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School of fish bike behavior

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School of fish bike behavior

Old 05-25-15, 11:30 AM
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School of fish bike behavior

I just read a post in another forum about a fatal accident that occured as a result of a collision among bikers riding closely together in a pack. I've seen bike groups ride like that - many of them just inches away from each other - and I've wondered, "why do they do that?" I would never drive my car like that and I even keep a comfortable distance when walking behind someone else. Why would I crowd the person in front of me as we travel 15 to 25 mph? Shouldn't groups be smarter than this? But this tight pack behavior seems to be the expectation in some group rides. Is it aggresive competitiveness coming out? Either back off or pass, and if someone wants to pass, let them. It's group behavior because you won't see a solitary rider trying to hang just behind another biker s/he doesn't know. This is, literally, group think behavior modeled after a school of fish. So I simply ask, why?
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Old 05-25-15, 11:31 AM
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Cuz drafting.
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Old 05-25-15, 11:33 AM
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Here we go.
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Old 05-25-15, 11:33 AM
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Because that's how the sport works.
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Old 05-25-15, 12:23 PM
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People slip and die in the shower. Doesn't mean I neglect my personal hygiene.

Pack riding is efficient and it is part of the sport of road cycling. It's not the safest thing in the world. Not the most dangerous either. But I don't think people ride skinny tires at 25mph for the sole purpose of being safe.
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Old 05-25-15, 12:31 PM
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It is a useful too in the right circumstances done by riders who are practiced in the art and sometimes things go wrong. Same in nascar.

We had to buck a lot of wind today so we drafted and eschelon'd as best we could against the bursts of wind.
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Old 05-25-15, 12:34 PM
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Troll
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Old 05-25-15, 12:35 PM
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If you're not interested in riding in a pace line due to your concern for safety, then you're better off staying solo. But there are some distinct advantages to riding in a group. If done properly it can be very safe, you'll save up to 30% of your energy and you're able to ride 2+ mph faster with the same effort over a much longer distance. If you really want to understand the benefits you can read up on it, rather than criticize something that you don't understand.
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Old 05-25-15, 01:00 PM
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Don't be scared. Toughen yourself up.
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Old 05-25-15, 01:03 PM
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Bicyclists or cyclists. or even roadies. Not bikers.
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Old 05-25-15, 01:08 PM
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Troll.
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Old 05-25-15, 01:26 PM
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I don't recommend the OP try this, he could get yelled at.
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Old 05-25-15, 01:29 PM
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Stop the troll name-calling. It's a reasonable question to ask for someone not familiar with the sporting aspect of cycling. Recreational cyclists not familiar with the risks involved in racing are bound to find drafting to be eye-opening. Not everyone watches bicycle racing, you know.

Once many of you get old enough, there's a good chance you won't do it either. At some point in life, odds are you'll look at things you used to do once without concern and ask yourself - "Was I crazy or what"?

Yeah you will.

Yeah . . . you will.
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Old 05-25-15, 01:48 PM
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Yep. I'm a 4000 mile a year guy, so I ride a fair amount. You'd never catch me in a peloton though. Unless it looked like this and there was beer at the end.

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Old 05-25-15, 02:02 PM
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You would drive like that if in a race. It's all about bike handling.
You gain an easier effort by reducing drag. Just like how the professionals do it.
Also.

Because racecar.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:07 PM
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It's FUN to go fast on a bike! I'm 44 & it's FUN. Maybe when I'm older I'll think I was crazy, but right now it's FUN.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:18 PM
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They are riding like that to draft off each other...the effort to stay at that speed is much less than if they didn't use the draft. It's a racing technique.

I don't particularly like it and rarely, if ever, do it. I'd rather ride fast solo or with others without drafting and never really understood the whole drafting paceline thing.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
Stop the troll name-calling. It's a reasonable question to ask for someone not familiar with the sporting aspect of cycling. Recreational cyclists not familiar with the risks involved in racing are bound to find drafting to be eye-opening. Not everyone watches bicycle racing, you know.

