Given the finger by another cyclist



cobbwheels

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2022
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I was doing a half century on a popular route used by many roadies. It was windy and as fortune would have it, it was a headwind straight on.

I'm riding an old, dirty metal gravel bike setup as tour bike, everything with racks, partially loaded pannier bags, full fenders, two bottles, and heavy, heavy duty low tpi urban / touring tires. I'm also wearing loose summer fishing jacket with hoodie and reef shoes on flat pedals.... I literally look like I'm going fishing! I can barely see behind me with my rear view mirror because the hoodie opened up in the headwind like a small parachute. So I'm packings lots of drag and weight.

Then I passed a group of young riders on road bikes, early twenties. They all looked lean and athletic wearing road kit, some on expensive carbon bikes with only one bottle on the bike. I thought they were doing recovery because they were riding slow or probably due to the headwind.

Then the entire group started chasing me. They passed me and able to get some distance ahead but not long after, they started slowing down and I was able to pass them again without drafting. Then they chased and passed me again one more time. The next time around, most the group have given up the chase but a few of their strongest riders and we 'leap frogged' a few more times, until they too burned out couldn't pass me any longer. I can hear the others laughing at their strongest riders as I kept on pulling away and they couldn't chase me anymore. I reached the destination and then turned back the same road without stopping so I came across the same group I dropped and saw their strongest rider giving me the finger.

There's another rider, solo rider like me on the same trip. Also young looking in their twenties in their expensive race kit and bike. Passed me and pulled ahead far away and was ahead of me for quite some time. Eventually, he also started slowing down and soon I was gaining on him. When he realized I'm gaining on him, he stopped at the side of the road and took out his phone. I also went by him on the way back and he got even slower. Is it really that spirit-crushing to be passed by someone on a really slow setup? I did have good quality training I think. I may not be able to afford proper equipment but the science of human physiology, biomechanics, and cycling is out there for free and I poured over this stuff in my free time and did some experimenting over time.
 
Maybe being at the front of a pack, he didn't realize you fell back when they passed you first couple of times. So he may have thought you were sucking wheel then sprinting around rather than passing them under your own power.

Myself I find it annoying when I catch a rider from 1/2 mile behind, then he takes my wheel for a bit then spirits around me. Then repeats the cycle a few times.

Maybe he thought you were doing this.
 
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Maybe being at the front of a pack, he didn't realize you fell back when they passed you first couple of times. So he may have thought you were sucking wheel then sprinting around rather than passing them under your own power.

Myself I find it annoying when I catch a rider from 1/2 mile behind, then he takes my wheel for a bit then spirits around me. Then repeats the cycle a few times.

Maybe he thought you were doing this.

Makes sense.

His group is able to see us leapfrogging though. Sometimes when I dropped him, he rejoins his group some distance behind to recover. I can hear his buddies teasing and laughing at him. They would know if I'm drafting.

I don't like being sprint-leapfroggers either. They are an inconvenience if they are slowing down each time and you have to pass them multiple times.

I see this often among younger or "strong-looking" riders on lightweight setups.
 
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Just sounds like the young whippersnappers couldn’t hang with the old man who’s been riding for 30 years, and their alpha dogs got ****** about it.
 
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Just sounds like the young whippersnappers couldn’t hang with the old man who’s been riding for 30 years, and their alpha dogs got ****** about it.
I'm still in my early forties and only been cycling for a few years. The last few months, I've started doing proper structured and base training.

And of course, pacing long rides by trying to maintain constant speed, but in my case, maintaining constant RPE equivalent to Zone 2 (base training zone).
 
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What distance and speed are you keeping on the heavy bike that allows you to drop teams of rideas?

I could do 100 miles solo at 17.5 mph average speed. I'd pass several solo riders but a team of riders would always run me down.

That's on a road bike after 15 years of consistent riding with climbing 40,000 ft per month.

Just curious seeing you're on a heavy weighed down bike with sails.
 
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It's only 14 mph average speed mainly due to traffic. Even the mountains outside our city is far too urbanized. I lose them on the long, non-stop flat stretches where I can hold a constant speed of 18.5 mph at below tempo or zone 2 effort at around 85 rpm cadence in the drops. They couldn't catch up after that and probably after the multiple surges, they ruined their pacing and ran themselves out of gas.

However, at tempo rides, I can hold 21 mph on the long flat stretches at 100 rpm cadence. The high cadence is necessary to overcome the huge drag of my setup so I'm not pushing too much resistance on the pedals. I don't do this on rides more than 2 hrs.

