Riding solo (how to shake someone dogging you)

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by brightgarden, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    So, what would you do? What HAVE you done or said in this sort of situation? I just want to know some good simple phrases to say. I think. But if you want to know why I ask, read on...


    I love taking solo rides during the day. But the last two solo rides, I found some guy dogging me. The first time wasn't a big deal: he was obviously a commuter (on a mtn bike), and I was riding in the a.m. It was more annoying than anything because he kept catching up to me, then I dropped him on the hills, and it was clear he was enjoying "beating past me"--whatever. I wasn't going to out-pace myself just to keep him behind me, and our paths split after just a mile or so anyhow.

    Last Sunday, I found another guy dogging me. He was far far more trouble because he didn't just pass me (so I could drop him on the hills), he stayed with me when he could and tried to talk me up. [I mean, he was killing himself trying to keep up--I thought he'd have a coronary.] Well, he was on a hybrid (meaning, he couldn't keep up with me), and I was on an endurance ride, and the last thing I wanted was to deal with this dude. He actually asked me point blank what my ride plan was, how far I was planning to go, and what my final destination was. I mean, come on!

    argh! That's the sort of thing you ask when you're on a stretching break by a bench or a water fountain, not while you're biking, right next to me (crowding me as a matter of fact) in the most hazardous way.

    So once I shook him, I just went on my own way. Then, I caught up with, but could not pass, two guys on road bikes. Well, that's no wonder--I'm just not that strong or fast. But they went just fast enough for me not to pass, but not fast enough, you know? I ended up taking a walking break for about 20 yards to get rid of them. Of course, in this case, you could say it was ME dogging THEM. But I didn't talk to these guys, and at the red lights, I respectfully stayed a length behind them.

    I suppose guys deal with this too, but I thought I'd post this on the women's forum first...

    Thanks!
     
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  2. WyoRoadChick

    WyoRoadChick New Member

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    I don't know what it is with guys on mtbs. I was doing intervals yesterday and one hammered past me during a recovery phase. He got about 50 yards ahead of me before I blew by him like he was standing still. Never saw him again. Generally speaking, if you totally emasculate them, they won't talk you up.:D
     
  3. Mouse Potato

    Mouse Potato New Member

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    Not that I've tried the approach myself, but maybe you could seek inspiration in the do you pee off your bike thread...
     
  4. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    haha. i used to read that thread, but it, like, totally grossed me out! i guess i could just clear my nose.... what thread was that?
     
  5. cannongirl

    cannongirl New Member

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    Well, first of all, Pace-lining with a stanger can be very dangerous, in more ways than one....you really need to know and trust your partner/s...

    This situation has happened to me on numerous occassions..and I hate strange Men riding close behind me because I know what they're thinking, they're probably mesmerized and not concentrating on the road anyway...:mad:

    If someone pulls up next to me I always tell them in no uncertain terms that I'm out for a quiet ride BY MYSELF...please GO AWAY...

    I'm not shy...:D
     
  6. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    Eeew! But then again, see one of my favorites, the Eye Candy thread -- story of a guy on a bike who saw a girl on a bike, and dogged her several days (she only went like 17km/h so he had to slow down), and now they're probably moving in together! It could be fun! However, I'll bet that atleast 5 out of 10 have less than great intentions if they're dogging you.

    I dunno, try not to look so damn fine when you're out on your bike! That might help ;-) !

    Sara
     
  7. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    oh, this sounds like another thread... how does one try not to look fine on a bike? i guess i could try using a wrap-around cycling skirt? hmm....
     
  8. cannongirl

    cannongirl New Member

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    hmmmm..is right!

    The problem is, I've heard there's nothing like Cycling for giving a Girl nice legs...so I guess the more we ride the more we'll be followed...:confused:
     
  9. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    i guess then my best bet is to keep training, get stronger and faster so i can find some guys worth dogging.... hehe -- just kidding of course.
     
  10. J Pugh

    J Pugh New Member

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    I am probably not going to win any friends, but here goes. IMHO one of the BEST things about cycling is making new friends on the road. I have had people draft me and I have drafted others - the only issue is how it is done. The rule is that if you are the one who is drafting (because you can't go fast enough to pass, or just don't want to) is to ask if they mind if you draft - 9 times out of 10 the answer is "no problem". If they are out on their own, they'll let you know. When we do hook up on a ride, we always ask about the route plan, that way we are all aware of when someone will be peeling off, when the group will be turning, etc. It is for everyone's safety, even if "everyone" is only 2 or 3. To think that the guy was "chatting you up" is a bit conceited. While he may have been, he also may have been trained by a group like my local club where we teach manners for riding in a group, hooking up with others on the road, etc.

