Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Wheel Sucker Rant

Reply

Old 08-07-18, 07:27 PM
  #1  
SactoDoug
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
SactoDoug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 454

Bikes: 2010 Bottecchia CF67, Atomic Zombie High Roller

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
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.
SactoDoug is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 07:31 PM
  #2  
old's'cool 
curmudgineer
 
old's'cool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Chicago SW burbs
Posts: 4,150

Bikes: 2 many 2 fit here

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 167 Post(s)
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.
__________________
Geoff
"There is no Fail without Try" - Yoda Simpson
old's'cool is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 08:17 PM
  #3  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 3,642

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 597 Post(s)
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".
BobbyG is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 09:19 PM
  #4  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,144
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 603 Post(s)
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.
prathmann is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 09:48 PM
  #5  
DrIsotope 
Non omnino gravis
 
DrIsotope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: SoCal, USA!
Posts: 4,829

Bikes: Nekobasu, Pandicorn

Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2256 Post(s)
Leave home 10 minutes earlier? If it's a 15 minute commute, you should miss him altogether.
__________________
DrIsotope is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 09:57 PM
  #6  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,748
Mentioned: 110 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6126 Post(s)
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.
CliffordK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 10:06 PM
  #7  
winston63 
Senior Member
 
winston63's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 567

Bikes: Specialized Diverge E5 Comp, Specialized AWOL Comp, Scott Solace 10

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
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.
winston63 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 10:12 PM
  #8  
surak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 358

Bikes: Giant Contend SL Disc 2, Priority Continuum Onyx, Kent Dual-Drive Tandem, Priority Classic

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 130 Post(s)
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.
surak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 11:21 PM
  #9  
ThermionicScott 
Hammer and tongs
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 17,254

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 51 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1566 Post(s)
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?
__________________
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 11:26 PM
  #10  
Viich
Hack
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 629

Bikes: 88 Bianchi Strada, 90's Giant Innova winter bike with drop bars, DeVinci CX monocoque, Cannondale F-400

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 138 Post(s)
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.
Viich is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-18, 11:31 PM
  #11  
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 36,935

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1367 Post(s)
Elbow flick. If he doesn’t pull through, sit up and say something.
caloso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 07:04 AM
  #12  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 18,181

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 322 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1137 Post(s)
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.
__________________
I put new leather on ruined saddles like Brooks, etc. You can reach me by private message.
rhm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 07:09 AM
  #13  
Colnago Mixte
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Center of Central CA
Posts: 1,006
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 510 Post(s)
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.

Colnago Mixte is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 07:15 AM
  #14  
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 36,935

Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1367 Post(s)
I assume that you are talking about the ARBT. Just curious what section of the trail this is.
caloso is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 07:29 AM
  #15  
u235
Senior Member
 
u235's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 559
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 193 Post(s)
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.
u235 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 07:51 AM
  #16  
Colnago Mixte
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Center of Central CA
Posts: 1,006
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 510 Post(s)
Translation: "People without any real problems to deal with, very often invent their own."
Colnago Mixte is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 11:24 AM
  #17  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,087
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 973 Post(s)
Pin a sign on your rear saying “Wheelsuckers suck.”
alan s is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 11:46 AM
  #18  
Hoopdriver
On Holiday
 
Hoopdriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Monkey Bottom, NC
Posts: 608

Bikes: A bunch of old steel bikes

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
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.
Hoopdriver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 11:54 AM
  #19  
ksryder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,429

Bikes: yes

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 521 Post(s)
Shouldn't this be merged with You ever wind up racing a random person on your solo ride? as a duplicate thread?
ksryder is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 12:07 PM
  #20  
Reynolds 
Passista
 
Reynolds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,369

Bikes: 1998 Pinarello Asolo, 1992 KHS Montaña pro, 1980 Raleigh DL-1, IGH Hybrid, IGH Utility

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 361 Post(s)
Why not just say "Please, I'd rather ride alone" or something like that?
Reynolds is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 12:22 PM
  #21  
Teamprovicycle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Providence
Posts: 268

Bikes: Specialized tarmac sl2 giant tcx zero

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
You cant pull a way from a rider over 5 miles ??? 10 miles thats it ?
Teamprovicycle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 03:00 PM
  #22  
noisebeam
Al
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,456

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2592 Post(s)
try harder
noisebeam is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 03:22 PM
  #23  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,679

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
How many times have you had to slam on your brakes exactly?

Just let him wheel suck. What does it matter?
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 03:32 PM
  #24  
Colnago Mixte
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Center of Central CA
Posts: 1,006
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 510 Post(s)
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).
Colnago Mixte is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-18, 03:40 PM
  #25  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 5,018

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 950 Post(s)
Confront him and tell him to stop doing it...If that doesn't help, throw some tack pins in his path next time.
wolfchild is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service