DRAFTING

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: DRAFTING

Postby Chef » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:08 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.

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



+1

Wether you consider it to be "real" drafting or not, sitting right behind someone is dangerous and discourteous.

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by BNA » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:04 pm

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Re: DRAFTING

Postby sogood » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:04 pm

Chef wrote:Wether you consider it to be "real" drafting or not, sitting right behind someone is dangerous and discourteous.

The difficulty here is as pointed out earlier, for the same gap, some would consider it too close while others see it as normal traffic separation with no intention to draft. There may be more misunderstanding than true intention. Everyone should just relax a bit. If one fines someone being too close to comfort, an arm wave will typically get them around. Problem solved.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Baalzamon » Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:20 pm

Well the only thing that can draft me now is either another recumbent trike, or a recumbent lowracer. Everything else gets no benefit, another advantage of a recumbent trike :)
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Xplora » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:38 pm

Never draft during commutes unless you are riding with regular pals. Never never never.

Weekend warriors are OK, they know what you're doing, and they know how to react. I have no idea if some noob is about to rearend me etc.

Also, there is virtually no benefit from drafting until you're doing 35kmh and right on their hammer IME, and that's well beyond the "normal" riding pace and space for most commuters, making the process more pointless.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby wexford » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:21 am

I gotta say I both hate and love discovering a wheel sucker behind me. It's irritating, but then I get to put us both in the hurt box and see just how hard he's willing to try to hang on. That's fun, and it makes me push myself harder too. Only ever had someone keep up twice - the first one still sat on my wheel when I backed right off! Now that was annoying. The other called out he'd take a turn and did a nice pass and lined up in front. Then promptly made me look like a dill when he picked up the pace a little and dropped me a few minutes later :oops:

Only ever had the one acknowledgement, commuting northbound along Perth's Kwinana Freeway PSP. I picked him up around Canning Bridge and, given that conditions were good, I put the hammer down all the way into Perth and set a PR along the way and quickest ever commute by three minutes (to this day). Brutal pace by my standards - having him there really made me work hard. Anyway, as I peeled off at the CBD I had a look. He had a big grin and said "thanks mate, that was awesome!". Made my day :D
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Gerry.M » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:58 am

Xplora wrote:Also, there is virtually no benefit from drafting until you're doing 35kmh and right on their hammer IME, and that's well beyond the "normal" riding pace and space for most commuters, making the process more pointless.


I don't see it as pointless, for me I might be struggling along at 25km/h and someone will pass me doing closer to 30.
Having them within sight allows me to push on at 30km/h without a huge increase in effort as you have a target to work to.
Not necessarily drafting, more following closely behind (i.e. at least a full bike length)
Generally I only do this on a bike path mind you.

For those that do let the lead rider know you are drafting, how do you let them know?
i.e. When I pass someone I'll often call out "Passing", so do you call out "Drafting" :)
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DRAFTING

Postby RonK » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:01 pm

Lebowski wrote:For those that do let the lead rider know you are drafting, how do you let them know?
i.e. When I pass someone I'll often call out "Passing", so do you call out "Drafting" :)

You extend the courtesy of asking first.

The four words required are: "May I sit on"
Or
"Mind if I sit".
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:24 pm

Haven't done it too often, but one mornng was doing hill repeats and had a guy pass me on a roadie so I bridged the gap and sat on his wheel.

I think he appreciated it when I said "thanks for the tow :D" after we crested the climb
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby elantra » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:35 pm

trailgumby wrote:Haven't done it too often, but one mornng was doing hill repeats and had a guy pass me on a roadie so I bridged the gap and sat on his wheel.

I think he appreciated it when I said "thanks for the tow :D" after we crested the climb


On my way to work the other day a Roadie overtook me going so fast that i felt compelled to see how fast he was really going.

To my amazement i managed to catch him with the assistance of a traffic light.

A kilometre later i let him "go" but soon after that he had to stop for a Ped crossing and he was a bit "slow" getting going again.
i felt embarrassed to have to pass him :oops:
then we went our separate ways.....
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Xplora » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:24 pm

Lebowski wrote:For those that do let the lead rider know you are drafting, how do you let them know?
i.e. When I pass someone I'll often call out "Passing", so do you call out "Drafting" :)

You are describing "chasing" and not drafting. I chase EVERYONE on my commutes. Nothing wrong with chasing. Drafting in practice is sitting VERY close to their backwheel, and essentially becoming "one" in the slipstream. You can't do this safely with strangers on many commute routes, because there are often turns and obstacles to navigate etc and you need a prior understanding and a good road to draft safely - aka no sudden stops, expectation of signalling, etc. You might find the guy in front doesn't understand how important it is to yell out "slowing" or "rolling" or "all clear", there is an enormous amount of trust when you are following and it is IMO unreasonable to expect that from a stranger who may not have the experience in bunch riding.

