Roadies and Drafting Etiquette

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  • Roadies and Drafting Etiquette
  • growinglad
    Member

    I’ve noticed this on 3 occasions now and I must admit, I’ve found it quite strange, rude….

    On a lunchtime ride on my fixed I rode past some fella with all the kit on with his flash looking road bike, overtook him with plenty of space, said a quick hello and carried on, after a couple of km’s I turn around to find him sitting on my wheel.

    Commuting back on my cross bike again, overtook some chap, quite a quick pass as I caught up with him quite quickly, again, find he’s sitting on my wheel, even when I pulled to one side to indicate I wasn’t happy with him sitting on my wheel (accompanined with a hand gesture waving him through, he again moved over and sat on my wheel.

    And then yesterday, boot on the other foot, been out for a decent length ride with a mate, just left him and on my last climb home and I can see a roadie coming up at quite a pace, knew he’d catch me as I was taking it easy. Yep, caught me up after a minute or so and again sat on my wheel, even though before he was going quite a pace, he should have passed me without problem.

    What’s all that about?

    Okay, when I’m riding with a group we draft, I’ve even got chatting to someone I’ve met and ended up riding together, but I wouldn’t sit on someone else’s wheel letting them do all the work, it’s not a race, so it’s just not cricket.

    Have I just been unlucky, or is this normal practice?

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    You must have a nice bum.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Yup, plenty of tools around.

    Last minute avoidance of potholes can help.

    growinglad
    Member

    You must have a nice bum.

    The thought did cross my mind…..maybe I need to wear something else than those arse less chaps!

    samej
    Member

    If they can hang on, you’re not going fast enough.

    johnners
    Member

    This subject seems to come up on here about once a week. You’re obviously going at a fairly decent pace, nobody ever* bothers to draft me. Try going more slowly.

    *well, once on an Audax, but he was quite an elderly chap and he did ask politely.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    I wouldn’t sit on someone else’s wheel letting them do all the work, it’s not a race, so it’s just not cricket.

    You said it. It’s not a race, so why does it matter?

    Premier Icon StefMcDef
    Subscriber

    If you’re out riding on your jack anyway and not trying to beat any land speed records, what difference does it make? They’re not slowing you down by riding behind you.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Lots of nose blowing and pothole avoidance FTW.

    One bloke in London who was switching everyone in sight did have a go at me for clearing my nose (unintentionally) whilst he was behind me. I apologised at the time as I was rather caught off guard, but was then annoyed at myself as I’d not asked him to sit 3″ off my wheel whilst riding like a tool!

    Seems to happen a lot in London, people will stay behind at traffic lights too, literally right behind. Doesn’t really bother me, I’d rather they stayed there and I can ride my own pace rather than be following them. I’d rather folk at least said hello though.

    belugabob
    Member

    Just pull over and let them go on their way
    (then sneak up to their back wheel and draft them for a bit πŸ˜‰ )

    growinglad
    Member

    You said it. It’s not a race, so why does it matter?

    If you’re out riding on your jack anyway and not trying to beat any land speed records, what difference does it make? They’re not slowing you down by riding behind you.

    Because I know how much easier it is when you are sitting on someone else’s wheel. When you are group riding, you take your turn, you work together.

    When someone reaps the benefits, but doesn’t offer to work, in my book that’s a pi$$ take.

    In it’s rawest form, it’s parasitic, no?

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    If you are bothered by the drafter slow up and give them the elbow (come through) or drop them. Never bothers me.

    mt
    Member

    They could be helping by reducing the effects of drag after the air has passed over you.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I think a lot of people who find themselves on the front don’t move over when they want the person behind to take the lead. If you flick your elbow, move right and drift back, tuck in behind them and say “two minute pulls yeah?” you’re training them to behave themselves. If you sit on the front seething with passive aggression they don’t learn anything.

    Of course, if you move right and they follow you across the road you have two choices: either slow down a lot, or launch a series of blistering attacks.

    πŸ™‚

    growinglad
    Member

    ohhhhhh, and I forgot to add, the geezer on Saturday kept changing his gears…..but oh no, do you think that was the end of it, was it heck, the chain kept jumping and crunching…..

    Jesu, I nearly had to pull over and adjust his gears for him….

    Problem is, when they come up stealth and sit on your wheel, if you are not aware they have come up, bloody makes you jump when you turn around to find something right on your wheel out of the corner of your eye.

