Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Double centuries and ride partners? Wheelsuckers?

    I'm hoping to go for the CATriple Crown in 2008. About time I get back into shape! I wonder though, is it a good thing to go with a partner or just show up and ride? Just about every century I've done, maybe 30, has been solo with the exception of maybe 3. I completed them without drafting anyone. To be honest, I think I wouldn't have a problem doing a double while riding alone either.

    BUT!!!! It seems that everytime I ride an organized ride, some wheel sucker jumps my wheel. Now I know it shouldn't phase me but it is really irritating when I catch up and pass a rider on my own. He jumps my wheel for a few miles, then decides taht he is stronger and sprints around me. Not only does he sprint around, but he looks back as if I can't catch him. Of course if a stronger rider catches you once, he'll catch you again. And we all know that when you do, the same sucker is going to jump back on your wheel.

    Not only does this happen on organized rides, but also on my usual weekend rides. No problem when I invite others or run into friends on the trail. I know that I am a stronger rider than my friends and wife (Gina) so I expect to pull into the wind or even the whole 40 miles of our usual ride. These people don't bother me at all.

    Prime example of irritating wheel suckers. Last weekend, I went riding alone. Wearing my raggedy old cotton t-shirt torn the armpits. Big Dog t-shirt to be exact! Ijump on the trail at the same spot as a couple of other fancy dressed riders in fullkits. I ride by and say hello. Do they bother to say hi? No! They look me up and down like I'm a homeless guy. I stop at the porto-o-potty about 50 yards away. They go by while I'm in the POP. I begin my ride and notice I'm catching them at a leisurely warm up pace. Soon I am within 20 yards. They look back and begin working together to stay away. They do gain some ground but I'm not even trying to compete. They slow as they can't keep the pace, again I catch up. I ride by and say hello, they just once again look me up and down. But sure enough, they are more than happy to take my wheel. I feel if they can't be friendly, I have no desire to help them fight the wind. So I slow and wave them by. They look at me as they pass and sure enough they team up once again to pick up the pace. At this point, I think to myself this is going to be fun. I catch them once again and once again, they are on my wheel. At this point, I just picked up the pace to torture them a bit. Sure enough they drop on the small inclines of the underpass. I open a small gap so that the wind is causing resistance for them. I look a back and see them teamed up trying to catch up while standing and doing whatever they can to catch up. I open more ground but I sit up and let them think they are doing well. When they think they are catching up, I put it on again and drop them far behind. Later it is too much for them so they are out of sight.

    At my usual stop, one guy rides up and asked why I had a problem letting them draft my wheel. I told him,"you didn't return my greeting, you're not my firiend, so why should I help you?".

    A couple of weeks ago, another guy did the same. I caught him, he drafted about 5 miles, then sprinted around me. I caught him again, drafted me again,then sprinted around again. Not only with the sprint, buit also the look back at me like 'you can't catch me' look! I didn't sprint, just maintained my pace and sure enough I caught him again. This time he took my wheel I said,"please don't draft me". he asked why and I explained that it was irritating when riders draft tme then sprint around in an attempt to drop me. He said he didn't mean to drop me. I said, "well that's fine but don't draft me again". He said ok and dropped back.

    On one ride, I caught up to a line of maybe 15 riders. They jumped my wheel. I pulled for nearly 10 miles. I attempted to move to the side for some help. Everybody slowed down avoiding a pull, so I continued. About 1 mile before the 65 mile rest stop,one guy did move to the front and said," I guess I should help at least a little bit. He waited long enough but I was totally surprised anyways. That one mile to the rest stop helped big time.

    For the record, I don't have a problem with a guy that catches me and sucks my wheel for a bit to recover. I don't mind helping these guys. They were going to pass me either way. No way am I going to try to take his wheel either. I'm glad to help him but I'm keeping my pace.

