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July 22, 2017
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  • Ross

    I have a friend that organises bunch rides via email and his rides leave EXACTLY on time, not 1 second later than advertised time!

    • Chuck

      As it should be!

  • Ross

    Also, every ride is a race for him (he doesn’t race normally), he has to be on the front smashing it while everybody else (who don’t race either) is trying desperately to hang on. Then at the café stop (usually at halfway point of ride) as soon as HE has finished HIS coffee it’s back on the bike and rides off while others in the group are still trying to skol their coffee or skoff their food.

    • De Mac

      I know a bloke like that. Not fast, rather mid-pack and rides off on the slower riders to get first coffee and when done wants to roll off even when others have not yet got coffee…. Go figure…

    • david__g

      Why on earth do people keep going out for rides with him?

  • Katie T

    Another one of ‘THAT CYCLIST’ is self depreciating (MFF Blog post).

    • Jessi Braverman

      Well, I think *maybe* we should allow a little leeway because I don’t know that it comes from the same place as a lot of these others – but it’s a valid point and something that would be good for people who engage in to realize can annoy others.

      Link to the article referenced for those that are unfamiliar:

      • Katie T

        Fair point, I agree it does stem from somewhere different. Another one to be mindful of though.

      • E3 Racing

        I wonder who that (all too typical) announcer/cycling commentator was. I would say this self deprecation is something we all do, I preface most rides this way!

  • THAT CYCLIST has a 5 billion lumen light and points it into the eyes of oncoming traffic and other cyclists

    • wayneoau

      1500 lumens of light from a helmet mounted light while on bike path in the city

    • Guilty!

      • Turn off the high beams WW!

        • lowercasev

          Nah.. Just point them downwards!

    • stib

      Even worse, they have them on flash mode on a pitch dark road or bike path, so that everything looks like a freaking disco. Impossible for them or anyone else to see anything.

  • THAT CYCLIST has one kit, no washing machine and insists on being at the front into a headwind, Pepe Lapew-style

    • lowercasev

      L O L

    • Thomas

      THAT CYCLIST has very worn and very thin nicks. Butt crack at dawn is not pleasant!

  • CB

    This is one article that is both click bait and necessary reading! The passing of faster riders by slower ones is a good inclusion. But it goes both ways, as faster riders sometimes forget the riders they passed awhile back may still be coming, as I informed just such a rider who had passed the little group I was with. This rider, shortly after passing us, then stopped in the middle of a bike lane with the light green, track standing waiting to cross (turn right) at a pedestrian crossing. As for myself, I must get better at coming through for turns smoother!

  • Chuck

    A possible addition to the list might be riders who jettison wrappers from energy bars or gels, even a banana peel is unsightly if not disposed of with disrection.

    • lowercasev

      That is my pet hate!

    • stib

      And tubes too. I find them regularly on one of my rides that goes through a beautiful bit of unspoilt woodland. Mind you, I usually pick ’em up and take them home to repair, that’s saved me a bit of money on spares.

  • jules

    thread-bare knicks.

    • Apparently guilty on this one too….

      • RayG

        Me too, once. But a true friend said ‘never wear those in public again’

    • Moe Sizlak

      A definite faux-pas, but can be hilarious to see.

    • Andy Logan

      There is a guy in our bunch that has a hole in his knicks right on his ass hole. Still where’s the knicks out for rides. Major fail.

  • Fleur

    I’d like to congratulate Verita and the team at CyclingTips for their enjoyable articles that have been absolutely on point about etiquette and our conduct as cyclists on and off the bike to make cycling (and racing) safe and fun, and being mindful of the way we carry ourselves and interact with the rest of the community. Keep up the awesome work guys and gals!

    • lowercasev

      Thanks Fleur, it means a lot to have your positive feedback!

    • Jessi Braverman

      Yes, what Verita says. This sort of feedback means a lot to us – especially in these early days!

  • Simon

    All good points thanks. Although I take issue with the seemingly pro semitic stance mentioned …. “A gentile “passing” is all that is required.” Being a gentile I don’t need to be accorded any especial recognition on the road.

    • Jessi Braverman

      Fair point. Change made.

  • Tim Neal

    my pet hate is the KOM wannabe’s who when the climb starts can’t stay in the bunch but have too big note it by sprinting past everyone. Often veering out over the centerline to race. If you can’t adjust the pace to the front of the bunch then find a hill and go ride it alone. There’s always going to be a speed differential, so deal with it by either making sure your on the front or at the back and deliberately hold back approaching the climbs and sprint to catch. They seem to ignore , in their desire to be applauded for their hill climbing prowess that hill crests are blind and that car coming over the other side isn’t planning on having an 80kg snot rocket hero in their windscreen,

    • loller

      your comment made no sense dood

  • SeanMcCuen

    when I puke, I tilt my head back.

  • Anon N + 1

    Would someone please define “half wheeling” and explain why it is so annoying? (Maybe if I understood the term, it might be obvious as to why it is annoying.) Thank you.

