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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.

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Old 12-31-13, 08:31 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
But the OP prefers Breaking Away (1979).
Better yet the bit from Breaking Away was based on real-life stories told by David Blase to his high school students.
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Old 01-01-14, 01:33 AM   #52
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There is of course some risk with drafting, as with everything, but in general it's safer to draft with traffic than to gutter out of traffic. And way more fun. I sort of think that's the real reason drafting's so frowned upon on this forum - 'cause it's a ton of fun. Going fast is fun, for some people. Maybe there'd be more bike commuters if people realized you can whizz along on a bike and you don't have to sit choking on the side of the road? I'm certainly in favor of segregated lanes so slower riders can be as safe as quicker ones. But this is A&S territory I suppose.

Someone mentioned potholes and reaction times. OK. I usually avoid them. I've never crashed due to them. Maybe someday. But maybe someday in the bike lane on some crud or ice not cleared. Look, I'm not saying anyone should draft if they're not able to or comfortable, but please lay off those of us who do, because it's only dangerous if we make it dangerous. When I look at bike fatality stats, the biggest contributors are driver negligence, no lights, riding the wrong way, riding drunk, etc. I don't see "drafting a car" anywhere.

To those condemning it: have you tried it?
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Old 01-01-14, 10:18 AM   #53
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The problem with drafting is that you're probably not even going to be useful as an organ donor after getting crushed like that.
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.
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Old 01-01-14, 10:57 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by yarb View Post

To those condemning it: have you tried it?
Sure, I draft sometimes when I get a good set-up for it. I'm not condemning it, except when people disregard or underestimate the risks involved. If a cyclist believes that it's less risky than VC methods and alertly riding in bike lanes, he's better off not trying the close drafting of a motor vehicle. Just my two cents.
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Old 01-01-14, 11:34 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by vanttila View Post
I've recently started drafting on buses and dump trucks whenever I get lucky enough to get behind one on my commute. Typically the speed limit is 35 mph on those roads.
Any thoughts, experiences, suggestions for doing/not doing this?
I ride a carbon-aluminum road bike with Tektro dual pivot brakes. I feel like getting better brake pads may be a good investment in case the truck/bus decides to stop suddenly. My brother who has hydraulic disk brakes says he can stop faster than the car in front of him so drafting is less risky for him.

Personally known people who are paralyzed due to this. The vehicle making the draft switches lanes, and the cyclist collides with stationary vehicle ahead. The assumption of a clear road could cost your life.
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Old 01-01-14, 02:22 PM   #56
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This thread is a good example of high risk riding by overly confident cyclists.

When you are driving your car at 35 mph in the city, do you routinely squeeze up and drive just 2 or 3 feet behind the rear bumper of a city bus, garbage truck, or other car? I imagine you don't, and that you'd be pretty uncomfortable as the passenger of a driver who does.

Why is the practice any safer on your bicycle? Your car stops as fast or faster than your bike, isn't bothered by potholes or road debris, and in a car accident you don't lead with your face. Yet some argue it is a good idea to do on the bike what they wouldn't do in the car.

Yes, I understand that for a bit less risk, you can ride behind and just at the edge of a car. Not so much aero benefit, you're just as likely to be in a turbulent zone. But you might have a lane-splitting escape route if the car brakes suddenly. If the car suddenly brakes and swerves - driver sees a parking space or avoids a pedestrian - you have a 50% chance of being toast, hope you guessed the correct side.
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Old 01-01-14, 07:34 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by jyl View Post
When you are driving your car at 35 mph in the city, do you routinely squeeze up and drive just 2 or 3 feet behind the rear bumper of a city bus, garbage truck, or other car? I imagine you don't, and that you'd be pretty uncomfortable as the passenger of a driver who does.
I think you're wrong here. Drivers routinely follow much too close at high speeds in adverse conditions while not paying attention. Hence the multi-car pileups that often occur during poor weather.

The reality is that the opportunities for drafting a vehicle are generally fleeting and happen for a very limited period of time. It's not like those who draft are riding behind a truck for 20 min. It's more likely to happen for a minute or so. Few cyclists can accelerate as fast as a car or even truck so it makes it difficult to hang on.

Lots of fun things in life are not particularly safe: racing bicycles, riding in a paceline skiing, ice hockey etc. Everyone has a different risk tolerance.
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