DRAFTING

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DRAFTING

Postby Whipy » Wed May 30, 2012 3:01 pm

I have a different perspective on Drafting at my level.
I have been riding all my life and have been a Dropbar Hero, a pack rider, a Triathlete, but now I am just a Commuter (MAMIL) traveling 64K daily Commute. I cruise along at my own pace until a rider passes me and if I am feeling good I will draft. this gives me the incentive to push myself harder and get fitter and maybe even meet a new friend. I ride a flatbar Giant Cross City 1which can keep up with most dropbar bikes. I do not get dragged up the hills and then take off. I always thank the person I am drafting off for the lift....... Am I doing the wrong thing?....To my knowledge no one has told me off and I break the daily commute with a bit of fun........... Your thoughts.
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by BNA » Wed May 30, 2012 3:19 pm

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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Whipy » Wed May 30, 2012 3:19 pm

I failed to mention that the drafting I do is on a dedicated bike track, not on a street or main road. That I know is dangerous and should not be encouraged.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby elantra » Wed May 30, 2012 3:36 pm

Whipy wrote:I failed to mention that the drafting I do is on a dedicated bike track, not on a street or main road. That I know is dangerous and should not be encouraged.

Surely that depends on the road.
And if i am drafting another cyclist then the risk is to me.
I do not draft other cyclists on a commuter route because it requires too much concentration for the likely benefits.
Occasionally i will draft a car or a bus but usually only if i am in a hurry.
I often get people drafting me because i am a good windbreak.
No problem - most of the time. :D
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby high_tea » Wed May 30, 2012 3:45 pm

I have a perspective on drafting: it's cool if all parties consent. If you want to do it without asking, that's strictly for races or bunch rides. If you want to chat, ride alongside (when appropriate). If you want a challenge, sit 10m back and try to stay there. Or just ask first. Easy peasy.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Whipy » Wed May 30, 2012 4:05 pm

Good point high_tea....
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Whipy » Wed May 30, 2012 4:08 pm

elantra wrote:
Whipy wrote:I failed to mention that the drafting I do is on a dedicated bike track, not on a street or main road. That I know is dangerous and should not be encouraged.

Surely that depends on the road.
And if i am drafting another cyclist then the risk is to me.
I do not draft other cyclists on a commuter route because it requires too much concentration for the likely benefits.
Occasionally i will draft a car or a bus but usually only if i am in a hurry.
I often get people drafting me because i am a good windbreak.
No problem - most of the time. :D



Yes it does depend on the road.......
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby dino1969 » Wed May 30, 2012 4:29 pm

i must admit that i do not mind riders drafting behind me; however i really get annoyed that when you reach a point of seperation or passing there is no acknowledgement given to you for your efforts :evil: i would consider it basic "commuting" etiquette [i realise that if you are racing there might be different expectations]....
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby R12RT » Wed May 30, 2012 5:56 pm

I also don't mind bring drafted. I just like to know when I am being drafted so then I can signal appropriately for hazards, turns, and when I am slowing down etc. This can avoid any disasters.

It is nice to be acknowledged by the drafter too.
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DRAFTING

Postby gabrielle260 » Wed May 30, 2012 6:04 pm

I agree with High Tea but I don't believe in drafting on a high traffic twisty bike path like parts of the main yarra trail or the Gardiners Creek path. If people draft me on parts of the path I regard as dangerous to do so, I ease off the pedals until they get the message.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby DavidS » Wed May 30, 2012 11:31 pm

It can be a difficult one. I sometimes get behind a bike and they are doing a couple of KM/h more than me and by drafting I can keep up, but if I pass they will just have to pass me later. So, I end up drafting. That said I have had a few people do the same to me and I really don't care as it doesn't slow me down. Into the wind drafting can be a big advantage, given I ride along the beach this can be a factor as I often know if I pass the person in front I won't pull away from them but since I'm just behind I can keep up. Bit of a quandary at times.

