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Apr. 3, 2006
Team building--Solano/Soule style
It’s that magical time of the year again—the time we all know as “The Race Season.” Ahh, puts a smile on my face just saying it.

These days the start of the season is intro’d with articles in the magazines about how all the big pro squads are preparing for their tasks at hand. Many of the programs now meet in the pre-season for team building camps and exercises.

You know, it’s a lot like that time when your office manager took the department out to some remote cabin for the weekend so that you and your co-workers could bond as you worked your way through tangled rope courses and did all sorts of random stuff blindfolded.

As some of you know, I race with the Solano/Soule Cycling Team. This past weekend we came up with a team-building exercise of our own and it's not for the faint of heart. It goes something like this:

  1. Team riding tempo in double pace line.

  2. Ride by a woman on the sidewalk who yells for help.

  3. Look at all your teammates—confused. Did that woman just say, "Help!" ?

  4. Turn around and find a large bloodied Siberian Husky under said woman’s car—feel stomach twist and turn because you think a dog has just been run down.

  5. In 3 minutes or less try to decipher what the woman is saying—sorta like a game of Charades, but with considerably more panic. Great opportunity to work as a team to figure out the message.

  6. Look at dog. Hey, it’s actually not dead; in fact it’s moving around pretty good. Those Huskies are tough.

  7. As the puzzle pieces start to come together you learn that the dog has not been hit by the car.

  8. Instead, it was getting out of the car and somehow wedged its leg under the passenger seat and it’s trapped—stuck in the gutter below the car with its leg locked in under the seat. Certainly painful, but a heck of a lot better than getting run down by a car.

  9. Turns out the woman is bleeding pretty badly from her hand—the blood all over the dog is her blood. 

  10. Work together with your teammates to figure out if the woman has:

    1. Been attacked by a dragon  

    2. Attempted to saw off part of her own hand with her emery board

    3. A bad hangnail

    4. Been bitten by her own dog when she tried to release its leg

    5. All of the above

  11. Get the woman a towel, apply some pressure and slow down the bleeding while a teammate actually uses a cell phone for something useful and calls for help.
    NOTE: Here's where the team-building exercise really kicks into gear.

  12. Choose two teammates who’ll hold the dog’s head—these teammates should have good hands and probably should both weigh more than the dog.

  13. Pick two teammates with decent backs to lift the dog so that the leg can get free from under the seat.

  14. Someone gets to leash the dog when it’s free—think Boy Scout knot training skills here.

  15. When it’s all said and done, if the dog hasn’t gotten free and mauled someone already, cross your fingers and hope it’s a nice pooch; in the event that it’s not a nice pooch, it doesn’t hurt to sorta aim it at one of your teammates right before everyone lets go.

  16. If all goes well, bask in the glory of helping out a beautiful dog (who also turned out to be a real sweetheart), stick around until help arrives for the woman with the bleeding hand, then ride to the French Hotel with your teammates and do some more bonding over numerous cups of delicious coffee.

Give that one a try Bjarne. On second thought, don't.

Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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