    So now as far as double centuries, do they have the same mentality as most other riders? I hear stories about double centuries and large pacelines. What I don't hear in the stories is "I moved up to the front to do my share and help the group". Honestly, I don't have a problem with doing the double on my own or solo. If I can get into a group where all the riders make an effort, that would be great. Is it that way on doubles?

    I wonder if I should go with a riding partner. Only problem is finding one that will help me out in return. Honestly, I have ridden with only one guy that was a good partner. We did a few centuries together. After I had pulled for quite sometime, he'd come up to the front, get right in front of me and continue the pace without sprinting or lifting the pace. This was sweet cause I had a chance to recover for the next pull. Plus his turn was matched closely to mine in distance. Most riders get in front and pick up the pace 2 or 3 mph after you have pulled 5 miles. I spend most my time trying to close the gap they have created. When I finally do close the gap, they drop off and say your turn afer a 1/4 mile pull. I haven't seen the guy in quite sometime or I'd invite him to ride the doubles with me.

    I've ridden with 40 or 50 other riders. Only 2 or 3 out of the bunch will go to the front without intentions of dropping me. And that's after I held a nice steady pace for them.

    So what will I expect to find on a double century? Do riders work together? Should I just go at it alone? I won't team up with any rider that has intentions of dropping me, or any that has intentions of drafting me for 200 miles. If I help, I will expect help in return, otherwise, get off my wheel!

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,059
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    So what will I expect to find on a double century? Do riders work together? Should I just go at it alone? I won't team up with any rider that has intentions of dropping me, or any that has intentions of drafting me for 200 miles. If I help, I will expect help in return, otherwise, get off my wheel!
    I can't speak for other riders on a double century because the only double centuries I've done have either been completely solo, or with a small group of riders who have agreed to work together. But on organized centuries, I've discovered that same wheel sucking mentality.

    One guy sucked my wheel for approx. 20 kms early in the century while we rode into the wind. I don't mind riding into the wind, I'm used to it and I have a bit of a technique to handle it, but I thought he'd eventually pull up and introduce himself or pull for a while or something. When we finally turned the corner out of the wind he zipped past me and left me in the dust. OK, fine, whatever.

    With about 40 kms to go (3/4 of the century complete), to my surprise I caught up with him. I was feeling fine out there but he was visibly struggling almost at a walking pace. I passed him, he made an effort to catch my wheel ... and I left him in the dust.

    I don't mind helping people out on centuries or longer rides ... I didn't even mind pulling for that first 20 kms ... but when they won't even show the courtesy of introducing themselves, and/or chatting for a moment, "Nice day, isn't it", and/or allowing me to suck their wheel for a little while ... forget it ... help is over.

    I'd like to think you could find another rider or two who would work with you on a double century. There seems to be a bond formed between riders on the longer brevets I've done with people, so there might be hope!

  3. #3
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
    Posts
    10,418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I can't speak for other riders on a double century because the only double centuries I've done have either been completely solo, or with a small group of riders who have agreed to work together. But on organized centuries, I've discovered that same wheel sucking mentality.
    There's always a few in every crowd. For a crowd that agrees to work together, I think that's fine because there's a collective effort and a collective result. But for the leaches that just leapfrog from one group to the next, it seems to violate to whole purpose of a double -- to get a bit of an extra challenge.

    Drafting off others is much easier than riding on your own, so if you take more than you contribute, you didn't do the same ride as everyone else in my book. I also find wheel suckers who don't help annoying because when you have someone on your wheel, you have to be very careful about how you ride to avoid wrecking everyone. That's not a fun way to ride for hours on end.

    Fortunately there's an easy way out -- leave a bit late. Wheel suckers typically leave early to go with the fast riders. If you catch them, it's probably because they rode too hard and blew their legs.

    And kudos to you Machka. Lots of guys can't stand being left in the dust by a woman. 'Tis fun to see them get their just rewards.