    • Jessi Braverman

      Definition can be found here: https://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/04/how-to-talk-like-a-cyclist/
      Hope that helps!

      • Anon N + 1

        Thank you for the link. Read it (and googled it) and the discussion doesn’t make sense. After reading Google results, I infer that half wheeling should not be a problem if there are only two riders. If A is riding half a front wheel ahead of B, B can simply slow a bit, pull in behind A and draft. What’s the problem?

        Would it be a problem in a double pace line? First, I will put aside my opinion that traffic laws and traffic and space make opportunities for double pace lines rare. But OK; we have a double pace line. If A is at the head of the 1st pace line and B is at the head of the 2nd pace line, they should what to cooperate. If A is not cooperating, then the double pace line falls apart and B lets it go. After all, it is not a race — and if it were a race then it is B ‘s job to make the appropriate tactical decisions to ask someone behind to take over setting the pace. And it is not A’s job to make B’s job easier.

        OK, lets assume A & B are at the heads of a double pace line and staying even with one another. Then if rider N behind A is half wheeling N’, the corresponding rider behind B, there must be a gap somewhere in front of N’, and the B pace line is falling apart. Some rider N’ – x (between B and N’) needs to close up the gap. So the problem is not N half wheeling N’ per se, but that someone closer to the front is not maintaining his/her position correctly. But again so what? What should N do? Allow a gap to form in front of him so he remains even with N”? On the other hand, N’ should not worry about rider N; rider N’ should focus on maintaining position in the pace line he/she is in.

        Frankly, it seems to be a ego problem. As I understand it, if A is half a front wheel in front of B, B will be the one who asserts that A is half-wheeling. So the problem is in B’s mind. Get over it; why do you have ride even with A? Instead, get in A’s draft.

        • Christian

          I don’t think you quite understand – on a team/training ride, the purpose is to get in some miles, and ride as a cohesive group. This is best achieved bar-to-bar and hub-to-hub, and consistent half-wheeling disrupts the group cohesion. Perhaps what you’re failing to understand is that a “half-wheeler” is constantly accelerating to remain half a wheel in front – if the near-parallel rider pulls up next to him, the half-wheeler eeks out in front again. It’s annoying; a bit like walking around someone’s house with your shoes on. I suppose you could say, that “B should just sweep after A left.” But in the end, it’s A being rude, non?

          • Anon N + 1

            Well, I think you make my point exactly: the “”half-wheeler” is constantly accelerating to remain half a wheel in front.” The “half-wheeler” would not need to accelerate if the “half-wheeled” did not attempt to draw up even. If the “half-wheeled” simply eased up a bit, the “half-wheeler” would be off on his/her own and the “half-wheeled” sitting in behind saying thanks for the pull.

            As I said, in my experience (30,000 recorded kilometers on my Garmin in the last few years), situations where traffic, the law and road conditions permit riding abreast as either a pair or in a double pace line are almost non-existant. Once, riding to the start of a major race, I found my self in with a bunch of pro continental teams riding in double pace lines from the hotel to the start area, stopping at traffic lights and generally behaving themselves. However, a police woman in the car escorting them got on the loud speaker and admonished them to “Please ride in a single line.”

            And in the case of someone wearing shoes in the house (or leaving the toilet wearing the toilet slippers), the faux pas is easily corrected by saying “Please leave your shoes by the door” or by offering house slippers and saying “I’m so sorry I forgot to offer you slippers when you came in.” In the case of half-wheeling, why not say “Ease up a bit; you’re pulling ahead.”

            • John Boy

              So it sounds like your 30,000 kms hasn’t included much bunch riding? Half wheeling is easily understood when you are being half-wheeled. Think of it like porn. Right now, it’s hard for you to define/understand, but you will surely know it when you see it.

              • Anon N + 1

                Well I suppose that would depend on how you define “a bunch.” I ride with others almost every weekend, but conditions in my area rarely allow a double pace line. We normally ride single file. That being said, I’ve done several organized century rides in California, the double century around Taupo in NZ, the citizen ride during the TdU. Will be doing over 200 km with thousands of others this weekend. But never have I observed “half-wheeling.” If someone wants to ride a little faster, I either let him/her go or jump on the wheel as he/she pulls ahead. (Which has caused problems: I recently got on the wheel of some cyclotourist — big panniers — who cursed me out for not asking permission. Although his face wasn’t turning blue, his accent lead me to infer he was Munchkin from the Land of Oz. But that is a whole different discussion.)

              • Annie.

                @John Boy: I guess you may be right. I even fear @Anon N + 1 may be one of those “THAT CYCLIST”s who never even gets the message even if told bluntly: We’ve got one of these riders in our bunch sometimes who seems to feel like the best of cyclists ever. Nevertheless: He never signals, he never leads the bunch in a proper way, he doesn’t stay in line, he doesn’t react to anything happening in the group. Hence, nobody wants to ride with nor behind him nor have him in front. If you tell him he always pretends to having acted with purpose and better than anyone else. He virtually never gets the message. – Lucky him: He doesn’t realize and still feels the best….

