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Wheel Sucker Rant

Old 08-07-18, 07:27 PM
  #1  
SactoDoug
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Wheel Sucker Rant

I ride about 10 miles on a dedicated bike path every day, 5 miles each way. About twice a week I run into this guy on the bike trail. I end up passing him since he is cruising at about 19 mph and I am cruising 20-21 mph. It never fails, this guy then get on my rear wheel and just drafts off of me for the next four miles. He never asks permission, say thanks or anything. I am a little worried that one day I will have to slam on my brakes when an animal runs across the path and he is going to rear-end me.

I am not sure what I need to do. If I try to drop him, I hurt myself for the other three days that I commute. I can't stop and wait for long because I have to be home in time for my wife to get to her night job. I guess I will just have to live with it.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:31 PM
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Do some offline training for a few weeks, get really strong, then ride along at your usual pace. When he joins again, drop him like there's no tomorrow.
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Old 08-07-18, 08:17 PM
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Commence "Crop-Dusting". (Or as I like to call it, "JATO" (Jet-Assisted Take-Off)) Either way, you will leave him in your, um.., "dust".
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Old 08-07-18, 09:19 PM
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At least two options:
1) ask him to stay back at least a few bike lengths or;
2) pull for a mile, then move a bit to the side and say "Your turn" - then alternate the lead. Even if he still only goes 19mph, it'll only take you an extra 30 seconds or so compared to your usual 20 -21 mph and should be more relaxing.

In any event I'd think discussing it in person would be more productive than talking about it here.

Last edited by prathmann; 08-07-18 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 08-07-18, 09:48 PM
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Leave home 10 minutes earlier? If it's a 15 minute commute, you should miss him altogether.
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Old 08-07-18, 09:57 PM
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You're passing him from the rear.

Make sure you pass him at 25+ MPH, unannounced.

Keep the pace up for a half mile or so... then settle back down to your normal pace.
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Old 08-07-18, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
You're passing him from the rear.

Make sure you pass him at 25+ MPH, unannounced.

Keep the pace up for a half mile or so... then settle back down to your normal pace.
This is the answer! Just blow by him and keep it up for a stretch. He’s unlikely to close the gap.
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Old 08-07-18, 10:12 PM
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I've got an even worse wheelsucker who rides slower until I pass him, then sticks to my wheel since he is actually a helluva lot faster rider than I am. Today I passed him, then about five minutes later I was about to pass some other guy on a climb. As I customarily do, I look back before swinging to my left, only to see this wheelsucker inches away from me. I tell him that it's rude to sit on my wheel and that he's lucky I didn't brake (in fact, I did lose some momentum trying to decide what gear to switch to for the commute, since I originally wanted to take it easier this week). He replies that he left plenty of space (yeah right), then thanks me for the pull with a s***-eating grin. He later breezes by me while I set a PR on the next climb, unannounced of course, because wheelsuckers lack any and all tact.

In hindsight, I should have said, "you're not, and will not be welcome to my pull" since we are total strangers and he isn't paying me to be his domestique.

Pretty sure this is the same guy loafing it going the other way a few weeks ago who tried to get on my wheel, but luckily I spotted him sooner that time and slowed way down, took some long sips from my water bottle, and generally didn't give him anything worth drafting until he gave up. That time, he sped off again at a pace that I couldn't match, obviously intent on making sure no one could ride in his draft. Seems like his M.O. is to dawdle until someone comes along going faster, but at a speed he knows he can pass.

In hind-hindsight, maybe I should've just called him a d*****bag.
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Old 08-07-18, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by SactoDoug View Post
I ride about 10 miles on a dedicated bike path every day, 5 miles each way. About twice a week I run into this guy on the bike trail. I end up passing him since he is cruising at about 19 mph and I am cruising 20-21 mph. It never fails, this guy then get on my rear wheel and just drafts off of me for the next four miles. He never asks permission, say thanks or anything. I am a little worried that one day I will have to slam on my brakes when an animal runs across the path and he is going to rear-end me.

