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Fat'r + Slow'r than TMB
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Dear wheelsuckers, freds, people who want to draft. Please let yourself be known if you are going to hang 2 inches off my rear tire. While I might hear you back there it is always nice to ask if you can barrow the 17 % less effort you are going to have to make by being behind me. Also it could potentially keep a crash from happening when I have to turn my head to see who is there. Just a simple "Howdy I am going to stay behind you for a while" will do. Thanks!
Sincerely,
Me
 

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Last night, my bf and I went on this huge group ride through the city (over 2000 riders). Most people were not on road bikes and the going was pretty slow for a while (like under 10mph- slow to the point of being boring). After awhile, we were able to break out of the cluster of slowpokes who didn't know how to ride a bike and were able to whiz along at a nice speed.

At one point, we were cruising along at about 24mph or so and came upon another road biker who was just riding at a leisurely pace. As soon as we passed him, he decided he wanted to go fast, too, and got right on my wheel. Then we came to a turn and because it was dark and I couldn't see well, I had to slow down. So the guy started sucking my bf's wheel, until he slowed down to see why I was slowing down. Then the guy just whizzed right past us and we never saw him again. :p I was amused.

There was also another road biker who we sort of played leap frog with the whole ride who would basically ride slow until it was our turn to pass him again and then he'd suck my wheel. And we'd let him pass and he'd go on along and slow down until we'd pass him again and then do the same wheel-sucking routine.

People are funny. I guess they only wanted to ride fast if they didn't have to expend any effort to do it, hehe. It was fun, though, even if that does make me a little nervous. I'm not the most steady rider yet and in the dark on a road covered with cracks and potholes, I didn't really like having to worry about someone being that close to me. But those guys didn't worry me near as much as all the fatties plodding along on their mountain bikes or the old people on comfort bikes or the parents towing their kids behind them, since none of those people ever rode in a straight line and they seemed completely unaware of their surroundings. I'll take a wheelsucker over an idiot rider any day.
 

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jupiterrn said:
Dear wheelsuckers, freds, people who want to draft. Please let yourself be known if you are going to hang 2 inches off my rear tire. While I might hear you back there it is always nice to ask if you can barrow the 17 % less effort you are going to have to make by being behind me. Also it could potentially keep a crash from happening when I have to turn my head to see who is there. Just a simple "Howdy I am going to stay behind you for a while" will do. Thanks!
Sincerely,
Me
Obviously a rant....that I totally agree with :thumbsup:

Just today, I went out on a recovery ride...which a short part of my route also included the Lance Armstrong Foundation ride route (I'm in the Portland, OR area). I went out early in the AM not expecting there to be people to this point so early, but it would seem like some were on the short route or something (less than an hour in and they were already past the last rest stop?).

Anyway...I was on my TT bike as I use it a lot for recovery rides to stay used to the position and it just pedals easier than my other bike :D . Anyway, I was moving at a pace faster than pretty much every body else on the road (22-24 mph) when I pass a guy that was riding solo. Shortly thereafter I could hear him breathing hard to stay up with me...then he passes me and says it's a lot easier when you can follow somebody...like he had never done that before.

That was my warning sign....I promptly took the pace to 30 mph and held it there for about 5 minutes and he was gone. Not the best usage for recovery...but a hard effort mid way through the ride didn't hurt my recovery, but did get me away from somebody that obviously was not used to drafting other riders.

Guys like that should not be drafting, nor passing a guy if they are not used to drafting, especially a guy on a TT bike :eek:

I guess common sense is not so common after all! :idea:
 

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kbilly said:
riding about a length and a half or so back and off to the side a foot or so, not really drafting but just taking the pace of the rider ahead.

bill
For me...if you are passed by a faster rider and you take their draft so you can ride faster...it's wheelsucking, regardless of where you position yourself.

If you want to ride that pace, that's fine, but you should have been riding it in the first place and not waiting for somebody to come along and set the pace for you.

To me...Yes, that is wheelsucking because you can still cause a crash if you are not paying attention. You don't know the rider in front of you and they don't know you so neither of you knows what the other is doing, how they ride, whether they know signals, etc....and you didn't announce yourself as drafting to the lead rider so he/she may or may not know you are there which is dangerous.

If you are going to jump on somebody's wheel and you are not actually riding with them...always announce that you are there and what you are doing. This allows the front rider to say OK or "Not" OK...because they may not be comfortable with you there.

Personally, I wouldn't be comfortable with you behind me like that and I'd likely pick the pace up to a level you couldn't hang on to my wheel...if you could, I'd stop and let you go on your way.
 

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Cross Chained said:
Last night, my bf and I went on this huge group ride through the city (over 2000 riders).

