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Motorpacing behind trucks.(27 posts)

Motorpacing behind trucks.Col1
Dec 16, 2002 5:53 PM
Have you done this before? Do you do it often? Whats your fastest speed? Is it a really stupid thing to do? I maintained 60kph (I know this is not that amazing) behind a car recently but generally I am too hesitant to try doing this and only did it this time as I knew there was no traffic up front. Problem with trucks is you can't see whats happening up front, although I guess you could pull a bike up a heck of a lot quicker than a truck. Even still I don't like the idea of becoming a pancake on the back of some fridgemobile!
Please put me in your willMR_GRUMPY
Dec 16, 2002 5:59 PM
You've got to be either stupid or dumb. Pick one.
Did you even read my post dork?Col1
Dec 16, 2002 6:06 PM
re: Motorpacing behind trucks.Bruno S
Dec 16, 2002 7:03 PM
I've done all: truck, motorhome, van and car. Very dangerous because there can be something on the road that goes between the truck/car wheels but makes you go down. I did the truck and the car to bridge a gap between two groups of riders. It worked! The motorhome was by far the best since its low on the back like a car but high as a truck. Again, it's very dangerous but an interesting experience. I maintained about 30-32mph for about 2 miles behind the van. The driver was watching me and kept a steady speed.
I've crashed behind a truckPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 16, 2002 9:03 PM
I was motor pacing (not fast like 30 km/h) and along came something (some snow... it was spring and there were still some patches) and down I went. But then again I've had my coach pull me up to a rider to bridge the gap in a race. I mean... he didn't do anything.

Dec 16, 2002 9:17 PM
I hit 78kph behind a transit bus. I used to motor pace buses all the time on my way to work.
suckin' trucksTarantula
Dec 16, 2002 10:16 PM
Every once in a while I'll get off of work at midnight, jump into my cycling togs, jump onto the bike and head for town. The cross-country produce trucks pass through town at this time. They are usually completely loaded and are slow off of the line. I'll hang around the first stop light that they hit. When they take off, I chase them through the lights all the way to the main highway. Some hit the lights, some make it all the way through unhindered. When I turn around and head back to the original stop light, it's at a recovery pace. It's always a great workout. Get off the road by 2am (bars let out then) and it's a good post work workout. The local gendarmes have only bothered me once.
What was the damage? (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 16, 2002 11:09 PM
Several timesRon B
Dec 16, 2002 10:45 PM
I've done it several times. Generally it was behind semi's and bus's and once behind a delivery truck. I've been able to hit speeds of 42mph - 43mph behind them with out absolutly killing my self. I'm always worried about holes and obsticals though.
re: Used to race buses going to and from work.dzrider
Dec 17, 2002 5:08 AM
Catch a draft from one, pass it while they dealt with passengers and then try to stay ahead for the rest of the ride into downtown. It's hard for me to picture cyclists who have never done anything like this.
And we wonder why we have a bad image to motorists!!PEDDLEFOOT
Dec 17, 2002 5:08 AM
Did you just watch Breaking Away?? (NM)Manicmtbr
Dec 17, 2002 6:44 AM
Dec 17, 2002 8:10 AM
Unless I can catch them, of course.

40mph+ behind my friend's station wagon.
re: Motorpacing behind trucks.Sherpa23
Dec 17, 2002 9:31 AM
Sure, lots of times but only in certain places. When I am racing in one country in particular, we will usually do trining rides of about 5 hours in the hills and loop down to the highway which takes us back 50 miles to town. There is a stoplight where we hit the highway so we wait for a big truck and then when it leaves the light, we go with it. Depending on how many team mates I have at that particular race, we might have as many as 8 of us on that ride, so we have to rotate postions behind the trucks often. The trucks only do about 90 kph do it's not super hard if you use your 12.

My fastest speed? Not a truck but a Mercedes SUV: 112 kph in a 53x14. My uncle was driving and I was doing some motor sprints (3 miles behind the motor building speed all the time) to get ready for a track championship. I put this big "bruise" on the bumper from constantly rubbing it with my front tire. I got most of it out later with a rubbing compound but that's the last time he used the MB to motorpace me.
And your cadence at 112 kph in 53x14 was ... ? nmtz
Dec 17, 2002 2:29 PM
It'd have to be 230 (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 17, 2002 10:42 PM
Nope, 211Sherpa23
Dec 18, 2002 6:10 AM
In fact, all I had was a cadence meter because I didn't have a wheel magnet. My uncle told me the speed, so the speed is off of the speedometer in the car.
How do you just rub at 100 km/h?PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 17, 2002 9:57 PM
How do you just rub the bumper? Wouldn't this cause you to crash?
How do you just rub at 100 km/h?Sherpa23
Dec 18, 2002 6:06 AM
I thought you were a track racer? Of course you don't crash when you rub a bumper. You just rub it. Haven't you ever motorpaced on the track and bumped into the fender of the motorbike? It happens all the time.

No, the cadence wasn't 230, it was 211. In fact, all I had was a cadence meter, my uncle told me the speed afterward so the speed is from the car speedometer.
Dec 18, 2002 7:51 AM
I've always motor paced behind a motor bike with a roller on the back. The only time I didn't it was with an underpowered crotch rocket that you'd touch the rear wheel because the rear fender was too high. Then the times I've motor paced behind vehicles on the road I didn't feel the need to touch the bumper!

As for you cadence I just did the math for what speed you'd be going in x gear making y cadence. Which in a 53-14 is 103 km/h which is still impressive.

Sorry I was skeptical... mix of jealousy and disbelief :)

103 kph?Sherpa23
Dec 18, 2002 8:03 AM
That's wierd. My uncle is a cycling coach so he knows what he's talking about. I know that he wouldn't mistake 103 for 112. I guess that in the end, all I am certain of was the cadence, although I was dead sure that I was in the 14. Can you see what the speed would be for that cadence in the 13?
Dec 18, 2002 8:18 AM
Well, if you ever do a World Cup, you will see that most motor bikes don't have rollers and guys bump into the fenders all the time. Anyways, if you motorpace on the road behind a car, bump into the bumper and see what happend. Nothing. Most of the time, you don't touch the bumper but if you are staring through the windshield to look at obstacles or you are really trying to get every last kph out of a gear, you will usually rub your tire on the bumper (or a fender if it's a motorbike). No, you don't go down unless you have zero bike handling skills.

Don't your coaches put you and all your junior national team teamates behind a car (well 4 at least, go 60 kph and make you try to bump each other from the the draft until there's only one left? A lot of countries do that with their junior national teams.
Nope... and 53 x 13 is 114 km @ 213 rpmPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 18, 2002 2:41 PM
You have to remember we're coming from a different system as well though.

Out of curiusity what other drills are there for bike handling?

Ooops 112... put in 54 x 13 (nm)PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Dec 18, 2002 2:48 PM
Nope... and 53 x 13 is 114 km @ 213 rpmSherpa23
Dec 18, 2002 3:13 PM
You know, now that I remember, it was a borrowed wheel (that's why there was no rear wheel magnet). If it had an a 11, not a 12 as I thought, then I would have been in a 13 cog instead of a 14. Hmmm.... that stinks - I thought that 53x14 and 112 kph was pretty damn good.

Anyways, as far as drills, there are lots of things that work well but I don't know what level that you're at in terms of bike handling and I do the endurance races, not sprints. I guess that I would say, to start, take the roller off the motor and practice bumping the fender at speed. That's a decent start but you must know what you're missing and how good you are compared to the competition.

Here's a good idea of what you need to do: I did this MnO in T-town during the madison cup one or two years ago and I was on an Aussie's wheel. We were near the front and we were doing about 55 kph steady. He had his front wheel right in between the rear triangle of two other bikes and there was probably on 5 cm or so on any one side at one time. They would move up or down and he would move exactly with them. Guys were bumping into him from the side and he didn't budge, all the while his front spokes were centimeters from getting torn out, taking him (and most of us) down. Think about that. He wasn't the strongest guy (he was a big international sprinter and you probably know who it is) so he could not afford to give up anything, and sure enough he couldn't keep the pace for whole race, but I watched him do that for about 14 laps. That's the kind of skill you need to be an international sprinter.
Dec 19, 2002 1:36 PM
Thanks for the tips and info. I have more questions so would you mind posting your email address or emailing me at I will post this higher up.

re: Motorpacing behind trucks.spox
Dec 18, 2002 2:34 AM
we do it allways when there is a chance (in road crossings, when they accelerating aso)...friends sometimes give a good draft w/ fast farmtractors; some John Deeres can do almost 25 mph; its nice draft to spin and rest while taking hard intervalls.

but the most meaniest case was a car draft with a friend who is a wc track racer; he got his new track bike and we went to study one road tt course like car draftin' 25-37 mph; he with track bike and me myself & I with road tt bike. Behind car, elbow to trouble at all (his father is a trusty car pilot)