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Is it rude to draft a stranger?(11 posts)

Is it rude to draft a stranger?jonwondo
Jun 2, 2001 12:38 PM
Many times I have been tempted to draft someone who just passed me on the road, but then I don't because I'm not sure if it is bad etiquette?

So, opinions? and how close is too close?


IMO: not rudegeezer
Jun 2, 2001 1:31 PM
In MY opinion, it is not rude to draft a stranger provided you let them know you are there and don't abuse them. I emphasize MY opinion, because there are cyclists out there who disagree with me on this one. I have pulled up behind unknown cyclists and had them try and break away from me or immediately swing out aggressively and expect me to pull through before I've had a chance to say hello. I don't understand this at all. I'm willing to pull, I'm willing to talk pleasantly, whatever. Some folks competitive drives just take over their brains full-time. Having someone draft behind really makes no difference to your speed or your ride, so what's the big deal if someone decides to use you for a tow? I'm just happy to see and maybe meet another cyclist! It IS rude to draft behind someone and then attack them on the next hill and leave them for dead, though. Not nice at all.
Askmike mcmahon
Jun 2, 2001 1:35 PM
If you feel uncertain, the best thing to do is to ask the other rider if he/she minds if you draft. I think you'll find that if you ask in a friendly way, most people will have no problem with it.

If you feel uncomfortable, you're too close to the rider in front of you. As far as I know, there's no hard and fast rule. However, people with more experience in group rides tend to ride a very short distance behind other riders. If you're something of a novice at it, you should probably be in a position where you feel you're close enough to be getting the benefit of drafting without feeling like you're going to touch wheels with the person in front of you. If you can't achieve this balance, you probably shouldn't be drafting anyone at this point. Good luck.
I agree...TJeanloz
Jun 2, 2001 3:35 PM
Nine times out of ten I don't care who sits on my wheel. But there are times when I enjoy the solice of riding alone. There's added mental responsibility to pulling that sometimes I don't want to deal with. I don't want to have to point things out, to indicate which way I'm going to turn, or otherwise have to worry about the guy behind me. As I said, that's only about ten percent of the time; the rest of the time I don't care. What is totally rude is if you are passed, to sit on the passer's wheel, and then go around him, only to have him go around you a mile later, and repeat the process. The passer originally caught you for a reason: he's (she's) faster- don't try to compete with that.
well saidHank
Jun 2, 2001 3:48 PM
now that the weather is getting nice, I'm getting a lot of yahoos who seem to want to race me all the time. I'll pass someone and forget about it, only to have them go flying by me a minute later and then choke on the first slight rise. Then you have to pass again...

I think as a general rule you should only draft behind someone who is roughly your level, and only if you communicate with the person first and are willing to take some pulls yourself. As you pointed out, when you have someone drafting behind you, you need to start pointing out roadside junk and potholes and warning that you're gonna stop for a stop sign, etc. - not something you really want to do for a random stranger who hasn't even bothered to introduce him/herself (maybe cause they're too out of breath).
Faster on the down hill...Kristin
Jun 3, 2001 9:29 AM
...but I die climbing. I haven't learned how to do the decend/ascend thing yet. So sometimes, when I'm in the vacinity of another rider, I end up in an unintentional game of cat and mouse. I can rocket down a hill and pass riders, only to be caught by them on the next hill. Competition is the farthest thing from my mind, I'm just trying to figure out how to ride better.

Do you think that the person you're describing is perhaps new and hasn't learned to control their ride yet? If so, should this person pull back and go at a much slower/less demanding pace in order to please?
I thought you split?!nm
Jun 2, 2001 10:04 PM
re: Is it rude to draft a stranger?drover
Jun 2, 2001 5:17 PM
I think it's probably kind of intrusive to draft strangers when you're out on a solo ride. Group rides are different. When I'm riding alone and a faster rider passes me, I'll sometimes try to hang with them as long as I can, just for the challenge. I'll ride well behind -- 8 to ten feet so I'm not any safety threat -- just using the other rider to keep pace.
re: Is it rude to draft a stranger?BrianU
Jun 2, 2001 6:33 PM
Drafting is something you do in groups or with someone you are riding with. If you really feel like you need to ride with a stranger that just passed without acknowledging you, at least introduce yourself and ask if they mind. I like riding with others, but there are days after work that I like to go out and just spin for awhile to clear my head. If I am riding by myself, chances are it is because I want it that way. I am sure I am not alone in my opinion of this issue.
re: Is it rude to draft a stranger?Niwot
Jun 2, 2001 9:29 PM
IMO, if a stranger drafts you, then you are under NO obligation to point out potholes, glass, nails, etc. You have to do that on a group ride, but if you're out riding by yourself, and someone you don't know jumps in and starts to suck your wheel, he has to watch out for himself.
Jun 3, 2001 7:54 PM
for some reason this strkies me as being exceedingly funny.

My answer is yes it's rude if you don't ask.

It's also rude if the other guy is like a pedestrian or something.
But then what's a bit of rudeness this is WAR