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Road Cycling, NYC Style, example #1

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Road Cycling, NYC Style, example #1

Old 08-01-09, 03:11 PM
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Road Cycling, NYC Style, example #1

Been road cycling in NYC for just two weeks and already seen three unfortunate ugly incidents, will post one below and the other two on separate threads.

Saturday July 25- around 10am

Riding the loop in Central Park and going up the hill around West 100 Street when I heard people yelling and shouting on the other side of the hill. When I got to the top, about 50 yards downhill, saw two road cyclists on the ground, when I went to help the cyclist that was still on the ground (only a few scratches), I asked him what happen? He said that he was riding behind the other cyclist (probably drafting downhill???) when suddenly the cyclist jammed on his brakes and he couldn't react fast enough, so he crash into him.

I asked the other cyclist what happen and he said: the other cyclist was following him too closely (no other explanation). Btw, he didn't even offer to help the other cyclist up, I had to do it. So is this like if a car is tail-gating you, your best response is to brake so he will rear end you instead on slowing downing, pulling over to the right and letting the tailgater past?

Also, since I'm new to road cycling, what is the proper etiquette when someone comes up from behind and follows you down the hill but you want him off of your tail?

Some comments to this incident please. Also check my other two threads for other road incidents in my life, NYC style.
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Old 08-01-09, 03:18 PM
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As another relatively new rider I would move as far right and do the elbow 'nod'. If that didn't work do the full blown wave of the arm and look back but not slow down, thats asking for trouble.
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Old 08-01-09, 03:24 PM
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I ride in New York City as well, and though crashing into other bikers can be an issue, especially for pesky pista wheel suckers, I have had so many more close calls with car doors. On any street with more than one lane in the direction of travel, I try to stay far from the right side to avoid opening car doors. If there are a number lanes and someone is riding your tail, just switch lanes if s/he doesn't get the picture, as pulling far to the right is dangerous as well. Had I been traveling a little bit slower or faster, I could have been in deep trouble a number of times.
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Old 08-01-09, 07:58 PM
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the only people you need to watch out for in CP are clueless pedestrians who cross without looking at traffic, and most of the time they aren't even using crosswalks. this normally happens below 86th street, and i normally yell out "watch traffic" or "bike" at least once a loop.

i've found that most riders are quite friendly & willing to help out fellow cyclists and people stranded on the road. when i was fixing a flat the other night, i had at least 20 ppl slow down and offering help

as far as drafting is concerned, always ask before you draft
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Old 08-01-09, 08:16 PM
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Let's get to reality on the drafting issue. Most people in CP and Prospect Park don't ask. When I was at my best a few years ago and holding 20+ avg speeds solo in the park, I'd always find myself with a wheel sucker. The one thing I've found that works with them is to pick up the speed a bit to get them struggling, then pull off suddenly to the left or right and leave them in the wind and take off. The wheel sucker usually can't maintain the pace by himself. In these NYC parks, for those not familiar, there is plenty of room on either side of you to do this without any danger.

It isn't that I don't like riding with people, but the wheel sucker isn't usually interested in being part of a group, just by himself looking for the free ride. I was training for my own goals and keeping track, and didn't need to have someone messing it up, especially on the up hill.
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Old 08-01-09, 11:50 PM
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Most people in prospect are going way too slow to qualify as wheel suckers.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:24 AM
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Don't draft people you don't know unless you're racing with them or doing a group ride with them.

If they're new, then expect them to have no idea wtf they're doing.
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Old 08-02-09, 04:31 AM
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One of the worst accidents I have seen in NYC (other than someone getting friendly with a car door) was on the NY side of the Williamsburg bridge. I was sitting in rush hour traffic looking at a group of hipsters in a$$ tight jeans just sitting in the shade under the arch a the bottom of the ramp. I hear he sound of a freewheel clicking it's heart out. I look back and see some guy on an SE Draft flying down the hill. Now keep in mind the 'chillaxing' hipsters had their bikes out of the way. As this guy was flying down the ramp he managed to clip on of their bikes. The force yanks out the hipsters bike and he goes down like a failed spinergy wheel. The guy on the SE Draft goes over the front and does a 10' slide on his face and chest. He almost slid to the end of the side walk there.

The whole think looked really bad. Both guys got up and seemed like there were no major injuries though.
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Old 08-02-09, 05:05 AM
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I don't understand all the fuss about people drafting off of you without notice. I know some of you will howl "it's dangerous!" as the lead rider, but it's not that bad as the lead rider - if the wheels clip each other, the rear rider will get taken out way before the front rider. Also, it's clearly a compliment to your ability; if they could clearly out-ride you, they'd just drop you cold like you drop the folks on their hybrids. And as for a "free-ride", what's wrong with that? I get drafted on a fair amount by folks on the PCH in Califonia, especially on flats, and I always find it fun to have the company. More often than not, they'll compliment me on my pace if I acknowledge them. (I do tend to lose them unintentionally on the hill climbs, though - if they're struggling to keep up on the flat, no way they'll hang on a hill.)
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Old 08-02-09, 05:24 AM
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Unless you're racing (which are held very early in the a.m.), drafting someone you don't know, in fast, crowded section of the Park, during it's busiest time of the year is a bad idea.
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