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Re: DRAFTING

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Thu May 31, 2012 3:06 am

I'll only draft if the person in front of me looks like they know what they're doing. There's nothing worse than having someone slam their brakes on in front of you for no good reason. I'll also draft behind cyclists who are training in, for example, Parramatta park, where there are no real hazards. I've even been known to jump on with them for a lap or two and take a pull on my commuter with panniers :D . There seems to be a bit of a sense that we all know what we're about when we're doing it.

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DRAFTING

Postby RonK » Thu May 31, 2012 6:34 am

Common courtesy says you should ask first, and at least offer to take a turn. I find uninvited wheel suckers extremely irritating.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Red Rider » Thu May 31, 2012 2:44 pm

Not only is it good etiquette, it's THE SAFE THING TO DO. The lead rider needs to know if someone is right behind, too close for adequate reaction time, and it shouldn't be up to the leader to know if someone sneaks up on them. For example if I needed to hit the brakes hard for whatever reason, I'd know someone was right on my tail and take that into consideration.

Last week I cruised past a guy, he asked if he could stay on my wheel for a while. No worries I said. And after a few k's when I was turning off, along with the hand signal, I told him I was doing so.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby rpmspinman » Thu May 31, 2012 4:02 pm

Im still fairly new to riding and the 'wheel sucking' game, but in my short experience, I prefer to not to draft someone unless:
- I ask the person if it's ok
- I am prepared to accept the responsibility of a rear ender whether or not the person in front hand signals or not. (inadequate distance to react in case of emergency)
- Im riding with someone I know and they encourage it

In saying this, I always thought the overall effect on the rider in front makes no difference if someone was on his tail or not. Is this the case or am I mistaken? Often I have ridden down roads and not even noticed someone on my tail till I bother to look around or they pass me.

I am still getting used to the hand signals and offering warning signs regardless if someone is behind or not just out of courtesy. I probably look silly doing it, but meh....its good practise.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Oxford » Thu May 31, 2012 4:58 pm

rpmspinman wrote:...

In saying this, I always thought the overall effect on the rider in front makes no difference if someone was on his tail or not. Is this the case or am I mistaken? Often I have ridden down roads and not even noticed someone on my tail till I bother to look around or they pass me.

...

Drafting someone does actually give them a benefit. Not sure of the exact % benefit, but basically because you are sitting in their disturbed air and it is causing less drag on them, they gain that benefit.
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DRAFTING

Postby Kenzo » Thu May 31, 2012 7:49 pm

Red Rider wrote:Not only is it good etiquette, it's THE SAFE THING TO DO. The lead rider needs to know if someone is right behind, too close for adequate reaction time, and it shouldn't be up to the leader to know if someone sneaks up on them. For example if I needed to hit the brakes hard for whatever reason, I'd know someone was right on my tail and take that into consideration.

I agree it is good etiquette to let someone know you are drafting. But in response to your point about hitting the brakes hard, I would question this reasoning simply because I can't see how I would change my braking if I was suddenly avoiding something... To me the only difference with a drafting rider is whether or not I call out the holes or upcoming obstacles to them.

When I pass a rider I expect they *will* be drafting me... and will check to see if they are on or not. Hopefully they stay long enough for a turn, if not then no probs either. It caused me no extra effort to have him/her/them on my tail.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Oxford » Thu May 31, 2012 8:32 pm

Oxford wrote:
rpmspinman wrote:...

In saying this, I always thought the overall effect on the rider in front makes no difference if someone was on his tail or not. Is this the case or am I mistaken? Often I have ridden down roads and not even noticed someone on my tail till I bother to look around or they pass me.

...

Drafting someone does actually give them a benefit. Not sure of the exact % benefit, but basically because you are sitting in their disturbed air and it is causing less drag on them, they gain that benefit.

good explanation here of the benefits:

http://www.bicyclesource.com/slipstreaming
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby rpmspinman » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:59 am

Oxford wrote:
rpmspinman wrote:...

In saying this, I always thought the overall effect on the rider in front makes no difference if someone was on his tail or not. Is this the case or am I mistaken? Often I have ridden down roads and not even noticed someone on my tail till I bother to look around or they pass me.

