It's natural to work as a team...

I am a car nut, a certified petrol (that's "gas" to my American bretheren) head. I have Mobil One running through my veins. And until quite recently, I was as happy on two wheels as I was on four. But that all changed one wintery morning when another car took me out at around 60 mph and I parted company from my racey R6 and tumbled head over heels down the outside lane of a 3-lane motorway in West London.

We are often told that in situations such as that our lives flash in front of us but for me that wasn't true. On that cold, clear November morning just two things went through my mind

  1. I always wondered if this would hurt (should it ever happen) and
  2. I am so [BANG] glad I [BUMP] bought the [BANG] expensive ARAI [How many times?! BANG] helmet.

For the record nothing hurt, until I stopped tumbling. At which point everything hurt, but it didnt matter, because what followed was incredible; it was collaboration at its very best.

Passing motorists stopped to help. Immediately one assumed the role of "leader" and directed another to call 999 (this was London), a third was put to work directing traffic around the scene, and a few more started to scoop up the bike debris to allow other cars to pass.

The "leader" then grabbed a soft bag to place behind my head (i was not getting up in a hurry), and a blanket to keep off the chilled November air. Then he sat with me, talking about sport, weather, and work - we were both now destined to miss our meetings. I don't recall his name and I never got to thank him, but i was so very grateful for his calm coordination, generosity of time and sprit, and kindness.

In good time the ambulance arrived along with the police, and the professionals did their work cleaning the rest of the road - scooping up bits of bike and scooping up me - before heading off to St Mary's in Paddington. Thankfully, I was in much better shape than the bike - I was NOT scrapped afterwards - bones heal better than motorbike frames.

It's at times like this when you realize just how willingly and naturally we choose to collaborate. And what great affect it has when we do. That morning everyone - each of whom probably had way more important things to do - stopped to work as a team, to help me, and to help "process" the many people backed up in the traffic jam that followed.

So why do i retell this story? Well, having said "never" i was starting to think "maybe." With oil prices soaring it's now very expensive to have Mobil One running through your veins and petrol in your head, and a return to two wheels was starting to feel like a viable option. Until that is, I watched the latest episode of my favorite motoring show Top Gear

Tasked with finding motoring solutions that are kinder to the environment the TG team decided to compare the fuel economy of a Toyota Prius sporting a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder petrol engine, with a new BMW M3 which boasts a 4 litre v8. Their results are surprising...

OK, so the presenters are a bunch of petrol heads, and will look for any excuse to justify speed, but in this example they do make a very good point. It's not what you drive, but how you drive it that affects the environment.

My own conclusion? Loving life, and realising that my nine lives are already accounted for, I plan to stick with my very comfortable four wheels and drive perhaps just a little easier on the throttle. Even for a petrol head that's not all bad; do you know how beautiful the roads are around our HQ in Exton?

They are gorgeous! I have the prettiest 7 mile drive to work and I plan to enjoy it for a long time to come. Our local environment is definitely worth the investment.



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  • Maybe that bang on the head made you speak the way you do :) All kidding aside, leaders do appear when all around are losing their heads and that obviously happened on that chilliy November morning.

    Jdeg's comment about the lack of diesel cars in N.A. is so true. I have driven some great deisels when vacationing in Europe and we are certainly missing out. That is probably why the N.A. auto manufactureres are where they are.

    We were travelling through Tuscany lasy summer and there were two large Ducattis in front of us just tearing up the tar! What a way to travel but not for me. I like a little more than a leather jacket between me and the road but I did manage to find a Ducatti parked and have a shot of it on my blogsite.

    It is natural to work as a team and it does payback. Check out Professor Randy Pausch's last lecture on youtube for some daily thoughts and lessons on living in a team

  • You mean 'motor head'? :)  But wow - that sounds like it hurt.  For those that don't know, an R6 is a sporty motorcycle.

    IMO, the Prius is an overpriced, hyped up piece of junk.  I feel like people are buying them because everyone else is, and they think they are miracle cars because they don't burn as much gas as their old 1990's Camery.  If I wanted to save gas I would change how I drive or buy a diesel car (wait, they dont' sell many diesel cars in the US)  At the least I would buy a hybrid car that doesn't *look* like a hybrid.

    Also, I love Top Gear.