For so many people, it's the little things which will mean the most this week.
Going for a ride with some friends, then heading to a cafe and sitting down to enjoy a coffee together was something Dubbo Cycle Club president Ben O'Brien enjoyed on Monday morning.
O'Brien heads one of the strongest sporting groups not only in Dubbo, but in the state, and the chance to get back to some kind of normality this week has been welcomed.
And while the little things like a coffee with clubmates and the chance to train in a larger group is special, there's also a number of major events on the horizon for riders from the club that was named Australia's best just two years ago.
Cycling is a sport that relies heavily on the ability to travel to different towns, cities, and states for races and championships, so plenty has been missed during the past year of the COVID pandemic.
But with restrictions easing on Monday as part of the long-awaited 'Freedom Day', things are looking up.
Increased training sessions, in line with all COVID guidelines, will start for Dubbo Cycle Club this week while the hope is local competition can resume later in the month before regional events and state championships soon take centre stage.
"Everybody has been doing a little but they've missed that coming together and doing it as a group," O'Brien said.
"Which is like everything in society and a lot better if you're doing it with other people.
"You get more motivation and you can discus it with people and find out what you're doing right and wrong. When you're on your own it requires a certain level of motivation, that I certainly struggled with."
The past year has been particularly cruel on many of the club's best young riders, who have seen regional, state, and national championships continually postponed and then cancelled.
Oceania Cycling Championships gold medallist Danny Barber has been one of those hardest hit, as he missed out on the chance to compete at the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in Egypt.
"And he was a pretty serious medal prospect there," O'Brien added.
"But to his credit he's been continuing his training and he looks just as fit and as strong as ever."
Community sport, including racing, won't return until the state hits the 80 per cent double vaccination mark, something that is expected to be reached later this month.
We've been looking forward to it for so long.Ben O'Brien on return to club training
That means only training will be allowed for riders in the coming weeks, with the regular Tuesday and Sunday club competition pencilled in to start from October 26 in Dubbo.
Given club members have been stuck at home for a number of months now and training has been more difficult, the next couple of weeks will be simply about getting back into the swing of things.
"We've been looking forward to it for so long," O'Brien said of returning.
"We've been away for so long, whether people are ready or have been sitting down for too long and are a bit tentative we'll find out.
"It will be interesting to see how many numbers we get back.
"It's good that we've got a couple of weeks of training before racing begins so people can get used to getting back out on the bikes, being outside, and being out in the community."
It won't be long before the major events are back on the agenda, with the NSW Junior Road Championships already tentatively locked in for October 30 and 31.
Dubbo riders are expected to attend that carnival, should the 80 per cent target be reached as planned.
"I think there will be an avalanche of away events on," O'Brien added.
While that may force some riders to forego local competition in favour of bigger events, O'Brien is hopeful of seeing some new faces when club training resumes.
Bike sales skyrocketed during the pandemic as people looked at ways of getting out and being active so the hope is that can be turned into a boost for the sport.
"Hopefully we can get some of those people with the new shiny bikes down to the track," O'Brien added.
Regular Wednesday and Thursday training sessions will resume at the Dubbo Regional Cycling Facility this week.
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