Slipstreaming whilst commuting?

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Slipstreaming whilst commuting?

Postby eucryphia » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:50 pm

Should commuters follow the etiquette for slipstreaming with one or more other commuters?

I assume the correct technique is as seen on the TDF; pull to the right, drop back and pull in behind.

It can't be assumed that another commuter knows what to do or that they have any experience in group rides. Perhaps it's just too dangerous while commuting.

Is there a universal signal to indicate your willingness to slipstream?

I ask because I've been a bit embarrassed getting a tow behind another rider in the past and not sharing the load, but thought it a bit dangerous if the other person doesn't know what I'm doing and I suddenly pull out on the right on them.
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by BNA » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:57 pm

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Postby ajh003 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:57 pm

Wow I never knew there was a procedure for this....
I've only ever done it twice when some lycra crew pass me
I usually try and keep with them for a few kms and have had one older guy who passed me on a roadie...I latched on and he turned and smiled
I said is it ok if I stay with you He was more than happy to have me along
I really enjoyed it and would love to do it more as it pushes me to a higher level as well

I too would love to know if there is a protocol with this
I hate to say it but sometimes I cannot even get a smile out of some of the lycra crew....When I say goodaye they just curse and go past
thankfully its not a majority = but it sure has turned me off being one of em
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Postby sogood » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:01 pm

ajh003 wrote:I hate to say it but sometimes I cannot even get a smile out of some of the lycra crew....When I say goodaye they just curse and go past
thankfully its not a majority = but it sure has turned me off being one of em

Sometimes it's not as it seems.

Many riders ride for training benefits and pushes them hard. It may all just be bad timing for them to acknowledge you in any other way.
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Postby Kev365428 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:10 am

Disagree.

There is no excuse for rudeness.

A simple nod or "G'day" is all that's required.

Personally, I think it's a "we're better than you" attitude, but that's just my opinion.

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Postby sogood » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:40 am

But seriously, how many of us have heard riders curse another apart for when the other rider was doing something stupid? Personally, never. I'd say we need to hear the other side of the story too.
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Postby philip » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:47 am

I don't really mind if someone slipstreams me, my only concern is that I don't know who they are/how experience they are and would hate for them to cause a crash.
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Postby Pax » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:56 am

OK, so back to slipstreaming while commuting :P ...

Yes it is fine to do it. IF you have the experience and skills to do it safely.

Just be polite, and communicate with the other person.

If they don't want to do it, get off them. If they do, then definitely take a share of the lead if you are capable of the pace. If you aren't capable of the pace at the front, be polite and ask if they mind you getting a lift from them. Most people will be happy to be acknowledged as a stronger rider and be happy for you to tag along.

Re taking turns at the front, wave them around if you are on the front and ready for a break but they aren't instigating the change. If you are behind and they aren't waving you around pick a safe place and OFFER...don't forget if they are training they might not want to slipstream off you even if they are happy for you to slipstream off them (though I'd have to say that is rare IMO).
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Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:43 am

sogood wrote:But seriously, how many of us have heard riders curse another apart for when the other rider was doing something stupid? Personally, never. I'd say we need to hear the other side of the story too.


G'day

Andrew said "When I say goodaye they just curse and go past
thankfully its not a majority = but it sure has turned me off being one of em". If someone says G'day is cursing back really okay?

Personally I find I get ignored more often than not. I just put it down to not hearing me or not understanding what I said, or rudeness. Take your pick.

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Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:45 am

G'day

I think the key is as Pax said, to communicate.

Personally I don't mind someone sucking my wheel if they take their turn, but I get really PO at the leeches, especially when the suck my wheel to a hill and then drop me 8)

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Postby sogood » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:57 am

Aushiker wrote:...but I get really PO at the leeches, especially when the suck my wheel to a hill and then drop me 8)

They were trying to pull you up the hill but you weren't keeping up. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby jasimon » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:59 am

My route never encouraged slipstreaming to any meaningful extent. But even if it did, I'd be nervous over the competence or awareness of the other rider absent some sort of understanding (prefereably built up through previous interaction). I just don't want to get too close to the rear wheel of some stranger - just like I don't want to get too close to the rear of a semi-trailer when I'm driving a car even if it will help my fuel economy.