I'm still adapting to the new structured training. I already made significant gains and hoping to get a bit more.

The young riders are probably not strong either. Although they have good physique for an endurance cyclist. Probably doing a lot of mistakes with training and technique.
 
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High cadence is good. I spin 100 rpm holding 20 mph on flats. Works well as a big guy who most would think I would be pushing big gears. Heck, I do 40 mile rides on the flats in my small 39 ring without ever touching my 53.

I have a favorite segment on strava, 7 miles long (near the end of a 45 mile ride) where I test myself and hold anywhere up to 23 mph over the 7 mile stretch.

My wife on the same stretch, same ride has held 21.5 on the same 7 mile stretch.

Her best, 18.1 average over 45 miles. On a 100 mile ride, 6:30.

People are always shocked to see a near 60 year old lady kicking butt on the bike.

Always fun to spank the young guys but an older female running down a bunch of men is always entertaining.
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High cadence is good. I spin 100 rpm holding 20 mph on flats. Works well as a big guy who most would think I would be pushing big gears. Heck, I do 40 mile rides on the flats in my small 39 ring without ever touching my 53.

I have a favorite segment on strava, 7 miles long (near the end of a 45 mile ride) where I test myself and hold anywhere up to 23 mph over the 7 mile stretch.

My wife on the same stretch, same ride has held 21.5 on the same 7 mile stretch.

Her best, 18.1 average over 45 miles. On a 100 mile ride, 6:30.

People are always shocked to see a near 60 year old lady kicking butt on the bike.

Always fun to spank the young guys but an older female running down a bunch of men is always entertaining. View attachment 5661

I have no idea how fast I'll be if remove all slowing down accessories on my bike, like full fenders, racks, bag, wear proper kit, and GP5000 over the urban warfare tires.

But the young 20's riders where I am with even faster gear like expensive carbon bikes are definitely slower than you two!:p I think the incessant traffic is to blame for their poor conditioning. Even outside the city there's heavy traffic and lots of intersections. As for me, I do all my structured training indoors on the stationary bike. It's the only way to train properly here without interruption from traffic and other riders and help avoid ground level smog which is bad for the lungs.
 
I got even faster this weekend. Different route, different crowd of riders that were mature and very sporting. I got faster by 2.5 mph on Zone 2 (all-day) effort. I think is a huge improvement after just one week.

I'm now sensing a pattern, the faster and more competitive cyclists are often the ones with bad and even dangerous riding habits like making close passes and cutting you off or giving the finger. They're probably thinking their loud Chris King hubs will announce their approach. Not really that audible in strong wind during a fast descent. And with only inches to spare, I doubt it would help if things went sideways. But all things considered, I'd rather have the finger! Far more acceptable behavior than putting everyone in danger.:p
 
Those dangerous idiots are wannabes. Of course they go fast but they aren't the good bona-fide racers.

I once did a ride solo. Caught up to a group of 6 guys. Just as I Caught them, another rider pulled up. We all worked together till the 6 guys dropped. Just me and the other guy. He started complimenting me on my riding and praising my 1998 bike. This was about 2007.

We chatted for a while. Turns out he was the state of California road race champion. Coolest guy I ever met.

A few other top level racers around here. They are super cool and do do those stupid antics. They have no intentions of hurting anyone on the bike.

The wannabe racers are d!cks though. I've met way too many of these idiots
 
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I've come across our top national team a few times. They always announce their approach in audible but polite manner. They give you plenty of space and don't cut you off.

I'd think if you wish to hang out in the pro-levels, you'll want to avoid accidents and NEVER turn it into a routine. It's also wise to avoid annoying the locals so they don't get encouraged to harass other riders or just give us a poor image.

The gear ratio in my bike maxes out at 34/13. I can still spin it comfortably to 25 mph IF I have the power to hold that speed. I can always get a bigger ring to get faster on the shallow descents but I don't. It's just too dangerous on public roads with other cars and other riders around.

My hoodie jacket have a regular zipper at the front. But when I unzip it all the way, the hoodie opens up like a small parachute that it partially obscures rear view from my helmet mirror. I can still see behind so it doesn't put me in any danger but more importantly, keeps me from getting any faster. I also have two empty pannier bags to further help with drag.

25 mph is just too dangerous with many other riders around and cars unless everyone is going the same pace. But it's never going to happen unless you're in a race and only in a race going fast is actually safe because the roads are closed up, everyone is riding at nearly the same pace and usually monitored for the safety of the racers. You don't get these conditions outside of a race and it's not surprising that pros may encounter more accidents during training on public roads and possibly with worse outcomes.