Don't get me wrong. I have been having a fantastic time drafting on the commute east down the M4 near Parramatta with my riding pal, but we understand the speeds involved, and what to do when we get to the merging lanes etc. We also know each other and have been practicing :lol: I'm no bunch riding genius but my experience with commutes is that it's a bad bad idea to treat it the same as a casual ride on Saturday morning.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby HLC » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:54 pm

I hate Kent's drafting me. Unless it's my mates and we are on a group ride.

I never draft people either, unless it's my mates and we are on a group ride.

I rode one guy off my wheel yesterday arvo and he wasn't too happy, and I was less than impressed with the guy half-wheeling me later on that evening. Especially when slowing as I was (and usually am always) riding my brakeless track bike. Clowns.

You want to draft me? Ask. And be prepared to take a turn too. Just like we do at the track. Sick of hero super-commuters who want to shave seconds off their strava segments but wheel sucking... Mate, if you are getting passed by a guy on a Fixed Gear bike running a huge gear into a block headwind (all it ever seems to be over here) then saving seconds is the least of your worries.

The worst is heading against the 'traffic' in this instance. On the rare rare occasion that I'll be copping a sweet sweet tailwind there is a fair chance that I'll have the hammer down. Instead of having to worry about drafters and half-wheeling jerks, I get to contend with them coming at me in stupidly long trains awkwardly trying to pass slower riders so not to drop off the ack and lose their draft. Makes for some smooth moves and heart-in-mouth moments. If you are riding everyday, you should know better than that. :roll:
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby diggler » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:29 pm

I didn't realise drafting was such a bad thing so I won't do it in future. I thought it was better not to embarrass the other rider by passing them, but apparently not.
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DRAFTING

Postby 98octane » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:20 am

Wow. This topic has opened a can of worms.

I commute daily along the Main Yarra Trail, which I've been doing for a year (to the day!). I try to always stay above 35kph. So I need to pass lots of cyclists on the way. Only a few go close to that pace, so I'm not tempted to draft often.

However, if the cyclist in front is doing within 1-2kph of the speed I want to go, overtaking can be difficult in the narrow parts of the trail. So I tend to follow behind by a metre or so for a few hundred metres until I can pass.

Until reading this thread I was unaware that that sort of drafting really irritates some cyclists. That said, a man who I can only conclude had had a bad day did once shout at me "Get off my f@#cking arse you f@#cking c@nt!" as I approached him riding up a hill (I passed immediately, so wasn't actually drafting). I find that reaction odd given there's actually a benefit to the lead cyclist, and I'm more than happy to return the favour when I pass.

In future, if I want to draft relatively closely (but no closer than a wheel), I'll be sure to ask the lead cyclist first.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby hamwedges » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:48 pm

I agree, it depends on the road and the experience of the rider in front.

I reguarly chase and draft people when crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge - straight stretch, no unexpected obsticles (generally). If you keep a good look out and find a good rider it definitely increases your speed. I try to ask first but am sometimes too puffed.
Im always happy for people to draft me, i just make sure if give them heaps of warning when braking (hand signal, etc)...
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Sweeper59 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:13 pm

I find that occasionally clearing your nose ('cocky's blow') tends to make unwanted wheel suckers drop off a little. :mrgreen:
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Kenzo » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:57 pm

Sweeper59 wrote:I find that occasionally clearing your nose ('cocky's blow') tends to make unwanted wheel suckers drop off a little. :mrgreen:


I think the snot rocket is a perfect example of incredibly disgusting behaviour when there is a rider behind you.

I was several metres off the back wheel of a rider and still copped the spray off this inconsiderate moron. (Not saying it was you Sweeper59).
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Crawf » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:13 pm

HLC wrote:I hate Kent's drafting me. Unless it's my mates and we are on a group ride.

I never draft people either, unless it's my mates and we are on a group ride.

I rode one guy off my wheel yesterday arvo and he wasn't too happy, and I was less than impressed with the guy half-wheeling me later on that evening. Especially when slowing as I was (and usually am always) riding my brakeless track bike. Clowns.

You want to draft me? Ask. And be prepared to take a turn too. Just like we do at the track. Sick of hero super-commuters who want to shave seconds off their strava segments but wheel sucking... Mate, if you are getting passed by a guy on a Fixed Gear bike running a huge gear into a block headwind (all it ever seems to be over here) then saving seconds is the least of your worries.

The worst is heading against the 'traffic' in this instance. On the rare rare occasion that I'll be copping a sweet sweet tailwind there is a fair chance that I'll have the hammer down. Instead of having to worry about drafters and half-wheeling jerks, I get to contend with them coming at me in stupidly long trains awkwardly trying to pass slower riders so not to drop off the ack and lose their draft. Makes for some smooth moves and heart-in-mouth moments. If you are riding everyday, you should know better than that. :roll:


Sheesh calm down.
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DRAFTING

Postby argon_18 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:32 pm

So what's the etiquette when joining a group/shop ride for the first time and no-one knows you yet?

