes you a place to stay as well as a bike ride, or has a founder at Airbnb who wears his pink RISD Cycling socks whenever he can. You and your teammates are the reason why this team is the RISD Cycling team, whether you know it or not. You’re going to pick up skills like time management, team building, event planning, communicating, networking, cooking, health and fitness tips, creative collaborations, branding fundamentals, etc. These are the perks that you can’t take for granted. When you remember that each of you are responsible for each other’s experience together, you will learn to value your relationships with each other. My role as coach is to be the facilitator for all of you, and make it organizationally and financially possible for each of you to have those experiences.
:: We don’t do it alone.
It’s always better with a +1. If you’re struggling with training - ask someone on the team. If you don’t know how to take care of your bike - ask someone on the team. If you see your teammate struggling in the race - help that person out. If you see someone who didn't tighten the skewer on their back wheel when they put it on the bike rack of the van - tell them to tighten the wheel so it doesn't hit my car! Much like understanding that each of us is a real person, that this team is valuable, and that your passions are important, you have each other to rely on. This team is your family, as well as the alum who have ridden before. So be there for each other this season and grow together as individuals. If you treat this experience right, RISD Cycling will be one of the most important learning experiences in your life at RISD.