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  1. #1
    Junior Member altersego's Avatar
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    Do I know you? Then don't draft off of me!

    It happens a few times a week where I riding home through Myrtle Edwards (to the trainyard path, then Ballard) and some dude drafts off of me. I consider it bad etiquette to randomly draft off of the guys who pass you. What's the deal with these guys? Sure, you had a long day, but I don't wanna hear you huffing behind me. At least ask. It happens during the Myrtle Edward portion, where there's plenty of room to pass (unlike the trainyard path). Man, I hate those guys.

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    LBKA punkncat's Avatar
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    Personally, I think you should calm down before you give yourself a stroke.

    Does it really matter?
    One Foot Less

  3. #3
    ES&D t4mv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altersego View Post
    Man, I hate those guys.
    I think you should randomly vent from below the waist.

  4. #4
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    Personally, I think you should calm down before you give yourself a stroke.

    Does it really matter?
    No
    Matthew 6

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    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
    Does it really matter?
    Well, yes it does. If someone hops on my wheel and I don't know that they are there, I can make a sudden slow or stop and have that person come cramming up my backside. It matters a lot. Wheelsuckers suck.

  6. #6
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    As an occasional accidental wheel-sucker, it's only because I can't pass and maintain the speed to stay ahead. I'd rather have someone sucking my wheel than playing leap-frog, so, I repay the favor by not leap-frogging someone else.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  7. #7
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerBlossom View Post
    As an occasional accidental wheel-sucker, it's only because I can't pass and maintain the speed to stay ahead. I'd rather have someone sucking my wheel than playing leap-frog, so, I repay the favor by not leap-frogging someone else.
    It's cool by me to have someone riding 20-30 feet behind me where they have ample time to react and not hit me should I need to make an emergency move. It's the guys that get up within feet to ride in my slipstream that I consider to be dangerous wheelsuckers.

  8. #8
    Junior Member altersego's Avatar
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    20-30 ft, no problem. 5 ft is a problem for the reasons woodway put forth.

    Why shouldn't it matter? This isn't the peloton.

    Funny you mention venting from below the waist, t4mv! That was my plan but I just can't summon it while riding.

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    When someone does this to me I do one of three things...speed up, slow down, or turn.

  10. #10
    Junior Member altersego's Avatar
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    I'm with you, Bogester. I slow down or speed up. Turning usually isn't an option on the bike path.

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    Senior Member lonesomesteve's Avatar
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    My technique:
    1. Right fore finger to right nostril to close it tightly.
    2. Point left nostril under left arm.
    3. Blow.
    4. Repeat as necessary.
    "You can buy status, but sucking is immutable. After a certain point, upgrading only makes you suck more ostentatiously."
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  12. #12
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonesomesteve View Post
    My technique:
    1. Right fore finger to right nostril to close it tightly.
    2. Point left nostril under left arm.
    3. Blow.
    4. Repeat as necessary.
    That's why I put a fairing on my recumbent- well, one of the reasons.

    Snot? A problem!
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  13. #13
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    Normally I don't like strangers drafting off me. Makes me nervous, feels unsafe, and now I have to think about them, instead of just riding my own ride.

    However, the other night a guy passes me and then proceeds to slow down when he gets past me (I guess I was his "marker" and he was bound and determined to pass me). So I tried to stay well back behind him, but kept creeping up on him. There was a lot of traffic so I didn't feel safe pulling around him, and then on some sections he'd speed up just a bit so I was worried that if I passed him he would pass *me* again.

    I tried to stay 10 feet back or so, so he wouldn't think I was trying to draft -- but maybe some of you would think that is wheel sucking?

    So, I guess the companion complaint is -- if you *pass me,* then *pass me.* If you use up all your energy just trying to get around me and then slow down, I'm going to end up on your wheel all the way home.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 03-24-10 at 11:59 PM.

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    I'd say see if you can burn them to the ground. Drop the hammer on them. If not, then just sit up and make them pass. Drink some water, enjoy the scenery and after a couple minutes, resume your pace.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by altersego View Post
    It happens a few times a week where I riding home through Myrtle Edwards (to the trainyard path, then Ballard) and some dude drafts off of me. I consider it bad etiquette to randomly draft off of the guys who pass you. What's the deal with these guys? Sure, you had a long day, but I don't wanna hear you huffing behind me. At least ask. It happens during the Myrtle Edward portion, where there's plenty of room to pass (unlike the trainyard path). Man, I hate those guys.
    Seriously get over yourself, or gtfo. be grateful you have company.

  16. #16
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    I had someone "draft" me last weekend. I had just passed them, looked behind me, and they were right behind me. I told them to GO AWAY, they passed and left. I don't need them making my ride more unsafe. If they have a problem with that, tough tiddlies for them.
    Finally riding again after my accident in Dec 2011.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by altersego View Post
    20-30 ft, no problem. 5 ft is a problem for the reasons woodway put forth.
    I'm going to play Devil's advocate here. 1 foot is drafting, 5 feet is not. Expecting riders behind you to stay 20ft or more back just isn't gong to happen. If you know someone is behind you, simply start using hand signals. I see this as part of our responsibility of sharing MUTs with other users, the same as calling out 'On your left'. If you truly think someone is being unsafe its likely that they simply don't know what they are doing. Take the time to educate them. My guess is that a high percentage of riders do not hang out on BF, belong to Cascade, etc. They will only learn what fellow cyclist teach them.

