Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-10-12, 08:24 AM   #1
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Why so upset about drafting?

Can someone please explain why some folks get so up in arms about drafting (aka wheel sucking), while using a heavily traveled commuting trail? He's the deal. Today and also a month or so ago, I was passed by someone while commuting on a trail. After passing me they pretty much continued at tempo to what I was riding. So, I draft off of them assuming the are my level and we could take turns. But, no less than a mile later each individual started to get all pi$$ed off, try to waive me off and yell and scream.

What's the deal? Am I crazy? They passed me and then basically plopped right in front of me. Am I to stop dead, wait a minute so they can get far enough ahead of me? I mean what gives. I've been a commuter for close to 12 years now, and I NEVER have a problem with people on wheel. It's just common courtesy, with the knowledge that some day you'll need a pull.

PS, I ALWAYS thank folks who give me a pull and to a man/woman they appreciate being able to help.

I'm confused.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:32 AM   #2
Steely Dan
born again cyclist
 
Steely Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago
Bikes: I have five of brikes
Posts: 2,027
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
on MUPs (or really anywhere for that matter) i won't get closer than 5 bike lengths behind a stranger.

drafting is a relationship built on trust; i don't trust strangers.

if a rider is holding me back, then i pass.

if a rider is trying to draft me, i'll slow to let them pass.

i generally ride fast enough that i rarely encounter either situation.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 07-10-12 at 08:40 AM.
Steely Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:33 AM   #3
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
If they passed you and then slowed down I don't know. If you sneak up behind them and then latch on without them knowing you're back there, I could sort of see it because if they don't know you, you could be a danger to them if your wheels overlap and then they make a sudden move to get around a pothole or road debris without knowing you're back there (or suddenly break and your ride up on them). But if they pass you then slow down, they should know you're back there.

In general though, I think the drafter is at more risk than the draftee.

Some people also just like their personal space and if you've invaded their comfort zone, they may just want you out. A lot of us ride for the alone time (if I commute by public transit instead I'm packed in like a sardine in a bus, train or subway most of the time; I interact with people all day at work; and I'm busy with the kids as soon as I get home). For some of us, cycling isn't a social activity, it's a time to decompress.
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:34 AM   #4
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Fair enough Steely. I'll use your rule of thumb from now on. It just all seems so petty to me really.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:37 AM   #5
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Bikes:
Posts: 9,474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Also, unless you're doing 20 mph or so, the benefits gained by drafting are minimal at best, so there's no point for drafting me (or me drafting someone) on most of my commutes unless there's a great wind.
himespau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:37 AM   #6
jmccain
Senior Member
 
jmccain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Bikes: Kvale, Peugeot, Cervelo, Bridgestone
Posts: 597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had a guy draft me commuting to college. I came to a stop (at a stop sign) and he plowed into me slicing my leg. Since then I've been wary about draftees. Maybe something like this happened to your guy.

The odd thing about my incident is the guy went down. As he was laying on the ground, I asked him what he thought he was doing when some girls gave me a hard time for harassing him.
jmccain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:37 AM   #7
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My point exactly himespau. And yes he knew I was back there. And yes, it was clear I was not threat to him. But, like mentioned before, I'll just gap it from now on. But, it's still seems silly to me.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:43 AM   #8
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And also, yes, I was going b/w 20-22mph. So, there is something to be gained there. But, I really don't care. It's just that we were both essentially going the same pace. If the guy had some issue with me behind him how about he get behind me. Like I said, I have no issues with pulling.

Anyway, thanks for the other side of the fence perspective. I may either keep my distance from now on or at least ask if ppl are cool with me sitting on for a while. But can now appreciate what may be going in these ppl's heads. Though I still don't fully understand it.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:45 AM   #9
PatrickGSR94
Senior Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Memphis TN area
Bikes: 2011 Felt Z85 (road/commuter), 2006 Marin Pine Mountain (utility), 1995 KHS Alite 1000 (gravel grinder)
Posts: 6,141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Yeah I don't want some stranger all up my butt either. Same way on the highway in my car. Pass me dammit! Don't ride on my damn bumper!
PatrickGSR94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:45 AM   #10
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes:
Posts: 4,624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Around here, commuter drafting is a pretty common practice and accepted by most. If someone indicates they don't want you there, pass or back off. If drafting is in any way unsafe or unwelcome, cease and desist. If someone gets all aggravated about it, which is extremely rare, it is indicative of a personality disorder. The only time I don't like being drafted is if the drafter has a really bright light that casts a shadow in front of me.
alan s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:49 AM   #11
GeorgeBMac
Senior Member
 
GeorgeBMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: 2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike
Posts: 2,061
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a newbie I can say that the draftee may not know the difference between drafting and tailgating...
GeorgeBMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 08:49 AM   #12
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
But Patrick, in all fairness, he passed me and sat down in front of me. It was clear he was pulling some kinda ego trip and when he saw I was behind him he got all upset that he couldn't "drop me". Like Alan said, it seems more like a personality disorder. But, again like I said. I'll take all these points under advisement.

PS, this was in the DMV area, so Alan just confirmed my point.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:02 AM   #13
PatrickGSR94
Senior Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Memphis TN area
Bikes: 2011 Felt Z85 (road/commuter), 2006 Marin Pine Mountain (utility), 1995 KHS Alite 1000 (gravel grinder)
Posts: 6,141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spagball View Post
But Patrick, in all fairness, he passed me and sat down in front of me. It was clear he was pulling some kinda ego trip and when he saw I was behind him he got all upset that he couldn't "drop me". Like Alan said, it seems more like a personality disorder. But, again like I said. I'll take all these points under advisement.

PS, this was in the DMV area, so Alan just confirmed my point.
I understand your situation, but I was saying under normal circumstances I wouldn't want someone on my tail.
PatrickGSR94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:13 AM   #14
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Bikes:
Posts: 14,585
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I wouldn't draft on someone I didn't know for fear they might have a personality disorder
unterhausen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:17 AM   #15
Novakane 
Senior Member
 
Novakane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada's Capital
Bikes: Sekine RM40 1980, Miyata 1000LT 1990, Raleigh Mixte Sprite 1980, Raleigh Grand Prix 1979
Posts: 556
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Drafting is generally a race or group-ride activity, IMHO.

If a stranger starts drafting me and hugging my wheel for a while, I start to get peeved - and here's why:
When you're not expecting a drafter, having one back there is like having a deer fly constantly buzzing around your head... Always there in the peripheral.
What If I need to brake suddenly, or dodge an obstacle? Having some stranger right behind me is very unnerving - did they see me stop suddenly? How good are their brakes and reactions?
So what was a nice bike ride is now occupied with thoughts of this person creaming me from behind if something runs in front of me.

I don't race, and I don't participate in group-rides or any cycling activity where drafting is a concern - I suspect most people I see commuting on the paths don't either, just my two cents worth, but probably a lot of people don't like someone they don't know riding very close to them due to this, and they may not even realize you're "drafting" and not just trying to be a jerk and ride their wheel.
Novakane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:19 AM   #16
keystothekid
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Bikes:
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Some people are just jerks. That being said, I usually don't come across situations like this when I'm (rarely) on a MUP. If I'm coming up on someone and I'm nearly maxed and barely catching them, etiquette tells me to drop speed a bit and hang off at least until I'm ready to sprint past and put some distance between the two of us. Sometimes when people ride really close behind me (I rarely go fast enough on a MUP commute home/to work to benefit from drafting) it's aggravating. Sometimes I just want to cruise along and having someone that close makes me feel the need to push it. Sounds like that one guy is just being silly though. Some people feel like they always HAVE to be in the front so odds are he busted it out to pass you and then realized he couldn't sustain without realizing you were hauling at a sustainable speed for your abiilty. ? Who knows!
keystothekid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:21 AM   #17
scorch
Senior Member
 
scorch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: burtonsville, md
Bikes:
Posts: 187
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I dont see it as a big deal either. I think people are extremely territorial and need their space. Ive been drafted tons and i actually like the fact im helping other riders out. It makes me think im a good rider and i try a little harder. But some people are on the other side of that thinking, i can see why someone thinks its rude. But its hardly worth getting your panties in a bunch over.
scorch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:22 AM   #18
SteamingAlong
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Attleboro, MA
Bikes: 2011 Steamroller; 1998 Cannondale F-400; 1981 Motobecane Jubilee Sport
Posts: 231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
1.) Try pulling for a change, you'll see why it pisses some people off.

2.) If I know you even at least a little I probably wouldn't care, but I've had total strangers who were yo-yoing down the road suddenly jump on my tail when I passed them. The first time it happened, I couldn't figure out why it felt like I was riding through cement, until I looked back and found that I was dragging the yo-yo brigade behind me, at a much high pace than they seemingly could maintain on their own.

