Local etiquette

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#1
So on my ride yesterday on Arakawa as I was turning around at my furtherest point a group of 4-5 riders went past me. I caught up and tacked myself on the back for a few kms. The guy who was in front of me kept glancing back. Was I breaking a rule of cycling? Or was it just my creaking gears that were distracting him?

Are there any rules that I should consider before I get my next free tow?:bike::bike:

I thought it might be a good way to meet people and make friends...
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
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Tokyo
#2
I don't usually jump on their tails on Tamagawa CR - too many weirdos and not such a huge distance to cover, but if it's a training situation somewhere far from civilization, it would be nice to join a fast group, and say a 'hi' or two before sitting on their wheels.

I also don't mind it when somebody sits on my back on Tamagawa CR, but I will try to make them suffer :angel:
 

TOM

Maximum Pace
#3
Not recommended tactics to make friends...although there are no rules, wheelsuckers are generally despised :(. Moreover, cycling roads like those along the Arakawa or Tamagawa are not very friendly places. Better chance to find acceptance is by going in front and doing your share of the pulling but even that may not be appreciated.

So on my ride yesterday on Arakawa as I was turning around at my furtherest point a group of 4-5 riders went past me. I caught up and tacked myself on the back for a few kms. The guy who was in front of me kept glancing back. Was I breaking a rule of cycling? Or was it just my creaking gears that were distracting him?

Are there any rules that I should consider before I get my next free tow?:bike::bike:

I thought it might be a good way to meet people and make friends...
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#4
Yeah, the Arakawa is a weird place; you get the odd one or two people who are sound, but mainly they are the angry silent type (which does nothing other than make the rest of us think they are dicks).

What Sergei said is what I agree with most.

Actually, even yesterday, after I had separated from the group to wait for my friend, I was waiting at the entrance to the Arakawa on the route 16 bridge, and some bellend on a folding bike rode right towards me, and grumbled at me to move out the way, despite the fact that there was huge amounts of room both in front and behind me. He got an earful from me for that pointless act.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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www.roadfixie.com
#5
I agree with Tom on this. You never know what that rider(s) agenda may be - if they are training, personal TT, etc -- so by latching onto him/her you are adding stress to an already stressful situation unless it's mutually agreed. For example - when I do Palace laps I HATE IT when people suck my tail just to prepare an 'attack' at the pimple - or think somehow they are cool in now MAKING ME RESPONSIBLE for their WHEEL.

Remember - A GOOD RIDER will WATCH OUT and take responsibility for those on his wheel. When you suck a wheel without prior agreement you are basically telling the guy to look out for YOUR . Very very bad form. First thing I do when I see a creeping shadow is either jump aside to let them pass or launch an attack.
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#6
Wow! Fair enough, I figured there must be some rules, it is Japan after all.

What is the best procedure then, these guys were cycling a little slower than I was solo. There was no real way to overtake on the narrow path and they didn't move over until I decided I was going past them...

It's funny you mentioned pulling over because on the way up the river I went passed a guy who then caught up and went past me, I then caught up and followed him for a bit. He promptly pulled over. I gave a wave and a "domo" and kept going... I was enjoying the riding, I guess he was thinking I was a tool!!:eek:

I would have thought it would be nice to ride with others and push each other a long even if they are strangers. I wouldn't mind doing my share at the front. But then i guess there are safety issues to consider.

Speaking of wierdos, there are a few out there, there was this jogger running down the middle of the path giving a clap and a grunt at any cyclist that he felt was too close to him....:confused:
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#7
Normally its not the done thing with complete strangers, the reason why is safety. The last thing any serious racer/rider wants is someone ploughing in to the back of them on a training ride.

Leave drafting for rides with friends.

Also if you get an unwanted wheel sucker make a cutting gesture over the back of your wheel, if they don't get the message then tell them to stop and make the cutting gesture again.
 

theBlob

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Sep 28, 2011
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#8
That makes sense. Anyway thanks for the advice I don't want to be pissing people off out there...