My assumption is to hang back until I can convey some confidence that I know what I'm doing?
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby Xplora » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:57 pm

argon_18 wrote:So what's the etiquette when joining a group/shop ride for the first time and no-one knows you yet?

My assumption is to hang back until I can convey some confidence that I know what I'm doing?

Screw conveying confidence. Be confident, take your time and feel out the situation. Just remember that there is no guarantee that they aren't a pack of noobs, and you are not the most skilled rider. :shock:

I think the big thing is to be aware of your limits - bunch riding on 6 hours sleep and a hard week isn't going to end well, so maybe it's time to jump onto the back. I can't help myself. I have to go forward :mrgreen:
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby high_tea » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:20 pm

Xplora wrote:
argon_18 wrote:So what's the etiquette when joining a group/shop ride for the first time and no-one knows you yet?

My assumption is to hang back until I can convey some confidence that I know what I'm doing?

Screw conveying confidence. Be confident, take your time and feel out the situation. Just remember that there is no guarantee that they aren't a pack of noobs, and you are not the most skilled rider. :shock:

I think the big thing is to be aware of your limits - bunch riding on 6 hours sleep and a hard week isn't going to end well, so maybe it's time to jump onto the back. I can't help myself. I have to go forward :mrgreen:


Being at the back of a bunch is overrated. The further back you are, the more surging there is. So it's harder both physically and from a bike-handling point of view. The upside is that if you go off the back you will do so without inconveniencing other riders. It's the least intimidating place to ride with one thing and another, but I don't reckon it's the easiest.

PS. Have to rant. What is it with people who not only follow too closely, in traffic but insist on hanging half a metre to my left while doing it? Whatever happened to not overtaking on the inside? Not that they're even overtaking, they're just aimlessly hanging there close enough to make me nervous and putting themselves in the doorzone to no useful purpose. This happened to me not once, but twice, on the ride home today. The second time this hubbard didn't overtake when I signalled him and slowed down(signalling being so much more polite than yelling GET OFF MY EVERLOVING WHEEL YOU SILLY WHEELSUCKING PERSON, or possibly some version with lots of cusswords), then said something about waiting for me. I may have said something that insinuated that he had missed the point of me slowing down.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby g-boaf » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:35 am

98octane wrote:Until reading this thread I was unaware that that sort of drafting really irritates some cyclists. That said, a man who I can only conclude had had a bad day did once shout at me "Get off my f@#cking arse you f@#cking c@nt!" as I approached him riding up a hill (I passed immediately, so wasn't actually drafting). I find that reaction odd given there's actually a benefit to the lead cyclist, and I'm more than happy to return the favour when I pass.


It does, and I don't like it much either. For one, I'm not going to make myself out as the finest cyclist there is, and two - I don't know who the person behind me is. I'll speed up to stop it if I can, or I'll slow down and let you go ahead and then I'll follow about 3 or so bike lengths back. I prefer to be careful.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby ZepinAtor » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:10 pm

Whipy wrote:I failed to mention that the drafting I do is on a dedicated bike track.


I'm also from the N-side of Brisbane & probably ride the same dedicated paths that you do, or similar.

I totally agree with all the non-drafting opinions on here & for good reason. I train with a power meter & constantly watch the cadence/power figures with certain efforts requiring me to slow to 10km/hr then surge hard for 30 seconds.

I have had commuters/roadies/SSers try to draft of me & I always just keep increasing the speed until they're gone. It's turned a nice endurance/tempo ride into a TT fest which can be really annoying, but fun to an extent.

I much prefer to have them pull up beside me for a chat. It gets lonely out there sometimes :(
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby wurtulla wabbit » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:15 pm

Must be daft , I don't get why you would be set with someone getting an easier time by riding behind you.
You were doing what you were doing anyway ?
No change of plan so what are they getting off you for free that you could charge for or ask permission for ?

Cyclists and the politics are just silly at times.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby grantw » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:01 pm

I like to use appropriate hand signals when I know I'm being closely followed, but when someone steals a draft and doesn't ask, or even say hello so you are aware of their proximity, they're taking a big risk.

Just this morning I had some dill half wheel me on the inside, I didn't know he was there so didn't indicate that I was changing my line to avoid some rough road surface. Very nearly put him in the ditch, only I glanced down and saw his wheel at the last moment.
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Re: DRAFTING

Postby bychosis » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:19 pm

I didn't realize that it was such a big thing either. It does annoy me a little when someone sits behind in a nasty headwind and then won't have a go up front so I slow down so much the don't have a choice but to pass. But if they aren't too close behind I don't care. I'll occasionally sit behind someone as well, doesn't happen very often, but always at least half a bike length behind and then make some effort to pass without blowing them away so they can tag on if they want. Why shouldn't we work together? Theres no reason for all the agro out there.
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