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Drafting On Commute... Etiquette Question

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Drafting On Commute... Etiquette Question

Old 07-11-14, 11:26 AM
  #26  
I-Like-To-Bike
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Originally Posted by DunderXIII View Post
I draft people who salmon passed me while stopped at intersections
What is a "salmon pass"?

Edit: I see that other posters have clarified and the correct current intended jargon was "shoaling."

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 07-11-14 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 07-11-14, 11:41 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
And you're correct ... most of the people who have shoaled me (has happened a few times recently) are slower than me.
I see people shoal all the time and at least 95% of the time they are markedly faster than the shoalee.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 07-11-14 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 07-11-14, 11:43 AM
  #28  
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Much like a bus or car, if someone's drafting me, they're going to get a face full of exhaust fumes.

And 20mph, wow. My average speed according to the GPS is about 14.5 (due to lots of stopping and starting in the city, also I am fat and weak). My cruising speed is about 18mph.
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Old 07-11-14, 11:51 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
Etiquette aside, has anyone here actually known of or involved in a case where an unannounced drafter caused a crash? I personally have not. Around here it's not uncommon for people to draft on commute. From what I've seen, these drafters aren't that close to the wheel.
Not on a commute but once when I was on a casual ride where there was very little drafting going on, a woman who I didn't realize was drafting me at the time ran into my back wheel and went down pretty hard. She wasn't badly hurt but broke one of her shifters.

From my standpoint it was slightly annoying (like somebody stepping on the heal of your shoe) but it didn't cause me to crash. Anyway, I was more concerned for her than annoyed. I felt bad that I may have done something to cause it but she took all the blame saying she was distracted momentarily.

Last edited by tjspiel; 07-11-14 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 07-11-14, 12:45 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
she took all the blame saying she was distracted momentarily.
"Stay on wheel... stay on wheel... stay on wheel... he has nice calves..."
BAM!
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Old 07-11-14, 12:57 PM
  #31  
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To me it really depends on the road and the definition of "on your wheel." I do not draft off of people I don't know. However, if the way is narrow and I'm only slightly faster than the rider ahead, I don't find it worth the effort to quickly speed up and get around that person, so I slow down and ride 2-3 bike lengths behind them, even if they slow down a bit. If they slow down a lot, or if the path opens significantly, I go around. I expect that someone unfamiliar with what sitting on a wheel means (1 - 2 inches) in a true drafting sense might say I'm drafting them, but I'm not. I guess my opinion of the offense differs significantly between someone doing what I do and someone truly hopping 1-2 inches away from a rider they do not know, doesn't know you are there and isn't calling out their actions.
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Old 07-11-14, 12:57 PM
  #32  
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I generally don't draft on a commute, unless the person was shoaling or otherwise passed me then rode slower the me (which seems to happen to much). Even then I don't usually follow that close and often wind up passing back if they aren't maintaining my pace. I wouldn't try to catch up to someone and draft them without asking.

I have had a number of people draft me, and I am not a huge fan unless they ask or return the favor. If it bothers me I slow down or speed up, etc and then they usually go away. The slowing and accelerating for peds on a MUP someone mentioned is also a good way to lose a drafter.

There have been one or two people who have drafted me for a bit, then passed and let me draft them. They didn't ask but when they were ahead were very good at giving hand signals for obstacles, oncoming bikes, etc. I have to admit I am not good at this, and should probably get used to doing this.
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Old 07-11-14, 01:06 PM
  #33  
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If someone tried to draft me I would slow down and pull over until they passed.
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Old 07-11-14, 01:08 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
Actually what those people are doing is commonly known as "shoaling." And you're correct ... most of the people who have shoaled me (has happened a few times recently) are slower than me. One in particular drove me nuts and I felt like he put our safety at risk with his boneheaded riding style.

Salmoning is actually riding against the flow of traffic.
Oh I seem to have misunderstood the term.

I'll hide behind this statement officiel:
"I'm french canadian!!"

S'cusez le
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Old 07-11-14, 01:25 PM
  #35  
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Drafting and commuter pacelines are commonplace around here. I don't mind if someone drafts me, particularly if it's a road bike and I'm on my MTB. A little embarrasing for them, perhaps. If I'm drafting someone and they give any indication they don't want me there, I'll drop back or pass. Rather than true drafting, I'll often pace someone a few bike lengths back, and no one ever seems to mind that.
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Old 07-11-14, 01:34 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
To me it really depends on the road and the definition of "on your wheel." I do not draft off of people I don't know. However, if the way is narrow and I'm only slightly faster than the rider ahead, I don't find it worth the effort to quickly speed up and get around that person, so I slow down and ride 2-3 bike lengths behind them, even if they slow down a bit. If they slow down a lot, or if the path opens significantly, I go around. I expect that someone unfamiliar with what sitting on a wheel means (1 - 2 inches) in a true drafting sense might say I'm drafting them, but I'm not. I guess my opinion of the offense differs significantly between someone doing what I do and someone truly hopping 1-2 inches away from a rider they do not know, doesn't know you are there and isn't calling out their actions.
I don't consider somebody a couple of bike lengths back to be drafting either but it depends on speed. It's no different than following somebody in a car. You should leave enough room to react if somebody in front of you hits the brakes.
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Old 07-11-14, 02:10 PM
  #37  
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another question for Dr. Phil.
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Old 07-11-14, 03:00 PM
  #38  
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To me drafting is unacceptable during commuting on busy streets with a lot of traffic...I am glad that I don't meet a lot of cyclists during my commute so I don't have to put up with this stupid practice...If somebody was drafting me I would just use some strong language and tell them to keep their distance.
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Old 07-11-14, 03:22 PM
  #39  
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One of the things I enjoy most about cycling is the group dynamic. I think you're really missing out if you don't explore it but I don't think the drafter has any particular right to suck your wheel. If I tire of someone drafting me, I make them work; by dropping in behind them or attacking. In my experience, it's rare to find someone who will survive many attacks but hasn't figured out that work should be shared.