(Only time it ever really happened was over the harbour bridge - and then it was more a case of queues forming behind slower riders and limited overtaking opportunities. Didn't mean I didn't appreciate that the person at the front was doing more work, but it wasn't really formal slipstreaming.)
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Postby toofat » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:31 am

if I am behind someone I am usually panting and wheezing that much that talking is not possible,
I think these riders expect me to collapse in a heap and spew rather than take a pull at the front so I don't think I am offending them

last week I had a commuter on a flatbar sucking my wheel for a long way, I just presumed he could'nt make it past and was pleased that he didnt, not bothered at all
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Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:38 am

toofat wrote:if I am behind someone I am usually panting and wheezing that much that talking is not possible,
I think these riders expect me to collapse in a heap and spew rather than take a pull at the front so I don't think I am offending them

last week I had a commuter on a flatbar sucking my wheel for a long way, I just presumed he could'nt make it past and was pleased that he didnt, not bothered at all


I probably should add that the ones that get up my nose are the types that don't fit into the category you referred to. Those guys I don't mind and have shared the odd stretch with on occaisions.

The last dude probably has his nose out of joint because I passed him when he was cruising along (which is why I passed him) on his tri bike. He then just picked up pace a bit and sat on my wheel for a few kilometres before passing and stomping on his pedals. He gave an impression of doing nothing more than leeching until it didn't suit him any more. Not a word from him either.

Rudeness in my view.

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Postby leximack » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:46 am

personally i dont mind wheel suckers behind me, even if they dont take a turn at the front. I have to be in the mood though, as you have to ride more fluidly, ie with braking, accelerating etc as you want to be smooth as to not have them run up your backside. If i dont want them there then out of a slow corner i will put the hammer down and attempt to drop them. If they stick with me then will back it right off until they pass.
I would prefer to be in the front though if i dont know the other person, as if there is an issue usually the wheel sucker is the one that goes down.

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Postby sogood » Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:58 am

Who cares, as long as he/she isn't slowing you down. As a matter of fact, most people would ride faster with someone behind. If he/she does come to the front, then he/she is actually diminishing the training benefits of your ride. If you don't like him/her, then just put the hammer down and see if you can get away. If not, then you definitely need to stay at the front for more training. Bludging will only make you weak.
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Postby Boognoss » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:00 pm

I generally don't get wheel suckers on my commute. If I'm on the Tricross loaded with gear in both panniers most ppl on roadies overtake straight away and if I'm on the Corsa I'll do my best to prevent that situation from occurring :-).
Alternatively I'll never wheel suck someone else because I don't know them or their abilities. If I catch up I'll hang back a few bike lengths until i can safely overtake.
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Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:07 pm

sogood wrote:Who cares, as long as he/she isn't slowing you down. .


You might if you where doing 30 to 40 km into the Fremantle Doctor ... :wink: It changes the whole perspective here IMO and sharing the load in these circumstances is about doing the right thing or caring I guess.

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Postby martinjs » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:22 pm

No one around to do it with on most of my rides. :) The only times I get a "lift" is when a slow tractor is rolling along, but some times there to slow.

Mind you when the wind is right and a Double B flys buy at 100k+ I get a good 100meter tow. :D
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Postby m@ » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:39 pm

I've had the odd hanger-on when the sea breeze is blowing; I don't really mind provided they ask, though personally I'm not confident to ride on someone else's wheel. But last Friday someone silently materialised almost touching my rear wheel and proceeded to sit there without a word. Just plain rude IMO; not knowing their abilities and being made complicit in their breaking road rules is bad enough, but not even being made aware of their presence really p!ssed me off. Dropped 'em on the next hill (or maybe they just turned off...) ;)
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Postby Ant. » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:43 pm

Aushiker wrote:I probably should add that the ones that get up my nose are the types that don't fit into the category you referred to. Those guys I don't mind and have shared the odd stretch with on occaisions.

