14 user comments

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I don't mind people sitting behind my rear wheel. I consider it a compliment.

It's only really dangerous for the sucker, not the suckee.

And if someone blasts past me I like to jump on their wheel. Then see if I can go back past them when the road kicks upwards...

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1333 posts]
27th May 2009 - 15:47

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Yeah I pretty much agree except I've found that when commuting at least a lot of urban suckers don't really know how to ride on a wheel, and while it's true that's still more dangerous for them - it's pretty dangerous for me too, especially if I don't know they are there.

Darned if I do…

Mr Sock's picture

posted by Mr Sock [152 posts]
27th May 2009 - 15:59

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Not so good in the city, sucker + emergency stop = a whole heap of pain! I speak from experience having had a suckee end up on top of me on the floor. Keep to the open road!

posted by brainfluff [13 posts]
27th May 2009 - 17:27

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When I used to take my son to nursery in the cycle seat on the back of my Ridgeback, other cyclists would see the big air void I was causing and would regularly seemed to see this as an opportunity to slipstream me. I gave them a piece of my mind. Anyone who thinks slipstreaming/windsucking on an urban commute in London is a good idea is too dangerous to be let out on the roads, without even mentioning the additional risk placed on my child.

If you ever try slipstreaming a guy on a mountainbike who is clipping along at a reasonable rate in S London, it could be me, so prepare to get an ear bashing. I don't trust anyone else's ability to see everything I see ahead of me and outbrake me - people who do this in town shouldn't be riding and should take the bus instead. It's that simple.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
28th May 2009 - 9:44

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Well said OldRidgeback, I feel the same, except I don't limit this to just urban riding.

I hate people wheelsucking without asking first, that way at least I know they are there and I'm then able to give warning of impending obstacles, stops, potholes etc.

You have no idea how well the rider behind can ride a paceline, and the implications of him not being able to are dangerous for him and me.

I will always wind it up until I drop them if they jump on un-announced, if they don't ask they are usually not that quick in my experience. The ones who show some courtesy and understanding of the etiquette are the ones that you have to worry about, but they will also happily take their turn on the front.

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
28th May 2009 - 11:44

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Okay, what about those situation (this might not apply to you Dasy) where you come up behind someone going slower than you on a commute or a training ride… you don't want to jump on so you go past them, but as soon as you do you give them the aero advantage and you are not fast enough/strong enough to break away and you've got someone stuck to your back wheel… so you sit up and let them past… then they're going too slow… so you pass them again… happens to me all the time

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
28th May 2009 - 12:15

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i'd love to be fit enough to be able to burn the suckers off my wheel Sad

i've got no time for people that haven't got enough manners to say hello, whether they're on my back wheel or not. i do the opposite to dasy: slacken off till they're forced to overtake. or i just adjust my route and dive off down a lane or something.

cactuscat's picture

posted by cactuscat [302 posts]
28th May 2009 - 12:45

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I hope I'm not giving the impression I'm quick here!

As most of my routes are country roads, I tend to see other riders well ahead, so my usual tactic is, once I spot a rider ahead I make sure I'm riding well within my pace. If I'm still gaining then, once upon them I put in a little extra that I can sustain for a good while which means I go past sufficiently quicker to make jumping on fairly hard.

If by backing off slightly they stay out ahead then so be it, but generally this means I go into some possesed time trial mode and do some insane zone 6 TT until I fall in a bush somewhere

Complicating matters since 1965

DaSy's picture

posted by DaSy [648 posts]
28th May 2009 - 13:05

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thebikeboy - yep I've had a couple of those too and they've received an earful from me. If someone persists in dangerous riding, shout at them.

No cyclist has psychic powers, or the lightning reflexes and 100% attention span to make windsucking/slipstreaming safe in urban riding. That's fact, not opinion. Riding in big cities like London is dangerous enough with all the white van, Volvo, BMW and tired HGV drivers without some idiot who doesn't understand the laws of physics hanging onto your back wheel so as to make a marginal reduction in their effort at your expense.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
28th May 2009 - 14:39

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By the way, I did have someone crash into the back of me, which is one reason I suppose why I've such a downer on windsucking. Luckily neither of us was hurt beyond a few bruises, my bike wasn't bent and the fact that his was, was his own fault and I told him so. Bet he won't be doing that again.

That's it, rant over.
Just stay off my tail suckers.

Smile

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
28th May 2009 - 15:18

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I'd feel bad about shouting at someone who not trying to wheel suck, but is simply not fast enough to get past, I'm soft me.

I've tried Dasy's tactic of hanging back a bit and then storming past and trying to build a big of a lead, as I get older though the result is usually that I pay for it a little bit down the road and inevitably the other slightly slower old giffer catches me up and we end up locked together…

On a bike somewhere…

thebikeboy's picture

posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
28th May 2009 - 17:17

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If they're not fast enough to get past but are riding too close for comfort and you don't feel shouting is justified then just ask politely if they'll keep a safer distance.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2132 posts]
29th May 2009 - 9:30

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I always find its quite a fulfilling feeling to knock on at a good pace on the flat and when the road heads upwards just dont slow down...keep going at that pace (us cyclists can do that...sometimes!) just as dave did when riding the kona africa bike back up to his place.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1080 posts]
29th May 2009 - 9:47

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Don't particularly like it in traffic, but on the odd long straight stretch (there are some on my commute) it can be ok. I tend to just hope that the person behind knows what they're doing...

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [418 posts]
1st June 2009 - 9:37

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