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Feel like a jerk - what to do(25 posts)

Feel like a jerk - what to doMaRider
Jun 9, 2002 4:28 PM
yesterday on a long ride I catch this guy at the light. I arrive as he takes off (the light changed), so I get on his wheel, he acknoledged my presense, nodded and continued to ride, pretty hard. Soon we are going 25-27 mph into the headwind - by myself I was riding 22 on the similar road before that. The road is pretty bad so a few times I lagged at the turns, but made an effort to get back on his wheel.
That was definitely a little too fast for me. A mile or so later we stop at the next light and exchange hello's.
This time I volunteer to try to lead for a while, since I have been sucking off of his wheel, even thought I fully expected for him to drop me within the next half a mile. I rode 24mph or so and maintained it for half-a-mile, but when I looked back, he was slipping and stopped maintaining contact with me - was about 50 yards back. I dropped my speed to 20-22 and continued to ride at my own pace, expecting him to catch up, but he never did.

SHould I have waited for him?
I had a similar situation a few weeks ago on a climb (windy day too), a guy passes me, yells "grab onto my wheel". I was pretty tired, so I get on his wheel and sit for about 3 min, recovering, then when I felt the pace slow down a notch, I went to the front and held exactly the same tempo as we averaged during his lead, yet he dropped back almost immediately - after only 30 sec or so, and I never saw him again.

Each time I didn't feel like I did my share of leading, and felt like a jerk who dropped them on purpose. On the other hand, I was simply maintaining or trying to maintain the tempo they set out in the first place, so if they went too hard and bonked while leading - I am not to blame for that, am I?

Perhaps I should stop worrying about things like that, but each time I felt bad about the incident. It would be awkward to meet these guys on the road again. This is not a bragging report, I ride with plenty of faster/stronger riders (one of them is my brother), so I know my place, but is there anything I should have done differently? What would you do in a situation like this?
re: Feel like a jerk - what to dosievers11
Jun 9, 2002 4:38 PM
It sounds like you found a couple of guys that wore themselves out on the lead and droped like a couple of chumps.

You did nothing wrong, as long as you maintain the same clip and you did when recovering on their tail. I wouldn't feel bad in the least, but if you want next time you could comunicate the pace as you switch places. "22 good?" Then if they drop, they just wanted to go home a different way.

What you should have done is just past straight out and smoked them before it became an issue...Race everyone.
I try so hard to not do that....collinsc
Jun 9, 2002 4:53 PM
Every person I see, I try to catch. Every person I catch, I try to pass. You become really accustomed to setting your own pace if you only ride solo. Every so often though, they hook me with a bit of interesting conversation, something you come to miss if you only ride solo.

But I still have the "race everyone" problem. I don't have a whole ton of interest in being competetive, but somehow, if theyre in front of me I have to catch them, and if theyre behind, they need to be more behind.
Think of it the other way around, pehapsKerry
Jun 9, 2002 4:41 PM
Maybe these guys went into overdrive when they saw you, and then set a pace they couldn't maintain. It has been known to happen! If it bothers you, just slow down, chat with them for a minute while they catch their breath, and then say something like "I'll lead if you want" and go back to the pace YOU want. If they can hang on to that pace, then all's right with the world. If they can't hang on, then they were making a show of it when they hammered. And if, when you drop and let them have a turn at the front, they take off like a scalded rabbit, then you know what is going on.
re: Feel like a jerk - what to dovon flash
Jun 9, 2002 5:37 PM
I'd be fried too going 25-27 into a headwind.
You caught himfiltersweep
Jun 9, 2002 6:04 PM
If you catch somebody who is ahead of you, you are obviously going faster than they are. What happened probably was, his testosterone shot up, and he was basically "racing" you trying to drop you when the light changed, trying to show off... let's face it, going 27 into a head wind? He apparently shot his load.

The guy on the hill saw you in front of him, and obviously had to exert more effort to catch up and pass you, and he shot his load as well.

You are definitely NOT to blame for these guys bonking. I highly doubt the first guy would be able to sustain that kind of speed for any length of time.

I wouldn't worry about it at all. There really are no rules, and after all, you went out for a solo ride.

I was out awhile ago and this guy started following me. I kept a constant speed and he started lagging, so I just let it go. He of course proceeds to pass me awhile later by blowing through a long red light that I'm stopped at. As I'm about to pass him again, he pulls over and "adjusts something" on his bike... likely so he can say that no one passed him.

I swear a lot of what you describe is a competitive characteristic (in others) that a lot of people have when out on a ride. There usually isn't any teamwork or communication. I mean, you are talking about a mile, or a half minute in the other situation... that's nothing.
Filtersweep is right.spankdoggie
Jun 9, 2002 6:15 PM
Filtersweep is right on the money. The enjoyment on solo rides is having the opportunity to be passed by someone, then chasing and trying to overtake. Or passing someone.

Or knowing during a recovery ride, as everyone passes you, that you will have some fun out there next time out. But then, I ride a nice route where I toast and get toasted by other riders during the whole ride. It is all just a bunch of fun.

