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  1. #1
    pjgonwa
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    Group rides-Freeloading singles

    My wife and I have gone on 3 group rides and end up pulling along some single riders for miles. I guess they like it as we are about as aerodynamic as a truck. Question...short of slowing way down or stopping, how would I get them to take a turn up front and let me draft some?
    PJ Gonwa
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  2. #2
    Banned. galen_52657's Avatar
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    Pull over, wave them past and request that they pull some wind, even if it is just for a few seconds to give you a break. The pace might slow a MPH or 2 but everybody needs a breather now and then...even fast teams.

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    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    If you're that concerned, use the universal signal - pull off either right or left and give them the hand wave to pull on through.

    We run into this a lot once we get popped off the lead group (and we get popped every time). Usually we'll end up pulling a few singles along the flats. They usually respond with a big thanks or ask if it's ok to tag along. We don't mind as long as they stay out of our back wheel and can deal with our coasting strategy to conserve our energy. We've yet to run across an ungrateful freeloading single. And we've done a lot of rallies.
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  4. #4
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    1) Talk to them.
    2) standard signal is raise and wiggle your fingers , or flick your elbow. People who ride in pacelines understand this means your pulling off and they need to pull through.

  5. #5
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    I work with tandems every once in a while on my solo. As others have said, pull off and wave, but make sure you SLOW DOWN by soft-pedaling when you pull off. Nothing mucks up the rhythm like forcing someone to raise the pace just because it is their turn. They should be able to maintain the speed without surging. If someone has more juice, they should pull longer, not harder.

  6. #6
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    The signal we use and have seen most people use is a tap with a closed fist on the side of the right upper leg. We always pull out to the right, making sure there is no incoming traffic, and do not slow down until we clear the pace line.

    Having said that, it does not bother us at all to pull people along. To the contrary, it stimulates us to work harder. If it is a fast group, we eventually have to take a break not to slow things down. We enjoy drafting off other tandems and experinced single riders. There is nothing more anoying than trying to follow a rider that slows down and speeds up every few seconds.

    Also, we do not mind/monitor, how close they get to our back wheel. If someone makes contact we hardly feel it. The rider behind us, on the other hand.....

  7. #7
    Bill G Bill G's Avatar
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    I think every couple that rides a tandem has to deal with this, my wife does not care for people riding right of our back wheel. She thinks they get to close and is concerned about getting run into or crashed due to someone not paying attention, but she has learned to except a certain amout of it. I try to avoid it myself unless I know the riders well. I agree with the wife and do not trust most riders sucking my wheel a few inchs away at higher speeds to only give them a rest and do nothing for us. I have seen a few axcidents happen on single bikes over the years from this and I do not care to take a spill on the tandem with the wife from somone elses stupidity from not paying attention while drafting our tandem wheel.

    Just my 2 cents on the subject,
    Bill G
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  8. #8
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    I wheel-suck tandems for the same reason I wheel-suck gals on singles - not because I am lazy and want a free ride, but because the view ain't bad!

    Seriously...it's either rude, or indicates a noob. I don't suck off of folks I don't know or allow folks I don't know to suck off of me. (that didn't come out good, did it?)
    "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

  9. #9
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I don't suck off of folks I don't know or allow folks I don't know to suck off of me. (that didn't come out good, did it?)
    I think the "of" in both clauses saves you upon careful reading.

  10. #10
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill G
    my wife does not care for people riding right of our back wheel. She thinks they get to close and is concerned about getting run into or crashed due to someone not paying attention,
    your wife can at least take comfort in the fact that the bike in the back is almost always the one that goes down. Particularly with a tandem, a bike can overlap your back wheel, go down, and hardly be noticed, other than the thunk, the grinding noise, and the "Oh Sh*t".

  11. #11
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    I think this is pretty common. We have an extra attraction as a wind break at the moment, a child seat at the back, which must make an even bigger hole in the air. We've ridden 'fun rides' where we wonder where all the cyclists are until we look behind and see a queue of people all tucked into our slip-stream! The worst thing seemsto be, that once they've had their rest they speed on by and give a cheery "thanks" as they then head off into the distance. Mind you they don't last long out there usually - wimps!

