General Cycling Discussion - Stupid question
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How close do you have to be to another bike before it is considered drafting.
On my ride today I was spinning up a long hill at my pace when I caught up to another rider on the same hill. I didn't have enough in me to pass the other rider so I stayed back about 100'-150' behind the other rider. After I crested the top of the hill I continued spinning on the way down. As I was passing the other rider he called me a jerk. I continued my pace up the next hill and the other rider never caught up to me on the next hill. Was I out of line to lag behind? I am farily new at cycling I have a year of commuting under my belt so I am trying to learn the ropes.
You need to be a lot closer then 100 feet away for any sort of drafting to be taking place. 100 inches away wouldn't provide much drafting help either for that matter. I consider it drafting when somebody closes in to less then a bike length behind.
I can't imagine why somebody would call you a "jerk" for riding behind at the distances you're talking about.
05-20-07, 07:10 PM
A hundred feet behind is nowhere like drafting. Drafting is wheel-sucking, a few feet or even less behind. Some riders feel driven when someone is riding behind. Maybe he thought you were pushing him, but its his problem not yours.
05-20-07, 07:13 PM
You have a mirror mounted to your face pointing at him. He was simply stating that he is a jerk.
There are plenty of aholes in this world. Don't let that one bother you.
Thanks for the info guys. At least he wasn't in a car tossing a bottle at my head.
05-20-07, 08:06 PM
In re-reading your post something came to mind. Did you pass him without warning and he did not know you were there?
I often want to call riders jerks for buzzing me close by without any warning, although I usually have spotted them in my mirror.
It seems the higher tech the bike, the more lycra, and the faster the rider, the ruder they are.
It amazes me that Darwin's principles don't thin them out, because over and over I've seen situations where a little twitch would have resulted in a wreck.
You say you're a new rider, if you did not know, it is polite to say "on your left" when passing.
I gave my bell a little ring and said "Excuse me"
05-20-07, 08:31 PM
I consider the rule of thumb thought at driver's school: 2 seconds. If you are less than 2 seconds behind the cyclist (or car), then you do not have enough reaction time to be fully safe. You are then in "drafting mode" in that you have to co-operate with the other cyclist. Trusting the cycling behaviour of an unknown cyclist is not always a wise thing to do!
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