Those dudes didn't care, man. I wouldn't care. Jack em' up again next time.

Yesterday, I tracked a fellow Serotta rider and tailed him. I mountain bike rider intent on passing us both up, well, passed us both up...

I jumped in front of the "fellow" Serotta rider and told him to grab my tail... he ignored and passed me and the mountain bike rider...

I jumped in front of the mountain bike rider and pointed to my tail so we could "take" the other Serotta rider...

He basically says "kiss my %$#" and jumps in front of me...

So we reach a hill and I am forced to pass them both up for their indiscretions regarding my polite invitations to join me on my ride.

I was totally tired, but I guess they were too after the "race." I rode at a comfortable pace, but they no longer had any intentions of trying to pass me, though if they had the capability to, they would have.

Who was it that said that at the higher levels of racing: "It is 90 percent confidence" ?

By the way, I ride at the lower levels...

re: Interesting experience I had oncecyclejim
Jun 9, 2002 6:21 PM
Was out on a training ride on my mtn bike, and rolling through the last bend of the park I noticed two guys ahead of me on road bikes. Around the bend there is a small bridge with a short climb up to it, and I came up behind these two guys about the middle of the bridge. I looked over to say hi, but they seemed to be in their own world so I just went on by, giving them several feet. I didn't think anything of it and keep going at my pace.

Apparently they went another way because I didnt see them behind me when I looked. Then about 10 minutes later I heard something close behind and sure enough it was these two guys again. They didn't say anything and started drafting me REALLY tight without asking. This continued for over 20 minutes into a headwind, & at several points I slowed to see if they would pull forward and pull. Nothing doing. They just wanted to sit on my wheel for some unknown reason. I think they were trying to intimidate me. I guess they didn't like a guy on a mtn bike cruising past them making them look bad?

We finally get to a stop sign and I turn towards them and they just blow the stop sign as I say...."see ya later".

What a couple of morons.
True. roadies are morons...spankdoggie
Jun 9, 2002 7:09 PM
Well, some roadies are morons. Whenever a mountain bike rider passes me up, I fall apart in tears at the courage and movitation entailed in such an endeavor as that...

But then I proceed to put them back in their place by passing them up with a fun smart remark. They love it, and I love it.

We both gained from the battle.

After serious chase battles between strangers, we have often stopped to shake hands and say thank you for the impetus to push harder... "iron sharpens iron" ...

I am a former, hard core, mountain bike rider. I know that inevitably, it is the impetuosity of youth that compels youngsters to blow past me.

I will not allow it.

But I love all of them.

They love me.

Jun 9, 2002 7:36 PM
I wouldnt have really minded if they had been at least a bit civil. I wasnt really even wanting to pass them, they were just going at their pace and so was I. Then to not say anything and jump on my wheel, well that was just childish and stupid. They were definitely morons.
troll alert. do not feed the trolls. nmweiwentg
Jun 9, 2002 7:50 PM
weiwntg is a jackass. Do not feed the jackass..spankdoggie
Jun 9, 2002 8:03 PM
So what is the deal, some new guy like me jumps in and I am a troll... ?

Kiss my ass weiwntg, you jackass.

Read my above posts weiwntg.

Love and regards,

well, might be my bad...weiwentg
Jun 10, 2002 4:51 AM
you sounded like a total troll in this post, but you didn't in the others. might be that I didn't have enough coffee.
re: Feel like a jerk - what to doFender
Jun 9, 2002 7:17 PM
I had a situation like yours. I was riding up a hill and I caught his one rider. Pretty soon we started duking it out and I beat him. Afterwards there was a false flat and I let him catch my wheel. Upon the next climb, a short power climb I attacked and that was the end of him. Hey, the guy wanted to race, then you better be prepared!!! No harm intended.
Maybe they just didn't want to ride with you andLazywriter
Jun 9, 2002 7:38 PM
they intentionally held back. To be honest, I have done that before as I like to ride alone and don't want to have to make small talk with others I don't know. I always say hello to other riders and wave, but I don't want to chit chat too much. Maybe you weren't as strong as you thought especially if the guy was keeping such a fast pace. Maybe you are though so the only way to know is to enter a race. Training rides prove nothing as some might have different objectives for that particular ride.
Jun 9, 2002 8:06 PM
I think the 2 guys you ran into are hammerheads... they just have the personality to go a lot harder when someone else is around and this is a far from bad thing. However, it can be embarassing for them and make you feel bad when you go to the front to lead and they drop off after blowing up. But don't worry about it... if you was to slow down and talk to them go for it... but if you want to get YOUR own workout then just drop them.

Nick Corcoran
re: Feel like a jerk - what to dopa rider
Jun 10, 2002 4:30 AM
Sound like you tired these guys out. Like the other poster say, maybe they blown their wad already (Army humor). I have one question.

Has anyone draft you and tell you how you ride? We have one guy, we call "Crash", and you don't want to ride his wheel. He weaves alot and never keeps a good line, plus it looks like he's massing his pedals.

Just a thought, not to imply any negative feedback bud. I'm not the best rider too suck a wheel from, but I do block the wind great for everybody. I usely drop people when we go uphills when I pull.

