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


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-04-10, 08:15 PM   #1
hsilman
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: New York, NY
Bikes: 2007 Trek 7.5fx Disc
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Drafting Etiquette

I was cruising along the Hudson River Greenway today on my way home from work when I happened to be barely passed by a couple of guys going slightly faster than my normal cruising speed. I decided to drop in behind them for a bit since they were going my way, the lead on a road bike and the follower on a mtb with slicks.

Anyways, I end up drafting off them for a good 3 miles or so before my turn off and it helped me easily gain about 3 mph over my usual pace and expend a lot less energy.

My question is, do you generally mind when people are sucking your wind? It seemed like they knew each other, and they knew what I was up to. They never seemed annoyed or said anything to me. It was actually a nice break on my way home to not have to fight the wind off the water for the whole 5 miles.

But, being new to cycling I didn't want to do anything rude or break some kind of unwritten code. Also, I don't know physics that well but was I making the lead guy work harder to "pull" me forward?

just wondering how you guys feel about strangers pacing you when you are out for a ride?
hsilman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 08:34 PM   #2
CNY James
Senior Member
 
CNY James's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Syracuse, NY
Bikes: 2010 Felt F5, 2010 Dawes SST-AL
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've never had it happen during a normal ride but during charity ride or group ride, I dont mind per se but I appreciate it when/if they take a turn too. The very few times that I've done it, I make sure to reciprocate as well. I never felt a difference when there were guys in my draft.
CNY James is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 08:48 PM   #3
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Best to let them know you are there at the least, if not ask if they mind...and share some of the pulling.

That said, I tend to get irked by wheel suckers when out for a nice ride with my wife.
Sometimes people want to spend time with themselves without the peanut gallery tagging along.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 10:30 PM   #4
sd_mike
Cyclocross - Go anywhere!
 
sd_mike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: 2011 Fuji Cross 2.0, 2008 Fuji Cross Comp
Posts: 405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I consider it a safety issue. If I need to stop, swerve, avoid a hazard - I don't need someone right behind me that shouldn't be there. Drafting - when you know they are there and signal each other; Tailgaiting - when you don't know they are there or know they are and are not "together". If I find it to be a problem, I'll tell them to either pass, back off, or stay out of my way. I need not wreck because of something caused by them.
sd_mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 10:36 PM   #5
electrik
Single-serving poster
 
electrik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 5,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On a road it's cool, whatever... but if somebody is drafting me on a MUP i'll get pissed. This greenway is a MUP? If so... hah, i think i'd consider it rude since it's endangering my safety if i have to brake/corner and other's saftey because you're tailgating and can't quite see obstacles of which there is a lot on a MUP. I'd wave you off or back if you didn't pass.
electrik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-10, 10:43 PM   #6
damnpoor
Senior Member
 
damnpoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Monterey Bay Area
Bikes:
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I figure I'd still be blasting along whether I had someone behind me or not so why should I care if they latch on? I do it too.
damnpoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 06:01 AM   #7
JonathanGennick 
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Bikes: Gary Fisher Hodgepodge 26er Rigid
Posts: 2,500
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've only ever been drafted one time. Didn't realize it until I stopped for a break. I almost did my usual thing of slamming on the brakes to a hard stop, but at the last second decided to coast to a stop since I was going up a steep hill anyway. That turned out to be a good decision for the guy behind me.
JonathanGennick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 06:35 AM   #8
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 45,996
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 217 Post(s)
Wheelsucking is rude and unsafe.

Rude, because you are riding in someone's personal space without introducing yourself and engaging in pleasantries ... social etiquette.

Unsafe, because if you hit the rider in front of you, you will very likely go down. It is not the responsibility of the rider whose wheel you are sucking to point out hazards, to signal for your benefit, or to ride in a predictable manner. The rider whose wheel you are sucking could dodge a pothole, and you could end up in it. The rider could suddenly slow down with no indication, and you could end up wrapped up in his/her wheel. Or the rider may meander a bit, slow and speed up, and do all sorts of things.

If the riders in question didn't seem to mind ... it probably wasn't the end of the world. But next time you're tempted, at least introduce yourself and ask if it is OK with them if you tag along.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 10:25 AM   #9
cachehiker
Soma Lover
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Logan, UT
Bikes: one bike for every day of the week
Posts: 765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It really depends on the situation.

