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One plucky/foolish/mad cyclist channels the spirit of Guy Martin on the streets of Manchester

Anyone who's seen Guy Martin attempting to break the bicycle speed record will know there's a lot of aerodynamic advantage to be gained by sitting right behind a big, fast moving vehicle that's punching a big hole in the air for you.

However, while that's okay on a special bike in a controlled environment in full motorbike leathers – and even then it's really not okay for most of us, is it? – it's certainly not something we'd recommend you try behind a tipper truck on a fast three-lane dual carriageway in Manchester.

We were sent this footage by a reader of one brave (?) soul doing exactly that. "I noticed him a mile before this was shot, he continued drafting for a good 5-10 minutes",  he told us. "The truck driver had no idea he was there, averaging 40 as we went through the speedcam."

It's certainly one way to gain an advantage on the commute home, although not one we're keen to have a go at ourselves. Anyone?

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

93 comments

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sfichele [141 posts] 2 years ago
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I've yet to see a better instructional video on how to win a Darwin award

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pdw [54 posts] 2 years ago
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Almost as stupid as filming using a camera phone whilst driving.

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Cooks [491 posts] 2 years ago
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In portrait mode, no less.

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PhilRuss [388 posts] 2 years ago
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[[[[[ As a teenager, I used to do that a lot, until one day I realised you can't see potholes ahead...
P.R.

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pjt201 [101 posts] 2 years ago
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One of the things that video shows is illegal and the other isn't. Not sure the video poster is in any position to judge anyone else's behaviour on the roads.

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Initialised [307 posts] 2 years ago
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Yeah, I've done that, but I try to pick out the truck's with rear facing camera's (most of them have it these days). All the ground clearance under tippers doesn't help, double decker buses are the best option. And it's a great way of getting out of the snow an a head wind. Also beware of potholes, I've punctured hitting one at around 30mph after drafting a bus. So know your road and time it right, have brakes you can trust, fat tyres and don't get too close.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 2 years ago
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In my younger days, I lived in a place where there were many distilleries and I used to draft their lorries all the time, grain lorries, tankers...etc.

As you get older, you get a bit wiser and just take the draft as they pull past you, rather than sitting on their rear like that.

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neildmoss [291 posts] 2 years ago
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I read a bumper sticker whilst drafting which read:

'If you can't stop, please smile as you go under'

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crazy-legs [767 posts] 2 years ago
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I used to draft lorries down the bypass on my way home from work. Three mile dead straight road, no junctions or lights and ever so slightly downhill. To get onto it there was a bit of a climb so the heavily laden trucks used to come off the docks, crawl up the incline then pick up speed really gradually. My record speed behind one was 56mph spinning out 53/12.

What was utterly terrifying was coming out of the slipstream at that speed. If one managed to drop you at that speed it would leave a maelstrom of wind and turbulence in its wake buffeting you around like a leaf.

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crazy-legs [767 posts] 2 years ago
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I used to draft lorries down the bypass on my way home from work. Three mile dead straight road, no junctions or lights and ever so slightly downhill. To get onto it there was a bit of a climb so the heavily laden trucks used to come off the docks, crawl up the incline then pick up speed really gradually. My record speed behind one was 56mph spinning out 53/12.

What was utterly terrifying was coming out of the slipstream at that speed. If one managed to drop you at that speed it would leave a maelstrom of wind and turbulence in its wake buffeting you around like a leaf.

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lolol [194 posts] 2 years ago
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Not so much these days with a mortgage and two kids, but yeah, quickest way from central London to the City, along the Embankment in the traffic, aahhh youth, may you survive

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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pjt201 wrote:

One of the things that video shows is illegal and the other isn't. Not sure the video poster is in any position to judge anyone else's behaviour on the roads.

!

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Argos74 [392 posts] 2 years ago
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Trying to recognise where that is... I think I've seen the rider from my commute. A6 northbound out of Stockport?