I think the guys may have been tired when you took your turn to pull, but it's weird how they just gave up once you started to act like a fellow training rider.

Just my 2 cents.

"Crash" guys (weaving)MaRider
Jun 10, 2002 9:35 AM
I occasionally ride in groups and do a lot of rides with my brother over weekend, who is a much more experienced biker than I am. He would occasionally offer some feedback on my form and such. I think my paceline skills are fairly decent, so it's not that they didn't want to stay with me.
I am pretty sure they blew up, which is a little weird because they were leading at similar or harder tempo for a little while before that. The 27mph guy actually looked pretty experienced - not to get into poser vs. fred nonsense, but his bike handling skills on the turns were pretty impressive as far as I could tell.

But I know exactly the kind of "Crash" guy you are talking about. A good friend of mine, he is a decent biker, but has absolutely no paceline skills. He does 90 % of riding by himself, so when he leads the paceline he swerves around every pothole, doesn't warn you about any debris on the road, etc. I prefer to keep him behind me, but even then, he often comes over and rides double file next to you, which is fine when there's no traffic, or if he rode a little more consistently. What irritates me the most about him, he would come up on my side as we are slowing down to make a 90 deg turn, and often I have to slow down even more because I can't swing a little wider, and I effectively get "boxed in" by him. So then we are both get out of the saddle to try to catch the guy ahead of us. I always treat turns as "narrow road" where riders MUST go single file - that way everyone is free to negotiate the turns the best they see fit, and the scary thing is - this guy is pretty unpredictable when he is next to you. I don't quite know how to tell him, and I expect he can just learn from watching others ride - a few times I joked about it, and I think he got a little offended, but he keeps doing it.

Oh well... enough of ranting, back to work
everyone isn't out for the group ridesalmonwheel
Jun 10, 2002 5:48 AM
Maybe he justs likes riding solo. Perhaps he thought he was being nice by letting you suck his wheel, and he wantd to ride fast. After you moved ahead he wanted to ride alone again. When I did my first century, all of my preious riding had been solo rides. I passed a couple of guys going up a hill and they asked if they could suck my wheel. I said sure, I knew I was supposed to keep a steady pace so I tried too. After a long while one of the guys moves to the front..I was real uncomfortable trying to draft, having never done it before. So I dropped off the back, even though I was riding stronger than them because I didn't want them getting nervous about my poor paceline technique. Also I wasn't enjoying myself I was too worried about how close I was to the guy in front of me. I met up with them again later and we did the same thing until we got into a hilly stretch and I dropped them by accident and just kept going. They were fine with it and so was I. The bottom line was I was fine with pulling, but was uncomfortable trailing. If I knew these guys before we were out I probably would have stuck with it, but with all the hate posts for anyone new to pacelines I see on this site I thought I might be annoying (or scaring) them.

I think the responses you got were hillarious. All these posters that know exactly what happened, and assume everyone wants to ride like them, and these guys were Blownout, hammerheads etc. People ride bikes differently, maybe they were just doing their own thing. Maybe they did use you as motivation then finally peterd out, nothing wrong with that. You got to draftthey got to work harder than they may have without you for a while.

I wouldn't feel bad if I were you. If it was someone you made plans to ride with, it would be different, but people out riding separately sometimes ride together for a while then break off. You shouldn't be expected to change your riding plans because you met up with someone else and neither should they.
nothing wrong with thatfiltersweep
Jun 10, 2002 12:04 PM
Salmon- No there is definitely nothing wrong with people doing their own thing... but (of course there is a but) even YOU throw in your caveat that you knew you were a stronger rider than the others... reinforcing the unspoken "competetion" that often takes place randomly among strangers... I'm just pointing out a phenomenom that seems to repeatedly occur.
Easy, he was just doing his intervals...nmelviento
Jun 10, 2002 6:45 AM
Bad Gas? Stinky Jersey ? ;-) nmrwbadley
Jun 10, 2002 6:58 AM
27 mph into the wind?DougSloan
Jun 10, 2002 7:26 AM
If anyone is going 27 mph into the wind, either they are a pro or about to blow. My guess is the latter, here.

Don't sweat it. This guy dug his own (lactic acid) grave.

Unless there is an agreement, everyone is free to ride as they please with no regrets.

You worry too much!look271
Jun 10, 2002 7:33 AM
Sounds like you didn't do anything wrong. As the others have said, sounds like the other guys tried to hurt you and in the process fried themselves. Their bad. Don't worry about it.
re: Feel like a jerk - what to doLeisure
Jun 10, 2002 11:21 PM
Eh, don't feel like a jerk. It's not your fault in the least.
When I'm behind riders and I'm getting the sense they're pushing harder than they're real pace I just tell'em "hey, no pressure, go whatever feels comfortable, it's all good by me". It's my universal response and it almost always works. If they were thinking they had something to prove, it shows them I don't and they shouldn't either. If they were worried they weren't going fast enough or you might be getting impatient with them it lets them know there's no pressure. And if they can't keep up and need to drop back, it shows them you respect them anyway.