    I have chatted with people from all over the world that I met for just a couple of hours while cycling and we were doing about the same pace and rode together. I agree that it can be annoying and a bit dangerous if someone isn't capable of keeping up with you and you keep having to pass - if it really bothers you, crank it up and leave them far enough behind that you don't have to deal with them - otherwise, use it as an opportunity to make a new friend and teach some manners by indicating you are passing, saying hi and wishing them a good ride. At least these people are out enjoying the same sport as we are, and while maybe not in our league yet - they have to start somewhere - be nice and invite them in, it may give them the motivation to really train so they can spend time with nice people like you. Being rude only increases the resentment that many people have about cyclists.
     
  11. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    It's conceited to think the guy was chatting me up? Hmmm... I see how you may think I meant it. I didn't mean chatting me up as in coming on to me. I would have said, "and he was coming on to me!" No, I meant what I do often when I stop at a watering hole where there are other bikers, some of them on very nice rides--chatting it up, raising the bar. Not just a hello, then farewell, but an actual, let's dive into some details here kinda conversation.

    I did not state that about a quarter of a mile into this (what I consider) horrendous situation, which ceased only due to car traffic, I passed and stopped at a well known "watering hole"--although there isn't any water available there. Anyway, it's a bench and gravel open space where bikers often congregate. At the time, there were 3 distinct groups there. I stopped. And a few moments later (it was at the top of a hill), guy #2 mentioned above came up. But he did not stop. I looked right at him (because before that I had no opportunity to take a good look at him). I gave him my business smile. I was a little angry at him, and maybe that was also on my face. But he did not stop. There were about 15 people there. It would have been easy to do.

    When he went on down the other side of the hill, my thought was, "whew, I don't think I could have stood several miles of that."

    However, in retrospect, after reading what you wrote, it seems that if he had been trained by a bike club in how to hook up with other riders, he would have stopped. If he was in fact just being friendly, he would have stopped. After all there were so many others he could have talked to there even if he felt rebuffed by me.

    I also meet lots of riders, make connections, exchange email. But there's a time and a place, and the best way to hook up with other riders is with at least one of your feet planted squarely on the ground, whether it's because you all coincidentally happened to stop at the same place, or because you mutually decided to stop briefly at a stop sign to "chat it up."

    I am not skilled enough to be able to navigate a narrow path in tight formation even with known and trusted riders. I ended up soft pedaling to drop back because the situation in my opinion was untenable. Mountain biking and dodging logs, rocks, trees. THAT I can handle. Dealing with another moving target moving too close to me, THAT I can't handle. I drop back to avoid cars too.

    It almost doesn't matter what his intentions were. I just needed to find a way to get rid of him--get rid of the situation. I have to agree with cannongirl on this one: I think his mind was on something else. He just wasn't paying attention.

    I gave him the benefit of a doubt. I was by no means needing a break, but I stopped. I wasn't tired, I could have tried to run off and out pace him. Part of me wanted to lay into him about how hazardously he was riding.

    But the point is this: what is a good simple phrase that will alleviate that situation?
     
  12. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    Well, the implied point is that if a guy is "dogging me" it must be for the wrong intentions. And that's fine as substance for discussion.

    To delve into the levels, variance, dynamic of the interactions to determine if he has wrong intentions or if I am incapable of correctly determining this on my own judgment or if there is simply not enough evidence to come to a conclusion is all immaterial. It doesn't matter.

    What matters is that the situation is untenable, and additionally so as it happens while the parties are on their bikes in motion. Perhaps I may have been the novice. Would I not as likely feel discouraged from biking by HIS behavior?

    I would never presume to think another biker is ready to talk it up with me unless we were both figuratively "moseying along" enjoying the flowers. I was definitely not doing that in the situation described. And all other situations in which a friendly chat while crusing along on bikes is clearly possible do not matter here.
     
  13. J Pugh

    J Pugh New Member

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    I apologize for misunderstanding your post - you never mentioned that the person was riding erratically, that would have been a situation that I would have scolded the person for and taught them safer behavior. But also, I do think that your still being uncomfortable on the road has something to do with how you reacted. Experienced riders chat all the time on the road, lots of times complaining about the traffic. We rarely stop at the "watering holes" to chat unless we actually need water or it is an organized ride with a club where the point is to socialize off the bike. Otherwise, our socializing is done on the road while we are all doing what we love - including chatting with new friends. You would be surprised at how much chatting gets done while cruising at 20 mph along major roads in So Cal. As you get more comfortable, you will find that you have the ability to carefully watch the road, traffic and hold a conversation with someone else on a bike. But it does take getting comfortable riding close to another at speed, and that only comes with experience.

