Wednesday, June 02, 2010

My Bed Time Reading - "Drafting"

"Drafting is a trick where cyclists will go in single file to block the wind for the other people behind them, and take turns being the one in front."
(more details on 'drafting')

...::: Keys ::...

~ Understand that aerodynamics is the key.

~ Tell the other people that you think you guys should draft.

~ Get into positions.

~ Switch.

Steps :
  • Understand that aerodynamics is the key.
  • Tell the other people that you think you guys should draft. Arrange for who will go first, and how long each of the intervals will be.
  • Get into positions. The people after the leader should be straight behind him, and about 1-2 feet back so that if the leader makes any sudden turns or stops, the people behind him will have time to react. Another, more efficient position (i.e. it maximizes the effect of drafting), is to offset your front wheel from the leader's rear wheel by a few inches, but trail within 1 foot. For example, if there is a headwind, position your front wheel so that it slightly to the side of the leader's rear wheel, not directly behind it. In fact, the wheels may even 'overlap' by several inches (when observed from the side). The photo above shows this very technique - the second person is less than a foot behind the puller, but offset by several inches.
  • Switch. The puller (i.e. the person in front), will indicate that he/she will fall off, and then give one or two strong kicks to clear the pack (in case any followers overlap his/her rear wheel). Then s/he will veer sharply to the left or right, and then slow down or coast to the back of the pace line. The new puller should then resume at the same pace as before, or pick it up slightly.

Calls :

These are some calls you might hear. It is essential that you repeat them down the pack so everyone can hear:
  • "Car Up/Front/Back" : Keep tight to the cyclist next to you, and be prepared to cycle in single file
  • "Hole" : Upcoming pothole to avoid. This can also be followed by a direction i.e "HOLE LEFT".
  • "Slowing" : Usually accompanied by a hand signal. The cyclist in front needs to slow down for some reason.
  • "Stopping" : Brake !
  • "Wait" : Usually at junctions to indicate there is a car coming
  • "Clear" : To indicate that a junction is traffic free. You must check yourself and not rely on others.
  • "Heads Up" : Hazard ahead, pay attention.
  • "Single out/ single file" : Get into single file safely and promptly
Hand Signals :

It is essential that you repeat them so everyone can see and pass it on:

  • Single hand in the air (up or down) : Rider is signaling that he/she needs to stop or slow down. Usually followed by the call 'Slowing', 'Stopping'.
  • Pointing down at the road : This is to point out hazards such as pot holes, manhole covers etc. PLEASE copy this signal, it stops accidents and punctures
  • Arm out left or right : Everyone in the pack needs to indicate when turning left or right
  • Left arm signaling behind back : Signal the cyclist is about to move out into the road, e.g. to pass a parked car, to go round debris in the road.

'The more you know, the more you realise how much you don't know - the less you know, the more you think you know' ~ David T. Freem


  • As beginner ~ i need more ride to practice & improve "group riding etiquette".
  • Never give up & Enjoy the ride.
  • Chak beh liao !

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