Most people were not on road bikes...

we were able to break out of the cluster slowpokes who didn't know how to ride a bike and were able to whiz along at a nice speed.

we were cruising along at about 24mph ...

edited many uses of the term "wheel sucker" and variations...

People are funny. I guess they only wanted to ride fast if they didn't have to expend any effort to do it, hehe. ....

I'm not the most steady rider yet

all the fatties plodding along on their mountain bikes or the old people on comfort bikes or the parents towing their kids behind them, since none of those people ever rode in a straight line and they seemed completely unaware of their surroundings.

I'll take a wheelsucker over an idiot rider any day.
Well aren't we a special little newby road rider! And you wonder where they get the term "arrogant roadie prick". Please tell me what you expect on a group ride of 2000 people, and why in the world you would join one and not expect those sort casual of riders and the occasional impromptu pace line.

And by the way, just because a person is a parent, middle aged, slow or not riding a serious road bike doesn't mean they're an idiot. In fact, my opinion would be in kind of the opposite direction.

And finally, it's drafting, not "wheel sucking", and is very common in large group rides in exactly the cirucumstances you describe. But being new you probably didn't know that.
 

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The Seattle to Portland is in 13 days. I will have a big line of riders behind me and I can safely predict that when I roll out of line after pulling for a few miles that the rider behind me will sit up and not know what to do. That ride is about surviving the first 80-90 miles until you find a good group of 10-15 that will rotate and pull through.
 

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Camilo said:
Well aren't we a special little newby road rider! And you wonder where they get the term "arrogant roadie prick". Please tell me what you expect on a group ride of 2000 people, and why in the world you would join one and not expect those sort casual of riders and the occasional impromptu pace line.

And by the way, just because a person is a parent, middle aged, slow or not riding a serious road bike doesn't mean they're an idiot. In fact, my opinion would be in kind of the opposite direction.

And finally, it's drafting, not "wheel sucking", and is very common in large group rides in exactly the cirucumstances you describe. But being new you probably didn't know that.
I'm going with "Cross Chained" on this one and I'm an experienced rider.

Call me an arrogant roadie prick if you want, honestly I could give a rip what some idiot on a web forum thinks. But "Wheelsuckers", people drafting...call it what you want...if they don't announce that they are there, they are a danger not only to the lead riders but themselves.

You might find it perfectly acceptable...which maybe makes you the arrogant roadie here because you obviously don't give a rip about what others think and are going to do what ever you want.

Even in large group rides you should make your presence known and ask if you can join the faster group. If they say no...back off. If they say go ahead and join, then do so but expect to pull at some point as well!
 

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Let's see. After riding a "recovery" ride at 22-24mph for awhile you picked it up to 30mph for about 5 minutes to shake a wheel sucker. During that five minutes you would have covered 2.5 miles. Fabian Cancellara, two time world time trial champion, did the 2.1 mile prologue in the Tour of California in 3:51 at a speed of 32.7mph. How come you're not on a pro team?
 

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Don't rule out a misunderstanding...

Wookiebiker said:
For me...if you are passed by a faster rider and you take their draft so you can ride faster...it's wheelsucking, regardless of where you position yourself.
y.
I rode my first century about 25 years ago on NO training. I was a casual cyclist, did two or three 10-15 mile rides a week, when a friend called on a Friday night and asked if I wanted to do the Plumas Sierra Century the next morning.
We showed up with no idea what to expect and did the ride in seven hours or so, but along the way we hooked up with a couple of groups of much faster riders. Neither of us knew anything about drafting--I fell in behind the first group just to see if I could ride as fast as they were going, then was pretty impressed with myself because we picked up from 15-16mph to 20-21. When the leader dropped back, I fell off the pace and let (made) him go in front of me, but it was only because I was trying not to screw them up. I really had no idea I was benefiting from their speed or that etiquette required me to take a pull.
We did the same thing with another group later in the day, and one of them explained the rules.
Unless you're racing, what's the big deal about somebody drafting you? Doesn't cost you anything to have him back there.
 

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I suggest the next time a stranger drafts you simply remind them that there is a price to pay for enjoying the reduced effort. Let them know when its their turn to pull or lay the hammer down and drop em'.
 

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Matnlely Dregaend
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I get tired... most people do. When I do get tired and someone passes me, I draft. I ask politely before I do, but I'd be a fool not to get the free ride if they don't mind. Of course no one EVER passes me when I bonk 30 miles from home!:mad2:
 

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Mel Erickson said:
Let's see. After riding a "recovery" ride at 22-24mph for awhile you picked it up to 30mph for about 5 minutes to shake a wheel sucker. During that five minutes you would have covered 2.5 miles. Fabian Cancellara, two time world time trial champion, did the 2.1 mile prologue in the Tour of California in 3:51 at a speed of 32.7mph. How come you're not on a pro team?
LOL...I love how everybody is an expert here and knows the exact riding conditions each person rides at. Nice assumption there...Everybody here is not only an expert...but a psychic as well. Color me impressed :thumbsup:

With that said there was a bit of a tailwind.

