Kyle's comment about "know tubeless, know peace; no tubeless, no teammate" in another thread made me wonder - what rules do you have for your teams/teammates? Must carry supplemental electrolytes (one of mine)? Must paddle a wing?
This might be beneficial for those of us who haven't been on a variety of teams with experienced folks or had a chance to trial and error some things.
Every teammate must have:
- Bike Computer
- One or more spare Tubes (if not tubeless) - depends on race length and whether other teammates have same size wheels. I once had a teammate arrive at a 4-day expedition AR with a brand new 29er he'd only ridden for 6 km. He brought no spare tube and we had no other teammates on 29ers but he figured it was "only 4 days".
Our list is longer and varies by race but those are some standard items. For most races, we would at least want paddles that break down into two or more pieces. If there's a potential for pack rafting, then they should break down into 4 or 5 pieces.
The most important rule since I've usually been the captain is that teammates must be organized and communicate well. It's seldom an issue anymore but ten years ago, I used to say that for races of 24+ hrs, I would choose a teammate who answered email promptly over a teammate who was physically stronger.
Must be willing to accept help from teammates. If someone is feeling strong and offers to tow or carry your pack, let them. Whatever helps the team get to the finish line most quickly. Leave the ego at home, it's a team event.
Transition roles and responsibilities. Plus we agree the time limit for TA. We are all accountable for it so it's not up to me the team captain to cajole anyone into moving.
Do the fun stuff. We made horrible nav errors and poor novice calls in our first AR and missed all the special tasks, sunny trek, canyoning etc. We make sure that we take in the highlights of the route as long as they are not sadistic out and back bonus cps
Marks out of 10 for how you are feeling every few hours. If everyone spits out a 2 or 3 we all know we are in need of either sleep or a pick me up soon. Or it may just mean we all agree that this particular section is not fun!
No excuse for not having your bike in perfect working order at the start or not having a spare tube in your bag.
Drop the ego. Give someone your bag when you are wiped. We are still working on this!
The Queen is always right.
Hahaha! I have you well trained Sean!
team must have at least two good navigators
Team must have at least 4 people with a sense of humour!.... and preferably no sense of smell....
Be a team of friends first, then work on getting faster
I like that one. It worked well with our original team when we were all learning together.
CO make's a great point! Not always possible to find 'friends' at the outset though.
In 'the early days' I looked for like-minded people who were outdoor enthusiasts, had relevant experience and were not unaccustomed to being cold, wet, tired, hungry, etc .... and then we worked on getting faster (and smarter) and finding our roles (we used to see a lot of 'thoroughbred' teams implode on the course)
... we also had the great fortune of racing/staying together with very few changes for many years
.. circle back to "must have a sense of humour"
Need to know when to be quiet and let the navigator concentrate.
All must have bike computers.
Be able to provide movie quotes.
I second Bash regarding prompt communication time leading up to a race.
Similar to many of you above but add the following:
- 2 to 3 altimeters in team
- don't bottle up your feelings
- bike tows on all male riders' bikes
- same size rucksacks for all (with exception of female). Size depends on race.
Above may seem sexist but I have no problem with sharing my pack with my female team mate in races when I'm having a "graveyard shift" moment.
no... didn't seem sexist at all .... :-)
A corollary to the "same size rucksacks" rule is that the packs should be large enough to accommodate extra stuff - a teammate's dry bag, your own bike shoes, a purchased sandwich, etc. More than once, I've seen people arrive at a race with the tiniest possible pack stuffed rock hard, unable to accommodate a change of plan or assist a teammate.
... but beware the teammate who has the huge pack... capable of holding enough extra clothes and accessories to be fashionable for any situation that arises ....
I like: bike tows on all 4 bikes (you never know who will be strong or will bonk, or will have a mechanical). That said, our female is a wicked biker and is strong enough to do some towing :)
If it is already set up in advance, you will use it as soon as you need it. If it isn't set up already, you won't bother to rig it up during the race until the situation becomes really bad.
But I usually haven't been able to convince all team members.
I'm all in favour of the "equal opportunity tow" :D
As one of the bikers who takes 30 hours to 'warm up' I've been very glad of the occasional hand on the back up a hill in the past.
Ditto: "30 hours to warm up".
I'm quite open to anyone towing/pushing me or taking my pack. I have chosen my teammates well for this task :) In fact, I often check in with them throughout the race: "Nice work, you're looking really good, ... you sure you don't want to carry my pack/tow me/push me..." ;)
Make sure everyone has different foods and share
If one of the team isn't going to jump into the water and it's going to cost the team points/hours.. throw them in (not first)
Captain dosent necessarily make the decisions just ensure decisions are made. However step up when the situation calls for it.
Said already by some but sense of humour is critical, particularly if you race with us Irish :-)
I think being prepped to carry one pack for a less than overnight race is a great idea, and a shared understanding of how to equalize power within a team. Like she might be great to draft off of, or she might be great for me to grab a corner of her pack for a tow up the hill, or she has better cookies.
My teammates always have better food than me.
Ever since I did my first overnight last year, I carry one trekking pole. It helped in all the races for a teammate who isn't feeling great particularly last January. He really appreciated it.
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