I probably should join one of the training camps and learn some of the rules before I unwittingly piss too many people off:eek:

I guess I thought it was like motorcycling, where the duel is the best part of it. A good battle usually resulted in a post session visit to the respective pits and handshakes and smiles all round. (Well mostly)
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#9
When racing I fully expect and anticipate people to be on my wheel, I assume they have the appropriate bike skills and confidence to handle the bike in tight situations.

However, when out training I prefer not to have unkown riders up close and personal, there are even some riders I know that I'm not happy sitting on my wheel due to thier erractic riding styles.

Also another sign to look out for is the invotation to wheel suck... this is normally the "come here" signal (upside down in Japan - cat paw) and the followed by pointing at the wheel. Although I would advise caution if they are a stranger and sit maybe two wheels back till you get a feeling for thier riding style.
 
Jan 14, 2007
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#10
I don't wheel suck strangers up close but will sit back 4 or more bike lengths. Usually this will be somebody that has just passed me and ignited the race mode in me.
I'll gauge their game. Are they in a hurry? Are they toying with me? Are they going to ride a long distance? If they are not going too fast, I'll pass them ( in good time ) and gradually pull away increasing my speed at an almost unnoticeable rate. Quite often I never see them again. Rarely will they pass you again. Very rare to find a friendly stranger who wants help...in pulling each other. ( glad we are all cyclists here ). :eek:

If I come up behind somebody and am forced to draft till I find a chance to pass them or they realize I'm there. I will sit on their wheel a bit... But not with the intention of drafting....

Always be friendly and you can't lose.
If they look pissed off, rIde away from them or let them ride away.
Sometimes it's a good time to have a toilet brake.
 

kpykc

Speeding Up
Jun 13, 2007
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#11
That makes sense. Anyway thanks for the advice I don't want to be pissing people off out there...

I probably should join one of the training camps and learn some of the rules before I unwittingly piss too many people off:eek:

I guess I thought it was like motorcycling, where the duel is the best part of it. A good battle usually resulted in a post session visit to the respective pits and handshakes and smiles all round. (Well mostly)
Duel is the best part! For example, if I get a wheelsucker I do my best to make him suffer. The best part comes afterwards, if he's still there (at this point, it should be clear he's not a lousy rider) and tries to surprise attack me, not just overtake at a higher pace. THEN, it's on and I believe I have all moral rights to do battle and play cat and mouse.
However, I don't remember making a lot of friends that way :D
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#12
Duel is the best part! For example, if I get a wheelsucker I do my best to make him suffer. The best part comes afterwards, if he's still there (at this point, it should be clear he's not a lousy rider) and tries to surprise attack me, not just overtake at a higher pace. THEN, it's on and I believe I have all moral rights to do battle and play cat and mouse.
However, I don't remember making a lot of friends that way :D
Well I do believe that if I was of the fitness to enjoy such a battle you would be making friends with me!:beer2:
 

andywood

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Apr 8, 2008
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#13
Cycling can be a lonely sport. Some people want to ride alone and some people would be happy to ride with someone. If you ask "isshou ni hashite mo ii desu ka?", they'll probably say okay or make an excuse not too. Best to ask first...

Andy

www.jyonnobitime.com/time
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#14
Maybe, like in the gay scene, we should all attach different coloured handkerchiefs to our seat posts, to dictate our desires...
 

kiwisimon

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Dec 14, 2006
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#16
I hated wheelsuckers, and they were mostly on the Arakawa cause on the road I could read the lights and make my sprint before the light turned red and leave them that way, if they still were there then I would invite them to ride off on their own. The way I look at it is, you started riding on your own with every intention of doing so, so do so! If you want to ride in a group, make one. You wouldn't go to a park on your own and just sit uninvited on another groups blanket!
If you do get passed and would like the challenge of keeping up, ride about 10 meters or so behind, out of pereferal eyesight and able to respond to what is going on up ahead. If you pass someone that then sucks your wheel either throw down the gauntlet or ease up and feel free to initiate some chat. Good luck out there BLOBBY and now you know TCC you'll be able to get out with others on a regular basis.