My tempo pace on a regular road bike on a flat with low wind is 21-22 mph...on a TT bike it's 22-24 mph...on a slight downhill or a slight wind at my back it's 24-26 mph+ on my TT bike.

And yes, on a recovery ride on the road I was on, at the time, my pace varied between 22-24 mph and I was keeping my Heart Rate between 117 and 130 up until said "Wheelsucker" decided to jump on my wheel. And yes...for 5 minutes I can hold 30 mph on a TT bike by my self on a flat road with no problem (without my aero equipment)...longer than that and it becomes a problem.

BTW...the section I was on was about 6 miles in length and I was about 1/2 way through it when said "Wheelsucker" jumped on my wheel. Shortly after that I was off the main route and didn't have to worry about it again.

BTW...Part 2...Noboby else on the route did what this guy did which is why I'll consider him an idiot. The rest were smart enough to figure it out, he wasn't!

Thanks for your input though :thumbsup:

Addendum: Just an FYI...My recovery ride was 29.67 miles in length with a mix of country roads and city riding. I averaged 20.2 mph (max was 39.0) with an average HR of 125 BPM. Basically a nice easy 1.5'ish hour ride for me on my TT bike....a recovery ride for me.

I'm also a TT guy and was part of a State champion TTT team this year...so holding a fast steady pace is what I train for. Again, thanks for playing.
 

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bigbill said:
The Seattle to Portland is in 13 days. I will have a big line of riders behind me and I can safely predict that when I roll out of line after pulling for a few miles that the rider behind me will sit up and not know what to do. That ride is about surviving the first 80-90 miles until you find a good group of 10-15 that will rotate and pull through.
You described much better what I intended to: in a large group ride, impromptu pace lines happen and many times the participants (a) have never been in a pace line before and are only discovering the benefits (b) have never been schooled in pace line ettiquete (sp) and (c) find themselves in pace lines they just can't keep up with after a while.

I have been there, done that, a,b,c. Now I know better - I know what to expect in a large group ride, I know how to deal with the uninitated (and to expect them) and I know what good pace line manners are. I also know that, among the people I ride with regularly, when you get to the front, if you're weaker you will either pull shorter, pull a little slower or both. That's natural. And even more likely to be the case if you hook up with some strangers in the middle of a large group ride. I recently wen 50 miles with some good friends and our pulls were something like 18, 19 and 20+ mph depending on who was in front. I can draft the line at 20, but can't pull much faster than 18-19. No big deal.

Just because someone slows down when they get to the front doesn't mean they're lazy or an idiot. It might mean they're in the wrong pace line for the long haul, but for the moment, take their pull as a time to rest up a bit..... or move on.
 

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Cory said:
Unless you're racing, what's the big deal about somebody drafting you? Doesn't cost you anything to have him back there.
It's fine in racing...that's part of racing and to be expected.

Why do people feel they have the right to draft off other groups in a charity ride/tour?

What's the big deal? When they don't announce they are there, they cross your wheel and you swerve to miss a pothole, glass, something etc...and they take the both of you out because they have no idea what they are doing....That's the big deal.

If you don't know what you're doing....don't do it! It's a simple concept really.

If people want to learn how to draft and ride in a group, join a club. Most have rides where they teach skills such as this as well as hand signals, calling out things ahead, rotating pacelines, etc.

If I was in the group you were drafting in I would have told you to get off, or had my group pick the pace up to a point you couldn't follow at, or pull over for a stop to let you go on your merry way.

So in summary...You didn't take a turn up front, basically got a free ride and you were able to pick the pace up beyond what you were doing before...ummm....you were drafting, what did you expect?
 

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bigbill said:
The Seattle to Portland is in 13 days. I will have a big line of riders behind me and I can safely predict that when I roll out of line after pulling for a few miles that the rider behind me will sit up and not know what to do. That ride is about surviving the first 80-90 miles until you find a good group of 10-15 that will rotate and pull through.
Which is exactly why I won't do rides like that and one of the reasons I wasn't riding in the LAF ride today. Way too many people that don't spend any time riding in a pack other than once or twice a year.

I've heard many a horror story about people being taken out during the STP because riders were not paying attention, were not announcing they were behind drafting, etc.

I'll stick to racing where I expect it to happen, and hope that the riders around me have at least some pack riding skills...and to my team group rides where I know the riders and the skills they have.
 

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DrSmile said:
I get tired... most people do. When I do get tired and someone passes me, I draft. I ask politely before I do, but I'd be a fool not to get the free ride if they don't mind. Of course no one EVER passes me when I bonk 30 miles from home!:mad2:
And that's the point, pretty much of this entire thread....You "Ask" if you can draft. At least then the rider has an option to say yes or no and if they agree to let you draft they know you are there so they can call out objects, signals, etc.