When I'm commuting about town amongst traffic and with panniers, make sure I know you're there. Say Hi and take a blow for a minute or two before moving on at your own pace and I don't mind. To just jump in behind me can be dangerous. I tend to ride aggressively with 32c randoneering tires on bombproof wheels. If I don't know you're there, I won't point out obstacles and may not give you any indication that I'm about to go alley cat on you, hop a curb, and cut through a vacant lot.

When I'm out for a casual road ride, make sure I know you're there and pay attention to the particular "group dynamic" that's going on. Most of the time I don't care. OTOH, if it's just me and K and another couple and it seems like we're cycling up the canyon for a picnic, we may be in search of some alone time. I don't mind your taking a rest for a few minutes and continuing on with your own ride but be careful about becoming a third wheel.

On big charity rides, it's a given. People will draft off of the horses. If someone is out in search of alone time, you won't find them there. If you're one of the horses, take it as a complement. If you're one of the hangers on:

Point out obstacles. Learn and use the hand signals. Rotate through and take your turn at the front even if you can only do it for 30-60 seconds at a time. Keep the padals moving, especially if you're in a big group on level ground. When you stop pedaling, those behind you will assume you're reacting to a situation and may unnecessarily apply their brakes endangering others. Do not touch people on the arms. If the wind makes conversation impossible, a light touch above the hip will let them know you're there.
cachehiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 11:22 AM   #10
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, homebuilt recumbent
Posts: 8,907
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
You should get permission by the person you're drafting. It may affect the manner in which they ride; for instance doing the things Machka points out. Maybe they don't want to be bothered to point out obstacles to you, in which case you should leave them alone.
BlazingPedals is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 11:37 AM   #11
JoelS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Near Sacramento
Bikes:
Posts: 4,890
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ASK! Yes, I yelled it. It's very poor manners to latch on without asking. Many of the reasons were mentioned above.

If you do ask, and it's ok, then make sure to take your turn at the front.
__________________
-------

Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.
JoelS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 11:59 AM   #12
knobster
.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix Comp, Soma ES
Posts: 3,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sd_mike View Post
I consider it a safety issue. If I need to stop, swerve, avoid a hazard - I don't need someone right behind me that shouldn't be there. Drafting - when you know they are there and signal each other; Tailgaiting - when you don't know they are there or know they are and are not "together". If I find it to be a problem, I'll tell them to either pass, back off, or stay out of my way. I need not wreck because of something caused by them.
I agree. I don't know the person behind me so I don't know what to expect and they don't know how I ride either. What I usually do is see how fit they are. I pick up about a mph per mile until they aren't there anymore.
__________________
Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.
knobster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:09 PM   #13
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get off my wheel!

__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:15 PM   #14
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,737
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
What Machka said.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:18 PM   #15
itsthewoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check
Posts: 392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think it's particularly rude, but it's definitely unsafe.

If you're within drafting distance, you have very little space to react if they decide to stop. Someone who is riding alone or side-by-side isn't likely to signal his slow downs and a lot less likely to signal an emergency stop. This means that you get to run into them if that happens.

Otherwise, I don't really think it's "rude." Sure, it may feel uncomfortable to feel like someone is following you, but most bicyclists know what drafting is. You being behind them would only affect their aerodynamics slightly, and more likely positively, as it would reduce the effect of the ow-pressure and high turbulence zone right behind them (but this effect is pretty much negligible). Basically, no, you're not causing them extra work.
itsthewoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:31 PM   #16
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
I don't think it's particularly rude, but it's definitely unsafe.

If you're within drafting distance, you have very little space to react if they decide to stop. Someone who is riding alone or side-by-side isn't likely to signal his slow downs and a lot less likely to signal an emergency stop. This means that you get to run into them if that happens.

Otherwise, I don't really think it's "rude." Sure, it may feel uncomfortable to feel like someone is following you, but most bicyclists know what drafting is. You being behind them would only affect their aerodynamics slightly, and more likely positively, as it would reduce the effect of the ow-pressure and high turbulence zone right behind them (but this effect is pretty much negligible). Basically, no, you're not causing them extra work.
Tell me it's not rude when I spot you and your wife/gf out for a nice romantic dinner and decide not only to join you uninvited...but to let you pay the check too. Sometimes it is rude to intrude into people's space.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:42 PM   #17
itsthewoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check
Posts: 392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Tell me it's not rude when I spot you and your wife/gf out for a nice romantic dinner and decide not only to join you uninvited...but to let you pay the check too. Sometimes it is rude to intrude into people's space.
Poor analogy. A couple having a "nice romantic dinner" is not analogous to two people going fast enough to draft.

