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Etiquette of drafting cars?(14 posts)

Etiquette of drafting cars?filtersweep
Aug 12, 2001 3:32 PM
I was out for my am ride today around one of the lakes around here, and an SUV passes me (has to pass the cyclist, right??) then proceeds to putz around at about 25 mph (which I think was the speed limit, and about my speed when he passes me). I'm staying with him, then the wind shifts (going "around" the lake) and I have to slow or pass on the right (which is not a good idea under the circumstances). Anyway, I end up following him off his rear right wheel for a few miles of easy pedaling. Aside from the obvious safety concerns of any sort of tailgating, is this considered a major breech of decorum? Following a car closely at this speed (which is relatively slow for a vehicle) is extremely common for other cars, and arguably the truck was impeding traffic more than I was. I'm not trying to make an issue out of the practice, but rather to hear other opinions as a matter of principle.
safety, not etiquetteDog
Aug 12, 2001 3:53 PM
Not sure there is such a thing as etiquette following a car. But, safety is concern. I blew out a tire and almost crashed when I hit something in the road I could not see because I was following several cars down a hill at 45 mph. I could not pass, but I did not want to lose time. Bad idea. Heck, for all I knew, there could have been a 2 foot deep pothole in the road that the cars could have straddled, but I'd have killed myself hitting it. Stay well back from cars. However, if they are substantially slower, pass on the left just like another car. If there is a bike lane, just stay there and pass. But, don't follow closely.

Dog
hmm....filtersweep
Aug 12, 2001 4:06 PM
I see your point regarding a blow out. This road is only one lane (in one direction- obviously), making it inappropriate to pass, and it is part of my normal route to the point where I know every crack and manhole cover intimately, if you know what I mean... not saying there couldn't be something on the road.
if you know every crack in the road...LC
Aug 12, 2001 4:13 PM
then it is no problem. I do it all the time on a road that I know very well. Just remember that a car can out brake a bike, so stay back further than you would drafting off a bike. A big SUV makes a great wind deflector even 15-20 ft back.
re: Etiquette of drafting cars?adam_s
Aug 12, 2001 4:20 PM
Good job. My initial response is, good for you! But be careful. (Etiquette? There is no such thing on the road. How can there be etiquette on the road when there is no respect on the road? I have had fruit, full packs of gum, and lit cigarettes flung at me while training. There is no etiquette on the road). If the driver gets pissed, so what. Use your judgement and peel off if you feel you need to.

If you know what you are doing, then do it. If you know how to sit in a pack of riders, and pay attention and not run into the person in front of you, then draft at your own risk. It helps to know the road, too.

I was out doing a recovery ride one Friday evening when I came across a familiar 4 way stop. A horse trailor had pulled up just before me, and turned the way I was going. What a dream come true. Drafting blindly behind a trailor at 40+mph. So much for my recovery ride HR. It was awesome. The driver wasn't sure that I was there or not, so when we turned right onto the next road, which was the same road I was planning on going on, he didn't accelerate as fast as he had before...when he made his left and I came around him at 37+mph I had the biggest s.e. grin on my face ever. He looked at me like I was on crack. 4-5 miles at 37-42mph completely un-anaerobic. What a ride. I would have been dead if anything had happened, but I knew the road and every turn on it, so I wasn't as scared as I should have been.

I may get blasted for this, but everyone needs to try it sometime. I am always looking for the next horse trailor.
fruit, gum, and cigarettes?filtersweep
Aug 12, 2001 5:19 PM
I don't know about the cigarettes, but I wouldn't mind the fruit and gum during a long ride ;) At least they had the courtesy to light the cigs before tossing them to you, it is such a pain to light up during a ride, especially with matches.
lighting cigarettesfuzzybunnies
Aug 12, 2001 5:55 PM
You obviously don't have the bar plug cigarette lighter and holder. Real cheap and easy to install. In one bar end is the lighter, just push in and when it's hot it pops out just like a car lighter. The holder fits in the other bar end and holds 10 cigs and is spring loaded so you don't loose any, just enough to get you through the ride. Push in the lighter and by the time the cig is in your mouth the lighter is hot enough and no fumbleing with matches. Holder can also carry 12 well rolled joints in a pinch. Yours for only 19.98. TTFN
lighting cigarettesHank
Aug 12, 2001 6:35 PM
is that in the Rivendell catalog?
Same page as the retro roach clip & helmet mirror [nm]davidl
Aug 13, 2001 4:15 AM
that's what I thoughtHank
Aug 13, 2001 7:21 AM
the only catch is you have to use cloth bar tape, and it will eject your cigarettes onto the roadway and ignite your bars if it detects the rider using index shifting.
Where do I send the check? NMLazy
Aug 12, 2001 7:38 PM
It's right next to the aero water bong.STEELYeyed
Aug 13, 2001 5:42 AM
lighting cigarettesjaybird
Aug 13, 2001 7:35 AM
Can I get one in ti? Which one does Lance use?
The Dick Evans MemorialMB1
Aug 13, 2001 7:15 AM
Ride/race in Hawaii is named after one of the best riders I ever knew. He used to draft cars and trucks. We don't need any memorial rides.