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Thread: Getting drafted

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    Getting drafted

    I am new to club riding and it seems that on our way home it always ends up in some freindly racing. It seems that the other riders are more experienced than I. They either draft off me until a special point or they sneek up on me at a certain spot then drop me. They seem to love to draft behind a big man. Has anyone had this happen.

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    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    Yep. If you want to have some fun with them you slowy start slowing down then speed up, slow down, speed up, or start wobbling back and forth. They'll back off. Or you could let loose that built up cliff-bar fart but I'm pretty sure there is a document somewhere forbiding biological warfare .

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    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Well, riding with a club/group...there's going to be drafting. How can there not be? If there wasn't it wouldn't be a group ride.

    As for tactics, no rule says you can't use them, too. Now you know where/when they start "playing". You should too. But you anticipate it first, so when they start, you're already drafting them.

    Yes...big guys/girls always get drafted more: nature of our beast. I've been in races where I tried bridging up to a previous break. I look back: everyone's on my wheel as I pulled the whole field up So I learned. Now when I attack, I do it from further back in the field, go faster on the initial surge, and make sure to get a gap so I can get clear.

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    Even though it was just 2 of us, I pulled my riding partner for about 10 miles of headwinds on our club ride last weekend. He's much smaller than me so it was pointless for me to try and get in behind him, and he needed the break from the wind.
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    Mike the Bike
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    Flatulence WILL prevent unwanted drafters. So will a regular diet of raw garlic. Or you can gradualy slow until he gets frustrated and goes around.

    Now that you're grossed out.. Who cares if someone sit's on and sprints away 400 meters from the end of the ride? If I know they have the bike skills to draft without running up my rear end if I have to break or stop for something/someone I generally have no problem. Nor do I have an issue with strangers sitting on if they keep a 1 - 2 bike gap between us.

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    One to two bikes lengths? I don't get any drafting benefit if I hang that far back.

    I am still a unsure about drafting ettiquette with strangers. I have gotten back into cycling after a long break and the thing that has really surprised me is that there are SO MANY CYCLISTS on the road. I can hardly believe it. Back when I was younger, thinner, and much faster, there just weren't many cyclists on the road so this question of drafting ettiquette didn't really come up for me but now I am not sure about it.

    Also, I second the advice concerning unwanted drafters. Just slow down, albeit gradually. I don't think I would do the wobble but slowing down is very effective. Keep in mind that they might be very close to you so don't do anything sudden.

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    Mike the Bike
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    One to two bikes lengths? I don't get any drafting benefit if I hang that far back.
    That is kinda the point But some strangers I WANT that far back because I've been rear ended before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
    I am still a unsure about drafting ettiquette with strangers. I have gotten back into cycling after a long break and the thing that has really surprised me is that there are SO MANY CYCLISTS on the road. I can hardly believe it. Back when I was younger, thinner, and much faster, there just weren't many cyclists on the road so this question of drafting ettiquette didn't really come up for me but now I am not sure about it.
    Funny, I had asked about etiquette when I joined BF... talking about finding 2 riders going about my pace but slightly faster. I had no thought of drafting (I made sure to be ~2 feet to their side, with my front wheel behind their rear; they were both half my width, but I was thrilled to pace myself faster than I typically would. At one point, on some curves, I ended up next to but slightly behind the lead. I said "Thanks for the pace," went wide and motioned the rear rider to take my place. They then stepped up their pace and dropped me... and I'm wondering if they were pissed, I thought I was quite courteous. Asked the question and was called a wheelsucker!
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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I've done group rides where I have pulled for 40-70 miles the "entire time". Then a rider sprints around in the final 50 yards.....I'm still trying to figue that one out!

    I don't mind pulling if I have a planned ride with friends. But there are times that the wife and I have passed a rider then he takes our wheel. A mile later he sprints around and looks back as if we are racing. I'm not sure why a rider would think that all of a sudden he's a stronger rider after you have run him down from miles behind. Of course 2 minutes later he has faded then expects to jump back on your wheel as you ride by again. If a rider does this, I ask him to remove himself. This happens very often.

    Now if a rider asks politely for a lift cause he's tired or struggling, then I never refuse. But if you plan to Ricky Race, I aint helping you.


    I've never drafted another rider, then tried to spint away. If I do draft, I will take a turn, move to the front, hold the pace for a mintue allowing the front rider to recover, then pick it up slowly. But never with intentions of dropping the workhorse at the front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    Yep. If you want to have some fun with them you slowy start slowing down then speed up, slow down, speed up, or start wobbling back and forth. They'll back off. Or you could let loose that built up cliff-bar fart but I'm pretty sure there is a document somewhere forbiding biological warfare .
    Not one of those obvious and loud ones, but more the "silent death bomb"® the kind that smells like a combination of old zombie and jalapeño pepper pizza washed down with cheap beer....

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I actually have mor fun trying to hold a group together.

    The girls in the pink and orange (?) had never kept a 17 mph average for 50 miles. We held it together for this ride. Had to slow a bit on a couple of small inclines but once we let them back on, they were fine. The amazed looks they had on their faces for keeping up at the end of the ride was priceless!

    I'm at the front controlling the pace.

    Another group ride. Hey, I even take the pics!

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I feel guilty when I draft a beautiful woman. Oh my guilty pleasures ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I've done group rides where I have pulled for 40-70 miles the "entire time". Then a rider sprints around in the final 50 yards.....I'm still trying to figue that one out!

    I don't mind pulling if I have a planned ride with friends. But there are times that the wife and I have passed a rider then he takes our wheel. A mile later he sprints around and looks back as if we are racing. I'm not sure why a rider would think that all of a sudden he's a stronger rider after you have run him down from miles behind. Of course 2 minutes later he has faded then expects to jump back on your wheel as you ride by again. If a rider does this, I ask him to remove himself. This happens very often.

    Now if a rider asks politely for a lift cause he's tired or struggling, then I never refuse. But if you plan to Ricky Race, I aint helping you.


    I've never drafted another rider, then tried to spint away. If I do draft, I will take a turn, move to the front, hold the pace for a mintue allowing the front rider to recover, then pick it up slowly. But never with intentions of dropping the workhorse at the front.
    +1 -- I think this sums it up nicely. Nothing wrong with someone who's having trouble hanging on a club / training ride sucking wheel, but don't attack and claim victory in some imaginary race.

    However, racing is a different story.... suck wheel as much as you can get away with and attack without mercy at the perfect time
    "Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, then me will eat cookie." -Cookie Monster

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    Senior Member Herbie53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I feel guilty when I draft a beautiful woman. Oh my guilty pleasures ...
    I find it extremely difficult to maintain a steady cadence and smooth pedal stroke when forced into such a position.
    "Today me will live in the moment, unless it's unpleasant, then me will eat cookie." -Cookie Monster

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    Thank you everyone I will ride monday with a little more plan and watch the groop closer.

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    This morning I was on my way back from a fairly short ride. Migraine had me feeling puny. I got up high enough to see the pall of smoke over the San Gabriels, through which the sun rose red. Headed home, down the hill and got onto the bike path going south toward the Santa Monica Pier. Passed that, was glad to be getting close. I gradually caught up with, and then passed, another rider. He promptly sped up and just stayed there on my tail. This annoys me because on the bike path you never know what will happen; I might need that space for an emergency. There was nothing I could do, though. I do make a big hole in the wind. Maybe he needed a break.

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    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Nobody ever tries to draft me...
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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I just give good draft! It just goes with the territory. Tandems have the same issue. I just ignore it. If someone is stupid enough to run into the back of me they'll get what they deserve. It won't be me hitting the dirt!
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    My wife and I are very new tandem riders(1000 miles). We're not that fast for a tandem, but I wouldn't want someone on my wheel who didn't understand the different dynamics of a tandem. We accelerate slower and give up speed faster heading uphill. I don't want someone 3" off my wheel.
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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    My wife and I are very new tandem riders(1000 miles). We're not that fast for a tandem, but I wouldn't want someone on my wheel who didn't understand the different dynamics of a tandem. We accelerate slower and give up speed faster heading uphill. I don't want someone 3" off my wheel.

    Well, you better get used to it. Tandems are magnets, especially in the wind. It's the person doing the drafting's responsibility to be paying attention. On the tandem the you may hear is them scream just before their face hits the pavement if they cross your rear wheel. The only thing you should do if you have someone drafting you on the tandem is call out if you are standing because when you stand the bike will slow dramatically for a second (if you aren't smooth) and you could catch someone out. That would be bad form. I don't understand the why people get upset about being drafted unless they are being juvenile about it like Beanz and some others have pointed out.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    I'm don't think that bigger riders in the 200 lbs+ and six foot+ range get the same benefit out of drafting in a pace line as normal sized riders. I ride a larger size bike (Duh) and sit well above many riders.

    Even if I'm perfectly lined up downdraft of a smaller rider at speeds of 25 mph, benefit is minor. If I happen I to get behind two side-by-side riders, I begin to feel a real a benefit.

    Otherwise, I feel like a 800 HP SUV at a NASCAR race.

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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Yeah, it can be difficult! We had a small Japanese couple riding a tandem on our 300k last weekend and I had a real hard time getting any benefit from drafting them. I had to really tuck in and since I had a pulled muscle in my rear end that wasn't very comfy. It was easier to just follow the other tandem.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    I'm a bigger guy and I feel like I get the advantage of a draft in a group no problem at all. Just tuck in close and get pulled along, it's great. I use to have the same thing with guys sprinting me and it still happens from time to time if I get boxed in. Usually I anticipate the sprint in time and fall back in line with othe rsprinters and just wait for the jump and go with them. Or I pick up the pace to something that puts the sprinters out of their comfort zone just before i think they ar egoing to jump. It's all a chess match. Sometimes I win the imaginary race sometimes I loose. No big deal it's not like I'm going to loose a contract.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

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    Bikes fear me! RhinoBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youcoming View Post
    i'm a bigger guy and i feel like i get the advantage of a draft in a group no problem at all. Just tuck in close and get pulled along, it's great. I use to have the same thing with guys sprinting me and it still happens from time to time if i get boxed in. Usually i anticipate the sprint in time and fall back in line with othe rsprinters and just wait for the jump and go with them. Or i pick up the pace to something that puts the sprinters out of their comfort zone just before i think they ar egoing to jump. It's all a chess match. Sometimes i win the imaginary race sometimes i loose. No big deal it's not like i'm going to loose a contract.
    +1

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