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simsi
    I think this is pretty common. We have an extra attraction as a wind break at the moment, a child seat at the back, which must make an even bigger hole in the air. We've ridden 'fun rides' where we wonder where all the cyclists are until we look behind and see a queue of people all tucked into our slip-stream! The worst thing seemsto be, that once they've had their rest they speed on by and give a cheery "thanks" as they then head off into the distance. Mind you they don't last long out there usually - wimps!
    We try to keep a consistent speed up on the Tandem and if we are towing someone- we rarely notice it. However- if they decide to take the lead- two things happen- First of all they speed up, and lose us- and then when we get back together- their speed varies too much for us to be comfortable. So then it is time for us to wait for the downslope and blast it for about 200 yards and lose them.

    Now have you ever been on a solo and tried to catch a good Tandem. Its hard. And once youv'e caught them- tried to stay with them- You have to be a good fit rider to do that.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    TWilkins
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    Like everybody else, it's happened to us a few times. On my single, I don't like drafters that I don't know, but on the long bike it doesn't bother us too much. I feel comfortable enough that if someone taps our rear wheel, we're not going to go down unless we really get nailed and something gets hung up in our spokes.

    We do like to play with them, though. As long as we're on the flats, we usually try to push the pace so they have to pay a little for their free pull, and if we get any kind of a downhill at all, we'll hit it hard to put some space between us that they'll have to make up when the road levels out.

    What really ticks me off, though, is when some ungrateful lug lets us pull him for several miles, then at the first uphill we encounter goes flying around without so much as a thank you...

  14. #14
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    Speaking of drafters, my wife and I were out on our tandem riding along the cross seminole trail near Orlando, FL. We're cruising along at around 18 mph and this guy on roller blades catches up with us and drafts off of us for about two miles. He and my wife chatted a bit and we found out he roller blades centuries and was out training for one. I was rather impressed at his keeping up with our bike.

    JB

  15. #15
    Member Redpath's Avatar
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    We ride so much alone that we (usually) welcome the company. I don't find much advantage to drafting on the tandem anyway and with all the hills here in the Ozarks our speed difference is a real detriment to group riding with a bunch of singles. We do enjoy gradually upping the pace on the flats and makiing people pay for the privilige though. And in the rolling hills we can really fly regularly hitting 45-50 mph on the descents and often 'cleaning' the next hill as well-or darn close. By this time the wheel suckers are long gone. Only tandem riders can really appreciate the feeling. It's wonderful isn't it!

  16. #16
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    We ride on the fothills and the sierras of central California. The group of singles we ride with have learned that after a large climb usually come a thrilling descent. Even though most of the singles beat us in the climb, they all know better than to start coming down before we do. It is awfully hard to overcome a 10-15 MPH differential in 2-3 seconds. We love to fly past novices...

  17. #17
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redpath
    ...regularly hitting 45-50 mph on the descents ...It's wonderful isn't it!

    Not if you're a skeerdy cat like me. All I can think about is one of my wheels exploding.
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  18. #18
    Member Redpath's Avatar
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    It's like rock (or in my case tree) climbing: Either trust your equipment or stay home. If you don't trust your equipment then get some you do. And if your equipment IS trustworthy then let 'er rip. And why would my wheel blow anyway? Hasn't happened in over 10 years of riding and racing road and mountain bikes. Now dogs and critters, that's another story...
    Best speed this year is 51 mph. We get 47-48 all the time but I will admit that 49 mph in the rain was a little sketchy the other day. A lot of the roads around here are 10% grades (must be the county road commision limit) so we use the downhills to get up the next one. Plus my stokers' a speed freak.

  19. #19
    half man - half sheep Doggus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redpath
    Either trust your equipment or stay home.
    I was gonna tell that to the sport biker we saw on one of our returns from a group ride the other day but they had him covered in two separate yellow blankies on the access road. Some of us have less of the Darwin gene in us than others.
    "The cycling community is so small that it is nearly inbred." - Steve Tilford

  20. #20
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggus
    I was gonna tell that to the sport biker we saw on one of our returns from a group ride the other day but they had him covered in two separate yellow blankies on the access road. Some of us have less of the Darwin gene in us than others.

    Here's some food for thought...

    Chances are, if you and yours were clipped by a motor vehicle while riding your tandem and ended up on the side of the road under the ubiquitous yellow or blue blankets, the majority of the passing motorists would likely comment about Darwinism running its course as well.

    While I don't know how that particular sportbike rider ended up being a "rider down" -- and while I've seen more than my share of squidly organ doners doing stunts or otherwise tossing the vehicle code out the window as they indulged their inner-pschochild on public roads who do fit your stereotype -- I would note that a very, very, very large number of the motorcyclists who are injured or killed in collisions with larger vehicles were no more at fault than many of the cyclists who are injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles. Case in point, Ben Roethlisberger took a lot of flak after a motorist turned left into his path and nearly killed him, in part because he wasn't wearing a helmet. Funny how so little was written about the negligent, irresponsible motorist who was the one at fault, as is so often the case with motorcycle and bicycle accidents.

