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-   -   The Etiquette of Drafting (https://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/1243149-etiquette-drafting.html)

livedarklions 12-03-21 12:04 PM


Originally Posted by Iride01 (Post 22327705)
And the question in that comment brings up how close do you have to be to be a wheel sucker? Some seem to think someone two or three, maybe even 10 bike lengths back is a wheel sucker.

As for avoidance and safety, from riding with my son and others, I can say that even when they are in front and have to slow down suddenly that even when I'm less than half a wheel from their wheel, I can easily adjust for such. And even if I do touch wheels, then its worse for the wheel sucker than it is for the person in front. The person if front will probably continue with little bother. It's the one trailing that risks a bad crash.


You really don't know that.. If you knock someone down from any direction, there's no way to say for certain how likely they are to be seriously injured. You're envisioning a wheel touch, uncontrolled contact just isn't so predictable. If I have to slam my brakes, for example, and someone strikes me from behind, I have no way of predicting what part is going to hit me where and to what effect. I also don't know if I'm getting knocked down and whether I'm going to land in traffic or not. Weird things happen when you're struck by a whole lot of kinetic energy while sitting atop a pair of wheels.

Reasonable distance varies with the circumstances. One of those circumstances is whether or not the bike in the lead is aware that someone is behind them. There's some risk when the group is coordinated and knows to communicate with each other, there's a hell of a lot more when the leading rider has no idea there's someone closely behind. Half a wheel might be reasonable for you and your son, I don't think it's likely to be reasonable between you and total stranger guy who doesn't know you're there.

livedarklions 12-03-21 12:09 PM


Originally Posted by Maelochs (Post 22327748)
Okay, this is stupid. Sorry , but it just is.

You are claiming that if someone rams me from behind I will not crash but the other person will? Cool .... . go out and test that at speed and show me the videos once you heal.

Fact is, getting his from behind by a person traveling faster than you is NOT safe .... and if you cannot see this, we live in different physical realities. Bicycles are always balancing (the wheel in not "planted") and any input from behind is almost certainly going to cause some lateral deflection .... even if it is tire-to-tire impact, and in fact, more often the back bike hits slightly off-center.

Look at any of the endless crashed which take place in pro cycling---funny, in the case where a rider moving faster hits a rider who slowed in front, usually there is extreme carnage, as there is in almost every bicycle crash .... maybe if you don't ride over three mph you are fine, but even I go faster than that.

If the person up front doesn't know you are there, that person is not afraid .... and if you hit that person and that person goes down .... what was it? panic from a different ride delivered through a time warp? WTF?

You are saying, "Russian Roulette is exceedingly safe----it is your own panic which is the problem. I know, I just played five times." I advise you to keep playing.

Sorry to have to enter on a negative note but the idea that getting rammed by another cyclist is perfectly safe if you are hit from behind, and only fear causes the problems .... that is absurd even for BF.


The answer is simple: ANNOUNCE.

I don't care if you are selfish, simple, socially awkward, whatever. if you are going to pull up close to another cyclist announce your presence. That way the other cyclist can make a choice. Otherwise, if said cyclist sits up to take a drink, eat some food, catch a breath or just take a rest ….. you don’t become a projectile.



If this doesn’t make sense to some folks ….. well, I am not much surprised.

Post script----your series of two dozen high-speed bike crashes will undoubtedly make you a YouTube star and maybe get you your own TV show---so set up that camera and start filming. You have nothing to fear---go do it.


Right on. I guess we're supposed to take solace when the guy in the rear says "this hurts me more than it hurts you".

Koyote 12-03-21 12:13 PM


Originally Posted by Maelochs (Post 22327748)
The answer is simple: ANNOUNCE.I don't care if you are selfish, simple, socially awkward, whatever. if you are going to pull up close to another cuyclist announce your presence. That way the other cyclist can make a choice. Otherwise, if said cyclist sits up to take a drink, eat some food, catch a breath or just take a rest ….. you don’t become a projectile.

On our group ride one night, the pack had broken up on our way back into town. Another person and I were riding along, side-by-side, going into the sun. We were chatting as we cruised along at about 22mph. At one point, we rode right by some chunk of debris in the road - we didn't see it due to the sunlight, but we just happened to pass by, one of us on either side of this fist-sized piece of broken tarmac. We just lucked out. Then, from behind us, we heard a loud "pop," then a moment of silence, then the terrible sound of man and machine hitting and tumbling along the pavement. We had no idea that we were being drafted, much less that he was riding behind and in-between us.

Even if we'd known he was back there, I'm not sure that I could've pointed out that debris in time. But I didn't even know he was there. Poor guy: it was his very first ride on a new high-end bike, which got a bit banged up. 'Course, he also got to ride in a helicopter that night, so that was kind of exciting.

