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Question... Don't know drafter is behind me :-(

Old 03-17-13, 11:20 AM
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Question... Don't know drafter is behind me :-(

Hello everyone...
I ride a few times a week... I like to go far, and ride fast on parts of my ride (well... fast for me, about 28 ish mph. I'm 57).
Part of my ride is often around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena CA, and there are often roadies there.
Sometimes I'm riding around the Rose Bowl, look behind me, which I do not do every minute, and find someone drafting me, inches from my wheel.

The question...
I ask the rider not to draft me without announcing that they're there, and explain my reasons, which are that
1) it's really dangerous, as I don't know they are there, and
2) I always ride on my own, I don't want to be part of a race/peleton.
The response is very often "you should know I am here" (how?), or an attitude that they are super racers (they're drafting a 57 year old!) and can do no wrong. These guys (never women) are usually in their thirties, have spendy bikes and are in the drops. Should I not ride there? ride slow? wear a shirt that says 'don't draft me'?.... what is it that these (forgive me) idiots need in their heads?
It's beginning to needle me, and I'm not being nice to them any more, and that makes me feel angry with myself. If you're reading this, and you are one of the ghost drafters, please think about our safety. If I die, I only have a few years to go... but if you're in your thirties...
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Old 03-17-13, 11:31 AM
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Clear your throat a few times, maybe blow a snot rocket or two and hopefully they'll take the hint sooner or later.

I don't like being nasty to people but feel little need to be nice to people who show a total disregard for my safety. If they want to risk their own neck that's their call but if they risk mine as well they'll get a response that reflects it.
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Old 03-17-13, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kirbyx
Hello everyone...
I ride a few times a week... I like to go far, and ride fast on parts of my ride (well... fast for me, about 28 ish mph. I'm 57).
Part of my ride is often around the Rose Bowl in Pasadena CA, and there are often roadies there.
Sometimes I'm riding around the Rose Bowl, look behind me, which I do not do every minute, and find someone drafting me, inches from my wheel.

The question...
I ask the rider not to draft me without announcing that they're there, and explain my reasons, which are that
1) it's really dangerous, as I don't know they are there, and
2) I always ride on my own, I don't want to be part of a race/peleton.
The response is very often "you should know I am here" (how?), or an attitude that they are super racers (they're drafting a 57 year old!) and can do no wrong. These guys (never women) are usually in their thirties, have spendy bikes and are in the drops. Should I not ride there? ride slow? wear a shirt that says 'don't draft me'?.... what is it that these (forgive me) idiots need in their heads?
It's beginning to needle me, and I'm not being nice to them any more, and that makes me feel angry with myself. If you're reading this, and you are one of the ghost drafters, please think about our safety. If I die, I only have a few years to go... but if you're in your thirties...
I vote for the "Please don't draft me shirt."
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Old 03-17-13, 01:22 PM
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I have the same problem on the coast although not usually not inches from my rear wheel. My suggestion would be to get some type of mirror so you spot them early and just move over, stop pedaling, and wave them by. Something low profile like the Italian Road Bike mirror would be good for this purpose IMO. Getting into an argument with a stranger is going to waste time and energy that is better spent enjoying the ride.
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Old 03-17-13, 05:43 PM
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what is the proper etiquette if i want to leech? do i ask, 'can i try to stay on your wheel?' or something like that? do i offer to take turns? i am often on my beater commuter with a bag of clothes, books, and groceries, so i doubt my value in front, but when someone passes me, i can often hang on.
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Old 03-17-13, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jabantik00
what is the proper etiquette if i want to leech? do i ask, 'can i try to stay on your wheel?' or something like that? do i offer to take turns? i am often on my beater commuter with a bag of clothes, books, and groceries, so i doubt my value in front, but when someone passes me, i can often hang on.
there is another thread on this subject

https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...unced-Drafters

If you can hang on you can also take a turn
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Old 03-17-13, 08:05 PM
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Old 03-17-13, 10:34 PM
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"It's beginning to needle me, and I'm not being nice to them any more and that makes me feel angry with myself."

Which feels worse to you, the needling or not being nice to people? That should inform your thoughts about the matter.

I come up behind riders on occasion and draft them. I always call out, though, something like, "Can I hang behind you for a bit?" If you're going to ride around the Rose Bowl, though, don't you think you should expect ghost drafters – good term, by the way – are going to draft you, whether or not they ask first?


