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Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?(25 posts)

Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?morrison
Jan 22, 2002 7:41 AM
Went on a group ride on Sat. There were about 30 of us, and we planned on a 35 mile loop that took us through some of the local foothills. It's not a very challenging route, but there are a couple of nice climbs.

The group, as usual, split off into several smaller groups with the younger guys taking off on their own. I was in the second group (7 of us) and we formed a loose pace line. The wind was coming at us from the north east, and we were heading East. I positioned my self about 6" behind the guy in front, and about 8" to his right.

The guy behind me overlapped me w/ about 3-4" of clearance. This makes me very nervous (I've been knocked down before), and I politely (I think) asked him to back off a little. He didn't. I asked several more times, and then pulled out and circled back to the rear so that he wouldn't be behind me.

As luck would have it, he ended up behind me again about 20 minutes later. We went through the same thiing. At the half way point, we stopped to regroup. I went inside to use the head. We formed up again, and started up a steep climb. As I climbed out of the saddle and started to hammer, my rear wheel locked up, and I went over hard. I scraped my right arm, and ripped the tape off my bars, but other than that, my bike and I were none the worse for wear.

When I looked at my bike more closely, I saw what caused the crash. The rear wheel was completely off the frame. I checked the skewer, and the quick release was still in the 'locked' position, but when I reattached the wheel, it was clear that it had been dramatically loosened.

I ALWAYS inspect my bike before I ride. I check my wheels and tire pressure religiously. I think that d--kweed loosened my wheel while I was taking a leak! Does anybody have an innocent explanation for this? Am I being paranoid, or should I stay off that group for a bit?
Tough callPaulCL
Jan 22, 2002 7:52 AM
First of all, I have no idea of how your skewer came loose particularly if you checked it - but sh** does happpen at the worst times.

As a cyclist, the d--kweed knows that if he sabotaged your bike like that it could kill you. If this guy has any sense or morals, ethics, pathos, etc...he wouldn't do it. I can't imagine that a few cross words would make someone intentionally fool with you bike to such a dangerous extent.

Be careful. I would recommend to keep your concerns about this individual to yourself because you have no proof. Express the mechanical cause of the crash (not the 'cause' of the mechanical) to your group and ask for explanations. Let them make their own conclusions. More than likely, one of the 30 will say that something similiar to that happened to them too. Good luck and keep an eye on d--kweed.
Just being paranoid doesn't make you wrong.MB1
Jan 22, 2002 7:53 AM
Talk to your riding buds about it. If this person did it to you they have done it to others. Don't retaliate though just let it be known, what goes around comes around-people like that are very unhappy no need to add to it.

Be careful out there.
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?hikerryank
Jan 22, 2002 8:01 AM
You shouldn't have to stop riding with a group because of some jerk. If your pretty sure that dude did it, tell some other regulars in the group. Ride in a smaller group with them and make sure that guys knows he is unwelcome. Keep a buddy system to watch your back, and your bike, on rides he is on. It is bad enough that he took you down, but if you'd been in a paceline instead of a climb when you went down, you could have taken a lot of riders with you. Even I recognize that and I've only been a roadie for a couple months. No one in the group should be willing to put up with crap like that from anyone. Perhaps he will be invited to not ride with the group again. He may take offense to this and come at you in a race, or perhaps he will realize he brought it upon himself and take a lesson from it (small chance of this happening these days).
Good luck and watch your back.
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?MJ
Jan 22, 2002 8:14 AM
if you can't prove it then you must keep it to yourself and be careful - otherwise it will be you on the outside - do let it be known what the cause of the mechanical/wreck was - just don't lay blame and talk again with that guy who was too close about how you didn't like him where he was - maybe there's a reason he felt justified in making you feel uncomfortable

things go wrond at the worst time


just because you think they're out to get you doesn't mean they're not
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?feathers mcgraw
Jan 22, 2002 8:21 AM
You don't really think that he could undo your qr, loosen it, and close it again without anyone noticing, do you? A buddy of mine crashed the same way you did. He pulled out his rear wheel just as we started up a short 20% rise and went over the bars. I was only a couple of inches behind him and had just enough time to swerve around him. The sight of his rear wheel flipping just to the side of my face was very dramatic! Campy qr in a steel Merckx frame with horizontal dropouts. Having said that, I have no explanation for your skewer being loose in the closed position except that it may be on the verge of breaking (the same guy snapped a campy skewer a month before the aforementioned crash).
Check the skewer....Greg Taylor
Jan 22, 2002 8:37 AM could be the culprit. Really. Changing it out will also bring some peace of mind.

