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**This is all a bit of fun, I'm not exactly condoning it, as its not the brightest idea. We've all done it though!**

On a long descent the other day i managed to tuck in behind a pretty tidy Aston Martin, and this got me wondering what the best car you've ever drafted was? (Would have been an expensive crash if he slammed on his brakes!) The best tow I've got was off of a UPS van that looked to be going way over the speed limit.

Anyway, comment below!  103

42 comments

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robert.brady [155 posts] 2 years ago
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I've never thought to draft cars as they're generally not boxy enough to make too much difference.

My favourite was drafting Dudman cement mixers when I worked in Shoreham and lived in Brighton. I could more or less get underneath them and get a free ride most of the way home.

Rob

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Maggers [59 posts] 2 years ago
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The milk float up a hill on the commute to work. Not entirely sure it aided me that much.

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crazy-legs [812 posts] 2 years ago
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I used to draft lorries down the bypass. 3 mile dead straight road, ever so slightly downhill but to get onto it was a bit of a crawl over a bridge. If you could get behind a fully laden lorry as it came off the docks and crawled up that, you were onto a winner. The acceleration once it hit the summit was generally pretty steady and the road was limited to 50mph so they were never going full gas.

No junctions, no lights, good surface meant it was dead easy to sit behind them until they hit the outskirts of town. Fastest I ever had was 57mph on the speedo, spinning out 53-12.

Only once did I ever really shit it when I got dropped and the maelstrom of wind and turbulence that suddenly hit me at 50+mph was terrifying.

I got between two lorries once - slipstreaming one while there was another one behind me (he wasn't there when I started, he'd caught us up en route). I was really worried that if anything happened to me, the lorry behind would just go straight over me but it was all OK. As I swung out into the right hand lane once we were in town (the lorries went straight on in the left hand lane towards the motorway), the rearward truck came alongside me. I thought the driver was going to have a right go but instead he leaned out and shouted "you were doing 50 mile an hour then mate, f***ing well impressive! You should ride the Tour de France!"

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goggy [153 posts] 2 years ago
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The construction lorries along "The Highway" heading from Tower Bridge to Canary Wharf each morning. Wide, travel at 30mph, clear the traffic in front of me, going my speed, and, importantly, in front of me not behind or next to me. Lovely.

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Must be Mad [566 posts] 2 years ago
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drafting lorries and cars should be against the rules - that goes for all motorized vehicles except those sky vans with the peloton painted on the back - in which case, tuck in and make like Brad...  16

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DanTe [190 posts] 2 years ago
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A few weeks ago into a headwind on the Fens I spotted a tractor about a mile off. I reckoned I could get onto it so turned myself inside out for 2 miles trying to do so.
Knackered, I managed to just get in behind him when the bugger tuned off into a field with a quick parp of the horn for comedy value..

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abudhabiChris [692 posts] 2 years ago
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Oh this is my favourite thing. As one of my team mates once said, when a truck goes past I'm like a rat up a drain pipe.

Out here in the UAE we have a lot of very heavy construction trucks and also water tankers, which are the best. 40,000 litres of water takes a long time to get up to speed and it isn't stopping in a hurry either so I have no worries about safety, plus the road surface is generally very good.

If I can catch them at a roundabout on a nice long straight I have frequently got past 70km/h before I start to spin out, although I only know that by looking at the data afterwards - it's not a good thing to be looking at your stem in those moments. I find control and turbulence tends to get a bit sketchy past 70-75km/h anyway.

My absolute best draft was on a long route we do where I got onto the back of a small truck which was loaded with hay bales just at the top of a big climb. I stayed with it for about 30km, even up some climbs which was bloody difficult. Bagged a few KOMs that day !

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Izaak30 [134 posts] 2 years ago
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A tractor in my one and only 10 mile TT. Followed it for about 2 miles. Made a huge difference in my time I reckon, only finished 3rd last! Was a bit scary though as it had some impressive pointy bits on the back that would've made a mess a mess of my kit!

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Raleigh [1667 posts] 2 years ago
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If I make it to the Finchley Road on time, I can normally get behind the 4:55 National Express coach going into Victoria. Quite a good tow.

The new 'green' London buses are actually pretty good as well, because they have side exhausts so you don't get a lungful of diesel.

Suffolk tractors are prefect, especially when they've got a trailer of potatoes/onions on the back... just watch out for rogue tubers flying off the back.

Otherwise, it's got to be caravans.

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JackBuxton [35 posts] 2 years ago
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Dowsett definitely got a tow from a tractor on his 17"20 10-mile the other day!

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Flying Scot [921 posts] 2 years ago
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For touring, a JCB is bliss, they do about 20 mph constant and decelerate slowly, nice high exhaust too and with a flashing orange light.

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chiv30 [986 posts] 2 years ago
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Orica greenedge team car out to allemende dam from bourg d'oissans last year prior to the team's finishing the rollout .....his offer not me looking for one but it was fun and as he was a professional on closed roads I had no qualms about it ....plus I looked pro  36

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Ghedebrav [1100 posts] 2 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:

I used to draft lorries down the bypass. 3 mile dead straight road, ever so slightly downhill but to get onto it was a bit of a crawl over a bridge. If you could get behind a fully laden lorry as it came off the docks and crawled up that, you were onto a winner. The acceleration once it hit the summit was generally pretty steady and the road was limited to 50mph so they were never going full gas.

No junctions, no lights, good surface meant it was dead easy to sit behind them until they hit the outskirts of town. Fastest I ever had was 57mph on the speedo, spinning out 53-12.

Only once did I ever really shit it when I got dropped and the maelstrom of wind and turbulence that suddenly hit me at 50+mph was terrifying.