I say go on some group rides and see how these situations are handled.

Obviously it's not for everybody.
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Old 07-11-14, 05:11 PM
  #40  
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Three bike lengths behind me, or else i'm gonna do that thing where I narrowly miss potholes and cracks.

At a stoplight, I only shoal if the rider in front of me looks incompetent or really slow. Otherwise I stay behind until I can do a safe and courteous pass.
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Old 07-11-14, 05:12 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Bug Shield View Post
One of the things I enjoy most about cycling is the group dynamic.
Group rides and training rides is different from commuting...When I commute my priority is survival and safety, I don't care about practising group dynamics. If somebody wants to practice their group dynamics while cars and trucks are buzzing by, then let them choose somebody else and keep their distance from me.
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Old 07-11-14, 05:14 PM
  #42  
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I don't care if you draft me safely, but if you do it without letting me know..you'll end up wearing my phlegm. If I turn back and find you sucking the breeze off my rear wheel.. I might make your life difficult .
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Old 07-11-14, 05:31 PM
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Since he's too daft to understand personal space, just weave.
To pull that nonsense on a commute is totally unacceptable.
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Old 07-11-14, 05:39 PM
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I eventually stop & wait until they either pass me by, or I've ASKED them to go ahead of me. I'm not getting creamed because of someone.

And I came across this while looking up a few of the terms you guys mentioned: Glossary of Biking Terms and Slang

I can be such a "Fred",...
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Old 07-11-14, 06:12 PM
  #45  
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Thanks for all the input guys, it matches my thoughts of 'not quite acceptable'. I defo wasn't shoaling, as I only noticed him 2k into the 10k uninterrupted stretch, and it is the same guy every time. When I say drafting, I have to turn right around to be able to see him, probably a meter or so from my back wheel when I've looked round.

Next time I think I'll be moving over to let him past, and probably politely introduce myself. My current school of thought when I see another commuter at a similar speed is even further back than the above suggestion of three bike lengths. I normally sit quite a way back unless I know I can pass easily and safely.

Fortunately my commute has very few junctions or roundabouts, as I'm going between towns, so shoaling isn't too much of an issue as well. Traffic however is quite heavy, and there are some fast sections of road (50mph limits) to contend with. im currently measuring my speed with my garmin watch, which I leave running from the start. It gives me a good pace indicator, but also gives me a target to beat each time
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Old 07-11-14, 06:19 PM
  #46  
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I usually have people on electric bikes mostly doing it, and they're always a few feet from my rear wheel as well. Food delivery people, trying to push me to go through red lights at intersections. Not going to happen,... These aren't the average biker.

And when I pass someone or they pass me we tend to give each other a nod. Drafting is UNACCEPTABLE (said like Lemongrab from "Adventure Time", a show I watch with my kids).
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Old 07-11-14, 06:32 PM
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Maybe it's because I'm used to group rides, but I don't mind if someone drafts me. Of course it's polite to ask before, but if they don't, no big deal. However, if they don't announce themselves, I'd ride as if solo, they have to look for themselves. They are at the dangerous position, so they must take care.
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Old 07-11-14, 07:03 PM
  #48  
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Sooo, did he catch up to you and "draft", or did you pass him ?
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Old 07-11-14, 09:10 PM
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I am fortunate enough to be slower than most of the roadies and faster than the people who dont know what they are doing.

That said, if it happened to me & it was flat, i'd change ratios & take off. On a hill i'd stop & pretend to check my phone.

- And
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Old 07-11-14, 10:05 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
Maybe it's because I'm used to group rides, but I don't mind if someone drafts me. Of course it's polite to ask before, but if they don't, no big deal. However, if they don't announce themselves, I'd ride as if solo, they have to look for themselves. They are at the dangerous position, so they must take care.
Most experienced cyclists who've spent some time riding in groups or racing don't mind drafters. Experienced riders don't ride differently whether or not someone is on their wheel. They ride steadily, keep their vision up and ride in straight lines.

Personally, If I noticed someone on my wheel for more than a minute I'd chat with them but it wouldn't bother me if they wanted/needed to draft for 10km every day.
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