    Seems a bit annoying when you are tootling along at a comfortable pace to slow up just to make a point…..think the nose blowing may be the way forward.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
    Subscriber

    Problem is

    sorry what problem?

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Problem is, when they come up stealth and sit on your wheel, if you are not aware they have come up, bloody makes you jump when you turn around to find something right on your wheel out of the corner of your eye.

    god forbid if a car should come up behing you with a quietish engine……

    cynic-al
    Member

    tonyg2003 – Member
    sorry what problem?

    There’s a safety issue. I wouldn’t trust just anyone sat on my wheel to ride safely.

    traildog
    Member

    I don’t see the issue and see it as part of riding a bike. If I know someone is sat on my wheel then I give appropriate signals. It’s one of the things I like about bikes, that you can help people out and they might help you out if you’re struggling.

    It’s not a matter of trusting someone following you – it’s a matter of you being in control in front.

    If you really don’t like it then you have to approach them slowly and then give it everything for 5 minutes to get past them. You should also say a cheery hello when passing pretending that you’re not really trying. This helps to break their spirit with the chase.

    david jey
    Member

    I can never understand why folk get so annoyed by this. It’s amusing in a baffling sort of way to me, nothing more.

    The best time by far was about 20 of us out on our club’s fast sunday run. Pace was brisk but conversational. Reeled a lone rider in, going perhaps 2-3mph faster than him as we overtook. I was on the front at the time and gave him a cheery greeting as we passed. He ignored us.

    A few miles down the road he leaped past the whole group of us – he’d obviously drafted for a bit and decided we weren’t going fast enough, presumably unaware of how much slipstream benefit you get from sitting in a big group. We then watched with wry amusement as he dangled about 20 bike lengths in front of us for a few miles, shoulders rolling and evidently turning himself inside out, before giving up and dropping back behind us – only to sit at the back and draft again.

    All the time not a single acknowledgement that we existed.

    Gary_M
    Member

    Happens to me quite often on my commute, pass someone and all of a sudden their pace picks up significantly and they sit on your wheel. I don’t get it myself, I prefer my own space.

    Although I do like it when the ‘offender’ then thinks they’ll pass me after a bit of a rest, only to find out its a bit harder once they move out my slipstream.

    Had a guy do it the other day, howling headwind, he then pulls alongside at a set of lights and says, ‘I was drafting you there’, none of the usual pleasantries, then comes out with ‘you need a bike fit mate’, erm ‘you need to **** off’.

    growinglad
    Member

    god forbid if a car should come up behing you with a quietish engine……

    ….A car wouldn’t be sitting a couple off inches off my back wheel….well I’d blooming well hope not.

    plus it wouldn’t be right behind me, they are pretty wide cars, you don’t have to crank you neck right around to look directly behind you to see them….

    If you’ve got a slight head wind, or you are going at a decent pace, the wind noise in your ears makes it very difficult to hear a bike behind you, unless he changes gear or is puffing a bit.

    Exactly a safety issue, if you are group riding, you know someone is going to be on your wheel….stealth drafting is a bit risky to say the least.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Works both ways – it can be great when out on a solo ride and a passing group gives you a shout to jump on the back. In return, i’ll happily tow someone along for a bit, and if they are happy to take a turn, then all the better. A bit of communication is good, so I’d always say hello regardless – no need for any stealth ninja stuff..

    sorry what problem?

    There’s an element of trust that he/she’s not going to run into you, which is a harder skill than it looks, just look at crashes in races, and they’re by people approaching (or well past) the 10,000hour mark!.

    That and it’s just rude. You wouldn’t walk 18″ behind someone in the supermarket picking exactly the same items off the shelf to avoid making any decisions about what to buy to make shopping easier. It’s creepy and invasion of personal space, so why do it on a bike?

    I’ve less problem with the people who catch up and sit behind for a few minutes/miles, maybe they went 110% to catch up (we all do it sometimes) and need a break before overtaking. But overtakees who then pull in behind rile me. Ditto if a number get dropped on a club run then sit behind expecting one person to drag them back home (why is it always me that finds a second wind and ends up doing this?).

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Also, instead of just gesticulating that you want them to take a turn or pass, start a brief chat. Its harder for folk to be selfish b’stards once they have acknowledged you and had a few friendly words.

    pondo
    Member

    It is annoying. My commute is quiet enough that it’s not an issue but I did a sportive with two mates at the end of Feb, and we had a tail for over thirty miles, some bloke in orange hi viz who just sat there, never said a word, never offered to take a turn (and it was bloody windy that day!). Got to the feed station and we stopped to top up, he whistled on past without a word of thanks. I can understand why people say “why do you bother about it, shouldn’t make a difference to you, etc”, but at the same time, I totally get why people get so riled – it’s just rude.

