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Old 12-02-21, 09:51 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Bikes: Giant TCR Pro Disk 1

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The Etiquette of Drafting

Newish cyclist here, riding mostly on roads. Just wondered what people’s thoughts are on the “unannounced drafter”.

I live in Perth (Western Australia) and it’s bloody windy! As such it’s really helpful to get on another cyclist’s wheel, but it doesn’t always feel fair.

Case in point, today I was cycling along a long, flat path and a cyclist was up ahead. I was catching him pretty quick, announced that I was about to pass, and did so. I had a feeling he attached himself to my wheel and when I came to turn off a few kilometres later it was confirmed. There was a fairly strong headwind that I did all the work against. He didn’t ask if he could “hitch a ride”.

But the caveat to all this is that he was clearly slower than me when up against the wind himself, so I wouldn’t have wanted him to go ahead. I’d have ended up slower (albeit getting a bit of a rest). So where’s the harm in him riding behind me?

I feel like I’m being a petty little guy! 😂

But then, that said, I had somebody else do it without me knowing. I thought I heard something fall from my bike and my immediate reaction was to brake and look back…to see another cyclist swerving around me and muttering a curse. Which I think was totally unacceptable. I accept that there are “slowing down” signals, but it all happened so fast and it was only an issue because he was a few inches off my rear wheel, benefiting from the slipstream.

So what are people’s thoughts on this? Is there a fairly well accepted etiquette?
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