Drafting when commuting

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
eileithyia
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby eileithyia » 9 Oct 2013, 6:27pm

Actually Tony I am not a victim, if I felt very vulnerable like that I would not have done anywhere near the things I have done... but I can understand how some women might feel disconcerted by someone sitting on their wheel and newer female cyclists may not appreciate why it is happening, as they may not have come up thru the club ranks and understand about drafting.
It hasn't happened for a while but when I was on more regular hours I had one numpty who regularly did it, on one occasion I passed a junction he was turning out of and I swear he positively grinned with glee as he saw me, sprinted after me to then sit on my wheel. They usually get some sarky retort like 'need a girlie to protect you from the head wind do you?'

But as previously said with not knowing their skills they may ride into the back of you if you have to stop etc., and I know only too well the very painful consequences of that happening with a reasonably experienced cyclist who was not directly on my back wheel taking a draft.
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honesty
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby honesty » 9 Oct 2013, 7:16pm

The simple question is do you draft lorries or other cars when driving to work? No obviously you don't. You stay a safe and appropriate distance back as your not racing, but driving sensibly and safely. It is no different with bicycle. You're commuting not racing so don't draft...

its comes back to one of the problems with cycling the is transport cycling and sports cycling and there is a whole range in between and picking the appropriate level is sometimes the hardest skill for people to get right.

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Si
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby Si » 9 Oct 2013, 7:31pm

Drafting* someone that you don't know can be pretty stupid. When I'm on my fast bike I tend to ride in straight lines - if there is a pot hole I'll hop over it...will the person on my wheel see it in time? Doubtful. Will it be my fault when they ride straight into it and mangle their front wheel....no, it'll be their stupidity: blindly trusting their well being to a stranger rather than making the easy choice of riding where they can see the road ahead of them.

Thus in my book, drafting someone that you don't know can be a pretty good indicator of being a crap cyclist.

As for whether I like to be drafted....as many people have said - it is very simple and very obvious that by blocking their own view and giving themselves much less braking room, they are putting me in danger. Would you want a landrover driving behind you that close? Remember that a landrover driver will have a better view of the road ahead than a drafting cyclist, and may well have better brakes....so if you are happy with an unknown cyclist a foot directly behind your back wheel, you should have no problems with a big car there, eh?

Simply not worth playing the macho MAMIL, TdF rider-wannabe in order to save yourself a few seconds.


*I'm talking proper drafting rather than following a few lengths back.

thirdcrank
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Oct 2013, 7:32pm

Looking at this from another angle, at least it shows that bike racing is becoming more popular on the telly. After years of dumbed down explanations with raincoats and referees, :roll: Chris Boardman with his stooge Ned, have finally got across to Joe Public the reason why the rider in front is probably not winning. :lol:

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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby Vorpal » 9 Oct 2013, 7:40pm

Tonyf33 wrote:Wow, just wow...So if you're a women and another cyclist comes within a few feet of your back wheel you automatically think they are a nutter/stalker/rapist/murderer :?

you're on a commute ride for one thing, for the most part there are loads of other people about, generally during daylight hours for much of the year. Additionally one cannot always tell the sex of a cyclist as the garb can hide lumps & bumps/hair etc and we all come in different shapes and sizes anyhow. During the darker months it's almost impossible to tell.

Seriously how do you extrapalate from that that you would feel unsafe if another came from behind you (if you even could tell they were there in the first place), really? Haven't you got better things to be thinking of like the road itself, the next set of lights, pedestrians stepping out in froint of you, the lorry coming up on your shoulder etc..Nope, this herbert who has been on my back wheel for 30 seconds is going to debauche me in a back alley....get a grip, you may as well not leave the house ever, better still lock yourselves in a cell secluded from the outside world full stop.
STOP BEING A VICTIM :roll:


Er, so if you are worried about your interactions with traffic on the road, and come on here for advice, I'll just tell you to stop being a victim and get on with it, shall I?

1) We weren't talking about 30 seconds, but *miles* of following another cyclist
2) I did *not* say that I felt unsafe if someone came up behind me; I said I felt unsafe when someone came too close and stayed on my back wheel. For me it has nothing to with gender, and everything to do with the potential to cause me to crash
3) not everyone cycles where there are lots of other people around; most of my commutes have been rural, and while I occasionally see other cyclists, I am often alone, except for passing motor traffic
4) I can understand why some women might feel vulnerable when a strange bloke follows them for miles at a time, especially when people tell them that the only thing they need to do is stop being a victim; that way if anything does happen, it will be entirely her fault.
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Merry_Wanderer
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby Merry_Wanderer » 9 Oct 2013, 8:07pm

I'm glad I read this post, I hadn't stopped to consider how the people I drafted on the three occasions might feel. Come to think of I wouldn't feel comfortable as a bloke if some unknown cyclist hung on my rear wheel for a mile or more. Having considered it, If I was a woman I would feel very uncomfortable and to be honest, quite scared.

Tony - I don't think it's fair or reasonable to insist how other people SHOULD feel or to describe people you don't know as 'victims'.

