Cohesion in Bike Clubs
17“I interviewed him, AND his old teammates, his current and former coaches and team directors, his peers, and riders I’ve already hired. All had positive things to say about him.” Frankie Andreu, Director Sportif on his scouting research
Great pains are taken by conscientious directors to ensure the right talent is recruited to fit a team role relationally, not just physiologically. I can always tell a rider who comes from team sports, because many riders aren’t socialized by group play. Often, the bicycle attracts lone rangers initially content to compete alone. So the idea of a group that pulls together personalities whose iconoclasm against extroverted recreation seems awkward is just what bicycle clubs do.
Indeed, some bike clubs are less like sporting associations and more like frat hazing, complete with cliques and secretism. “Plays well with others” has to be taught in one’s development because in order to upgrade in category, competing with one’s own “teammates” occurs often. This type of behavior simply won’t do after making the considerable jump to pro racing, or even to form cohesion enough to win the local BAT (Best All-Around Team.)
Elite riders with results are plenty; ones who come with team-able qualities are precious. At the club level, these skills are worked in a constantly shifting balance of power. Survivors aren’t just the last voted off the island but the ones who figure out how to win in a populated peloton, teamwork intact. Finding that right group to be seen with in identical clothing all season is more than cheaper club fees, cooler jersey design, and schwag. If you knew you were going to be evaluated far into the future not only on what you accomplish but how, would it change your affiliations as well as your actions?
As the licensing year draws to a close, doing some research on club history, goals, expectations, and ethos is a must. Two answers to seek: similar philosophy about riding and its purpose; quality and success of interaction between club or team members.
Prayer for Bike Clubs
“Don’t hitch an ox and a donkey to your plow at the same time.” 18Deuteronomy 22:10
We are thankful for like-minded cycling buddies whose resources match our goals. We confess our need of redemption from ill rapport. We ask for cycling etiquette and for blessing on bike clubs.
Ponder Am I hooked up with the right group socially and strategically? Affirm I can find a club/team where we mutually agree because expectations are compatible. Watch the effect of affiliation in ride performance.
17Frankie’s response when I said good on him for picking up a talented neopro. Frankie’s reason for signing this rider was not due to his considerable palmares alone, but his teamable qualities.