Cross-country Biking and the Art of Teamwork

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Several years ago I had a friend introduce me to cross-country biking. At that time in my life I was trying to find a way to stay in shape and develop an exercise routine that I would enjoy.  When I started riding I borrowed a bike from this friend, just to see how far I could go.

It was great!

Cross-country biking became one of my greatest and most enjoyed exercise routines. It also gave me an opportunity to become good friends with Jeff.  At the time we started riding together there were no people in the area where we lived who were doing cross-country biking. After several months of getting into shape I decided to purchase my own bike. At this point Jeff and I were riding a little over 100 miles a week. Our routes would vary from day-to-day and I came to appreciate the countryside like never before.

As my friend and I advanced in our biking skills together, we learned how to synchronize our travels in a drafting routine. Basically what this means is that we learned to play off of each other strengths. In high school and college Jeff was a cross-country runner, I on the other hand, was a football linebacker. Our body types were quite different. Jeff had speed and I had strength. There were times when we knew that it was better for one of us to be in the lead. When trying to pick up speed Jeff would pull in front of me, I would fall behind Jeff and tuck into the draft that Jeff was creating. When we came to a steep hill and needed muscle to pull up the hill I went to the front, Jeff would fall behind and tuck into to the draft that I created.

It was all about teamwork.

After riding our routes for several months it became clear to us where our strengths and our weaknesses were. When my weakness would show up Jeff would pull to the front, when Jeff’s weakness showed up I would pull to the front and create a draft for him to fall into. Our body types were quite different yet we learned how to utilize our varying skills. This was a true lesson in teamwork.

If you ever have a chance to watch the Tour de France be sure and watch it long enough to see how these men synchronize themselves together in a complementary fashion. Cross-country biking was one of the greatest lessons that I ever experienced in what teamwork is all about.

Dale Roach

Who is Dale Roach?

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