  4. #4
    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Davidson, NC
    My Bikes
    Specialized S-Works Roubaix, Litespeed Tuscany Road, Specialized Allez Epic lugged carbon frame Road,Giant Anthem 29'r, Klein Hardtail
    Posts
    716
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just finished RAIN, and I can only echo the "wheelsuck" mentality. Ony two riders, one actually a tandem offered to do their pull after riding in my draft. Probably had 10-15 tuck in behind the jet around when they had "sucked" enough to rest up. Yes, I passed a number of them later due to steady cadence and not mashing the rollers and few hills on the route.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    181
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No sense agonizing over it, Beanz, just plan to ride and have fun. That's about the root of your question, isn't it?

    I pretty much always ride solo. The hard part is when others log these beautiful times! When I read "did a double in 12 hrs" I need to realize that they were in a paceline with some guys named ullrich, spumoni and allegro. Even when I get passed, I have some crazy ethic that says I can only draft 'em for a minute. Sure, all I have to do is say something nice and could I jump on this train? But generally I only do that in bad traffic or safety-in-numbers situations. I guess I just don't want to put up with it - call me lazy, untrained or scaredycat but it's easier and more carefree when not drafting. Wouldn't it suck to get in a wreck from drafting a stupid rider? Wouldn't you be the stupid one for being behind Klutz? Why do you think that space was open?

    I find that organized doubles are a little less brazen than what you describe. The riders are more experienced, but they're more tired and conserving harder so it kind of ends up the same as your average century. The easiest way to change the dynamic? Swerve! Learned that from a semi driver. Only takes one easy swoosh and they realize they're in the wrong place. Or I'll wave 'em by and say "I've got 100 miles to go, I'd hate to start swerving on you." Doesn't really make sense but that S word says a lot.

    I'd feel lucky to find a rider to team up with, who likes similar pace, similar distance, generally shows up, etc. It hasn't happened yet. I'm often the friendliest person out there, have no problem making friends but doubles are a different animal - fast riders aren't with my long-haul pace and hurting riders stop all the time. Frankly, most riders I know don't want to be there when it gets tough - hot training rides or hilly courses or long training days seem to promote yard-work and honey-doos. That's OK too, I sometimes need support drivers! There's also a class of rider who can ride a strong century, but aren't trained up for a double. The only way they'll make it is in pacelines. That's a safety hazard, man, don't bring 'em

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    I also find wheel suckers who don't help annoying because when you have someone on your wheel, you have to be very careful about how you ride to avoid wrecking everyone. That's not a fun way to ride for hours on end.
    That's the annoying part. When I ride with my wife, I hold my line no matter what. I don't stant, don't accelerate or slow without a signal far ahead of time. WHne guys hop on, it makes it tough for her to move side to another to find the best draft.

    Then when I do ride alone, I feel free to do what I want untill some sucker latches on. Then I'm forced to watch out for some guy's safety that wouldn't even say hello or nice shirt!

    Believe it or not, my wife is one of the very few that will take the lead in order for me to adjust, put the camera away, etc.

  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I know there are some out there. I guess they are hard to find though. I once went to AZ to do a ride, only a metric. I was feeling good but one rider caught me at a windy section. He could have easily dropped me but asked me to work with him. I did exactly what he said and a few miles later, we had picked up about 15 guys. We all did what he said and it was great. At the end, there were only 3 of us left. He tired right at the finish when the third guy took off for a sprint in the last 1/4 mile. The guy told me to chase him cause the guy wouldn't help much. I said it didn't mean anything and let the guy go. I told him no way would I drop him after he helped me so much. I even slowed down and let him cross the line first. Made me wish the dude would move to Cali!

    Good advice Lizard. I need to start swerving a bit more!

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    38,059
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    I also find wheel suckers who don't help annoying because when you have someone on your wheel, you have to be very careful about how you ride to avoid wrecking everyone. That's not a fun way to ride for hours on end.

