Etiquette left me feeling unsure

James Warrener's picture

With the Rutland Sportive less than a week away I wanted to spend last weekend going as hard as possible at the little hillocks around Northamptonshire for practise. The wind on Saturday meant this was a laborious process zig zagging the lanes into the breeze for respite and then having to bust my backside in the tailwind to keep a meaningful heart rate.

Sunday I wanted two hours at a good pace and despite having dropped a little, the wind was still a factor as I pedalled out of the village in search of uphill terrain. I had worked out that if my route was north-south and vice versa I would be cross wind most of the time as opposed to the slog and, ummm, not slog of the previous day.

But as I headed down the A15 towards the hills I saw a bike in front of me. So I put my head down and tried to catch him. A nice little chinwag with another rider would help pass the time going up and down these short (400m-600m), but steep (around 5% ave.) climbs I was looking for. But at the roundabout he seemed to get a bit lost and ended up going on the footpath on the other side of the roundabout. So as I went past I offered a cheery hello and sat up to take a drink whilst freewheeling. I turned round expecting him to be close behind me, but he was still trying to get down off the path and back onto the road.

So I took another drink and freewheeled some more… in fact for about ¼ of a mile until it became obvious to me that this guy was either soft pedalling too (as he didn’t want a chat and to ride along together ) or was slower than me (would have thought it would have been the first of those!).

How long do you give someone to catch you in the world of cycling etiquette? I hit the first false flat of the morning and started to work again, I never saw the rider again. I did wonder if I was rude in his eyes but I was concentrating and focussed on getting my miles done in a quick and efficient way.

What do you think?

James has been blogging for road.cc for 5 years and racing bicycles (averagely) for 20 years. 

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