Why would you draft a stranger?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by bedocoman, Aug 29, 2017.

  1. bedocoman

    bedocoman New Member

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    I have never been in a bike race in my life. Today I was on my Sunday ride, just riding along between 16 and 17 mph when a fully kitted out racer wannabe on a $12k cannondale evo jumped on my rear wheel. When I asked him what he was doing, he didn't respond, when I told him to get the $%#@ off my wheel he made contact and dumped me on the shoulder. As I sat there with my separated shoulder, he tried to blame me for both of us going down.

    My question is, why would any apparently accomplished rider jump on the wheel of a stranger who is just riding along? I can't figure out why anyone would do this....
     
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  2. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    It's the remora paradigm: At best it is commensalism, in your case it turned into parasitism. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, bro.
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Never do it without first asking. Even joining the ride of someone you don't know should be done with the courtesy of an ask.

    I hope you heal up fast, OP.
     
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  4. kennyM

    kennyM New Member

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    Possibly the parasitic rider was just a total jerk. I think my first reaction would be just drop off some speed (you know...but fast enough that you don't fall over) or just stop and dismount. Perhaps he would have gone on his way since he did not seem inclined to want to chat you up and explain himself.
     
  5. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I don't!

    The only time I drafted a stranger was when I did a 45 mile ride with a couple of buddies. One guy hopped on and was pretty strong. We rotated at the front evenly to keep our average up. But he hopped on so we let him help.

    Other than that, I haven't drafted a stranger in 15 years.
     
  6. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    What's the problem if someone sits on your wheel?
     
  7. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    That's why these ass hats should just mind their own business and let other cyclists do their rides without interfering.
     
  8. Power Meter City

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    Yea...doesn't really bother me either. I actually usually like the company ;)
     
  9. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a great technical rider, intact that is my biggest deficiency. At the same time, i'm a very safe rider because I know where I'm lacking and don't stray to far from my abilities. If its on the flats or uphill, I don't mind if someone I don't know is drafting me. If its anything technical or downhill, I need my damn space. Even when I do group rides or club rides, I tell people that I need my space on the downhills or technical terrain.

    I ride alone 80% of the time and am in my third year cycling, I still suck at drafting. The most likely reason why these "racers" are drafting you is, they know how to suck wheel to their advantage. I know some riders who could hardly hit 16mph by themselves on rolling terrain, yet average 20-22 mph in a pack. I'm the kind of person who averages 18-19 in rolling terrain for 20-30+ miles, but cant draft for crap. Therefore, I'd be fighting tooth and nail at that speed and still get dropped.

    They shouldn't draft someone minding their own business without permission, but they do it because thats what they do best(in a speed gain sense).
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    They're usually the one that's going to biff it if there's contact. But as pointed out above, not always. Sometimes the lead rider also goes down.

    I hold a pretty decent tempo most rides and if a guy jumps on he's probably in good condition and experienced. That said, I've watched strong riders that have poor drafting skills get in over their heads. We can usually differentiate the Good, the Bad and the Ugly pretty quickly at our level of experience.

    IMO it all comes down to courtesy. Some guys just like to go it alone and others enjoy the extra rider(s). That old saying, "There is safety in numbers." is sometimes true and sometimes not so true!
     
  11. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Stranger. Hanging on the back of our small group of 3 a few years back. We know one another and know what the other is doing and/or going to do. When we slow or turn, we use verbal and hand signals.

    One day, a stranger hops on the wheel of a friend who happens to be at the back at the time with his brand new top of the line bike. We signal the slowing and begin a left hand turn. Stranger not paying attention, and maybe not knowing what the fukk hand signals mean, and the word "slowing" plows right into my buds new bike as we begin our turn and thrashes his rear derailleur.

    Before he could see the extent of the damage, the stranger takes off and leaves my bud SIL!

    That is why I don't like strangers on our wheels. Has happened more than once. Not always with this much damage but have had strangers take buddies down on rides hitting them from behind while making a turn.
     
  12. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Plenty of reasons you shouldn't draft a stranger. Another account.

    My wife's father had just passed away. She took a couple of weeks off the bike dealing with it, mourning. The day she gets back on the bike, we are just rolling along and she is talking about him with tears in her eyes. Of course I just listen and we are alone so she can get back into the swing of things without worrying about having to break out into tears in front of our ride partners.