I am not sure what I need to do. If I try to drop him, I hurt myself for the other three days that I commute. I can't stop and wait for long because I have to be home in time for my wife to get to her night job. I guess I will just have to live with it.
Opening your mouth and saying something isn't an option?
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Old 08-07-18, 11:26 PM
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I had one l of these last week. Pulled off (stopped quckly) to let him pass, then caught up again, passed him, he started again, I pulled off again, asked him if he wanted to ride faster or slower. He let me go without staying with me.

If I wanted to do a group ride I'd have gone to one. I don't, and never have. Some days it bothers me less than others, but that day I was just zoned out a bit and didn't want anyone that close to worry about.
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Old 08-07-18, 11:31 PM
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Elbow flick. If he doesn’t pull through, sit up and say something.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:04 AM
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Okay, so you are on this path for five miles at 20 mph, so fifteen minutes. Three minutes into your ride, you pass this guy, and he drafts you for four miles, so twelve minutes. I assume there is some variability in those numbers, but even so, you should be able to avoid him by starting four minutes earlier.

If you do happen to see him, sneeze just before you pass him; sneeze again when you pass him; and then start blowing snot rockets.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by old's'cool View Post
Do some offline training for a few weeks, get really strong, then ride along at your usual pace. When he joins again, drop him like there's no tomorrow.
Might I suggest Charles Atlas course or two.

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Old 08-08-18, 07:15 AM
  #14  
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I assume that you are talking about the ARBT. Just curious what section of the trail this is.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:29 AM
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At X effort the "sucker" goes 19, with you in front he does the same X effort he was doing (maybe even less) and now goes 21. Who cares if a person is sucking, it doesn't change your ride/commute/effort at all. Go about your commute and ignore it and don't raise your HR and stress thinking about it. Maybe he doesn't track speed or pay attention to it, just rides on feel and effort. He may thinks man, this dude always passes me and then slows down. He probably has his own thread about it on BF

Exiting the bicycle realm but I think it is still related. We used to have big extended family dinners when I was a kid. Up the road from my grandparents was a bunch of kids that had dirt bikes. Everytime my grandfather heard one he would yell and swear and complain at the table for at least 10 minutes. Meanwhile no one else even heard or didn't even notice the bikes going past and went along oblivious until he started complaining. He was so preoccupied and triggered by the bikes it took away from everything else he was doing. He complained they were loud, their parents were bad or question if they even had parents, they didn't wear helmets, they were going to cause an accident, they might hit his car or him, it was dangerous, why can't they ride somewhere else or a different time when we were not at dinner, they are tearing up the woods somewhere (which he never went to) and blah blah. In reality it had ZERO actual impact on anyone except what was going through his head.

Last edited by u235; 08-08-18 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:51 AM
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Translation: "People without any real problems to deal with, very often invent their own."
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Old 08-08-18, 11:24 AM
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Pin a sign on your rear saying “Wheelsuckers suck.”
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Old 08-08-18, 11:46 AM
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How long has this been happening? I'd think that after the 2nd and 3rd time, you should have figured out how to handle it.
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Old 08-08-18, 11:54 AM
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Shouldn't this be merged with You ever wind up racing a random person on your solo ride? as a duplicate thread?
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Old 08-08-18, 12:07 PM
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Why not just say "Please, I'd rather ride alone" or something like that?
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Old 08-08-18, 12:22 PM
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You cant pull a way from a rider over 5 miles ??? 10 miles thats it ?
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Old 08-08-18, 03:00 PM
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try harder
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Old 08-08-18, 03:22 PM
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How many times have you had to slam on your brakes exactly?

Just let him wheel suck. What does it matter?
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Old 08-08-18, 03:32 PM
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I have to be home in time for my wife to get to her night job.
That must absolutely RULE.

Count your blessings, my man (or woman).
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Old 08-08-18, 03:40 PM
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Confront him and tell him to stop doing it...If that doesn't help, throw some tack pins in his path next time.
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