Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The "I" in Team work

So recently at work the topic of team work has come up repeatedly so it was no surprise when I found myself in a breakaway at the start of the Value Logistics Fast One Cycle Race and observing how a few of us worked together to get a gap on the peleton, then observing the fine art of how the peleton reeled us in with their mighty power of team work.

Here we were just a handfull of cyclists versus the mamoth peleton. The few of us were probably equivalent in number or even more than the lead riders of the peleton but their sheer volume and team work creamed us and before we knew it we were spat out the back and scrambling to hang on to the back. Joke is, that from the looks of it the peleton fell apart along the road because after we were blown to shreds and the group I was in was blown, I kept passing members of the peleton, including the leading lady of the group. Now imagine if us as a breakaway had teamed up with the workers of the peleton! We would have been amazing. But no, although we were working together we were in silos because we were working for ourselves. At first, it was us in the breakaway, each only helping so we could help ourselves, then the peleton workers so they could catch us so they could individually gain advantage.

So I found myself in no mans land, alone, miserable but trying to hang on when a smiling biker came up and blocked the wind for me - shows what happens when its a former team mate from the Rangers. Oom Johan, you rock! (Sorry, special mention to Skewies who gave my peleton an escort through her zone - friend, having you lead us gave me goose bumps. You and Oom are sterling examples of what real Road Rangers are.)

I then started picking up cyclists from Cycle Lab I knew and before long EPO Lance and I were the 2 workers on a bunch. We hammered the bunch and had fun so I stopped racing and decided to form a team. We had Claudia and 2 other Lab members (so sorry I cant remember your names) and we as a team decided to stop for water, we then continued with me on the front and Lance and Claudia alternating who helped on my right. Was so awesome having a Cycle Lab peleton!! We had a bunch of fellow club members join as we picked them up and many other suffering riders. I rode out front as training but also cause I felt strong and felt it was my duty to help my fellow riders - I now know how Froome Dog felt!!

I didnt do a great time for the race but I had fun being part of a real team that epitomised TEAM work. There was no "I".

The following weekend I raced again and found lots of "I". Up the first hill, I got in a break but the egos were running and the group was shelled. I ended up riding a good 20 to 25km solo, just trying to catch and overtake other riders. Then I heard "Hi Diane". Fellow Cycle Lab member Sam Laidlaw was part of a bunch that was about to overtake me. He gently eased back so I could join the front end of the group and suddenly I was no longer alone. I had a team. It was a bit of a stop start bunch but it was nonetheless a good bunch of people where we had a few of us stronger riders working and the rest of the bunch cruising. We even had Indiana Jones! This guy was wise because he would cream us in the front then drop to the back and rest. Then bolt to the front and repeat. This guy made us all HURT!! Thanks Indiana Jones. Was good fun racing with you. When we hit the Cradle of Mankind it became an all for one and a one for one ride again with a breakaway of us worker bees getting away and riding our own races.

Its amazing how racing really personifies team work. None of us can succeed without the bunch. Now, lets bring this into a work environment. Personally, I find work very solo. Everyone wants glory and are scared to help or too proud to help. Imagine if in a work environment we could work like a peleton: the strong domestiques pulling hard through the race, the climbers working on the climbs and the sprinters sprinting at the finish for the glory of the team. Recently at work we had an expo and we had our yellow jersey worker who obviously worked her butt off but we worked to assist and as a team we gained glory but, we know who was the leader, we know who won. Now imagine every work task had the same....

Special mention from the Berge en Dale race to some awesome folks from Hammond Pole attorneys and Cycle Nation for their hospitality after the race. Guys, thank you! Oh and well done on your race results. I had some really interesting and inspirational discussions at the tent. Was told I am fat, and was encouraged to race elite next year (am looking for a bike sponsor so offers welcome. hint hint..).

Next race is the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight and I am almost scared what thoughts I am going to have on that one!

Rambing over.

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