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Old 03-17-13, 11:27 PM
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Many rider these days do not know the etiquette of road riding. Drafting a rider without asking is not only unacceptable, it is also dangerous. I honestly think a lot of people who do it are unaware of its unacceptability.
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Old 03-17-13, 11:48 PM
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I ride all over the place, PCH, Rose Bowl, farm land, hills, etc. I've never had a problem with drafters. I guess I am too slow for anyone to bother drafting behind me (but I am wide enough that I can provide nearly as much daft as a NASCAR racer).
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Old 03-18-13, 09:52 AM
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First you should be proud that another rider so respects your skills so much that they are studying your technique. Second, once your in the pocket it is so damn nice that it is hard to leave. They probably gave their all just to catch you. Third, when another rider slips in behind you, you are both faster due to slipstream effect. Just talk it up and maintain comunication and all will be good. Or you could just fart. Works every time.
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Old 03-18-13, 10:02 AM
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Wait, you're going 28ish and you can't drop these unannounced drafters? Hm.

In your case, I'd say just sit up and let 'em go by... Although there isn't much that's more satisfying than dropping somebody clinging to your rear wheel. Obviously it takes a lot of effort and doesn't always work.
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Old 03-18-13, 10:19 AM
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I had one of these clowns on my ass yesterday. I flatted on my way to meeting my wife for brunch, so I was in a hurry and hauling my fat ass as fast as it would go. I asked the dude to take a pull. I sat up. Nothing doing. I was really tempted to brake check the bozo. Finally, about 1.5 miles from my destination, I blow up and he speeds around like he's making the winning move in a race. If I had picked up his "move" in my periheral vision I would have cut off and said "Oops, didn't know you where still there. Next time you might want to ask permission before you suck someone's wheel." ******nozzle didn't even say thanks.
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Old 03-18-13, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Wait, you're going 28ish and you can't drop these unannounced drafters? Hm.

In your case, I'd say just sit up and let 'em go by... Although there isn't much that's more satisfying than dropping somebody clinging to your rear wheel. Obviously it takes a lot of effort and doesn't always work.
+1

28 ish? Sheez ... that is moving. I'm surprised you don't just blow by them.

I agree with the notion that it is bad form to jump behind someone without asking. I'm personally not a fan of pacelining unless it's super windy or I'm in a big hurry, and I know I'm not alone in that respect.

1. This is another reason I love rear view mirrors. No surprises.
2. Sit up, move over and tell him you'd rather that he not draft you. I've done that plenty of times, and never had a bad experience from it. A lot of times, we end up riding side-by-side and chatting instead.

Finally, about 1.5 miles from my destination, I blow up and he speeds around like he's making the winning move in a race. If I had picked up his "move" in my periheral vision I would have cut off and said "Oops, didn't know you where still there. Next time you might want to ask permission before you suck someone's wheel." ******nozzle didn't even say thanks.
^ Yea, I've seen that. You graciously let them suck your wheel the whole way, then they use do their breakaway sprint for the imaginary finish line. No doubt they go home and immediately post up their impressive average speed and win in their cycling blog ...
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Old 03-18-13, 11:20 AM
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The Rose Bowl area is a magnet for chumps on bikes. It sounds like you may be one of them.
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Old 03-18-13, 12:50 PM
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Old 03-18-13, 12:51 PM
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Hey Kirbyx, I must have been one of these idiots. I was casually riding my bike the other day around the Rose Bowl when I caught up to an elderly guy who was dragging his sorry arse at about 28 mph. Couldn't pass him right away, so I politely slowed down behind him instead of screaming "outta way ol' son". He gave me The Look, then he asked me not to draft him. Well, I apologize herewith in writing:
1) I wasn't drafting you, I was stuck behind you.
2) I didn't know you own that road, I promise I won't ride there again without asking you first.
3) I didn't know you **** yourself when somebody drafts you (yes, I did smell it).
4) I didn't know you get your feelings hurt when you can't drop a skinny dude with hairy legs and you'll start *****ing about it on the bike forum.
With all that said, I owe you a beer. I've been told that I look mid 40-ish, but 30-something? I'm in my 60s, you made my day bro! And since it looks like you are new to the sport, let me elaborate something - when somebody drafts you and touches your wheel, he is the one who will go down, not you. Loosen up now, there are scarier things in life than somebody drafting you on a bicycle.

Last edited by CbadRider; 03-20-13 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling
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Old 03-18-13, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by JimmyNH
Hey Kirbyx, I must have been one of these idiots. I was casually riding my bike the other day around the Rose Bowl when I caught up to an elderly guy who was dragging his sorry arse at about 28 mph. Couldn't pass him right away, so I politely slowed down behind him instead of screaming "outta way ol' son". He gave me The Look, then he asked me not to draft him. Well, I apologize herewith in writing:
1) I wasn't drafting you, I was stuck behind you.
2) I didn't know you own that road, I promise I won't ride there again without asking you first.
3) I didn't know you **** yourself when somebody drafts you (yes, I did smell it).
4) I didn't know you get your feelings hurt when you can't drop a skinny dude with hairy legs and you'll start *****ing about it on the bike forum.
With all that said, I owe you a beer. I've been told that I look mid 40-ish, but 30-something? I'm in my 60s, you made my day bro! And since it looks like you are new to the sport, let me elaborate something - when somebody drafts you and touches your wheel, he is the one who will go down, not you. Loosen up now, there are scarier things in life than somebody drafting you on a bicycle.
Winner.