    And kudos to you Machka. Lots of guys can't stand being left in the dust by a woman. 'Tis fun to see them get their just rewards.
    I HATE riding for any length of time with someone right on my wheel. I feel like I can't take a drink, or look at the scenery, or adjust my shorts, or sit up and stretch ... I feel locked in one position. It's all right if I've made an agreement with a person or small group of people to rotate, because when I'm at the back of the line I can drink, look around, adjust things, and stretch before taking my position in front again. But I've discovered that I can encourage people to back off a bit by doing all those things. All of a sudden I'll sit up and take a drink, swerving just slightly as I do so. I'll stretch and look around, swerving just slightly as I do so. And I won't point out hazards (unless the hazard is really dangerous ... I wouldn't want to hurt anyone). It usually doesn't take too long before the person starts to back off a little bit because they don't know what I'm going to do next.

    And quite enjoyed that particular century. It's the only time in my life anything like that has happened. Most of the time they suck my wheel for a little while, then take off in the distance and I never see them again.

  9. #9
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I HATE riding for any length of time with someone right on my wheel. I feel like I can't take a drink, or look at the scenery, or adjust my shorts, or sit up and stretch ... I feel locked in one position. It's all right if I've made an agreement with a person or small group of people to rotate, because when I'm at the back of the line I can drink, look around, adjust things, and stretch before taking my position in front again.
    Yeah, I hate that feeling, but you're lucky to find someone to agree to rotate. I had to ditch one riding partner. I pulled 70 miles at a time, week after week for a year. I'd ask the partner to get in front for two minutes so that I could get a short break. My partner would refuse and worried about getting tired!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Okay, here's the straight poop:

    1) Being drafted actually makes you faster, albeit slightly: wind tunnel testing shows that wheelsuckers help to offset the partial vacuum you create. So maybe that'll make you feel a bit better.

    2) There are a lot of jackasses in the modern version of this sport, and that's just the way it is. So you're not alone. ( I don't know if that's supposed to be an insult or not. Ha.)

    3) There's a chance that the guy behind you might have a clue, so flicking your elbow and moving to the side may result in a wheelsucker taking his pull. In my neighborhood, at least, they often can't tell their ****s from holes in the ground, so I just move to the side, slow down, and wave folks in front of me. Even that doesn't always work, but often it does.

    4) You have utterly no obligation to watch out for the safety of an uninvited wheelsucker. He's taking his own risks by camping out on your wheel, and if you grabbing for a bottle, soft pedalling while stretching, or taking a leak, happens to result in him sliding along the tarmac, you shouldn't bear an ounce of guilt over it. If you rear-end a semi while driving around four inches off his bumper, do you think the trucker is going to feel responsible for having touched the brakes into a turn?

    5) There's a classic old road racing technique of "putting them in the gutter". You are absolutely in your rights to ride along the extreme side of the road, swerving around or bunny hopping debris and sewer grates at the last moment. If your wheelsucker finds this inconvenient, perhaps he'll rethink his ways. (In the ambulance, if the good lord has any say about it.)

    And lastly, I'm not, shall we say, perfectly sober at this moment, so if you find the above less than sensible, I won't take even the slightest offense at being ignored.
    Last edited by Six jours; 07-20-07 at 10:40 AM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Auld Blighty
    My Bikes
    Early Cannondale tandem, '99 S&S Frezoni Audax, '65 Moulton Stowaway, '52 Claud Butler, TSR30, Brompton
    Posts
    2,172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Point 1 is wrong, unless the person drafting you is on the back of your tandem. On a normal bike, they are too far behind you to assist streamlining.
    I'll agree with most of the rest but I tend to have a little more concern about not deliberately taking down a wheel sucker. Don't see why people get bent out of shape over people sitting on your wheel for long periods though. Just slow down, ride beside them and engage them in conversation.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,831
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Point 1 is wrong, unless the person drafting you is on the back of your tandem. On a normal bike, they are too far behind you to assist streamlining.
    Well, I was never around when those folks were crunching the numbers in the wind tunnel, so you'd have to take it up with them.