Maelochs 12-03-21 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Koyote (Post 22327758)
'Course, he also got to ride in a helicopter that night, so that was kind of exciting.

it is a really good joke and a really unfortunate outcome.

bOsscO 12-03-21 12:34 PM


Originally Posted by cubewheels (Post 22327305)
....since you mentioned being a newish rider yourself, it may not be safe for you to draft another rider as you may not have the skills for it yet. Get lots of miles riding in groups, it will teach you the necessary skills to ride in a tight formation.

This is great advice. If you're a newish rider and haven't done a lot of group riding where pacelines are common, drafting someone could put you or the person you're drafting in a dangerous situation.

wolfchild 12-03-21 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by 63rickert (Post 22327647)
You do not own the road.

You do not own the road behind your bicycle.

You do not own the air behind your bicycle.

You do not control everything around you.

I don`t own the road , I don`t own the air but I have the ability and I have a right to prevent being drafted.

msu2001la 12-03-21 12:51 PM


Originally Posted by livedarklions (Post 22327670)

Frankly, in just about any other context, following someone this closely would be considered negligent at best and possibly (criminally) threatening behavior. Just because you're on a bicycle doesn't make you immune from basic legal norms.

Legality aside, this type of behavior does seem inappropriate unless both people are consenting to it. Can you imagine walking super close behind someone on a hiking trail or sidewalk, and not saying anything to them?

It's also worth noting that uninvited drafting can be perceived wildly different depending on male vs female, time of day, location, etc. I'm a middle aged man, so the context of me being totally ok with random people jumping on my wheel while I'm out on a Sunday morning ride is a lot different than it might be for a young woman riding alone at night.

msu2001la 12-03-21 01:02 PM


Originally Posted by Koyote (Post 22327758)
On our group ride one night, the pack had broken up on our way back into town. Another person and I were riding along, side-by-side, going into the sun. We were chatting as we cruised along at about 22mph. At one point, we rode right by some chunk of debris in the road - we didn't see it due to the sunlight, but we just happened to pass by, one of us on either side of this fist-sized piece of broken tarmac. We just lucked out. Then, from behind us, we heard a loud "pop," then a moment of silence, then the terrible sound of man and machine hitting and tumbling along the pavement. We had no idea that we were being drafted, much less that he was riding behind and in-between us.

Even if we'd known he was back there, I'm not sure that I could've pointed out that debris in time. But I didn't even know he was there. Poor guy: it was his very first ride on a new high-end bike, which got a bit banged up. 'Course, he also got to ride in a helicopter that night, so that was kind of exciting.

The group rides I do are fairly large, so I guess I'm used to random people hopping on. We might roll out with 25-30 and the group will grow to 40-50 by the time we turn around, then shed riders on the way back.

I've been in the situation you describe many times and often end up in smaller random groups heading back into town. Half the time the people we end up riding in with weren't even on the original ride and I never know how many riders are behind me unless I check over my shoulder.

It's fine, I've never thought any of that was a problem in the context of road group rides.

livedarklions 12-03-21 01:21 PM

I hope no one will take this as trolling, but I really would like to see a debate between 79pmooney and 63rickert just because of the screen names.

70sSanO 12-03-21 01:21 PM

Wasn’t there a movie that depicted a fairly efficient way to rid yourself of an unwanted rider?

John

livedarklions 12-03-21 01:32 PM


Originally Posted by msu2001la (Post 22327811)
The group rides I do are fairly large, so I guess I'm used to random people hopping on. We might roll out with 25-30 and the group will grow to 40-50 by the time we turn around, then shed riders on the way back.

I've been in the situation you describe many times and often end up in smaller random groups heading back into town. Half the time the people we end up riding in with weren't even on the original ride and I never know how many riders are behind me unless I check over my shoulder.

It's fine, I've never thought any of that was a problem in the context of road group rides.

I think that's a very different context than the solo rider situation because the group riders know someone is very, very likely to be there behind, plus they're obviously used to being drafted. I don't group ride with more than 1 or 2 people precisely because I don't want to coordinate my riding with a committee and also have to rely on the skills of a bunch of people, any one of whom could be the weak link that breaks the chain.

Mojo31 12-03-21 01:33 PM

It's all good if you wave.

genejockey 12-03-21 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by 70sSanO (Post 22327837)
Wasn’t there a movie that depicted a fairly efficient way to rid yourself of an unwanted rider?

John

Hard to do from in front of them.

livedarklions 12-03-21 01:34 PM


Originally Posted by 70sSanO (Post 22327837)
Wasn’t there a movie that depicted a fairly efficient way to rid yourself of an unwanted rider?

John


This one?


livedarklions 12-03-21 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by genejockey (Post 22327850)
Hard to do from in front of them.


But it looks like the Italian guy is helping him if you run the film backwards.

drlogik 12-03-21 01:42 PM


Wasn’t there a movie that depicted a fairly efficient way to rid yourself of an unwanted rider?

