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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m going to post this as well in the Southern California forum.

Today (6-4-06) I was on PCH at Zuma beach around 11am and I was passed by a paceline of maybe a dozen riders, then a few moments later I see this guy wheel sucking a Winnebago. Well I don’t know if it was a Winnebago, but it was a huge mobile home /RV vehicle. This was just after a hill, that transitions into a flat, and I kid you not, the guy was doing about 45 MPH, within a foot of the rear bumber, right in the middle of the vehicle. There is no way the driver could see him. Later I saw the rider peel off, no worries.

I’ve drafted cars and trucks, but within 2 or 3 bike lengths, and at under 30 MPH. Not the smartest thing, I admit, but at least I was back some, and could be seen.

Who was that guy and did anyone else see him? Big cajones to say the least.
 

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Wasn't me, but I used to do it with city buses when I was young and invincible.

The problem isn't that you are too close - a bike can stop way faster than those beasts.
The problem isn't that you can't be seen - no one can turn that close behind something that big anyway.

The real danger in this sport is that you can't see the potholes and roadkill coming at you. Makes things interesting now and then Land a 3-day dead skunk under your front wheel, and you'll think again about this bit of fun. 'specially when you have to pick the bones out of the flat you got.

But the draft you get is unbelievable. Feels like you go faster when you sit up, from the pressure wake caving back in around the beast.
 

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danl1 said:
Wasn't me, but I used to do it with city buses when I was young and invincible.

The problem isn't that you are too close - a bike can stop way faster than those beasts.
The problem isn't that you can't be seen - no one can turn that close behind something that big anyway.

The real danger in this sport is that you can't see the potholes and roadkill coming at you. Makes things interesting now and then Land a 3-day dead skunk under your front wheel, and you'll think again about this bit of fun. 'specially when you have to pick the bones out of the flat you got.

But the draft you get is unbelievable. Feels like you go faster when you sit up, from the pressure wake caving back in around the beast.
+1 'cept mine was a city bus.

Fun stuff!

M
 

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MShaw said:
+1 'cept mine was a city bus.

Fun stuff!

M
City buses you can draft by around 8 feet and get a good draft, in my experience. Dude, have you guys tried cement trucks? That sweet spot is 20 feet deep... I commute to school and if I see one of those I get in behind it, around a half a car length behind it. 30mph, and I'm gliding half the time. It takes less effort than 15mph. Ferreal. I think the big cement holder thing serves as an airfoil to disrupt the air and send it straight up creating a frigging huge vortex. Physics majors correct as you will
-estone2
 

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only vehicle i've ever drafted was a gigantic flatbed truck on Pacific Coast Hwy in Sunset Beach, at around 40mph. i had to sprint all-out in order to catch up and slip in behind it, but it was PERFECT. the bed of the trailer was about a half-inch lower than my eyes, so i could still see the road in front of the truck (kinda), but the draft was good enough that i was being pulled, on a decent incline, at 30-40mph. because of the crosswind coming from my left, i found that the "sweet spot" was about where my left shoulder was ALMOST brushing against the right, rear tire of the trailer. this guy that i was riding with that day was laughing his as$ off, yelling "GO GO GO!!!"

was it stupid? yeah. could i have been easily killed? yeah. will i do it again? probably not. was it fun? oh heck yes.
 

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estone2 said:
City buses you can draft by around 8 feet and get a good draft, in my experience. Dude, have you guys tried cement trucks? That sweet spot is 20 feet deep... I commute to school and if I see one of those I get in behind it, around a half a car length behind it. 30mph, and I'm gliding half the time. It takes less effort than 15mph. Ferreal. I think the big cement holder thing serves as an airfoil to disrupt the air and send it straight up creating a frigging huge vortex. Physics majors correct as you will
-estone2
I live near a quarry and cement factory complex. Be VERY careful of those trucks. After having a few pebbles and small rocks kicked up, I give them a wide bearth. Taking a rock to the face at 30+mph is not my idea of a fun ride :(
 

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+1. !!

Thankfully it only smacked my shoulder, which hurt like a ... something that hurts, left a welt, etc, then got deflected off of my wheel and shattered the window of a car beside me.

Well, then...
 

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Once had a good thing going on a downhill behind one of those monster bottled water trucks. It was the ride of my life that almost turned into the last ride of my life. I thought I knew the road, but that newly patched trench in the road let me know otherwise. That was the last time I ever drafted anything that close.
 

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me too,

about 15yrs ago i too was young, foolish, had great legs and could be found
wheelsucking the RTD buses on Ventura blvd here in the San Fernando Valley.
my fastest speed was also probably around 45mph. my old training route
was from north hollywood on riverside drive to cahuenga, up cahuenga to mulholland,
mulholland over to beverly glen and then down into the valley. the return to NoHo via
ventura consisted of wicked intervals, wheelsucking the buses eastbound until
about studio city when i would head north back up to riverside drive and cool down.
my fastest downhill on beverly glen was somewhere over 60, as i passed a car and
glanced over to see the dashboard - i realized that 60 was actually kind of scary
and slowed after that. haven't gone that fast since.

of course, nowadays, traffic is abysmal and driver quality is equally poor, so i
restrict my training rides to daily jaunts into Griffith Park from work(Disney.)
i wouldn't even consider drafting anything i can't see through anyway. same
when i'm in a car too. there's too many lame-o drivers here in the L.A. area.
 