I got between two lorries once - slipstreaming one while there was another one behind me (he wasn't there when I started, he'd caught us up en route). I was really worried that if anything happened to me, the lorry behind would just go straight over me but it was all OK. As I swung out into the right hand lane once we were in town (the lorries went straight on in the left hand lane towards the motorway), the rearward truck came alongside me. I thought the driver was going to have a right go but instead he leaned out and shouted "you were doing 50 mile an hour then mate, f***ing well impressive! You should ride the Tour de France!"

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Breaking Away, anyone?

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Kapelmuur [343 posts] 2 years ago
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An elderly horse box emerging from the Cheshire County Show last year and making its asthmatic way up the gentle incline towards Pickmere.

I averaged 20mph on a section I usually struggle to achieve 14mph.

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msw [113 posts] 2 years ago
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Hearses (empty I hasten to add). Shaped like a speed record pacing car and big windows so you can see right through, plus the drivers have a tendency to speed up and slow down very smoothly...

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JohnnyRemo [161 posts] 2 years ago
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msw wrote:

Hearses (empty I hasten to add).

Probably not "empty" as hearses generally carry the coffin for their next "appointment" in the space under the one on view...

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notfastenough [3716 posts] 2 years ago
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A car trailer - one of those very boxy things with the body mounted really low to the floor and carrying a sports car or whatever, with me just leiurely cruising along at 28mph.

I think my fastest drafting though was on the chaingang. The clubrun was running a little late and a few guys needed to get back soonish, so rather than the scenic backroads back into Manchester, we took the dual carrigeway - A6 out near Buxton - there was about 12 of us absolutely flying on a slight downhill, and I looked to my right to see a car full of people gawping as they overtook us.

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edster99 [336 posts] 2 years ago
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Saturday I was behind an agricultural unit - not exactly sure what I would call it - like a tractor but all four (very large) wheels are the same size and its main purpose is probably to drag machinery around, rather than be in the fields ploughing or whatever. It has a decent road gear that means it can travel at 30mph pulling a very large trailer / box thing that is about 10ft tall and wide. On a reasonably flat road, with not too much uphill, it is excellent for loads of draft although after about 2.5 miles my legs were beginning to burn. Fortunately it turned off at that point so I could pretend I would have been able to hold on for a bit longer  1

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MKultra [396 posts] 2 years ago
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I live next to a council depot so on occasion I get to draft an old JCB telescopic handler. It's like following a tank for 5 miles as you can tuck right in there out of harms way, no one messes with you at junctions either.

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stuke [335 posts] 2 years ago
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Empty brick lorry, got on the back of it in the 30 limit and off we went...

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Daveyraveygravey [466 posts] 2 years ago
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What a refreshing change to read something about drafting and not have all the holier-than-thous coming on saying you shouldn't do it, it's dangerous, what if yadda yadda happened...

I don't draft as often as I used to, because I am an old git now and less confident of my abilities. I used to like tractors because they wouldn't go much over 25 and that was enough for me. Buses are annoying because they stop too often and don't seem to be able to modulate the brake pedal, and the exhaust is usually right there at the back. Lorries and vans can be trickier because they usually speed up outside of my spinning envelope and the break-off can be a fright.

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mrmo [2093 posts] 2 years ago
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got a tractor couple of weeks back 7 miles at a nice comfy 27mph.( He did pull in at one point to let a couple of cars past, but he soon caught and past me again. )

Tried to catch a truck this morning, he pulled away from the junction, I managed to get behind then spun upto 35mph and ran out of gears  2 bit of buffeting as I dropped back.

Moral, I need bigger gears.

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allezrider [92 posts] 2 years ago
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At Uni I used to draft pizza delivery mopeds - not a great tow but great fun knowing they were on a delivery deadline  19

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Got behind a combine harvester on a busy A road for a couple of miles on Sunday.
Not fast by any means (about 20mph) but i only had to turn the pedals once on what would have been an otherwise very tedious and windy slog.
Added bonus was that it held up traffic behind so didnt have to contend with cars whizzing past at 60mph.

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giff77 [1258 posts] 2 years ago
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The #38 bus coming out of Paisley to my place. It's not a mega climb but it still goes up. Jumped on leaving the high street and it was one of those occasions where it didn't stop for about a mile. When the driver did pull in I had the gumption to swing out and it was like getting a sling shot as I was on the flat by that stage. Went shooting past the line of moving traffic in front of said bus and briefly taking in their faces of astonishment as I passed was a great experience.

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Redvee [268 posts] 2 years ago
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I used to ride before 7am and if I timed my departure right I could pick up the Park n Ride bus on it's way out to the start of the journey, no stopping but only a short 1 mile stretch of drafting at 25 mph on my SS.
There is a set of lights where I've pulled up behind HGVs or had them pass me on the approach to the lights knowing I can take advantage of the acceleration off the lights. Slow away from the lights and what felt like a relatively slow speed was infact 30+mph. When the HGV pulled away the dust etc kicked up soon hit me.

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700c [981 posts] 2 years ago
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I tend to get good tows from tractors, esp on main roads where they're fast with no harsh acceleration or braking.

Lorries I've tried, but after one did something like an emergency stop on me, (he didn't know I was there), I'll never do it again..

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pique [20 posts] 2 years ago
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What worries me is the lorries behind trying to draft me!

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hagi [21 posts] 2 years ago
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Got a nice tow Saturday behind a silage harvester, perfect for drafting as the exhaust is up high on it so no fumes. 20mph max speed so not the quickest but it was just when the legs were starting to tire on a drag of a hill.

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Daveyraveygravey [466 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

...

Moral, I need bigger gears.

Huh, you never see this in the compact v standard debate!  19

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