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Ninja drafters

Old 07-16-11, 08:51 AM
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UmneyDurak
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Ninja drafters

With summer in full swing and more riders on the road I see this behavior more frequent then in the winter. People jump on someones wheel un-announced, don't say a word and just stay there. Then actively try to stay there if for example I am practicing sprints or just short accelerations. Extra points if they think it's some kind of a race, or they are participating in a paceline.

I just do not understand such behavior. Is it so hard to pull on a side say "Hi", and ask if it will be ok to draft? It is not a race, it's open public roads, and at this point I view it as tailgating, and rude behavior.
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Old 07-16-11, 09:01 AM
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It is impressive how some folks refuse to communicate. Ahmose and I were riding on 1 through Jenner the other weekend and we had a paceline hero join us, zero communication, he'd sit on our wheels then open his brake calipers (yes, really) and power up every roller, trying to tuck in ahead of one of us and then slow down. Even when I asked him if he was going to take a pull or just sit back I got no response. Never been so glad to turn up Coleman Valley Road.

If I want to hang with a couple of riders I always say Hi and ask if they mind, amazing how people appreciate courtesy.
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Old 07-16-11, 09:20 AM
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One of my biggest pet peeves. If I get passed and want to up the pace I'll always give a "mind if I sit in?". I just don't get it and worse than that I really hate being part of someone else's personal TdF stage.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:33 AM
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20 years ago I used to be the dumbass that drafted random strangers on the ARBT. No more. I never had any problems, but instincts told me that it's not a good idea to keep doing that. Now I ride 100% my own effort. On the rare occasions that someone is going the same speed as me, I drop back enough so that I'm not drafting, or I speed up so I'm ahead of them.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
20 years ago I used to be the dumbass that drafted random strangers on the ARBT. No more. I never had any problems, but instincts told me that it's not a good idea to keep doing that. Now I ride 100% my own effort. On the rare occasions that someone is going the same speed as me, I drop back enough so that I'm not drafting, or I speed up so I'm ahead of them.
There's not anything wrong with drafting others so long as you let them know you're there and they are cool with it.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
There's not anything wrong with drafting others so long as you let them know you're there and they are cool with it.
You're right, but I need to push myself harder so I ride 100% under my own power with no drafting benefit. If I had a riding partner we would trade pulls.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:51 AM
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Twenty years ago, there was a good chance that the guy you were drafting was an experienced bike racer who could be trusted with your health. Now, not so much.
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Old 07-16-11, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
There's not anything wrong with drafting others so long as you let them know you're there and they are cool with it.
And both you and the person you are drafting have the skills to draft safely with the current road conditions.
Are you sure you know what that stranger is going to do at a stop sign or red light?

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Old 07-16-11, 12:14 PM
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I picked up an entire group of drafters (10-12 of them) once on Foothill. I didn't mind then (nor in general), and it was actually pretty encouraging. I kept my speed up for a long stretch because of it. Great fun.

That said, I know it does bother people, so I avoid doing so myself. Of course, these days, keeping up with anyone for more than a block or so is a futile effort.
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Old 07-16-11, 01:22 PM
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I don't usually run into cyclists on my daily rides out here near Oakdale,CA. I wouldn't mind a ninja drafter, that way I don't feel like such a loner.
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Old 07-16-11, 01:56 PM
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I really dislike those random drafters. If only they'd just say hi and ask!
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Old 07-16-11, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
And both you and the person you are drafting have the skills to draft safely with the current road conditions.
Are you sure you know what that stranger is going to do at a stop sign or red light?
I'll admit on the few occasions I've done it, I do try to pay attention to what cues I can, do the guys ride in a straight line, keep a good tempo, dare I say, do they race? (team kits for instance). Your point is a good one.
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Old 07-16-11, 03:01 PM
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I had a situation a few years ago where I was fully loaded heading home after a week camping trip. Riding into the wind, a rider was drafting me. It was hard enouh into the wind,but to have him draft off me( and not ask), I gave him the option of backing way off or my stopping short. He couldn't understand why he couldn't draft off me. He found out what happens when a fully loaded bike stops short.
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Old 07-16-11, 05:45 PM
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Went for a spin today before the race tomorrow. I usually do short intervals on the same places, hills, to open up the legs. Going up one hill catch up to tree riders. Lead one ups the pace to keep up. Near the top I do my usual acceleration and think that is the end of that. Nope. After a downhill he passes me, now his companions are long gone, in the drops huffing and puffing. On a next hill he is a head, but it is a short hill. Perfect for a sprint. Near the top I catch up, he accelerates and keeps looking at me. It took me a second realize he was racing me. Hill flattened out I seat up, he continues to to spring, and then lunges for the traffic line. You just can't make this **** up. The dude dropped his riding buddies, just so he can have a one man race against a complete stranger.