Ellieb
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby Ellieb » 9 Oct 2013, 8:23pm

I just think it is really, really bad manners to sit on someone's wheel without asking. I always make a point of slowing and gesturing people though when it is done to me & if they don't take the hint I tend to make it unpleasantly obvious how I feel about it.

beetroot
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby beetroot » 9 Oct 2013, 8:29pm

Big T wrote:Define drafting?

You come up behind a slower rider, but don't want to or can't overtake - how far back should you stay - a few feet, a few yards. Surely, the rider in front will still be aware that you are following them and may still find this disconcerting, especially if it's a woman. So what do you do?


Good question, that was on my mind too. What is difference between drafting and following? How far back would one have to stay to avoid 'aggressive' drafting?

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mjr
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby mjr » 9 Oct 2013, 8:32pm

honesty wrote:The simple question is do you draft lorries or other cars when driving to work? No obviously you don't. You stay a safe and appropriate distance back as your not racing, but driving sensibly and safely. It is no different with bicycle. You're commuting not racing so don't draft..

Actually, you sort of do. Not what Si called "proper drafting" but you're all in a line and getting a few % of aero benefit from the vehicle in front, even with a safe stopping gap in most conditions.

After Si's post, I'm beginning to suspect what some here call drafting is what I'd call tailgating... and no, that's a bad idea.
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chris3vic
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby chris3vic » 9 Oct 2013, 8:45pm

Couple of weeks ago this happened to me as I was cycling against a strong headwind. Was aware for a while of this jerk behind me but as it was a busy a-road with deep kerb and flowing traffic there was just no way to slow down and let him pass - plus I had a good momentum. Eventually I had to slow down to get in the right hand lane at the lights, and as I stuck my hand out to turn right I almost struck the guy - he was that close. It was raining and visibility was poor so I didn't realise he was that close. Cue a barrage of abuse from him accusing me of trying to knock him off. Why are you drafting me? I asked him, to which he stuck the v's up and called me a ****. Nice chap.

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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby Vorpal » 9 Oct 2013, 8:48pm

chris3vic wrote:... as I stuck my hand out to turn right I almost struck the guy - he was that close.


I usually look before I stick my hand out. :wink:
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 9 Oct 2013, 8:54pm

Hi,
Vorpal wrote:
chris3vic wrote:... as I stuck my hand out to turn right I almost struck the guy - he was that close.


I usually look before I stick my hand out. :wink:

Nah, I lay money (50p) that "chris3vic" is a boxer he was aiming for his head :lol:
Twice I have stuck my hand out thinking the car will go around me but they drive under my arm :evil:
Cant win.
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chris3vic
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby chris3vic » 9 Oct 2013, 9:04pm

Vorpal wrote:
chris3vic wrote:... as I stuck my hand out to turn right I almost struck the guy - he was that close.


I usually look before I stick my hand out. :wink:


Well, aye, to be fair I should've looked a little harder. It was slightly mischievous of me to stick my hand out as I knew he was close, but not close enough to touch.

chris3vic
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby chris3vic » 9 Oct 2013, 9:05pm

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Vorpal wrote:
chris3vic wrote:... as I stuck my hand out to turn right I almost struck the guy - he was that close.


I usually look before I stick my hand out. :wink:

Nah, I lay money (50p) that "chris3vic" is a boxer he was aiming for his head :lol:
Twice I have stuck my hand out thinking the car will go around me but they drive under my arm :evil:
Cant win.


My works has a boxing gym for employees to use. I went in once to fix the computer they use to book people in, if that counts.

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meic
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Re: Drafting when commuting

Postby meic » 9 Oct 2013, 9:06pm

Si wrote:Drafting* someone that you don't know can be pretty stupid. When I'm on my fast bike I tend to ride in straight lines - if there is a pot hole I'll hop over it...will the person on my wheel see it in time? Doubtful. Will it be my fault when they ride straight into it and mangle their front wheel....no, it'll be their stupidity: blindly trusting their well being to a stranger rather than making the easy choice of riding where they can see the road ahead of them.

Thus in my book, drafting someone that you don't know can be a pretty good indicator of being a crap cyclist.

As for whether I like to be drafted....as many people have said - it is very simple and very obvious that by blocking their own view and giving themselves much less braking room, they are putting me in danger. Would you want a landrover driving behind you that close? Remember that a landrover driver will have a better view of the road ahead than a drafting cyclist, and may well have better brakes....so if you are happy with an unknown cyclist a foot directly behind your back wheel, you should have no problems with a big car there, eh?

Simply not worth playing the macho MAMIL, TdF rider-wannabe in order to save yourself a few seconds.


*I'm talking proper drafting rather than following a few lengths back.


A bit like cycling without a helmet then. You would think that with all these riders doing Sportives and Audaxes that the hospitals would be bulging at the seams by now.

I cant think how on earth I survived to be old, as this cycling game is so perilous for those of us who habitually draft, even with strangers.
Yma o Hyd