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Old 06-04-06, 01:10 PM   #1
GrannyGear
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Sorry...my lengthy, highly technical, witty and entertaining post somehow didn't make it through the Strait of Hormuz server at BF....and now I forgot what it was. Gotta remember to copy anything I post on our temperamental server.

Let's see, in one sentence here goes. Behind a reliable, known partner (especially if big and broad), I sometimes like to draft maybe 18 inches off his wheel. For others I'll drift back farther. When I get back something over a wheel length, there seems no point. Assuming a frontal breeze or even a calm, where do others find themselves tucking in?
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Old 06-04-06, 01:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by GrannyGear
Sorry...my lengthy, highly technical, witty and entertaining post somehow didn't make it through the Strait of Hormuz server at BF....and now I forgot what it was. Gotta remember to copy anything I post on our temperamental server.

Let's see, in one sentence here goes. Behind a reliable, known partner (especially if big and broad), I sometimes like to draft maybe 18 inches off his wheel. For others I'll drift back farther. When I get back something over a wheel length, there seems no point. Assuming a frontal breeze or even a calm, where do others find themselves tucking in?
On my ride this morning I tried training a rider to draft. Actually got him to within 2ft of my rear wheel but no way will he come closer. I noted that once I got him to ride at a consistent pace- I was drafting 6 " off his rear wheel. Just off the line of his wheel in case he did anything, but I was Ok with this. I had a friend that I used to ride with all the time. He was stronger than me and we got to know each other inside out. I knew when he was going to slow and I use to ride within that 6" Can never remember having a problem with him, and for the few occasions I took the lead, he never had a problem with me. Same on abreast riding. The number of times we used to touch bars and we never even thought about it. With the group I am now with- If I get within 6" of their bars- they panic and fly off at 90 degrees. and as to Drafting with them- they are too inconsistent on pace to even attempt it.
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Old 06-04-06, 03:01 PM   #3
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Because I am neither smooth, graceful, coordinated, nor predictable, I don't draft others, and I discourage others from drafting me. As we said in the late 1960s, "say no to the draft."
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Old 06-04-06, 05:28 PM   #4
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If I've done a bit of riding with the person I'll get within 6-10 inches of their wheel always trying to stay a bit off center left, in case we brush I know which way to go. If it is someone I don't know well, will stay 12 inches or more behind until I get a feel for their riding style and then will creep up a bit. With folks I know, I know they will be sharp and will will point out any holes or debris, also will inform me of anything up a head that will cause a change in pace. On a steep hill will back off and let everyone work at their own pace, form back up ath the top.
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Old 06-04-06, 05:28 PM   #5
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If I've done a bit of riding with the person I'll get within 6-10 inches of their wheel always trying to stay a bit off center left, in case we brush I know which way to go. If it is someone I don't know well, will stay 12 inches or more behind until I get a feel for their riding style and then will creep up a bit. With folks I know, I know they will be sharp and will will point out any holes or debris, also will inform me of anything up a head that will cause a change in pace. On a steep hill will back off and let everyone work at their own pace, form back up ath the top.
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Old 06-04-06, 06:18 PM   #6
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For me it somewhat depends on the "purpose of the ride", people I'm riding with and the terrain. Generally with folks I know I'm tucked in about as close as you can get and still react to speed changes. I've never really thought about it but it's definitely a lot less than a foot. Every once in a while I'll even "bump" tires with the fellow ahead of me....not intentionally of course but just a slight nudge. I'm always very conscious of crossing wheels and I work really hard to make sure that's not an issue. I also drop back a good bit on descents and give folks a lot more room as well.

With folks I might meet out on the road doing organized rides I'm probably around a foot or so.
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Old 06-04-06, 06:45 PM   #7
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With my normal riding partner we about 4"-6" with the bigger group rides i usually stay 8"-12" depending on how the rider in front of me is riding, # of lights on the route etc. So far no touches.
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Old 06-04-06, 09:05 PM   #8
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If I know 'em, about 6" and slightly off line in case they stand...... If I don't know them 12 - 18" if they look like they know what they are doing, otherwise I stay away. It's not worth it.
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Old 06-04-06, 09:10 PM   #9
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6 inches behind my regular ride partners, slightly left. Since I'm big and ride more upright, they tuck in close and coast, the slackers.
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Old 06-05-06, 03:40 AM   #10
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Just keep in mind that drafting is OK but wheel sucking is rude.
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Old 06-05-06, 05:14 AM   #11
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About the same as most replies. Within a foot for familiar and trusted riders, 1 to 2 feet for unknown riders if they ride consistently and it feels right. Any sign of squirreliness and I drop back or pull away.
Also, if the train starts to gather too many riders, I drop out. I've seen 20+ bike pacelines form on the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia. The accordian effect gets so bad at the back, it is harder than riding solo, not to mention the danger of a 20 bike bile-up.
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Old 06-07-06, 01:32 PM   #12
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Geez, 6 inches!! I've been riding for a bit over a year now, almost all solo. I have trouble imagining getting that close to someone's wheel. Not to mention that one one of the guys that I work with, a serious triathlete and biker, just separated his shoulder on his last bike ride when the person in front of him went down. I admit pacelines sound like fun, but ...
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Old 06-07-06, 04:28 PM   #13
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Geez, 6 inches!! I've been riding for a bit over a year now, almost all solo. I have trouble imagining getting that close to someone's wheel. Not to mention that one one of the guys that I work with, a serious triathlete and biker, just separated his shoulder on his last bike ride when the person in front of him went down. I admit pacelines sound like fun, but ...
I'm with you nmichell. The question of drafting comes up all the time and I read (seems like people brag a bit) about how close they can get to someone else. I ride by myself these days so it really doesn't even apply to me. Seems there are an equal number of threads where prayers are requested for some guy who got his lights put out when someone else went down/bumped/hit something/etc. Not meaning to be cruel, just calling it like I see it.

I guess the risk/reward ratio is satisfactory for those who do this.

I used to fly aerobatics. It was a lot more fun at low altitude because you had a much greater sense of speed. On the other hand...............


"...and then the wheels came off"

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Old 06-07-06, 05:59 PM   #14
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I don't draft with strangers at all--I've seen two really bad crashes caused by unpredictable paceline behavior, and I'm not going to get caught up in one. I don't even draft my wife, who's a pretty strong rider but has a tendency to slow down without warning to look at cows and things.
With people I know, three or four guys I've ridden with for years, I hang about a foot back. Closer would probably be better, but we're JRA, so what's it matter?
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