On a bright side, on foothill had a kool chat with someone who is in to double centuries.
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Old 07-16-11, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bktourer1 View Post
I had a situation a few years ago where I was fully loaded heading home after a week camping trip. Riding into the wind, a rider was drafting me. It was hard enouh into the wind,but to have him draft off me( and not ask), I gave him the option of backing way off or my stopping short. He couldn't understand why he couldn't draft off me. He found out what happens when a fully loaded bike stops short.
So you brake-checked him? Classy.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:09 PM
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i was like 100 ft off one guy for about 5 miles. That's ok right? i never talked to him tho...
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Old 07-16-11, 10:28 PM
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I had a guy jump on and I didn't know for a bit. I kept thinking what if I slowed or braked. I'd have had this clown ride up my wazoo. Just say something, OK? Not that I'm fast enough it happens very often....
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Old 07-16-11, 10:51 PM
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A tandem can dispatch ninja drafters very handily, esp. if behave when the wheelsucker first gloms on as though we're taxed.

As a woman I rarely have people grab my wheel outside of a race. And when they do I talk to them; even drop back even w/them to talk.

If they don't talk to me when drafting the tandem we just drop them. We don't tolerate rudeness and poor cycling skills.

Don't misunderstand, we're happy to pull folks, and many will take a turn at the front. No ninjas, please.
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Old 07-17-11, 01:43 AM
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Dispose of the ninjas by dropping a few throwing stars in front of them. Think of their tires popping as the sound of poetic justice.




And yes, this is a joke. It may not be a good joke, but its inetent is to amuse. Please do not try this at home.
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Old 07-17-11, 08:42 AM
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Foothill is especially bad for this. I try to avoid riding on it.

When I get some fred drafting me who then sprints to "beat" me and pulls off I have been tempted to go "whoohoo! you're the winner!". But riding in race team kit means being nice, or at least not going out of my way to be sarcastic, so I haven't done it.

Usually the freds disappear off my wheel on the next hill. If I am on an easy ride, I will slow down and let them go around me. But then I will have to pass them again later. I sometimes try talking to them- often they are just ignorant, not jerks. A few times when I have been in a bad mood I have asked them to go away.
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Old 07-17-11, 11:28 AM
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I'm really good at missing big potholes by millimeters.
Anybody who needs to draft me is by definition not a good enough rider to be riding so close.
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Old 07-17-11, 02:28 PM
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If they don't want to talk... I usually treat it as a bit of fun... up the pace to a pretty good clip (ok TT pace)... but stay seated, so it takes them by surprise.

After a few seconds of this, I look back. If they are still there I think... cool more training for me, and keep pressing.
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Old 07-17-11, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
If they don't want to talk... I usually treat it as a bit of fun... up the pace to a pretty good clip (ok TT pace)... but stay seated, so it takes them by surprise.

After a few seconds of this, I look back. If they are still there I think... cool more training for me, and keep pressing.
That's where my helmet mirror comes in real handy, I can see these guys coming up from behind and before their on my wheel, I pick up the pace, if he's still gaining, up the pace some more. It's actually kind of a fun game and like uspspro says, good training.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
Foothill is especially bad for this. I try to avoid riding on it.

When I get some fred drafting me who then sprints to "beat" me and pulls off I have been tempted to go "whoohoo! you're the winner!". But riding in race team kit means being nice, or at least not going out of my way to be sarcastic, so I haven't done it.

Usually the freds disappear off my wheel on the next hill. If I am on an easy ride, I will slow down and let them go around me. But then I will have to pass them again later. I sometimes try talking to them- often they are just ignorant, not jerks. A few times when I have been in a bad mood I have asked them to go away.
Funny, that is exactly where I experience most of this behavior. That even includes the sprint part.

I tried talking to a few, but came of sounding like a complete *******. So i stopped. i don't know, I don't really want to alter my training ride because some one else has no manners.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by muffin man View Post
i was like 100 ft off one guy for about 5 miles. That's ok right? i never talked to him tho...
Nope, you are out of the spandex club. I am sorry.
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