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Oldteen said:
I live near a quarry and cement factory complex. Be VERY careful of those trucks. After having a few pebbles and small rocks kicked up, I give them a wide bearth. Taking a rock to the face at 30+mph is not my idea of a fun ride :(
ouch! Jeebus. Wait where'd the rock come from? Outta the truck, or from the road? Cuz teh road I commute on is REALLY NICE - no rocks or anything, since it's one of the main roads in town; there aren't rocks on it.
Do I need to worry about them coming outta the truck itself?
-estone2
 

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estone2 said:
ouch! Jeebus. Wait where'd the rock come from? Outta the truck, or from the road? Cuz teh road I commute on is REALLY NICE - no rocks or anything, since it's one of the main roads in town; there aren't rocks on it.
Do I need to worry about them coming outta the truck itself?
-estone2
YES!!!

Remember that gravel is part of the concrete mix, so small stones &/or bits of solidified concrete are prone to fly off those trucks. I now the only time I get near those babies is when I have no choice (like being behind them at a stoplight).
BTW- I've done some sh$t on MTB's which has turned out to be wilda$$ fun for a while but turned out real DUMB later on.

Be safe & live to ride another day!
 

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Back in the '70s

I was 16 yrs old , working in a bike store with two of my best friends and we were road racers. We lived ten miles form the shop and rode in every morning,every weather. One of the lads had made the national squad for an international junior tour. In those days there were still some buses with open back doors. We were on a dual carriageway and drafting and the bus conductor, an older chap, was shouting out the back telling us we were going to be killed. Proably the speed was somewhere between 30- 35 mph when a driver in the outer lane ( probably watching us) touched the car in front of him. The car following swerved across us and we hit it one after another. can still remember being in the air, eyes closed and it seemed forever before I hit the ground. We found my hat about a mile up the road - must have landed on one of the cars. Close to thirty years ago - won't try that again.
 

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Ask Dave_Stohler about this. He once did 60 mph behind the Cinzano team truck in his small chain ring. That was awesome. Until the truck got pulled over for speeding in a 55 mph zone.
 

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HillMan said:
Ask Dave_Stohler about this. He once did 60 mph behind the Cinzano team truck in his small chain ring. That was awesome. Until the truck got pulled over for speeding in a 55 mph zone.
yeah, and his legs automagically got bigger and more muscular too! If I could do the reverse switcheroo when I get to hills I'd be a happy camper!

M
 

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MShaw said:
yeah, and his legs automagically got bigger and more muscular too! If I could do the reverse switcheroo when I get to hills I'd be a happy camper!

M
smaller and weaker for hills?
wtf???
-estone2
 

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Survivors

Interesting theme here: A gram of experience is worth a kilo of advice (to revisit an old saw). One does this and is visited w/ regrettable circumstances, or one does this w/o incident and afterward considers the potential consequences. So it’s fun… for a little while. I too am guilty of the foolish immortality of youth, appreciative of surviving without significant scarring those many decades past….
 

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estone2 said:
smaller and weaker for hills?
wtf???
-estone2
thinner = less weight... I'm 5'8" and ~195 at the moment (yeah, I'm a fat SOB! racing weight = 165-170) and would MUCH rather have the build of my 5'9" ~135 buddy that outclimbs me EVERY STINKIN TIME the road goes anywhere close to uphill.

'Course, I can outride him on the flats, but that don't win hilly races!

M
 

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A pick-up starts to pass me, I could tell by the sound it was having to work hard so to accelerate away from a stop so I jumped hard to get on and latch on to the trailer it was pulling. I didn't check to see what it was until I caught the draft. Then I found out that it is never, ever a good idea to draft off behind a cattle trailer. At 30+ evrything blows right in your face. After that, I would at least look before trying to jump on a vehicle's draft.
 

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I always chase large vehicles, CAT buses, delivery trucks, roach coaches & garbage trucks (smelly but effective). We had a flat loop we used to ride at lunch around our business center and everytime one of the above would pass I was off to the races often pegging 40mph. So much that everytime the guys would see a truck they'd start barking in my honor. It can get dicey and I try not to chase dirt haulers or other heavy construction vehicles because of the rocks they tend to kick up. I'll also back off on roads that are less than ideal. I can be a little crazy, but I'm not stupid! :rolleyes:

mbb
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
tailgating???

I was just thinking he could get a ticket for tailgating. PCH is full of law enforcment on the weekend. I'd bet he'd frame the ticket if it showed the speed and distance. Although since it was so close, maybe it would be more than tailgating, maybe reckless driving. Just thinking out loud here.....
 
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