    So we are just chilling and riding. We pass some dude and right away he hops her wheel. Really? OK I can see he doesn't know the situation so I ask him to remove himself from her wheel as we are spending some alone time.

    He gets pissy and starts mouthing off, I'm not hurting her, not interfering with her ride blah blah blah!

    Dude, we want to be alone so I cussed his sorry ass out not feeling I had to explain anything to him about her life.

    He removed himself after I went off.

    I never take a stranger's wheel but if you feel you want to take a stranger's wheel, maybe you should ask before you do. Some people are out to ride trying to get in some alone time and have good reason why they don't want some weak ass stranger on their wheel.
     
  13. zipp2001

    zipp2001 Well-Known Member

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    I've never jumped on a strangers wheel, but I have had a few try to jump on mine when there feelings get hurt when I pass them. Unlike you Mr. Beanz I live and ride in an area where I'm lucky if I see another rider on anyone of my rides. The few times it's happened I've put the hammer down and if they can hang I search out a climb which is easy to find where I live and drop them.
     
  14. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    That is amazing and I can never understand why guys get their feeling hurt when you pass them. o_O

    I think at times it has to do with having a couple of women with me, ah the male ego.

    -----------------------------------

    Funny because I have so many strangers jump my wheel that I have actually started to look them up on the flyby feature on Strava and I let them know ha ha!

    This was last weekend. Passed some guy sitting at a park. We rolled by then he raced up behind us and hopped on. Gina faded on a little uphill so I backed off and waited for her. He sprinted around like a bat out of hell. :eek:

    Once Gina recovered, I picked the pace back up to our cruising speed. The guy was ahead about 50 yards and yeah I was watching him. He was fading. His pedaling style went from a bat out of hell to a bat sitting in a dugout ha ha!

    We caught him at cruising speed, then he hopped on again. He did say thanks at the end so that was cool.

    But I found him on Strava flyby and asked if he was the guy that drafted us. He said yes and left a comment. :p

    Capture.JPG

    I didn't say anything but hell no I don't want to do it again. I'll end up pulling his ass the entire ride. I've had guys ask me to ride with them then I end up pulling them around for 60 miles while they refuse to take the front. But happy to sprint around me the final 100 yards! True story!

    ----------------------

    I think it is funny how some people don't acknowledge you when you ride by, won't even say hello after you greet them but they are willing to take your wheel like you're their best friend.

    We passed this guy last year, I said hi and he didn't respond. A hole was happy to take our wheel though. So I looked him up on flybys and left a comment. I said something like, oh so you were the guy who rode with us?

    He replied and said, wow, that is creepy that you looked me up on strava.

    I said it was easy, I saw you on the strava flyby feature but what is more creepy is that you took it upon yourself to draft my wife without her permission. :D
     
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  15. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    It's a free road and people can ride wherever they feel like it. I couldn't care less if someone sits on my wheel.
     
  16. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    Even if they caused you to crash with them like in the OP's case? The roads can be dangerous as it is, some people just like their space. I could understand if it was a bike tour with 100's of people, but no excuse if its just 1 other rider minding his/her business.
     
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  17. Helolumpy

    Helolumpy New Member

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    I fell onto a group of 5. As I approach, I asked if it was OK to join them and introduced myself.

    The group was fine with me joining and happier when I took my turn on the front.

    It's OK, as long as you ask....
     
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  18. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow, you actually took a turn at the front? That is very rare where I ride! :D

    I have 2 out of every 20 that will even say thanks. 1 out of every 30 that will ask before hopping on. o_O
     
  19. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend that constantly does that. I can be up front for mile after mile, ride after ride and if there's a town sign in sight he will pull out into the air as fresh as a daisy and claim the sprint. If I slow down to a crawl he'll get out front for few pedal strokes and then drop back to suck some more wheel.

    I just laugh at him. He's always been that way and claims he is 'riding smart!'.

    The pathetic part is that he makes more Watts than I do.

    Meh. Life is funny.
     
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  20. doubravsky

    doubravsky New Member

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    I'm learning a bit from this discussion.... I typically ride alone but have at times grabbed onto the back of a group. I'll be sure to ask next time.

    How does this discussion relate to organized rides? I'm doing a ride in Palm Springs this weekend, and have often joined groups during big rides.. assuming they are impromptu groups and don't mind folks joining in. Thoughts?
     
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