Once many of you get old enough, there's a good chance you won't do it either. At some point in life, odds are you'll look at things you used to do once without concern and ask yourself - "Was I crazy or what"?

Yeah you will.

Yeah . . . you will.
I called Troll because OP has close to 500 posts here and isn't a Newbie.....

Therefore it's more likely than not that at some point in posting on BikeForums nearly 500 times now OP would have at least come across the concept of drafting and/or pacelining.... even just once, just-one-single-time where this was explained. It doesn't have to be specifically in the Road Cycling forum either.

Plus the whole thing with cars and walking and comparing it to group cycling just looks like a ploy to use apparent naivete to instigate certain types of responses from the crowd.

If this was OP's first or second post or something I'd view it a lot differently - some girl just joined today asking about what to put in her saddle bag etc. No flaming there because it seems genuine with like 3 posts to her account.

500 posts? You know your way around the block here.

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Old 05-25-15, 02:27 PM
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I don't care if he did know all about it. He decided to address the issue for exactly what it is - a dangerous pastime. And that's the part some of you guys don't like, on many assorted roadie issues - the reality checks.

Deal with it.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
I don't care if he did know all about it. He decided to address the issue for exactly what it is - a dangerous pastime. And that's the part some of you guys don't like, on many assorted roadie issues - the reality checks.

Deal with it.
Hmmmm I'm not sure you're being quite fair. This sentence "This is, literally, group think behavior modeled after a school of fish." Is pretty clearly a judgment based in ignorance.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:40 PM
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How do we know what a school of fish riding bicycles would do? I personally have only once seen a fish on a bike, and he was battered and fried and lounging in a basket. I don't recall ever riding like that.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
I don't care if he did know all about it. He decided to address the issue for exactly what it is - a dangerous pastime. And that's the part some of you guys don't like, on many assorted roadie issues - the reality checks.

Deal with it.
There's nothing to deal with. There is no reality check.

Pacelining is more dangerous - people who do it know that. Pacelining is efficient - people who do it know that.

I don't have an issue with OP's view that pacelining is dangerous etc etc etc, OP can stay out of one if OP so bothered by it.

What's OP's point in tagging it as "aggressive competitive" behaviour or saying people who do it are adopting a school of fish mentality... terminology that seems rather judgmental and both of which have negative connotations for something people do simply for efficiency gains of keeping a tight line and not to ostracize anyone in the cycling community or doing it because they don't know any better.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by SevenTwentyNine
500 posts? You know your way around the block here.
I DO know my way around the block, thank you. And I do know why people draft in an organized bike RACE. But I also advocate for safer roadways and greater awareness about bike safety issues. And to me this is a bike safety issue and it seems hypocritical for bikers to complain about car drivers then bike in an inherently unsafe manner just because it's fun and lets them imagine that they're racing. I think all bikers should bike safely even when it means they may have to go a little slower and not have as much fun. Is that an unreasonable point of view?
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Old 05-25-15, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TobinH
Hmmmm I'm not sure you're being quite fair. This sentence "This is, literally, group think behavior modeled after a school of fish." Is pretty clearly a judgment based in ignorance.
It's pretty obvious. The negative and condescending undertones in OP's post are completely blatant despite any defense that might be attempted to use for it.
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Old 05-25-15, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by practical
I DO know my way around the block, thank you. And I do know why people draft in an organized bike RACE. But I also advocate for safer roadways and greater awareness about bike safety issues. And to me this is a bike safety issue and it seems hypocritical for bikers to complain about car drivers then bike in an inherently unsafe manner just because it's fun and lets them imagine that they're racing. I think all bikers should bike safely even when it means they may have to go a little slower and not have as much fun. Is that an unreasonable point of view?
Where did you get information that they're imagining that they're racing? ... I'll wait.

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