    I'll agree with most of the rest but I tend to have a little more concern about not deliberately taking down a wheel sucker.
    I guess there's still enough racerboy in me that I take an exceptionally dim view of wheelsuckers. I would never suggest intentionally taking down another rider, though -- unless they're not using Campy or something, of course -- but if they should happen to run into that brick in the gutter that you just hopped... Just kidding. Sort of.

    Don't see why people get bent out of shape over people sitting on your wheel for long periods though. Just slow down, ride beside them and engage them in conversation.
    In all seriousness, I agree with this completely. At the very least, the wheelsucker isn't costing you anything, as long as you can get over any feelings of obligation toward your uninvited guest.
    Last edited by Six jours; 07-20-07 at 10:43 AM.

  13. #13
    hello roadfix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    My Bikes
    thank you for asking
    Posts
    18,502
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post

    At my usual stop, one guy rides up and asked why I had a problem letting them draft my wheel. I told him,"you didn't return my greeting, you're not my firiend, so why should I help you?".
    Hey Beanz.....you da man! I like your style!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    372
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I'm hoping to go for the CATriple Crown in 2008. About time I get back into shape! I wonder though, is it a good thing to go with a partner or just show up and ride? Just about every century I've done, maybe 30, has been solo with the exception of maybe 3. I completed them without drafting anyone. To be honest, I think I wouldn't have a problem doing a double while riding alone either.
    You do go on a bit, do you know that? Beanz! Just do it. The people on the CTC circuit are usually experienced long distance people. They are easy to get along with. From what I have seen there isn't a whole lot of uninvited wheel sucking, unless somebody is joining an existing group of riders.

    One potential problem with wheel suckers is at night and the person behind me has their light right in my mirror. During the last 15 miles of the Knoxville Double (out of Vacaville, CA) last year this guy was following me the entire time. I got the idea that he was shattered enough he just needed somebody to follow. He had a helmet light, and while looking around he would occasionally put the thing right into my mirror. I was running minimal front lights to begin with, and with that light hitting me in the eyes everything in front of me would just go away.....

  15. #15
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    Hey Beanz.....you da man! I like your style!!


    Hey Ron, when I do it, I'm bringing my D cell Maglite especiallyfor your lil mirror!

  16. #16
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Custom Winter, Challenge Seiran SL, Fuji Team Pro, Cattrike Road/Velokit, РOS hybrid
    Posts
    10,418
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    .... I feel like I can't take a drink, or look at the scenery, or adjust my shorts, or sit up and stretch ... But I've discovered that I can encourage people to back off a bit by doing all those things....
    I also feel like I can't do any of these things when someone's on my wheel. Sometimes my allergies are acting up and I really need to clear my schnoz. I'll bet your method works really fast in such a situtation

  17. #17
    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Lakeside, CA
    Posts
    967
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You're starting to see the difference between the OCP crowd and the distance crowd. The distance crowd is _WAY_ more friendly. Mainly made up of people who are testing themselves. Sure, there are a few "snobs" there, but for the most part they always help each other out.

    As for the wheelsucker thing, you have two options, slow down or drop them. The other option is to ride something that doesn't leave much of a draft. For distances I went to a recumbent, and usually don't have drafting issues, and when I do, I can just crank it up to 25+ and they eventually pop. Great platform if you're going to do distance rides.

  18. #18
    Slowpoach
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    My Bikes
    Cannondale T800, Northwood tandem, 1970s Gitane fixxed 45x16
    Posts
    1,088
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wow, people around here are usually pretty good at taking their turn. Don't know about brevets, but on regular bay rides its really common for people to just join up in a bunch and go for it, taking it in turns for as long as you can keep up.

    I guess Melbourne has a pretty well established roadie culture, there are standard rides most days of the week (not organized, people just show up at 6.15am or whatever), sure people are competitive but there's definitely an expectation that you take your turn if you join a group.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •