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Draft Etiquette

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Andrew Deane, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Andrew Deane

    Andrew Deane Warming-Up

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    I cycled up the Arakawa on Saturday, battling a headwind, and I came up behind a guy pushing a good steady pace, so I tucked in behind him. I was thinking that after a while he'd peel off and swing in behind me, and sure enough, after a while, he signalled me to pass.

    Thing is, when I pulled past him, he gave me an evil look, shook his head, and dropped back and let me spin on. I figured I must have broken some unwritten law of drafting.

    Can someone please tell me the etiquette for drafting and strangers?

    Cheers,
    Andrew
  2. Edogawakikkoman

    Edogawakikkoman Maximum Pace

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    You did nothing wrong.
    Possibly a thanks...may have been nice.
    I do it all the time. If they are going too fast I try and hang on, if they let me lead I try and ride at the same pace they did.

    I just started my morning ride yesterday and wasn't warmed up. (13km to get to our training start at Edo river). One of my team mates had warmed up for 20km already and he was going the same way as me and I jumped on the back of him. He was flying along at 40kph and I was not warmed up... I let him drag me along for 10km before I dropped off... Made sure I thanked him heartily when training started. No way would I have been able to help him, and he didn't want any help either. He's an A grader and I'm a D grader. He was happy and so was I.

    On Saturday another guy ( I caught up to him, but his speed was too fast for me to go to the frint and pull him for a long time) dragged me along at 40kph as well for about 10km and when I was ready to pull him along he gave me a dirty look as well and turned off. I should have taken my turn a lot earlier...as he was going a different way when I wanted to lead. I knew one of my team mates was about 1km behind and trying to pass me so I wanted to escape....

    Everyone is different, if they don't like you drafting they should stop, let you pass or ride so fast you can't catch them. Not your fault they are ridng at a similar speed in the same place.

    As Jan Ulrich once said, 'all is fair in cycling'....

    The important thing though I think is to let people know you are drafting them, by shouting out... 'onegaishimasu' or 'sumimasen' or if passing.... 'migi kara torimasu---' or ishoni hashirimashou---dozou---'...and make it a happy shout.

    I don't like people drafting off of me so I ride away from them. (get the little mirror so you see them coming). Or let them pass and keep a non invading distance but enough to get some kind of draft... 5m or so.

    Make sure you pass people safely....on the right side is best...make some noise to let them know you are there....
  3. Pucci

    Pucci Speeding Up

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    Take a pull

    If you are going to draft behind a stranger, I think you are obligated to take a pull of your own volition, not wait for him to peel off or signal you. Just to show you are not a parasite.

    Of course pulling even and saying hello will usually do the trick as well...
  4. Andrew Deane

    Andrew Deane Warming-Up

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    Compliment or Insult?

    Thanks for the lesson, gents. I'll be more proactive in future by asking to draft and taking my turn up front sooner. All your comments make sense, and I suppose I must have seemed rather rude to the guy in question.

    I am thinking that if someone chose to draft on me (I've never had this happen, but I'm new to the game and haven't raced yet), I would be flattered - after all, it's like saying to someone, "You're such a strong rider that the only way I can keep up is to have you work a third harder than me!"

    Then again, if I were feeling grumpy, "Do yer own bloody work, *%@*$!"

    Thanks,
    Andrew
  5. Philip

    Philip Speeding Up

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    Putting things in context . . .

    I am cycling up Tamagawa. My training plan dictates that I complete 40km at race pace. I am working hard with one eye on the speedometer. I have to stay on 'pace' whilst keeping my work rate just below the burn-out point. At the same time I need to anticipate what the old guy on the bike and the lady walking her dog 200 meters ahead of me might do. I am traveling at over 40kph and they will not be aware of me until I have passed them. I am completely focused keeping 'all the balls in the air'. My attention is completely consumed by the moment. I am positively stressed.

    I see another cyclist in the distance. He provides a target. I slowly reel him in and then I am past and looking for the next target. And that is when I become aware that I am being drafted by the cyclist I just passed. His presence disrupts my thoughts. Is this going to turn into a competition? Is he going to run into the back of me? I am losing my focus! I am no longer relaxed! Damn!

    In reality the presence of the drafter should have no effect on me whatsoever. However, it is my mental reaction to his presence that disrupts me. I feel he has invaded my space. My emotional response is heigtened by the 'stresses' of riding at speed.

    So to provide an answer to Andrews question, you need to apply the "Heavy Breathing Rule" - if I am breathing hard leave me alone. Otherwise I am always happy to have company :angel:
  6. Andrew Deane

    Andrew Deane Warming-Up

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    Understood

    Philip,

    You capture the "zone" brilliantly: I am there! So, I hear where you're coming from. It's a delicate mixture of politeness & common sense, something you just have to sense at the moment.

    Mind you, if you're pushing 40kph plus, I doubt it will be me drafting on you!

    Keep on training,
    Andrew

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