Wednesday, June 01, 2011


My photo: Lances riding in the Canary Islands

Honestly, I really don't mind when a fellow cyclist falls in behind me to catch a draft. I really don't. I understand that a stiff head wind can be punishing to ride into. And I'm sure my 6' 3", 235 lb frame provides an effective wind break. Please, though, have the courtesy to let the me know you're there.

Last night on a ride to the north end of the lake trail I came around a curve and there was a novice roller blader sprawled in the path. Two immediate thoughts: is he OK and am I clear to go around him. I haven't been riding much. I'm not as fast as I used to be and I get passed.

I checked over my shoulder and there was a white ghost directly behind me. Shit! Is he passing? Check again. No, he's sitting right on my ass. No more time to worry about the health of the roller blader, I zoom around him with my ghost in tow. The ghost stayed there for another half mile until we reached the end of the trail. I turned around and he rode on north. He thanked me for the ride at least.

How long had he been there? I have no idea. It didn't look like anyone I had passed. So he had caught up to me and started drafting me. He could have caught me seconds before the roller blader or he could have been there for miles. I don't have a clue. When you don't know someone is that close to you it is dangerous.

photo via here

The simplest thing to do is just announce you are there. A simple "hopping on" or "drafting" or "on your six" works just fine. And it can be loud out there with wind rushing past your ears and some people have headphones in. Make sure you get an acknowledgement.



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