Last edited by CbadRider; 03-20-13 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Edited quoted posts
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Old 03-18-13, 04:52 PM
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Your ability to assess character, motivation, and to truly read a paragraph for meaning is unparalleled.
And you've seen through me. My pathetic soul is revealed, by you, to all. Dammit, you clever man, I'm impressed... you win.

My point: It's dangerous to draft someone if that someone doesn't know you're there.






Originally Posted by JimmyNH
Hey Kirbyx, I must have been one of these idiots. I was casually riding my bike the other day around the Rose Bowl when I caught up to an elderly guy who was dragging his sorry arse at about 28 mph. Couldn't pass him right away, so I politely slowed down behind him instead of screaming "outta way ol' son". He gave me The Look, then he asked me not to draft him. Well, I apologize herewith in writing:
1) I wasn't drafting you, I was stuck behind you.
2) I didn't know you own that road, I promise I won't ride there again without asking you first.
3) I didn't know you **** yourself when somebody drafts you (yes, I did smell it).
4) I didn't know you get your feelings hurt when you can't drop a skinny dude with hairy legs and you'll start *****ing about it on the bike forum.
With all that said, I owe you a beer. I've been told that I look mid 40-ish, but 30-something? I'm in my 60s, you made my day bro! And since it looks like you are new to the sport, let me elaborate something - when somebody drafts you and touches your wheel, he is the one who will go down, not you. Loosen up now, there are scarier things in life than somebody drafting you on a bicycle.

Last edited by CbadRider; 03-20-13 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Edited quoted post
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Old 03-18-13, 05:30 PM
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^^^ This is not going to end well. ^^^
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Old 03-18-13, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JimmyNH
Hey Kirbyx, I must have been one of these idiots. I was casually riding my bike the other day around the Rose Bowl when I caught up to an elderly guy who was dragging his sorry arse at about 28 mph. Couldn't pass him right away, so I politely slowed down behind him instead of screaming "outta way ol' son". He gave me The Look, then he asked me not to draft him. Well, I apologize herewith in writing:
1) I wasn't drafting you, I was stuck behind you.
2) I didn't know you own that road, I promise I won't ride there again without asking you first.
3) I didn't know you **** yourself when somebody drafts you (yes, I did smell it).
4) I didn't know you get your feelings hurt when you can't drop a skinny dude with hairy legs and you'll start *****ing about it on the bike forum.
With all that said, I owe you a beer. I've been told that I look mid 40-ish, but 30-something? I'm in my 60s, you made my day bro! And since it looks like you are new to the sport, let me elaborate something - when somebody drafts you and touches your wheel, he is the one who will go down, not you. Loosen up now, there are scarier things in life than somebody drafting you on a bicycle.
Where you the tool that was drafting my friend and I last year on the PCH? We came down from Las Flores and nodded at you, and you just glared at us. Then we we started rolling on PCH, I could feel you right behind me. I turned around and there you were, glaring. Doing your Cannibal impression. After a while, you pulled off on your victory sprint when we found the bar. Good thing, too. I was ready to either slam the brakes or stop pedaling and give you the salute.

Is that what getting old does to a cyclist? That's depressing.

Last edited by CbadRider; 03-20-13 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 03-19-13, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia
I ride all over the place, PCH, Rose Bowl, farm land, hills, etc. I've never had a problem with drafters. I guess I am too slow for anyone to bother drafting behind me (but I am wide enough that I can provide nearly as much daft as a NASCAR racer).
Of course, Mr. EJ and I have been known to INVITE a pretty young thing to draft us along PCH!
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Old 03-19-13, 08:47 AM
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People oughta let you know they are behind you, but if you are going to ride in a popular spot, you gotta expect people riding in close proximity. And drafting is MUCH riskier for the person behind.
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Old 03-19-13, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916
And drafting is MUCH riskier for the person behind.
While it is more risky for the tailgater it is not risk free for the lead cycle either - a friend of mine's dad is an avid cyclist and he went down in a crumpled pile of bike and broken collar bone not too long ago because of an unwanted drafter. Did the guy stop and see if he was OK? Of course not.
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Old 03-19-13, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
While it is more risky for the tailgater it is not risk free for the lead cycle either
That's what the word riskier means. That's why I used it. There is risk for everybody. There is risk for anyone who rides a bike, there is a risk for a person giving someone else a pull, but there is substantially more risk for the person in the draft. Hence, riskier.
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