Tailgating ( wheel sucking )

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xerxes
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Tailgating ( wheel sucking )

Postby xerxes » 21 Mar 2016, 2:35pm

Whilst out for a briskly paced ride the other day, twice in a few miles I had someone following me inches from my rear wheel. The first one, when I asked him to stop, said "OK, you can ride on my wheel if you like". He seemed incapable of understanding that someone might not want to ride with him, whether in front or behind. The second one actually became quite abusive.

I know that some groups of riders, especially those used to racing, think nothing of riding close together like this. But to those who are not used to it, it is unsettling, at worst dangerous, and at best just bad manners. Why do people assume that it's OK to latch onto a stranger's wheel like this? Especially irritating are the ones who are travelling slower than you, but immediately increase their pace to keep up after you have passed them.

I am not an unsociable person, but one of the many advantages of cycling is that it doesn't need to be done mob-handed. So cycle in groups if you will, but don't assume that others want to join in.
Last edited by Graham on 21 Mar 2016, 4:42pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: additional title

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Tailgating

Postby [XAP]Bob » 21 Mar 2016, 2:57pm

Part of the issue is that it is MUCH easier to follow someone - so if I'm going along, and I can slip in behind someone who has just overtaken me, I can probably get several mph benefit from being behind them for the same effort....
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Vantage
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Re: Tailgating

Postby Vantage » 21 Mar 2016, 3:01pm

I had some cheeky bugger do that last week on my way to the missus. It happens very rarely because I'm slower than almost anything on the road but when it does happen, I'd rather he/she asked if it was ok to sit in my draft. I have to work just as hard whether they're there or not, but for someone else to benefit from me blocking the wind without asking? Bad manners imo.
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whoof
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Re: Tailgating

Postby whoof » 21 Mar 2016, 3:05pm

I used to get this quite often on the way to work. I would always sit-up and ride along side and say good morning. I would follow this by
Q What's your name?
Q Where are you going? the answer was usually work.
Q Where do you work?
Q How long have you worked there?
Q What do you do?
Q Where do you live?
Q How old are you?
Q
Q....
Strangely I never got the same person twice!

Postboxer
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Re: Tailgating

Postby Postboxer » 21 Mar 2016, 3:18pm

Doesn't having someone following also make it easier for the front rider? Less turbulence behind them or something, not as much as the benefit to the one at the back though.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Tailgating

Postby Tangled Metal » 21 Mar 2016, 3:19pm

There was a piece on this website about this. Wheel sucking I think they called it. Bad manners but I'm sure we've done it before. Personally I don't mind it but for one thing. I'm terribly self conscious about my riding, I always try to ride considerably for other users. If I'm riding on a section of road that's difficult for cars to pass me I'll bust a gut trying to clear that section to allow the vehicle past, even if it tires me out a bit too much.

With wheel suckers this plays out by me worrying whether I'm going too slow for the guy behind. It's very daft being like this but I'll cycle faster than I'd planned just to either cycle clear or to make sure I'm riding at a good pace for them. It unsettles me some.

So anyone who tags on to another's wheel announce your presence and even ask if it's ok to drop in behind. Even offer to take your turn at the front. You might not know each other but that's no reason not to be polite and friendly about it.

Bez
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Re: Tailgating

Postby Bez » 21 Mar 2016, 3:33pm

Postboxer wrote:Doesn't having someone following also make it easier for the front rider?


Yes, a little. Just like someone driving 6" behind your car on the motorway slightly improves your fuel economy.

Drafting is like sex. It's fine if you're both up for it.

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Graham
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Re: Tailgating

Postby Graham » 21 Mar 2016, 4:10pm

Tangled Metal wrote:There was a piece on this website about this. Wheel sucking I think they called it.

Wheel sucking

whoof
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Re: Tailgating

Postby whoof » 21 Mar 2016, 4:11pm

Tangled Metal wrote:So anyone who tags on to another's wheel announce your presence and even ask if it's ok to drop in behind. Even offer to take your turn at the front. You might not know each other but that's no reason not to be polite and friendly about it.


Agree with this and the post above that. I should point out that my comment about asking lots of question was done after someone had been on my wheel for a while without them saying a word to me. I've had people say something to me and then I'll be OK about it, it's just very creepy have a complete strange chase after you and then sit very close to you in silence other than a bit of puffing and blowing. Especially so as happened last year when you are the only two people for miles, it's pitch black and they have no lights and are dressed totally in black.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Tailgating

Postby [XAP]Bob » 21 Mar 2016, 6:18pm

Bez wrote:Drafting is like sex. It's fine if you're both up for it.

QOTY!
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Tailgating ( wheel sucking )

Postby Vorpal » 21 Mar 2016, 7:48pm

“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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MikeF
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Re: Tailgating ( wheel sucking )

Postby MikeF » 22 Mar 2016, 5:27pm

I've never done it on a road as I don't think it's too safe, and it's not a normal thing I would do, but very occasionally I have done it off road when I've been overtaken by a "brainless" cyclist.

For example I was overtaken by a cyclist who had used me as a "target" to catch and overtake. But when he had overtaken me he didn't travel any faster than the steady pace I was going so my front wheel remained a constant distance from his rear wheel. I just thought "Thank you very much! But I will enjoy the tow".

On another occasion on a main road I slowed up for traffic only to be passed by a cyclist on my inside who also undertook the moving car in front - in my view utter stupidity. He turned off on the off road path I took, and as he was going at "my sort of pace" I just took advantage of the tow along the 2 mile uphill drag. At the top I passed him where the hill became steeper and thanked him for the tow. :) :wink:
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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Tailgating ( wheel sucking )

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 22 Mar 2016, 6:09pm

Just as some car drivers do to tailgaters, just gradually slow down until they get fed up and clear off, then carry on as before. Or pass wind in their faces, whichever you prefer.
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Re: Tailgating

Postby Bmblbzzz » 24 Mar 2016, 10:29am

Bez wrote:
Postboxer wrote:Doesn't having someone following also make it easier for the front rider?


Yes, a little. Just like someone driving 6" behind your car on the motorway slightly improves your fuel economy.

Drafting is like sex. It's fine if you're both up for it.

This. Wheels, like anything else, should only be sucked by mutual understanding.