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When driving, do you let a cyclist draft?(9 posts)

When driving, do you let a cyclist draft?TypeOne
Aug 5, 2002 11:48 AM
Last weekend on a solo ride a VW van passed me, then slowed down until I caught up. I hung back a considerable distance because I didn't know what the guy was doing and it made me nervous. At some point I realized the guy must be a cyclist, because he had a USCF sticker in the back window. He slowed down more, and I stayed back.
After about a minute of this driving at 20 mph on a 35 mph roadway, the driver sped off with a friendly wave.
Was he slowing down so I could get into his slipstream? Did he want me to pass so he could tell me something ("downshift and spin, idiot") or something else?
Do others jump in behind a stranger's vehicle to draft? Should I slow down and do that for other cyclists if I drive by?
Lord no...Gregory Taylor
Aug 5, 2002 11:57 AM
That's pretty dangerous. Apart from running into the back of the car if the auto stops short, the rider can't really see road hazards like pot holes, manhole covers, etc., in time to react.

I did do this once, however, after a mechanical. I got paced back to the main group by the sag wagon. Stupid.
... agreed...Akirasho
Aug 5, 2002 12:18 PM
... too dangerous.

While the speeds were low, and the chances of an accident were not as severe as what I'm about to describe... the situations aren't that far off...

When landspeed records are set on bicycles by drafting behind a pace vehicle... even a 1 mph descrepency (even a misfire on a cylinder) can spell disaster... attempts such as these require careful communications between both vehicles... something that would be completely lacking in your described situation.

It's a wonderful image ("Breaking Away") and concept that pales in comparison to the minimal rush vs the chance of doing a dirt nap (after a considerable amount of physical suffering).

I've had folks in cars pace with me... I suspect to guage my speed (paranoid that I am... I keep a lookout for a shotgun pointing out the window)... but I've never pulled into their draft.
re: Breaking Awaycyclopathic
Aug 5, 2002 2:36 PM
this is taken from UMCA record list, 24hr record:

Michael Secrest, Phoenix, AZ
26 Apr '90
drafting 18-wheel truck Motor Speedway, AZ
distance/avg speed 1216.81 / 50.70

my brother drafted a truck once and got hit by a stone on forehead. All he had was a cycling cap; ouch. wouldn't help much it was in times when hairnets where in style.
re: When driving, do you let a cyclist draft?legs
Aug 5, 2002 12:26 PM
I do it all the time...
ride 3/4 so you have an escape if the brakes come on too quick and make sure thet brake lights work.. also.. know where you are .. in terms of potholes, stop lights, and crosswalks..
hands in the drops , fingers on the levers.. its just like riding in a fast pack...
buses work great for this..
have fun.. but be conscious of the risk and your skilllevel...

its risky.. but not if you always have a few outs...
Aug 5, 2002 12:51 PM
I jump in behind vehicles some times. My original intention is not to draft. I ride through little town centers where traffic has to slow down and cars are parked on the side of the road. If I'm doing the same speed as traffic I'll pull out into the lane. This is more to keep from getting doored or squeezed into parked cars.

Occasionally, I end up behind a large vehicle and will intentionally draft as we exit the town center. Eventually the vehicle accelerates too quickly and pulls away. I follow behind and towards the passenger side (kinda trailing the right side wheels). I can always move to the right to avoid them if they slow down. This never lasts more than a few seconds and the driver doesn't even notice.

On one occasion, I got behind a truck and found myself doing 40mph before chickening out.

As far as offering a draft to another cyclist...NO WAY!!! It's dangerous and I wouldn't want to be (or feel) responsible if something happened.
A guy in Arlington Heights drafted me onceKristin
Aug 5, 2002 12:52 PM
I've seen him out and about before. This night, he was in a full sprint and obviously tiring as he groped for some unseen goal. As I pulled thru the intersection at Evergreen & Sigwalt, and he jumped on. He held my bumper thru the next intersection before pulling off into his condo building. Cheater! :-)
Aug 5, 2002 1:20 PM
Once upon a time while riding out in the country they were repaving and had one lane closed. The pilot car (i.e. truck with large windblocking toolboxes) told me to fall in and draft him to the other end a couple miles away. It was one of the coolest experiences but we were the only two there I had plenty of outs and let him know where I was the whole time. Risk is what it is just be smart use your judgment and

Ride on
Yes and No...miposy
Aug 5, 2002 1:57 PM
I don't "let" them, but if they jump in behind me I don't back them off either. I just make sure there is plenty of room in front of me and, if I need to brake, I flash my tail lights before braking.

I draft cars on my commute daily, but only do so when I can ride offset with an out. If that's not the case, I become a draft dodger.