    To make a very rough analogy, it’s like we were driving somewhere, and some bloke got in the car with us without a word, then hopped out and did one at the services.

    Marge
    Member

    Just roll with it…
    There’s always someone faster (unless maybe you are Tony Martin)
    In these instances it’s you. Settle back & enjoy the status πŸ˜‰

    brooess
    Member

    It’s not safe.

    In a club ride, you know you have following riders so you point/shout out all the hazards. If there’s someone unannounced you won’t do that as you don’t know they’re there – so they could well end up in the road without teeth or a nose…

    Equally if you have to stop (red light, pedestrian, traffic etc) you’ll ease up – and if you don’t know they’re there you won’t make any allowance. If they’re not paying attention to what’s in front of you, there’s a risk they’ll pile into the back of you and take you out.

    tbh it’s just rude. Drafting is a co-operative effort with give and take on all sides, not a free ride.

    brakes
    Member

    my problem with it is that it upsets my rhythm. if I’m out riding on my own I’m probably training and pacing my own ride – if someone starts to draft me the race instincts kick in and even if I don’t change pace, I can’t concentrate properly.

    at least open your mouth and ask if you can have a tow/ be paced.

    growinglad
    Member

    no need for any stealth ninja stuff..

    Exactly a quick hello is all that’s needed, it’s just polite

    On the two guys I went past, both ignored me when I said hello as I was over taking, but then were quite happy to stare at my harris until I clocked what was going on.

    On the other side of the coin there was another bloke on a dropped bar bike towing his little in a trailer up a 350 odd meter vertical climb. I said hello and commented fair play, good bit of training, we ended having a bit of a chat and in the end I stayed with him a bit up the climb for a bit of moral support, he was blooming fit, but still, always nice to suffer in numbers!

    If you are willing to sit inches off of someones wheel, the least you can do is acknowledge them, with a greeting.

    As other have mentioned, it’s safer to know someone is there.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Does seem to crop up every few days this one. Don’t really see the problem but then I hardly ever have this happen. If you don’t like it just slow down, speed up, or make a quick diversion.

    As for not saying anything, it could be just because they’re blowing too hard having put in an effort to catch up, and are just catching their breath.

    plus one
    Member

    Non issue … You ride your bike at pace that suits you and someone latches on for an easy ride .. Who cares πŸ™‚

    allthepies
    Member

    plus wrote:

    Non issue … You ride your bike at pace that suits you and someone latches on for an easy ride .. Who cares

    You might if you have to break heavily and someone drafting you piles into your rear wheel and knocks you off.

    david jey
    Member

    pondo – Member

    I did a sportive

    There’s your problem right there πŸ˜‰

    growinglad
    Member

    Who cares

    Well….me for a start πŸ˜‰

    I think it’s a bit rude, but more importantly, it’s not very safe if you don’t even know they are there.

    I had bean soup for lunch yesterday and today….I think I may have stumbled apon a solution 😳 πŸ˜†

    jonba
    Member

    It annoys the hell out of me because it is dangerous. I wouldn’t want a car tail gaiting me anymore than a cyclist. In a race or group ride you are expecting it so you ride accordingly, not possible if some one has snuck up on you.

    devash
    Member

    Usually a few blasts ‘downdraft’ with a can of fart gas clears them off.

    Fantombiker
    Member

    The roadie etiquette is all about sharing the work. For some people that might be coming through every 2 mins others every 30 mins. But it lacks class to sit on someone without taking a pull, unless you say Hello and then thanks. It is rude as well since they are expecting you to point out potholes, parked cars etc.

    If you have such a rude person, and they won’t come through, attack on a hill!!

    Fantombiker
    Member

    The roadie etiquette is all about sharing the work. For some people that might be coming through every 2 mins others every 30 mins. But it lacks class to sit on someone without taking a pull, unless you say Hello and then thanks. It is rude as well since they are expecting you to point out potholes, parked cars etc.

    If you have such a rude person, and they won’t come through, attack on a hill!!

    Gary_M
    Member

    Also if someone’s on your wheel snot rocket blowing needs to be curtailed, out of politeness. Although if it persists I tend to just let rip.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 113 total)

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