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SUV surfing - Is it SAFE?(13 posts)

SUV surfing - Is it SAFE?bimini
Sep 2, 2003 12:37 PM
I have found it almost impossible to resist popping behind SUV's when riding through town. No problem sprinting into the draft of a big honking Hummer and going with the flow at 25-30-35 and sometimes more.

Am I ready to be committed? Am I short for this world?

I do notice that the drivers get a little aggrevated with me at times and slam on the brakes. I watch the break lights and through the window and find that I can slow down faster than they do. A couple of times I have slingshoted around the front of them when they tried this (but I find a different route right away due to fear of retaliation, or for fear that they may open the side door the next time I do it)

Vehicles of choice, any large honking SUV, Minivans, busses, pickup trucks.

I must be over training and it is time for a break!

No wonder there are so many drivers out there that dislike bikers.
yes, especially when combined with drugs and alcohol nmmohair_chair
Sep 2, 2003 12:46 PM
Used to do it before my brains came in...cory
Sep 2, 2003 12:49 PM
Hard to do in Reno because of the roads and traffic patterns, but I used to draft across town in San Jose. If you can get behind somebody who doesn't screw you up and isn't too dumb to pace himself to catch the lights, you can really fly (a lot of people try to go 40 when the lights are set for 27 or something, so they're always stopping).
Is it SAFE? Ahh, certainly keeps you on your toes, which is an advantage, and you get some sprint practice in. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't want to see my kids doing it.
Sep 2, 2003 12:51 PM
"No wonder there are so many drivers out there that dislike bikers"
I doubt you could stop faster than an avg car/SUVFez
Sep 2, 2003 1:10 PM
if you were closely drafting one at speeds of 20-35mph and the driver decided to slam on the brakes as hard as possible.

So you decide if its safe.
they don't even need to "slam on the brakes"filtersweep
Sep 2, 2003 3:42 PM
I guarantee an SUV can stop faster than you can... you'd really be in trouble if he/she made a right turn without signaling and you were planning on bailing out to the right. I almost hit an a$$h0le driver who cut me off only to signal a right, then decided to turn left as I passed him on the left- and I WAS pulled down by a car who cut me off by making a right turn right into me before clearing me after he had followed me for a few miles (in traffic)- and neither time was I drafting. Most drafting will occur in a blind spot anyway.

I was half convinced you were a troll- but I've seen so many riders drafting like this that I don't doubt you.
also, don't sit on the right side if the car/suv is signalingkenyee
Sep 2, 2003 4:14 PM
to take a right turn. Almost clipped a cyclist last summer when he did this. He was about two car lengths behind. I signalled a right turn nearly 1/4 block away from the turn and he just sat there. I slowed down to let him go. He slowed down to let me go, but stayed in the same relative spot. I finally just did the turn and hoped I didn't clip him. I later realized he was giving me hand signals with his hands near the bars so I couldn't see them that well in my right mirror. Yelled sorry out my sunroof, but he probably thinks I did this deliberately :-P
Prefer SUV drummin'PdxMark
Sep 2, 2003 1:21 PM
As when an SUV passed me yesterday with almost no clearance. Rather than get angry, which is my usual response, I simply slammed my hand against the rear fender.

It got the driver's attention better than me yelling and flinging my arms about. My planned excuse is that they caused me to lose my balance so I reached out to steady myself.
Prefer SUV drummin'axebiker
Sep 2, 2003 1:35 PM
Great idea! Never thought of that... :)
How do you see potholes?timfire
Sep 2, 2003 5:12 PM
Sometimes in stop-and-go traffic I find myself in a situation where I'm "drafting" a car pretty closely, but I hate it. I can never see the road in front of me. I've hit a few nasty potholes because of that. I would hate for that to happen when I was doing 25+mph.

Also, whether or not you can physically stop as fast or faster than a car is not the issue. If a car slammed on their brakes would you be able to react fast enough? If your following a few feet behind a car, you're really only giving yourself a faction of a second to respond.

re: SUV surfing - Is it SAFE?John445
Sep 3, 2003 5:56 AM
Yes indeed, we do this, but, only behind one of our fellow team members' SUV and only on well-known roads. Even the driver will signal poor conditions ahead. We don't do this much, usually if someone misses the start and decides to drive the course.


Keep this up and you can be the subject of the "Next cycling fatality" thread.
ask Davis Phinneystratoshark
Sep 3, 2003 10:14 AM
Former U.S. pro, riding in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, I think, during the '80s. Anyway, I came across the picture in an old magazine this week, ironically. He was chasing back to the pack, head down, when he literally went head first into the back of an Isoglass team station wagon that had stopped improperly in the road. He never saw it. Cut his face severely. The picture was taken just moments after the crash, with jagged glass still hanging in the station wagon's window, Phinney on the ground in blood. More irony: Isoglass is a car safety glass manufacturer!

Personally, I followed a small station wagon too closely on a ride, and the driver slammed his brakes intentionally. Only nose wheelie I've ever pulled off. I'll never forget that close call, so I don't follow closely anymore. You continue it, and yeah, I think you are short for this world. The day you don't get stopped fast enough is the day you get stitches and new dental work. Or worse. Your call.

And what about this risk? You are so close to the SUV that drivers in adjacent lanes see only the SUV, not you, and decide to switch lanes just as the SUV passes them. Sort of like cyclists do when picking up the back of a paceline. The car slides over, never sees you, and knocks you several dozen feet into the curb or other traffic.

Just don't do it.
"Scarface" Phinney now - multiple stiches required (nm)OffTheBack
Sep 3, 2003 11:54 AM