    Again, I am sorry that I misunderstood your post. Please understand that many of us actually do "presume" another cyclist might be interested in talking simply because they are also cyclists and that gives us a common bond.
     
  14. cannongirl

    cannongirl New Member

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    You have both articulated the "Dogging" issue extremely well, two excelent points of view...

    Clearly there *is* a difference between "Drafting" and "Dogging", now there's a sentence I thought I would never have written...but it's true..

    I just don't feel comfortable drafting with strangers, either male *or* female...when you're 2" behind the wheel in front, 20+ mph, you really need to beable to trust the Rider in front, and indeed behind...

    I can tell you from experience, it really hurts a LOT when you fall at 20mph, or any speed for that matter...and if for some reason the Rider in front deviates, which happened in my case, you tend to go down face first...luckily I landed on the side of my helmet initially, still clipped into my Pedals...it all happens soooo fast, all I remember was seeing Road, Sky, Road, Sky...apparently it was quite spectacular by all accounts....:(

    And on a lighter note, isn't SoCal a glorious place to ride J Pugh? with the right company and Traffic conditions of course...(I had to add that part)
     
  15. WyoRoadChick

    WyoRoadChick New Member

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    The most erratic cyclist is nothing compared in inline skaters, 'cause there's nothing "inline" about the way they skate. To make matters worse, they're usually wearing headphones with the music turned up so loud, they can't hear you coming up behind. Had one the other day using up the entire width of the bike path, who only noticed me as I inched up next to her (while yelling "on yer left"); scared her so badly, she almost fell, then yelled at me that I was a f***ing a**hole.
     
  16. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    No problem. I think you make excellent points. I do recognize that my own lack of skill contributes to the problem. I have in fact exchanged a few words with road bikers, but I think they generally recognize that I'm uncomfortable doing that and they don't try to carry the conversation too far. Or, I just tell them I'm uncomfortable riding that close.

    I did take a seminar recently where 8 of us rode for about 5 miles in very close formation. It was almost nerve racking for me at the outset, but I was a little more comfortable after a while. Having crashed spectacularly in the woods, where I imagine the terrain is a bit less harsh than asphalt, I still have to get over that initial fear of my first bad asphalt crash (not that I have never gotten road rash before, but just never at the higher speeds I can now achieve on this bike).

    Cheers.
     
  17. J Pugh

    J Pugh New Member

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    I agree that you have to trust the riders you are with when cruising at that speed AND trust in your own abilities. As for the falling - you are right, but it is part of the sport - not the fun part, mind you, but part of the sport nonetheless. I, too, have had some pretty spectacular falls (at least from the viewpoint of others) and have accepted the fact that my legs will never be as scar free as they were when I was in my 20s but are in much better shape, so, it's a trade off. My most spectacular falls are usually off road, so that makes for great war stories, anyway.

    I notice that your info simply says "West Coast" - are you in the So Cal area? I adore living here and riding here. You can ride 360 days a year without rain. Flying down PCH in a paceline with one of the local racing clubs on a sunny day is the best! The sun, the surf and cycling, it really doesn't get better than that. I don't even worry about the traffic conditions any more - I ride and that's that. Probably helps that I grew up here. There are only a few areas that I won't ride due to traffic. You just get used to it. And are soooo alert for the person who doesn't see you, opens the door, etc. You become a defensive rider, just like a defensive driver - watching for what the other person might do. Since I drive a small sports car, I am used to people not seeing me on the road, whether I am cycling or driving!

    Well, cannongirl, if you are ever in my neighborhood or I get to yours, maybe we can get a ride in. We travel around CA and OR fairly often so if you are in either of those states...
     
  18. J Pugh

    J Pugh New Member

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    You've got that right! I have been in that same situation and, you're right, it IS worse than another erratic cyclist as the cyclist is usually only cycling, not listening to music and off in their own world. Add to that the people walking their dog and talking on the cell phone on the bike path and you understand why I rarely use the bike paths any more - it's more dangerous than being on the road with the cars!
     
  19. diane143

    diane143 New Member

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    I just typed a long post and realized I made myself look like a royal b*tch LOL. Suffice to say, I blade and bike on paths shared with others, and there are bad apples in every bunch. But people with strollers, entire familys and dogs on long leashes take the cake every time!

    Diane
     
  20. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    you got that right. we have a wonderful two lane road here (Rock Creek Parkway) that is closed all weekend long. You'd think that would be a dream, and it is a good thing. But it just takes that one family with the carriage to decide to make that slow country u-turn....

    parents are amazing--they act like their carriages are armored vehicles. being a parent, i think i can say that, and it is amazing how when you are at the helm of one of those things, you really think it can withstand a lot.
     
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