If the power of an engine can be measured by how fast it goes from 0 to 60, then a relationship with a Backroads co-leader runs at lightning speed. Meeting your co-leaders isn't like meeting your average stranger. That first handshake says, "We are now friends, family, coworkers, confidants and sounding boards, and I have your back no matter what." This is the best friend you just met.
It's quite common to be assigned to lead a Backroads trip with someone whom you've never met before, which can often mean you'll meet them for the first time just a day or two before the trip begins. This is the person you're meant to blend seamlessly with, the person who will become your other dynamic half and know what you're thinking without you having to say anything at all. Can a bond like that really be made in such a short time?
Yes. At sunrise on prep day, that engine revs and co-leaders unite to immediately start making decisions and reading each other like books. Do we divide and conquer or go together? Do you prefer working on bikes or buying groceries? How do you take your coffee? Do you want to prep the picnic or call the vendors? What brought you to Backroads? How are you with backing the trailer? What is the meaning of life?
For the next six days (and most likely for many more weeks through the season), these are the people with whom you will laugh, problem-solve, sweat, speed-change and magically communicate in split-second interactions. These are the people you have to (and want to!) get to know quickly. Know what makes them happy and do it for them when they need it. Know what drives them crazy and avoid it at all costs.
As with any close friend, you will learn valuable lessons and skills from these people. It just happens faster than with your regular lifelong friend. As with any family member, you may not have chosen them, but you will do anything for them.
The best part of working with the best friend you just met is that a certain level of trust automatically exists. That is what makes being a leader so great. Backroads leaders are a whole different breed of amazing, trustworthy, kind, gracious human beings that you're happy to call your best friends, even if only for six short days.