John
Yep. Breaking Away, the scene where the Italian rider shoves a pump into Dave's front wheel causing him to crash. Great movie and a great scene because it brought Dave back down to reality and made him more determined.

urbanknight 12-03-21 01:59 PM

I don't know what "fair" has to do with it unless you're racing. Even then Pogacar has proven that you can get a free ride all the way up to the podium if you do it right.

livedarklions 12-03-21 02:00 PM


Originally Posted by drlogik (Post 22327866)
Yep. Breaking Away, the scene where the Italian rider shoves a pump into Dave's front wheel causing him to crash. Great movie and a great scene because it brought Dave back down to reality and made him more determined.


Little known fact--that scene was one of the underlying causes of WW II.

I've still never managed to sit through that entire movie and I remain skeptical that a pump could actually be inserted as depicted. Definitely don't try it on an unwanted drafter.

msu2001la 12-03-21 02:14 PM


Originally Posted by urbanknight (Post 22327888)
I don't know what "fair" has to do with it unless you're racing. Even then Pogacar has proven that you can get a free ride all the way up to the podium if you do it right.

Didn't Pogacar win the individual time trial stages in both of his Tour de France wins?

urbanknight 12-03-21 03:22 PM


Originally Posted by msu2001la (Post 22327904)
Didn't Pogacar win the individual time trial stages in both of his Tour de France wins?

I was making a tongue-in-cheek reference to his wheel sucking all the way up the mountain on his first win. Obviously his competitors are fine with it, so maybe it wasn't as it seemed to me.

SapInMyBlood 12-03-21 03:27 PM


Originally Posted by livedarklions (Post 22327493)
Situational.

I'm a solo rider, so I'm going to go whatever speed I would normally go at and if someone wants to tuck in front of me and go as fast as I normally would or better, I'm going to stay behind them until I want to do otherwise. They know I'm there because they put me there so the awareness and etiquette are all fair game.

I have no idea how I'd handle this in a place as windy as where you ride, however. We get high winds where I ride from time to time, but nothing systematic like that. I'd think you might be somewhere where there's some unspoken rules that wouldn't apply elsewhere. From SapInMyBlood 's post, I suspect that might be the case.

The winds aren't THAT bad.

The cycle paths in Perth are just wide, with good visibility down the track, and few pedestrians along some of the main stretches by the River side.

On my 5-6am morning commutes it's easy to have little drafting games with other skilled riders. When i show up to a group ride with a new club, I don't know any of them or their skills either but it's generally fair to say that in strong group rides (35-40kph avg) you can safely expect skilled riders. Similarly, those who can hold onto you for a 40kph avg are probably not your average Joe on a hybrid cruiser (sorry Larry)

GhostRider62 12-03-21 03:33 PM


Originally Posted by livedarklions (Post 22327711)
And what kind of reasoning is "their unsafe behavior is going to hurt them worse than you so don't worry about it" anyway?79pmooney really did a clumsy job of burden shifting here. As far as I'm aware, all vehicle codes, etc. are premised on the basis that the operator's primary attention should be focused on the road and vehicles ahead of him, and that it's the trailing operator's responsibility to maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front of them. This notion that I just assume the risk that someone will violate that every time I go out on a road and should therefore, I guess, just lump it is crazy. And if they do hit me or pretty much anybody from behind, they can expect to be sued successfully.

I am not sure what you are asking me.

I don't think I said the lead rider is immune to injury.

From my experience in criteriums where there is a lot of contact, the rider behind is the one most likely to do down. Not always but most likely. At my age, I am not sure I have the reflexes if someone overlaps wheels or if I brake and we collide. I would probably crash. It is a big uncertainty and a risk that I do not want to take, which is why I handle it with the four steps mentioned earlier. If I am on my recumbent and it is flat, I just put the hammer down and drop them. On an upright, I am at their mercy

ZHVelo 12-03-21 03:37 PM

Only time I ever drafted was on a climb. I did not want to immediately overtake and then maybe blow up as he was not going that much slower than me, so I sat in for a few minutes and then went back to my desired watts and overtook.

I think drafting is dumb, you're on the open road, you're not a pro, you don't know the other person, just don't do it. Obviously with people you know it is a different story.

livedarklions 12-03-21 03:48 PM


Originally Posted by GhostRider62 (Post 22327977)
I am not sure what you are asking me.

I don't think I said the lead rider is immune to injury.

From my experience in criteriums where there is a lot of contact, the rider behind is the one most likely to do down. Not always but most likely. At my age, I am not sure I have the reflexes if someone overlaps wheels or if I brake and we collide. I would probably crash. It is a big uncertainty and a risk that I do not want to take, which is why I handle it with the four steps mentioned earlier. If I am on my recumbent and it is flat, I just put the hammer down and drop them. On an upright, I am at their mercy

I was agreeing with your criticism of the post you were quoting. Sorry if that was unclear.

prairiepedaler 12-03-21 04:08 PM

When you are tall, and are riding a big rig clipping along in the 4th windiest city in the country, inevitably there is some single speed hipster looking to hitch a ride. Usually a heavy ingestion of Taco Bell before riding keeps these bearded skinnyjeans drafters away. It's kind of like a repellent.



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