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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Can we have some near - hysterical condemnation please? Preferably with a few quotes from the IAM roadcraft manual too.  17

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SteppenHerring [328 posts] 2 years ago
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With the buses, drafting a bit on the right corner is OK as you can dive past them when they pull in. Hopefully. People carriers are good as you can see over them but they still provider a good slipstream.

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picko [69 posts] 2 years ago
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The biggest crime here is Roxette

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philtregear [114 posts] 2 years ago
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looks like a really stupid thing to do: dangerous, fills your lungs with diesel exhaust, doesn't help you get fitter, puts cyclists in disrepute. what a stupid twit.

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themartincox [500 posts] 2 years ago
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i love his casual peddling, thats the best bit, know you don't have to do much at all to keep up!

FREE SPEEEEEED!

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levermonkey [664 posts] 2 years ago
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philtregear wrote:

looks like a really stupid thing to do: dangerous, fills your lungs with diesel exhaust, doesn't help you get fitter, puts cyclists in disrepute. what a stupid twit.

Vertical exhaust! You can see it sticking up between cab and body so limited exhaust fumes.  26

Although I should condemn his actions I can't really cast any stones. I regularly used to slipstream the Withernsea bus on Patrington straight (between Patrington and Hollym) in my youth. Another good one was Ottringham straight between Ottringham and Winestead Bends.

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Northernbike [229 posts] 2 years ago
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the rider has got some high viz on so it's very safety concious tipper truck drafting

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SideBurn [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Been there, done that and have the scars to prove it  19 But now I have grown up and feel I have enough scars  22 Even the memory of coming out of the slip-stream scares the s**t out of me  31
Let he who is without sin etc  4

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AWPeleton [3323 posts] 2 years ago
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Loved it !

I've done it in my youth behind buses but now that i'm older i'm to slow to get behind anything !

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synoptic [10 posts] 2 years ago
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Argos74 wrote:

Trying to recognise where that is... I think I've seen the rider from my commute. A6 northbound out of Stockport?

Looks more like Wythenshawe maybe? Near M60 junction...? if so, the irony is that the cyclist is probably in the safest place.

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OldRidgeback [2620 posts] 2 years ago
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What a prat. Hopefully he'll live to tell the tale. The car driver shooting the clip is committing an offence of course, even if the dumbass cyclist isn't.

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Quince [382 posts] 2 years ago
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If you consider the 'normal' scenario for a person in the rider's position, it would would result in them being overtaken by tens or even hundreds of motor vehicles, only one of whom has to be under the control of someone inattentive/sleepy/evil/filming on a camera phone (*furls eyebrows*) to collide and potentially kill them.

This could arguably be much safer, even if it's not what we expect. Also, it's unarguably more energy efficient; if a vehicle can create so much energy, at least it's not being wasted. You could fit quite a few people behind that and it'd be like a big ol' cyclobus.

Although... there seems to surprisingly little reactionary nonsense posted here, so I don't know who I'm really getting at. Nobody, I suppose. Which is nice.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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I've been guilty of drafting buses in London, but not at those speeds. You listen out to the tone of the engine to get a heads up before the vehicle is about to break.

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Quince [382 posts] 2 years ago
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To rephrase; he's essentially got his own giant personal shield. No-one would attempt to side-swipe a huge bloody truck. Maybe we should equip all cyclists with trucks. They'd be safe from idiots illegally filming on camera phones.

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Scowel [50 posts] 2 years ago
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Just out of interest, how has the conclusion been made that the person filming this was also driving? Unless of course I'm mistaken and in fact it is also illegal for passengers in cars to film with a cameraphone. In which case I sincerely apologise....

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Luminosity [76 posts] 2 years ago
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Cooks wrote:

In portrait mode, no less.

Ha ha ha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA

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ZsoltK [6 posts] 2 years ago
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Damn, I was a bit slower. My record is 52 spinning 53/11. That is around 140 RPM if my calculations are correct ... good old days  36 24

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