    Just something to consider when you see a rider down. Yeah, some of them are beggin' for it, but fate is cruel and usually lets those idiots survive to procreate while taking instead the grandfather, grandmother, husband, father, wife, mother, or otherwise good citizen who was doing nothing more than legally riding their vehicle of choice on a public road.

  21. #21
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    There is almost that war zone feeling of "I am glad it was not me" when I see or hear of someone getting hit. In the end, it does not matter who was at fault when someone gets hit. Attributing blame does not heal the wounds any better or quicker. While statistically or actuarily you can attribute accidents to Darwin, I think that term has come to imply a superiority over the victims. For anyone that feels that way, the relevance of Darwin will not be on your mind when it strikes closer to your home.

    These are not for the squeamish:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...11580944102625
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohf2HalRNJQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2tb4Puw4MQ

  22. #22
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Please don't post the 2nd in A&S - Helmet Head would have a field day.

  23. #23
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    In 200,000+ miles of tandeming as a team, we have been struck 3 times by motor vehicles.
    Yes, we survived all 3 hits and each time the driver of the vehicle was ticketed; and the last one had his restricted driver's license revoked.
    Luck, skill or Darwin . . . we're still out there a-pedalin'!
    Our motto: If you don't do nothin' you're gonna die anyway!
    As for drafters on our wheel; we're in our 70s now, and not likely we'll get anybody drafting at our current 'speed'!
    However, in our younger days, we had plenty of wheelsuckers. The funniest comment we had in a pace line: "You two on the tandem have to pull twice as long as there's two of you!" Our reply: " . . . then we can sit on the back twice as long?!"

    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  24. #24
    Cyclist- Bike 'n a half
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    We enjoy being the wheel that some riders want to hang on. When I started club riding as a single there were a couple of times that I was very thankful to get a break behind the tandem team.

    Now that I'm part of a tandem team, I enjoy returning the favor. We're more than happy to do the long pull into the wind, bring back someone that's trying to hang with the group but couldn't close the gap by themselves, or help a new rider working to get to the next level, making sure that they can hold our wheel as we all rotate through the line.

    Even more fun though, is when we occassionaly set up the regular slacker;
    You know, the guy that talks about how fast he's getting and all the miles he does, but always hunts out the tandem wheels and only does the short pull when he accidently gets to the front.

    It may be a bit cruel, but I like getting in front of him when we're in the middle of the pace line. He thinks he's sitting pretty behind us. Then we get up to the front and very gradually, so he hardly notices, we bring it up .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 MPH faster and hold it for a couple of miles. Most of the rest of the group figures it out soon enough, and we're not that fast or so rude that we'd push it too far outside the ability of the others that are willing to work.

    When we finally pull off, he does a 1/4 mile or less and usually gets spit off the back.

    We don't pull him back, the slow group behind us will sweep him up.

  25. #25
    Senior Member transam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by regomatic
    We enjoy being the wheel that some riders want to hang on. When I started club riding as a single there were a couple of times that I was very thankful to get a break behind the tandem team.

    Now that I'm part of a tandem team, I enjoy returning the favor. We're more than happy to do the long pull into the wind, bring back someone that's trying to hang with the group but couldn't close the gap by themselves, or help a new rider working to get to the next level, making sure that they can hold our wheel as we all rotate through the line.

    Even more fun though, is when we occassionaly set up the regular slacker;
    You know, the guy that talks about how fast he's getting and all the miles he does, but always hunts out the tandem wheels and only does the short pull when he accidently gets to the front.

    It may be a bit cruel, but I like getting in front of him when we're in the middle of the pace line. He thinks he's sitting pretty behind us. Then we get up to the front and very gradually, so he hardly notices, we bring it up .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 MPH faster and hold it for a couple of miles. Most of the rest of the group figures it out soon enough, and we're not that fast or so rude that we'd push it too far outside the ability of the others that are willing to work.

    When we finally pull off, he does a 1/4 mile or less and usually gets spit off the back.

    We don't pull him back, the slow group behind us will sweep him up.
    Sounds like another tandem couple we know from Florida.

    Hope we get to ride with you guys in the future. Maybe in Sebring in December or better yet the Tandem Rally in March.
    Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed.

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