I'm with the "too many witnesses" school of thought...unless ALL of the guys that you ride with are a bunch of thoughtless tools, they wouldn't put up with someone playing such a dangerous "joke".
Check your QR...MrCelloBoy
Jan 22, 2002 8:43 AM
every time you're off the bike from now on.
This way you'll know if someone's been f___ing with it.
probably paranoid, but ...tarwheel
Jan 22, 2002 8:56 AM
Why don't you ask some of the other guys on the ride if they saw anyone fiddling with your bike, without mentioning any names? It's doubtful someone would mess with your bike with no one noticing. I think your wreck was just a stroke of bad luck (or good, considering that you could have been hurt much worse).

This reminds me of something that happened when I was in the 7th grade. I friend was over at my house one day, and I later noticed that a $5 bill I had was missing -- back in the days when $5 was a lot of money (to me, anyway). I asked my friend about it, and -- of course -- deeply offended him. A few days later, I found the $5 bill in the pocket of one my other pairs of pants.

Regarding the wheel crossing, that guy will learn the hard way some day what a bad idea that is. Fortunately, the guy in the rear who crosses your wheel is usually the one to go down. Unfortunately, he might take some other guys with him.
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?Elefantino
Jan 22, 2002 8:57 AM
I, too, can't believe that he could loosen your QR without anyone else in the group noticing.

If he shows up at your next group ride, I'd politely (again) tell him that you don't like someone overlapping you. Either that or tell the group as a whole, without singling him out. (That may be a better idea.)

Best thing? You're OK. That's most important.

re: Sabotaged (in a paceline??)B2
Jan 22, 2002 11:53 AM
I have to admit, I don't have any explanation for the loose QR, but do you really think the guy would do this knowing that the whole paceline might go down, including himself?

There's got to be some other explanation. Keep it to yourself (and check your QR frequently).

Could have been loose......AustinTexasRider
Jan 22, 2002 12:13 PM
I have had my QR a little on the loose side, started to hammer and had it pop out or shift to the side before. This might have been it.
Overlapping wheels.guido
Jan 22, 2002 12:42 PM
As far as telling people not to overlap your wheel, realize that he, not you, will wipe out if his front wheel makes contact with your rear wheel. You'll feel a little bump and quickly recover. His front wheel will deflect and he'll go bye-bye, taking a couple of riders with him. That's why it's so important to hold your line and try to maintain steady speed in a paceline. Overlapping wheels is going to happen, alot, and you may as well accept that.

But, if that guy is a real pain, and he did unscrew your quick release, now you know how to "get even."
Overlapping wheels.Sintesi at home
Jan 22, 2002 5:03 PM
Yes, this is exactly what I was going to say. Maybe if he starts overlapping you you can start absent-mindedly drifting over. On second thought, assume he did nothing and go about your business. A much more mature policy.
re: Echelon riding...philippec
Jan 22, 2002 12:52 PM
I don't know what to think about the loose qr -- check the qr carefully to make sure it isn't an internal problem w/ the skewer. If not, and if your colleague did loosen the qr, he is an ass, and a dangerous one at that.

However, according to your description (wind out of the NE, heading East), what the other overlapping rider was doing sounds perfectly normal according to peleton etiquette here in France. It sounds as if he were trying to move the group into an echelon which would have been perfectly reasonable given the wind direction -- and anyway, the danger was all his as pointed out above, b/c if he did brush tires, he, not you, would go down. We practise pack riding skills during the off season/early season by getting some riders together on a grassy surface and bumping into each other, brushing wheels and simulating close quarters sprinting. You might find this helpful in easing your fears of falling.


I sort of agree - not guiltyDog
Jan 22, 2002 2:05 PM
I've never heard of the lead rider being taken down by a following rider in a wheel overlap situation. I suppose it might happen if the follower were on the inside of a corner, like in a crit, but that's not what you were describing.

That being the case, I can understand why he might keep ignoring you. It's his risk, and maybe he felt comfortable with his and your riding and accepted the risk to stay in the wind shelter.

I've never had someone to tell me to back off, and there really is no reason to. So, there is no reason for him to get mad or to sabotage you, either. It just doesn't make sense why he would do that, unless you called him a name or something.

Unless someone saw him do it, you'll never know. I doubt he did anything. That would be an extreme counter measure, as well, too unbalanced from how he might have felt wronged to even make sense. I doubt he did it. There motive just isn't there.

Don't worry about riders behind you. They only endanger themselves (and those behind them). If you are worried about it, move over a little bit to the side they are on and "gutter" them. They'll have to drop back, and will lose the draft a bit. Don't be obvious or sudden, though.