Planned Group rides?, fine, I'll take a turn pulling, but if I'm riding solo for a purpose, like trying to beat a time or distance, OR even getting getting someplace before a deadline, I don't feel like dragging a boat anchor behind me.

3.) Plus, I don't expect to get a bicycle enema from an unknown rider when I'm out riding. At least have the courtesy to announce yourself if you don't have a standing arrangement.

Last edited by SteamingAlong; 07-10-12 at 09:34 AM.
SteamingAlong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:24 AM   #19
Bill Kapaun
Senior Member
 
Bill Kapaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
Bikes: 86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
Posts: 9,274
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Did the person that passed you actually slow down, or did you speed up slightly.
Sometimes ego is on the other shoe.
I know I have an urge to step it up if someone passes me, and have to restrain myself a bit.
Bill Kapaun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:28 AM   #20
ckaspar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: You have really nice furniture
Bikes:
Posts: 821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Is it possible that at first you were going slower than he and once he passed you you picked up pace THEN drafted off him? I have noticed that I sometimes will speed up a bit once someone passes me, subconsciously but it does happen. If you were both going the same pace then how did he catch and pass you?

For me, I would not be too thrilled if someone latched onto my wheel. I ride alone all the time so I may not remember someone was back there and not announce my intentions so clearly then it could be a huge wreck. Besides I am cruising at 13 mph or so no big benefit to draft me.

Last edited by ckaspar; 07-10-12 at 09:43 AM.
ckaspar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:35 AM   #21
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 19,670
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 451 Post(s)
Quote:
PS, I ALWAYS thank folks who give me a pull and to a man/woman they appreciate being able to help.
if you end up on the same streets & route with familiar faces, daily,

then take a turn at the front..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-10-12 at 01:17 PM.
fietsbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:38 AM   #22
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteamingAlong View Post
1.) Try pulling for a change, you'll why it pisses some people off.

2.) If I know you even at least a little I probably wouldn't care, but I've had total strangers who were yo-yoing down the road suddenly jump on my tail when I passed them. The first time it happened, I couldn't figure out why it felt like I was riding through cement, until I looked back and found that I was dragging the yo-yo brigade behind me, at a much high pace than they seemingly could maintain on their own.

Planned Group rides?, fine, I'll take a turn pulling, but if I'm riding solo for a purpose, like trying to beat a time or distance, OR even getting getting someplace before a deadline, I don't feel like dragging a boat anchor behind me.

3.) Plus, I don't expect to get a bicycle enema from an unknown rider when I'm out riding. At least have the courtesy to announce yourself if you don't have a standing arrangement.
1.) Like I said earlier, I don't have ANY problem pulling. In fact I end up doing at least 2-4 times a week. And as other's mentioned I actually take pleasure out of the feeling I'm helping someone.

2.) I again point out, in this situation I was riding tempo he passed and then got upset I was behind him. HE PASSED ME. If he has some issue with unknowns behind him then stay behind. Like someone said, some folks just want to in front all the time. To continue with the flawed car analogy ppl are using, it's like sitting in the left lane going 55 only after having passing someone going 65.

3.) It was clear the dude knew I was back there, b/c again...he passed me. I did not sneak up on him.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:46 AM   #23
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,
Posts: 3,665
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 51 Post(s)
Stealth drafting on a commute? Get off my butt. Not on a MUP. You are in someones personal space.
Leebo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:48 AM   #24
Spagball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Spagball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
if you end up on the same route with familiar faces, daily ,
then take a turn at the front..
Believe me I will and will continue to do so.

But, I bet he'll just get all pi$$ed. And also 9 out 10 times I don't see these same riders again, b/c it's only day or week of the year they came outside b/c it's either too hot or cold all the other months of the year. But, this has gotten so out of control.

It's all really silly. But, the lesson I've learned here is that there are some really fragile egos out there and it's best to just sit up and leave these folks alone to ride in there nihilistic existence. It'll be much easier on my constitution.

Again thanks to all for their various opinions. I'm done.
Spagball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-12, 09:52 AM   #25
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes:
Posts: 4,624
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
There's a guy I see every so often on the CCT riding at about my pace or slightly faster. He starts spitting if you come anywhere near. Definitely steer clear of these types.
alan s is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:44 AM.