Edit: And why would s/he have to pay the check for your dinners? Again, drafters cause you no extra work, so other than the safety issue, there's really nothing to get pissy about.
itsthewoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:45 PM   #18
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,737
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
I don't think it's particularly rude, but it's definitely unsafe.

If you're within drafting distance, you have very little space to react if they decide to stop. Someone who is riding alone or side-by-side isn't likely to signal his slow downs and a lot less likely to signal an emergency stop. This means that you get to run into them if that happens.

Otherwise, I don't really think it's "rude." Sure, it may feel uncomfortable to feel like someone is following you, but most bicyclists know what drafting is. You being behind them would only affect their aerodynamics slightly, and more likely positively, as it would reduce the effect of the ow-pressure and high turbulence zone right behind them (but this effect is pretty much negligible). Basically, no, you're not causing them extra work.
If you're close enough to draft, you're close enough to eavesdrop on their conversation. Which is rude.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 01:50 PM   #19
itsthewoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check
Posts: 392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
If you're close enough to draft, you're close enough to eavesdrop on their conversation. Which is rude.
If you're going fast enough to be drafted, you're unlikely to be having much of a conversation.

Besides, if he's a complete stranger, who cares?
itsthewoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 02:03 PM   #20
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,737
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Well, I grant you that my early morning conversations with my buddy JF aren't on the level of Tolkien and Lewis walking the canal paths of Oxford, but they're still chats between friends. And lately, at the height of race season, they take place at 21mph. And Sacramento is still a small town, so there's rarely more than a few degrees of separation.

I still think it's rude.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 03:13 PM   #21
Trail Runner
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 47
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did it once last year, while out riding road riding. A roadie passed me, and I was feeling good enough to try and keep up. BUT, I made sure to leave a few feet of clearance between me and him. And realized I was wholly responsible for avoiding any mishaps. I'd like to think it wasn't rude. But maybe it was, and I should ask the riders permission next time.

I don't really do much road riding anymore these days. But back when I did it regularly, I would get the occasional rider tagging along behind me. It didn't bother me. But we all perceive and react to things differently.
Trail Runner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 03:53 PM   #22
itsthewoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Trek SU100, Surly Cross Check
Posts: 392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Runner View Post
I did it once last year, while out riding road riding. A roadie passed me, and I was feeling good enough to try and keep up. BUT, I made sure to leave a few feet of clearance between me and him. And realized I was wholly responsible for avoiding any mishaps. I'd like to think it wasn't rude. But maybe it was, and I should ask the riders permission next time.

I don't really do much road riding anymore these days. But back when I did it regularly, I would get the occasional rider tagging along behind me. It didn't bother me. But we all perceive and react to things differently.
I doubt you were legitimately drafting if there was more than a foot between your front tire and his rear tire.

Edit: In this case, it sounds more like he was pacing you.
itsthewoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 04:19 PM   #23
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
Poor analogy. A couple having a "nice romantic dinner" is not analogous to two people going fast enough to draft.

Edit: And why would s/he have to pay the check for your dinners? Again, drafters cause you no extra work, so other than the safety issue, there's really nothing to get pissy about.
Are you claiming that my wife and I can't spend romantic time together on our bikes...as we do?
Why do you feel the need to interrupt our time together?
Do you think the chicks will dig you more if it seems like you have friends?
Do you understand the concept of good manners?

Also, your assumption that people only attempt to wheel-suck when we are going "fast enough to draft" is incorrect.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 04:22 PM   #24
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
If you're going fast enough to be drafted, you're unlikely to be having much of a conversation.

Besides, if he's a complete stranger, who cares?
You keep making false assumptions. I'll write if off to inexperience.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-10, 04:25 PM   #25
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsthewoo View Post
I doubt you were legitimately drafting if there was more than a foot between your front tire and his rear tire.

Edit: In this case, it sounds more like he was pacing you.
OMG, his draft wasn't legitimate....yeah, that makes all the difference.

Dude, why is it so hard for you to understand that just because a group of people are riding bikes, that they may not want to include you in their group and/or make you privy to their conversations....at any speed?
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom 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 07:22 PM.