If you can prove he did it, that's something else. I don't know what to tell you, other than it won't be pretty.

Out of curiosity, what kind of bike do you ride?dmilkerson
Jan 22, 2002 1:13 PM
I know for a fact that the rear skewer coming off is a known problem on several of the Lemond models (Zurich, Buenos Aires). Don't know what year, though. I've read about it and actually talked to two people to whom this has happened. Both of them assured me they had experienced this several times no matter how tight the rear QR was. Both these people have a Lemond Buenos Aires Model.
It's probably not the case for you, but who knows? I thought I might check.
As an aside, I can't imagine a cyclist doing that to another cyclist knowing how dangerous that is. I don't buy it. That is border line criminal behaviour.
Zep (Airborne) (nm)morrison
Jan 22, 2002 1:23 PM
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?xxl
Jan 22, 2002 2:48 PM
For what it's worth, when wheels overlap, it's the guy in the rear who goes down. He'll eventually see (or feel) the error of his ways.

Also, I think that it would be really hard to loosen the QR skewer deliberately, without your other riding companions seeing someone fiddling with your ride. Kick it open, sure, but to sit there and draw attention to yourself by turning it??

What's weird is, he could have (hypothetically) kicked open your skewer, then when you crashed, the thing could've been "closed" by the impact; except for the "dramatically loosened" thing. I admit, I'm stymied there. Thankfully you weren't at speed when it happened.
one last thingfeathers mcgraw
Jan 22, 2002 3:00 PM
Did he stay in front of you after the pit stop? If I did what you think he did, I'd stay in front of you for sure. I still don't think you were the victim of sabotage, though.
A bit of bothgrzy
Jan 22, 2002 3:01 PM
You were a bit paranoid to keep telling him to back off - you're both big boys and he felt he could handle it. Clearly he sabotaged your bike.

Might sound like jumping to conclussoins but your wheel was fine for the first half of the ride. There is no reasonable explanation of how it loosened by itself - I assume you have some time of the bike/wheel/skewer combo. The only thing that makes sense is that the a-hole loosened up your skewer. Obviously he didn't like you telling him to back off and didn't want you on the ride any more. I guess one should consider if you really want to ride in this situation. Also realize that some of the other riders probably knew that he loosened your wheel and did nothing. Not a pleasant thought.

Revenge would be nice, but it's lowering yourself to his level. Part of me says that if he wants to overlap you that much then he runs the chance of going down and possibly taking you down also. Usually the guy whose front wheel makes contact is the one to go down first. As it stands you were the only one to go down. An expereinced rider can handle the overlap and I normally don't worry about it. A decent cross wind will have everyone riding in echelon with a fair amount of overlap. A more subtle way to get him to back off is to ride a little bit erratically - nothing dangerous - just enough to make people give you a little more room. The other alternative is to pull out of the pace line to the back as you did, but when he comes back to fall in behind you turn the tables and fall in behind him. He's only got two choices - fall off the back and lose the draft with you behind him or get on the back of the line....with you behind him. Of course this puts you in prime position to wreck if he wrecks.

I usually bounce my bike lightly before I start riding again - anything that's come loose will make a funny noise.
Not a bad point.Sintesi at home
Jan 22, 2002 5:15 PM
I don't see how it could spontaneously unscrew itself. If you in fact pulled it out of the dropout by a tremendous stomp on the pedals then the skewer should have been too tight to slip back into the dropouts. Could you slip it back in the dropouts w/out having to loosen it back up?
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?mackgoo
Jan 22, 2002 11:50 PM
I can't believe any one would do anything like that, but if he did what are you doing riding with people like that? Don't you know the people you ride with?
Not paranoid at all.Leisure
Jan 23, 2002 1:30 AM
What are the chances of a neurotically-maintained skewer randomly going out right after you address someone incessantly riding in your space who refuses to respond to you with words? There are a certain number of truly malicious people out there, and yes some of them will be on two wheels; coming across them is statistically uncommon but also inevitable, and when you do cross paths you have to realize that they've generally spent a lot of time learning to cover their tracks. Don't be shocked if noone saw anything.
While you don't have enough proof to go and challenge him on it, you have plenty of reason to refuse riding with him further. I would look at the group and consider just how close-knit they are with him. If they were really buddy-buddy they aren't the kind of people to waste time riding with. More likely it was a random collection of people that just happened to be going the same pace, and then it may be worth asking if anybody saw anything, or if they just thought he was weird, and what you wonder was happening. He could pull the same thing on someone else, so the others should be informed.
re: Sabotaged or paranoid (or both)?mackgoo
Jan 23, 2002 2:57 AM
Bet this guy was on a Litespeed.;-o