The last dude probably has his nose out of joint because I passed him when he was cruising along (which is why I passed him) on his tri bike. He then just picked up pace a bit and sat on my wheel for a few kilometres before passing and stomping on his pedals. He gave an impression of doing nothing more than leeching until it didn't suit him any more. Not a word from him either.

Rudeness in my view.

Andrew

A triathlete... 'nuff said :wink: Probably got embarassed about being overtaken while down on his tri bars and needed to stroke his ego.
But seriously, to some, getting overtaken is a bit of a wakeup call to stop slacking off, so that's probably all it was. He should've said Gday or something though, I always do.
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Postby Ant. » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:49 pm

Aushiker wrote:
sogood wrote:Who cares, as long as he/she isn't slowing you down. .


You might if you where doing 30 to 40 km into the Fremantle Doctor ... :wink: It changes the whole perspective here IMO and sharing the load in these circumstances is about doing the right thing or caring I guess.

Andrew

I like riding as training, so I don't mind if anyone grabs my wheel for as long as they want. I'm pretty predictable as a rider so I'm not that concerned, as most wouldn't feel confident sucking a wheel of a stranger if they didn't know what they were doing. I wouldn't draft unless I knew they knew I was there, but the majority of riders here have an ipod blaring in their ears... too hard.


I do like drafting road trains though :D
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Postby colafreak » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:53 pm

Specifically when commuting, I hate silent wheelsuckers. Only because it's dangerous, if I don't know they're there, I'm likely to do something that either injures them or me. When commuting I tend to be a lot less fluid, I'm trying to sprint as much as possible, there's a certain amount of ducking and weaving required when riding through Surfers Paradise etc.

So as long as they make themselves known and give me the space to sprint and change lanes etc. I don't mind.

But for the same reason, I'm very wary of slipstreaming joe average when commuting.

Early morning rides are a bit different (I'm part of the lycra brigade) as everyone's pretty cool with teaming up and taking turns, riding smoothly etc.

Although you have to be considerate too. If someone's training and doesn't want to ride with you and you overtake them, you better stay damn well ahead!
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Postby wintal » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:53 pm

It's considered good etiquette to ask before slipstreaming - the rationale is really just that you're making sure they know you're there so they'll think twice before stopping hard with no warning.

I generally find it safer to trade to the front by overtaking rather than the front 'peeling off', you generally don't have very good communication with randoms, and this doesn't require any, just take the lead and try not to go too fast or too slow.

If you're in the lead and someone's getting a tow and not sharing the load when you want to there's not a lot you can do. Also, the different in power required in the lead to behind is so much that they're quite possibly not capable of keeping up your pace.

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Postby Aushiker » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:52 pm

Ant. wrote:But seriously, to some, getting overtaken is a bit of a wakeup call to stop slacking off, so that's probably all it was. He should've said Gday or something though, I always do.


The wake-up call part doesn't bother me, it was the picking up speed to just sit on my wheel for ages without a word or an offer to take the front in to the south westerly that got me.

I have passed a tri rider before who was also slacking off I suspect. Did that on the flatbar and I said hello as I went pass. He really didn't like that and came after me and passed me without a word ... Ah well ...

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Postby leximack » Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:02 pm

is it just me, or does everyone find dudes that ride with areo bars really hate to be passed.
I passed one on the M7 cycleway a few weeks ago, and he got a tad shirty at me i think, he put in all he had to get on my wheel. I let him suck my wheel along the flat until the climb came (the one heading up to eliz dr from prestons), then put the hammer down and dropped him like a sack of potatos :lol: , but what am i to judge, maybe he had just swam 2km and ran 20km and was on the "bike" leg. I had victory for that moment though :lol:

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