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Trail etiquette, part 2: Don't want to draft, BUT...(14 posts)

Trail etiquette, part 2: Don't want to draft, BUT...Fez
Sep 4, 2002 7:22 AM
I saw the "debate" going on about whether to draft or not w/ strangers on the trail/MUT.

When I ride the W&OD, I come across this sometimes: I ride solo, then a couple of cyclists pass me. For whatever reason (either they saw me from afar and were motivated to pass and then slacked off, or maybe I realized how complacent I was and picked up my pace up a bit), I soon find their pace ahead of me too slow.

If I pass them, I'm sure they'll want to pass again and an endless cat & mouse game may result. And I don't want to draft them, so I either have to give them 15 feet of space in front of me, or I have to pass and hope they won't pass again. Any ideas on how to handle this situation?
what's the problem?mr_spin
Sep 4, 2002 7:30 AM
Cat and mouse is okay, as long as it doesn't escalate into full-on competition. I think everyone knows the difference. There will be ebb and flow on any trail where people are riding casually.
what's the problem?Fez
Sep 4, 2002 7:47 AM
I don't like drafting strangers and usually when there are 2-somes riding, they actually ride side by side and chat the whole time while riding hard, so i prefer to stay clear of them. i see this fairly often, and the riders don't appear to be newbies; they often have nice road bikes like Colnagos, Litespeeds, and Lemonds.

The problem is i don't like cat and mousing other riders, regardless of whether it gets competitive. Drafting and working together would be the easiest method in an ideal world, but I would never want to do this with cyclists who talk the entire time and ride 2 abreast.
Stop worring about your ego, and just have fun. Cat and mousePaul
Sep 4, 2002 8:31 AM
takes two or more to play, so if you don't want ot play anymore, don't. Just fall off and let them go. This sort of thing shows a lack of confidence, and a mis-understanding. After awhile, you will understand what it's all about. I have met a lot of nice people, and have made many friends doing this. If I see the person is just too serious about a good work out (and that's really what it's all about), then I'll just back off.

Yes, we all get beat up some times, but it's a way of learning about your abilities, and what we can't/can do.

Relax man, have some fun.
I'm not sureFez
Sep 4, 2002 9:36 AM
its about my ego. I have plenty of confidence in myself - its the other folks that I'm uncertain of. I think these people are doing their own thing (talking) so it doesn't blend in well with what I want to do (just ride).

I guess I can always just stop for a minute at the next rest stop and then start up again :(
2 good MUT drafting stories...peter1
Sep 4, 2002 11:33 AM
The best is when you hook up behind a serious speed rollerblader (5 wheels good, 4 wheels or fewer bad) or vice versa. I was cruising along on a MUT in California about 25 mph when a rollerblader in full kit came up FROM BEHIND and asked if he could draft! Dumbfounded, I said yes...I towed him for a few miles, then he asked to take a pull...I gained a lot of respect for his sport. (However, any bladers I see wearing elbow, wrist, knee and butt guards, I give them a WIDE berth.)

The other drafting story concerns the trail from Center City Philly to Valley Forge, if anyone knows it. It's about 20 miles long and pretty much straight as an arrow. Last year I caught up to a tandem after a huge effort. I was blown, but the couple said they were just about to start a hard effort and that I should just hang on for the ride. Wow, again! If you save 20-30% on a normal draft, you must save 75% behind a tandem. Loads of fun.

Having said that, if you're not in the mood to draft...don't.

2 good MUT drafting stories...Fez
Sep 4, 2002 12:23 PM
As an on-off speedskater, I should say that most speedskaters are road bikers. Obviously, the reverse is not true.

In DC, they close part of the roads in Rock Creek Park from traffic on weekends and makes for some OK speedskating. I find avg HR to be about 10-15 beats higher when I do a skate workout, but I'm less likely to go 3+ hours or 50+ miles. Speedskating on the MUT can be fun if it is during offpeak hours. Colder weather also gets a lot of the crazies off the MUT.
2 good MUT drafting stories...peter1
Sep 5, 2002 7:23 AM
I guess, a la Eric Heiden, once you build up the legs, might as well use 'em...

When I lived at the shore, i used to rollerblade long distances on flat roads(20-30 miles) as "cross-training," (remember when that was a buzzword?) but realized it was too easy...guess I wasn't pushing it hard enough!

Yeah, now "buzzword"Crankist
Sep 5, 2002 7:53 AM
is a buzzword.
re: Trail etiquette, part 2: Don't want to draft, BUT...aliensporebomb
Sep 4, 2002 12:55 PM
Last night I saw about thirteen or fourteen rollerbladers
working together as a Blade-Peloton - the front guy was
doing about 25-27 mph and the next person had her hands
on his hips and then the next person after that had his
hands on hers. And they were smiling from ear to ear and
in some kind of rollerblade team kit, just wailing along.

Anyway, it was INCREDIBLE - they were heading the opposite
direction I was and I swear the breeze that this herd had
created literally slowed me down by a few miles an hour
when they went past.

Probably the wrong place to show the "30 mile an hour
rollerblade peloton run" but amazing nonetheless.
Sep 4, 2002 7:36 PM
I am another inline speedskater-turned-roadie. It's very interesting.....once you learn to skate well enough to skate in a paceline, the experience and tactics are a lot like road biking. Except in speedskating, you control your speed and distance from the person in front of you by placing yur palm in the small of that person's back. "Hands on hips" has the same effect but is very dangerous, because one skater's instinct could take over at an unsteady moment and take out the whole pack (you tend to pull on those hips to hold you up!). I've seen it happen!

I get just as frustrated as everyone else here by casual bladers who are oblivious or not in control.....but decent speedskaters are a lot like other roadies to me.
Sep 5, 2002 2:40 AM
On last night's ride I think I saw two of the group doing it again in the same general spot. I guess you're right - it is
where they are putting their palm in the small of their back.

I also was sitting eating a box of raisins trailside when a
woman went wailing by on rollerblades and was really moving,
but you could tell she had the grace of a dancer. "Born to
blade" if you will.

She vanished out of sight and some more people showed. I
then started again and was going between 20-25 mph and it
took about seven miles before I caught up with the woman
and by the time I actually passed her I was close to blown.
She was definetely as fast as any roadie I've ever had the
chance to encounter.
re: Trail etiquette, part 2: Don't want to draft, BUT...Fredrico
Sep 5, 2002 10:50 AM
That exact thing happened to me the other day on the stretch of W&OD between Herndon and Ashburn: a toney couple on Colnagos swished past me, and I paced them for a few minutes. They slowed on the bridge over Sully Road, and I passed them.

What was interesting was the way the guy looked over at me as I said, "On your right." It was almost as if I was about to steal his girl. I mean, this guy looked so hurt.

It's a game and should never be taken seriously enough to affect your ego. That's the way I've always felt. But some riders out there seem to bring alot of baggage into the sport. To them I say, "Get a life."

Ride happy,

re: Trail etiquette, part 2: Don't want to draft, BUT...cholla
Sep 5, 2002 9:27 PM
Perhaps they were offended because you passed on the right, rather than on the left. Maybe the trail you were on is different, but on most MUTs I've been on, you ride on the right side, and pass on the left. If they were on the wrong (left) side, it's understandable to pass on the right. Otherwise, that's a dangerous thing to do.