Just jumping in behind somebody is foolish and stupid and can result in serious injury to both parties if the person behind doesn't know what they are doing.
 

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Camilo said:
Well aren't we a special little newby road rider! And you wonder where they get the term "arrogant roadie prick". Please tell me what you expect on a group ride of 2000 people, and why in the world you would join one and not expect those sort casual of riders and the occasional impromptu pace line.

And by the way, just because a person is a parent, middle aged, slow or not riding a serious road bike doesn't mean they're an idiot. In fact, my opinion would be in kind of the opposite direction.

And finally, it's drafting, not "wheel sucking", and is very common in large group rides in exactly the cirucumstances you describe. But being new you probably didn't know that.
Wtf is your problem? :rolleyes:

First of all, I knew perfectly well that it was going to be a recreational, family-type outing for most people. I had already assumed going into the event that a lot of people there would be inexperienced riders. I wanted to participate because it's probably the only time I'll ever be able to ride through downtown safely.

I also was not surprised by their poor riding skills. When I moved to this state, I was in utter disbelief at the recklessness of the way most people here drive. I've since gotten used to it and I do not expect their "driving" on a bicycle to be much better. Frankly, it wasn't. They paid no attention to the traffic around them, swerved out in front of other bikers for no reason and with no warning and without looking. They would ride 6 abreast, taking up the entire road so no one could pass and completely oblivious to the fact that someone might want to pass. If you called out "on your left" as you tried to pass, some of them would them turn their head to look and inadvertently swerve into your path because they had no control over their bicycle. But I was fully expecting this and rode accordingly, which is why I did not end up crashing. But just because it's to be expected does not make it excusable, nor does the fact that "most people" do it. In fact, a lot of people last night ended up injured or with wrecked bikes.

I maybe a be a "newbie" rider, but at least I have taken the time to familiarise myself with how to safely ride a bike, either solo or with a group, and with basic etiquette. And yes, I did know the term is "drafting", but I'm not the one who named the topic. I also quite clearly stated that I didn't mind being drafted, just that I found the circumstances amusing. I think the "arrogant prick" around here might be you, not me. I'm not really sure why you felt the need to get all confrontational over a post that was not directed at you, other than the fact that you feel you have something to prove. :rolleyes:
 

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Camilo said:
Just because someone slows down when they get to the front doesn't mean they're lazy or an idiot. It might mean they're in the wrong pace line for the long haul, but for the moment, take their pull as a time to rest up a bit..... or move on.

If I am riding in a group and get tired, I will go to the front and control the pace by slowing over a period of time. I am 6'1" and 220 so no one complains if I sit on the pace for a few miles. If the pace has been 25-27mph, I can sit on the front and recover at 23-24.

I rode the Flying Wheels Century a few weeks ago. I was rolling in a pack at 25 mph when the guy in front of me grabbed his brakes. There was no one in front of him and no reason to brake. I snapped at him and told him to go to the back if he doesn't know how to ride in a pack. My outburst and the fact that I was wearing a RBR jersey identified me to two other cyclists in the group. "Hey, you're bigbill" "yup".
 

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Wookiebiker said:
I'm going with "Cross Chained" on this one and I'm an experienced rider.

Call me an arrogant roadie prick if you want, honestly I could give a rip what some idiot on a web forum thinks. But "Wheelsuckers", people drafting...call it what you want...if they don't announce that they are there, they are a danger not only to the lead riders but themselves.

You might find it perfectly acceptable...which maybe makes you the arrogant roadie here because you obviously don't give a rip about what others think and are going to do what ever you want.

Even in large group rides you should make your presence known and ask if you can join the faster group. If they say no...back off. If they say go ahead and join, then do so but expect to pull at some point as well!
I was just trying to say that when you're participating in a "2000+" event, stuff like this is going to happen - at least it's happened in every large group ride I've been in. I happen to agree with you that you shouldn't sneak onto someone's wheel and I do feel uncomfortable riding in close proximity (pace line) with people who I don't know. I wouldn't whine about it and insult anyone who doesn't ride a road bike or doesn't ride fast. What I would do is simply either drop the offending person (unlikely -because I don't "cruise" at 24 mph like she said she does - that would be a short-lived hammer for me), or, just wave them by. It's not a race, it's a huge group ride with the expectation of uncertain and ignorant riders. They are not (necessarily)idiots nor are they lazy.

But to disparage the typical rider in an event like this the way she did is uncalled for, in my opinion. WTF do you expect when you ride with 2000 people on an organized ride of this sort? Most recreational riders are indeed slow, have kids with them or ride MTBs or comfort bikes. The same should be expected in a large recreational group ride.
 
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