    All that said, my personal favorite way of dealing with drafters is to make them take a turn at the front.

  18. #18
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Do I know you?
    It happens a few times a week where I am riding home through Myrtle Edwards and some dude has to show he is a racer boy. The problem is, as soon as racer boy passes me by just barely going a little faster than my cruising speed, he has to slow down right in front of me by 2 mph. Now I know that if I simply pass him by maintaining my speed, racer boy will do it again. I consider it bad etiquette to randomly pass and then immediately slow. So my solution is to draft racer boy for awhile, saving my energy while he is huffing and puffing. Then I just leave him in the dust most times, except for the one guy that turns off shortly after passing. For some reason, that guy always looks pissed. I thought cycling was fun, maybe he is just pissed cause he thought he would leave me in the dust after he slowed down. What's the deal with these guys? Sure, you had a long day, but I don't wanna hear you huffing ahead of me. If your going to pass, at least maintain the speed you passed me at. But Man, I love that guy, he is just funny getting pissed simply because he cannot drop me. If he were smart, he would just draft me until his turn. I guess he is not man enough for that.

  19. #19
    TLN
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    For me the real question is *who* is drafting me. I had a few riders who do but when they come up they ASK FIRST, and are willing to take lead as well... those guys I dont mind at all. But woodway has a great point, if they arent seasoned riders or riders who really arent aware of surroundings they can mess you up if you needed to do a quick brake or fancy maneuver around some debris. It just all depends on the drafter.
    1986 Bianchi Super Leggera
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  20. #20
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velomatic View Post
    I'm going to play Devil's advocate here. 1 foot is drafting, 5 feet is not. Expecting riders behind you to stay 20ft or more back just isn't gong to happen.
    I disagree with this statement. Five feet is not enough space if the front rider has to make an unexpected stop. Why push it clo close? Many (most?) riders (especially on a MUP) are unfamiliar with hand signals for drafting so expecting to get hand signals from someone that you do not know, that you have just ridden up behind, is asking for trouble. And finally, why isn't 20 feet going to happen? If you are riding the same speed as someone and don't intend to pass them, what is so hard about coasting for a few seconds to let a gap open up and then maintain a safe distance?

  21. #21
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    tranny yard? seriously? maybe they like you!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  22. #22
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I disagree with this statement. Five feet is not enough space if the front rider has to make an unexpected stop. Why push it clo close? Many (most?) riders (especially on a MUP) are unfamiliar with hand signals for drafting so expecting to get hand signals from someone that you do not know, that you have just ridden up behind, is asking for trouble. And finally, why isn't 20 feet going to happen? If you are riding the same speed as someone and don't intend to pass them, what is so hard about coasting for a few seconds to let a gap open up and then maintain a safe distance?
    Then why do you pass the guy in the first place? You should just coast awhile and open up space rather than passing the guy. Besides, if you cross wheels, it is the guy behind that goes down. You are creating your own imaginary problem.

  23. #23
    Junior Member altersego's Avatar
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    I agree with TLN. Sometimes all I'm looking for is a little holler to let me know. But maybe I should get over myself because clearly this is some egotistical problem I'm having.

    There's not a racing bone in my body and I'm not wearing an inch of spandex, so you can rest assured that serious riders blow pass me. The drafters in question are always sorta frumpy guys that may or may not be pear-shaped. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  24. #24
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altersego View Post
    The drafters in question are always sorta frumpy guys that may or may not be pear-shaped. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    So you are whining about guys that do not even know what the term "drafting" means!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I disagree with this statement. Five feet is not enough space if the front rider has to make an unexpected stop. Why push it clo close? Many (most?) riders (especially on a MUP) are unfamiliar with hand signals for drafting so expecting to get hand signals from someone that you do not know, that you have just ridden up behind, is asking for trouble. And finally, why isn't 20 feet going to happen? If you are riding the same speed as someone and don't intend to pass them, what is so hard about coasting for a few seconds to let a gap open up and then maintain a safe distance?
    5-6 feet (~1 bike length) is the distance recommended for casual group rides. If you're paying attention to how the rider ahead is behaving and actively looking ahead and to the sides you should be able to react reasonably quickly. If you're staring at the back wheel of the rider ahead and something unexpected occurs, yes, you are likely going to crash. If you really are not comfortable with someone riding within 20 feet behind you, I'm not going to tell you you're wrong. I would, however, argue it's your responsibility to slow down and stay right to allow people behind you to pass. Myrtle Edwards, SRT, BG, these are all busy trails at rush hour and on the weekends. There are simply too many users to designate a 20 foot bubble around each rider.

    As for the hand signals, just because you don't know for certain that the person behind you knows them doesn't mean you shouldn't use them. They're the same signals drivers learn to use in a car and they are all pretty self-explanatory. I find myself using them even when the closest rider is 50+ feet back. I think this is part of being a responsible rider.

    To be clear, I don't advocate sucking some stranger's wheel unannounced. But I do believe that a little tolerance and communication will go a lot farther than getting angry at a stranger who enjoys riding bikes just as I do.

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