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  1. #1
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    Stop drafting me!!! I am not your domestique!

    So this morning, I was riding on my usual commute. The route has a longish stretch of road. I came across a roadie commuter that I thought was going rather slow. So I called "On your left". Overtook him. Kept on my merry way.

    After a few minutes, I heard something behind me creeping up. So I thought it was another commuter. I steered towards my right as a gesture to let this person past. For the longest while, nothing. I looked back and it was the fellow I just overtook. Mmmmkay. I wasn't sure what he wants to do. Overtake me or not. I slow, he slowed, I accelerated, so did he.
    Decided enough was enough with this weirdness of commuter drafting. Came upon a hill, kicked down to a smaller chainring and hammered the climb. Kept the distance from there on. That hill followed by another one. It was enough to put a nice distance. Strangely he was wearing yellow on a yellow bike!

    What a weird experience. Certainly my first time having someone drafting me for a few miles. Atleast let me draft you in return! Happened to you before?
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  2. #2
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    Nope. No other people are insane enough to commute by bike in my neighborhood. Besides, you'd have to be following me with a cane and walker not to pass me... I am the definition of slow.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I had a guy do that to me. I pulled up to the last light before a long stretch of open road. There was a guy ahead of me at the light so I stopped behind him. Light turned green and we took off. He was going really slow so I passed. Wasn't long till I realized he was right behind me. I sped up a bit, he sped up. Slowed a bit to let him pass, he slowed. Finally lost him when I turned.

    Came upon him in the same spot a week or so later. He dogged it when the light turned green but I didn't bite. He finally figured I wasn't playing this time and sped up. Saw him there a few more times but he knew I wasn't going to pull so he ignored me.

  4. #4
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    Next time just left out a giant sneeze complete with tremendous amounts of spittle. That'll make them think twice the next time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    No, not like that. A couple times I've had people behind me for a while, but it's generally from them not having a good spot to pass on the MUP when it's busy. Once or twice, people got on my wheel seemingly trying to draft me. Those couple times I'd just coast for a few seconds and they'd pass. I'm not fast enough on my hybrid, even with a slightly less upright riding position since I switched to my trekking bars, to take a long pull in front for a serious roadie drafting behind me (15-18 mph is a comfortable cruising pace for me on flat strecthes w/ little wind on shorter rides like my commute).

    One time, a guy on a MTB was behind me for a while and kind of drafting, then he pulled up beside me and asked if I wanted to draft behind him. We took turns pulling for a maye two or three miles before he pulled off. Didn't have a computer at the time, but I'd guess we were doing a good sustained 20-22 mph. Glad he pulled off. I remember I was starting to get a bit gassed and probably would have had to drop away had he not pulled off.

    Generally prefer riding on my own, though, and tend to be able to do so. Don't mind people following me, though, if they're not right on my wheel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratdog View Post
    Next time just left out a giant sneeze complete with tremendous amounts of spittle. That'll make them think twice the next time.

  7. #7
    Member from- uh... France pharasz's Avatar
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    We've had threads about this before. I'm much more forgiving when commuting than if I'm riding my road bike alone on a weekend. On the weekend, if I want to ride with a group and draft I'll do so. If I'm alone it's because I want to be alone and it's great fun to drop a wheel squatter. But if someone asks me if they can draft, I'll always say yes - if they are nice enough to ask, I'm nice enough to allow it.

    I think most people would prefer to be asked first. Some people cite safety concerns over letting someone draft behind. Such concern is valid, I suppose, but in general drafting is much more dangerous for the guy behind than the guy in front. So I don't mind - but the polite thing to do is to ask first.

  8. #8
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    You're luck he wasn't wearing polka dots, otherwise you'd never of lost him!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    These threads come up from time to time.. I don't really see what the big deal is as long as they're not endangering you.

  10. #10
    Single-serving poster electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    These threads come up from time to time.. I don't really see what the big deal is as long as they're not endangering you.
    Frankly it is sort of creepy(particularly ninja drafters) and most of the time they are endangering you. Save it for race day.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Sundance89's Avatar
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    I don't see the offense or big deal? It doesn't change anything on your ride at all. The effort on your end would be the same if you looked back and never saw him. There are a lot of roadies on my commute and we hook up like this many times. You may be the only way he can go faster and are pushing him to the max. This same thing happens on group rides quite often too. You may have a group of guys in a paceline with equal pull throughs and another group behind them just drafting. Many times it's just because they aren't strong enough yet to pull through.

    I know drafting isn't always honorable which is why it's illegal in triathlon races, etc. And there will always be wheel suckers that are capable but just don't do their part. But I'm an ex-football player with lots of track and field in high school, and a known tactic from our coach in practice was to always go with the faster guy and hang with him as long as you can. That's how you get better. I tend to still look at it like that I guess.

  12. #12
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    I don't really see what the big deal is as long as they're not endangering you.
    One sudden move and he may end up plowing into you.

    Op, are you sure he was close enough to be drafting or was he just trying to keep up with you?
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Sundance89's Avatar
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    Yes, and I should add that we usually do ask if it's okay if I hang with you for a bit too, but sometimes a pass happens in traffic and they will just go with you afterwards.

  14. #14
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    Electrik nails it on the head. It feels creepy from a stranger which I have just overtaken. If it's in a group ride or with people I know, I wouldn't think twice.
    There's still an element of danger in a commuting route where there are so many variables like potholes, suicide squirrels, cars that pop out of plazas, iZombies (i-whatever pedestrian) etc...

    I don't like tailgaters either.

    Op, are you sure he was close enough to be drafting or was he just trying to keep up with you?
    Maybe I should change my handle to OP someday. I didn't take further look because the feeling was too weird. But the fact that I can hear his clickety-clicks from the rear drivetrain tells me that he is quite close.
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  15. #15
    Old, but not really wise CptjohnC's Avatar
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    As a relative newb: How close is too close? I don't think I 'draft' but I will follow someone who is keeping a comfortable pace, and I have no problems with someone riding behind me, as long as they recognize that I might not behave the way a racer or serious cyclist will. Esp. if passing is going to be a hassle.

  16. #16
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    I still want a "SPASTIC COLON: Tailgate at own risk" jersey.

  17. #17
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Oh please! HTFU!

    You decided to pass him. He decided to pick up speed to your speed.
    No where has he made you his domestique! Speed up more and drop him, or slow down VERY slow if it bothers you that much.

    You are not on the pro bike tour, quit thinking that you are.
    As far as safety goes, if he runs into your rear wheel or overlaps your rear wheel, he will go down.
    Most times the lead rider doesn't.

  18. #18
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I wish I was fast enough to draft.
    lil brown bat wrote:
    Wow, aren't other people stupid? It's a good thing that we're so smart. Yay us.

  19. #19
    Senior Member groovestew's Avatar
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    Last year I was drafted a couple times, very similar to wunderkind's scenario. The first time, I had no idea he was there, and didn't see him until I shoulder checked before moving left to make a left turn. Scared the crap outta me to see him there, actually. The second time, it was a guy who I had commuter raced a couple times already, and I knew he was there, but I guess he just wanted to draft instead of properly challenge me. He eventually passed me shortly before my turnoff, and even thanked me for the draft.

    I try not to draft anyone myself on my commutes, though. I don't know where anyone else is going or if I can trust them to not make sudden moves, so if I find myself behind someone that I'm not in a position to pass, I'll hang back a few meters.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    You forgot how to signal that your pull is over and it's his turn. He was being polite waiting for you!

    LEAVING THE FRONT OF THE PACE LINE
    AND MOVING TO THE RIGHT

    Hold your upper arm at shoulder level with your forearm bent, so that your hand is against the side of your body. This forms an arrow pointing to the right. Hold this signal for two to three seconds to give the rider directly behind you time to prepare to take the lead of the pace line.

  21. #21
    pedalphile
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    Oh please! HTFU!

    You decided to pass him. He decided to pick up speed to your speed.
    No where has he made you his domestique! Speed up more and drop him, or slow down VERY slow if it bothers you that much.

    You are not on the pro bike tour, quit thinking that you are.
    As far as safety goes, if he runs into your rear wheel or overlaps your rear wheel, he will go down.
    Most times the lead rider doesn't.
    What he said.

    Some people act as if a drafter costs them something. Personally, I like drafting/being drafted. It livens things up a bit and as much as I enjoy cycling, there are times that it bores me out of whatever wits I have. I do agree, however that any drafting be done after asking.

    If ninja drafters bother you I recommend a good helmet mirror or maybe one of them james bond oil slick deals.

  22. #22
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    This happens to me a couple times a month on the MUP. Ocassionally, the rider will ask if it's OK for them to draft. This is proper etiquette, and I have always said yes. It's the people who don't ask first that I have a problem with (the proper term for these clods is "wheelsuckers"). The MUP I ride is busy in the afternoon with walkers, joggers, in-line skaters and bike riders of varying ability including little kids. Sometimes situations require a quick move or sudden change in speed. If I know I have a guy on my wheel, I can give him a warning in advance to "be prepared" when I am approaching a potential situation. A wheelsucker that I don't know may end up plowing into me or a little kid on a bike. At a minimum he is going to scare the S&*t out of everyone with the panic stop he has to put in when I slow down without warning. I want nothing to do with wheelsuckers.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I was on an MUP that connects to the one WoodWay was riding; I passed a guy in a full spandex race kit. A few minutes later, I was about to turn left off the trail, did a shoulder check, and saw the guy sucking on my wheel. I signaled and turned.

    It does feel just a little creepy to have a stranger that close, and can be startling. On the other hand, on the same trail, I was heading up to a swimming beach, when another rider passed me, and slowed down as soon as he got in front. I had to make a right turn, and wasn't sure exactly where, so I didn't want to pass and then possibly right-hook him. So I stayed about two yards behind the guy, and two feet to the side. The guy seemed annoyed and motioned for me to pass, but my turn came about half a minute later, and that was that. I'm pretty sure that doesn't count as having drafted the guy, since I wouldn't have hit him if he'd stopped immediately. But he seemed to disagree.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  24. #24
    Space for rent
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    Get over yourself....


    If he could hang on your wheel you were not going fast enough. Like the others, I do not see what the big deal is... They are not making your ride any harder or more dangerous.

  25. #25
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joemess View Post
    If he could hang on your wheel you were not going fast enough. Like the others, I do not see what the big deal is... They are not making your ride any harder or more dangerous.
    If I have to brake suddenly, he won't have time to react. There's a reason cars have safe following distance laws, and they should apply to bikes as well.

    Besides, that makes it awkward to fart if you don't know he's there until afterward. Satisfying if you do know in advance, but still awkward otherwise.

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