...

Drafting someone does actually give them a benefit. Not sure of the exact % benefit, but basically because you are sitting in their disturbed air and it is causing less drag on them, they gain that benefit.


Thanks. I actually meant for the rider in front for them to notice any difference if someone was behind them or not. Sorry if this wasnt clear.

Totally understand the benefit for the rider behind. Just wasn't sure if there any difference for the person in front.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby JohnJoyner » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:55 pm

Nope. Not a fan of being drafted. I tend not to do it either, unless unavoidable.
If I am quick enough to pass someone & then after riding for awhile notice they are darafting me, it annoys me really.
Why couldn't they ride faster in the first place. Plus being in Sydney there is zero acknowledgement after getting the free ride.

I'd rather pass someone or let them get a little distance ahead rather than draft...

Plus as has been mentioned before, I also fear they may brake suddenly or swerve late to avoid an obstacle.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby sogood » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:04 pm

I say, draft away, as long as it's safely done ie. Not too close unless the pulling rider acknowledges the draftee's skill. From performance point of view, the benefit goes both ways, although the majority is with the draftee. Otherwise it's beneficial to act out a scene of suffering, it ALWAYS make the puller feel good, even if the draftee is faking it all. ;)
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Biffidus » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:10 pm

Having someone sitting on my rear wheel always makes me nervous... I don't know what they're going to do and it means I can't stop suddenly.

Save it for group rides with friends... otherwise hang back a bike length or two.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby sogood » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:33 pm

Biffidus wrote:Having someone sitting on my rear wheel always makes me nervous... I don't know what they're going to do and it means I can't stop suddenly.

Problem here is, what distance is considered to be drafting and what distance is considered to be simple following traffic? To me, less than one wheel length is specialised skill and definitely drafting. At greater than a wheel length, one will still benefit from draft effect but to many, that's just following and perfectly legit. Based on what I've seen, I have rarely seen commuters draft closer than a wheel length.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Chef » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:16 pm

sogood wrote:
Biffidus wrote:Having someone sitting on my rear wheel always makes me nervous... I don't know what they're going to do and it means I can't stop suddenly.

Problem here is, what distance is considered to be drafting and what distance is considered to be simple following traffic? To me, less than one wheel length is specialised skill and definitely drafting. At greater than a wheel length, one will still benefit from draft effect but to many, that's just following and perfectly legit. Based on what I've seen, I have rarely seen commuters draft closer than a wheel length.



I have to disagree - following as close as a wheel length (and less) is tail-gating; it might be racer cool to behave in this fashion, but in the real world you put others in danger - save it for organized rides and races

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Re: DRAFTING

Postby sogood » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:39 pm

Chef wrote:I have to disagree - following as close as a wheel length (and less) is tail-gating; it might be racer cool to behave in this fashion, but in the real world you put others in danger - save it for organized rides and races

Actually, we are not in disagreement on the dangers of real drafting (within a wheel length), but disagree on what's considered drafting. In real practice, drafting has to be "tail-gating" per your term, or there's no drafting benefit. To truly get oneself out of the drafting range, one needs at least a few bike lengths separation, one that's not realistic on a busy bike path. So as said, anything outside of a wheel length can easily be considered to be just normal bike traffic separation.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Chef » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:02 pm

sogood wrote:
Chef wrote:I have to disagree - following as close as a wheel length (and less) is tail-gating; it might be racer cool to behave in this fashion, but in the real world you put others in danger - save it for organized rides and races

Actually, we are not in disagreement on the dangers of real drafting (within a wheel length), but disagree on what's considered drafting. In real practice, drafting has to be "tail-gating" per your term, or there's no drafting benefit. To truly get oneself out of the drafting range, one needs at least a few bike lengths separation, one that's not realistic on a busy bike path. So as said, anything outside of a wheel length can easily be considered to be just normal bike traffic separation.



I see what you mean - teach me to read more thoroughly!

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