The Chainlink

The topic of drafting came up on the I Rode Today thread. Seemed to me like it deserved its own thread. I think of drafting as being close enough to a rider ahead of you so that you get some respite from the wind. For that you have to be pretty close, within a couple feet at least. Often less than a foot. It's perfectly fine to draft when you're in a group out on a training ride where everybody knows what to expect and you're going to maintain a consistent speed. In my opinion, drafting has no place under the following circumstances:

  • In traffic requiring frequent stopping or slowing
  • Without agreement/permission

The first bullet cuts out most urban situations where various hazards (cars, pedestrians, other bikes, and stop signs/lights) keep you from maintaining a consistent speed. I think it also eliminates the LFT, certainly in the summer (search for "Lakefront Lance"), but others may disagree. The second bullet is just common sense. Why would you want to ride six inches behind someone whose cycling skills or temperament you don't know?

My 2¢...

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Agreed on all points.

I agree with Kevin.

Kevin C said:

Agreed on all points.

I believe the only counter-argument has been advanced by Adam; i.e. it benefits him in high winds.

Jeff Schneider said:

I'd like to hear a counter-argument.  I can't think of any.

In high wind situations with groups of friends I have been a part of haphazard draft lines. One memorable one was riding north from Comiskey on a very windy and chilly fall night. The streets were mostly clear of cars. It was definitely a big help and a lot of fun.

Agreed. But it only makes sense if you're riding with someone you know who: 1) is okay with being drafted; 2) has good riding skills; and 3) is trustworthy and communicates well in emergency situations.

Kevin C said:

I believe the only counter-argument has been advanced by Adam; i.e. it benefits him in high winds.

Jeff Schneider said:

I'd like to hear a counter-argument.  I can't think of any.

I hope you didn't think that I thought this was a good or valid counter-argument.

Anne Alt said:

Agreed. But it only makes sense if you're riding with someone you know who: 1) is okay with being drafted; 2) has good riding skills; and 3) is trustworthy and communicates well in emergency situations.

Kevin C said:

I believe the only counter-argument has been advanced by Adam; i.e. it benefits him in high winds.

Jeff Schneider said:

I'd like to hear a counter-argument.  I can't think of any.

No, Kevin.  I was just reinforcing your point.  ;)

Kevin C said:

I hope you didn't think that I thought this was a good or valid counter-argument.

Anne Alt said:

Agreed. But it only makes sense if you're riding with someone you know who: 1) is okay with being drafted; 2) has good riding skills; and 3) is trustworthy and communicates well in emergency situations.

Kevin C said:

I believe the only counter-argument has been advanced by Adam; i.e. it benefits him in high winds.

Corner Bar on Leavitt has draft Trumer Pils.  Does anyone besides me think this is the best beer you can get on Amercian soil?

It is definitely the best American pilsner you can get in Chicago. Especially when you get it on draft.

h' 1.0 said:

Corner Bar on Leavitt has draft Trumer Pils.  Does anyone besides me think this is the best beer you can get on Amercian soil?

The windy exception still does not merit a pace line. Riders moving in and out of the line in the urban milieu is a recipe for disaster. The strong person of the group will take the wind take long turns. there can only be infrequent changes at the front in the city. The weaker riders will take no turns as that is better than having them up front for a block or two.

I agree.

Many years ago I chatted up a guy because he had beautiful form rollerblading...a bit of a headwind and he asked if he could draft behind me and I said "sure...I'm on a fixie so no sudden stops". I didn't realise until later that it was Shani Davis!



notoriousDUG said:

I agree with Kevin.

Kevin C said:

Agreed on all points.

I'm not a fan of pilsner beers. But I would be willing to try this beer at Corner Bar. Also, I've never been to that bar. We should do this, and then proceed to draft each other the short distance to a second bar. That's my 2 cents.

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