        • Tim Rowe

          An easy way to determine if it’s happening is this: If the rider in front were to very suddenly and very violently change direction and the rider behind did not react in time to avoid it, would their front wheel be collected?

          The reasons why the rider in front might do so are irrelevant. If you’re the rider behind and are riding in a position that would allow that to happen, you’re in the wrong. It’s like a driver tailgating another motorist. The reasons for the driver in front slamming on the brakes are irrelevant.

  • lauren o’keefe

    I had a guy do a snot rocket right onto me on a commute home. After getting over my disgust at being covered in someone else’s germs and body fluids (eewwww!!), I rode up to him and told him that he needs to check if someone is behind him before doing what he did. I got the satisfaction of scaring the bejesus out of him (mworhahahahaha!) and telling him what I thought.

    • This can also be done as a sign of disrespect. If your getting snotted on, check and make sure your not a wheel sucking scab first and that you’ve been rolling your fair share of turns.

      • lauren o’keefe

        Umm… okay. So nice to be called a wheel sucking scab. Which I wasn’t. This happened on a ride home from work where I was minding my own business.

  • Derek Maher

    Great List on how not to behave Verita.Apart from body fluids flying in the wind and half wheeling so in so,s making one grind ones teeth.I am glad you pointed out the pothole,s also those lethal drain rungs which follow the road direction need warning about to following riders.

  • 2ndeffort

    THAT CYCLIST wont take their turn at the front of the bunch into a headwind, would rather sit at 2nd/3rd wheel and let others do the work, then sprint to the front with 1km left to the coffee shop and brag about the finish whilst we are all waiting for coffee to arrive!

    • Winky

      I’ve never ridden with anyone who brags about a “win” in a group ride climb or sprint. I wouldn’t, either. Just who are these @r$h0le$ you ride with?

      As far as I am concerned, people can sit in all they like. Why would I care whether they take their turn or not? Sometimes they aren’t strong or maybe tired. Better to have them sit in than be dropped.

  • ML

    THAT CYCLIST talks a big game about wanting to ride together, but always bails at the last minute. I like to be inclusive, but if bails outnumber the actual rides, it’s demoralizing all around and I stop inviting them.

  • Winky

    I’ve never ever heard of the policy of saying “standing” or tapping one’s butt (which is just plain bizarre – I can’t even imagine that one – why would you even do that?) when one is going to stand up. Just keep pressure on the pedals as you stand. It isn’t a big deal. Also, the rider behind has responsibility, too. Don’t ride so close that you couldn’t avoid someone standing up.

    • Ant

      Agreed. Getting up gradually rather than popping up of the seat prevents the sudden backwards thrust of the bike and is easy to see for the rider behind too. Signals not necessary.

    • Spider

      Just push the bars forward as the stand…keeps the bike in the same position, the forward jut counteracts the backwards push.

      agreed if people started pointing to their butt on a hill…I wouldn’t know what to think!

  • GrahamWKidd

    Great article, really enjoyed this one. And all the comments too. I suggest a variation for you. Don’ t be that bunch. There are certain Beach Rd bunches who en masse display some (or all) of the traits discussed. A certain bunch, waits for their departure time spread all over the bike lane at Elwood Canal, forcing others into the main road. Some other bunches are so amazingly shoddy and dangerous – and completely oblivious of their shortcomings on the road, that my friends and I avoid them like the plague. And speaking to people at Le Tour De Café, are famous for it. So – Don’t be that bunch.
    There is the hard to avoid mega bunch that forms around Rickets Point, when Big Shop Ride A joins with Big Shop Ride B, and then other medium sized bunches get eaten up, and we end up with Mega-Bunch that stretches for what feels like a kilometre I don’t know how we can avoid that one, but it’s a scary thing, and no-ones fault.
    Then their are other bunches who are so well skilled and amazingly social and friendly that meeting up with them is a joy. So thank you to those lovely friendly bunches.

    • CB

      You could write this article about Beach Rd all on its own. I’ve found not getting down there until around 7am results in smaller bunches and a better riding experience.

  • Commuter

    Can I add one more? The rider who overtakes at speed, between you and the gutter, when you push off at the lights.

  • Ivan

    I rode with someone who displayed many of the qualities of “THAT CYCLIST” and then some….note I said rode…..

  • Josh Smith

    Saying ‘passing’ when overtaking another rider is just rude. How about hello or morning? This is up there with not returning a wave from a rider travelling in the opposite direction

    • CopyPasterino

      Sometimes I’m “zoned out” and focus on my riding. I don’t always catch a rider on the other side of the road, and I figure sometimes that other rider is “in the zone” when I’m aware of our passing. I don’t take offense at all.

    • Tim Rowe

      If you’re calling out when you’re already so close that the rider would realise you’re there, you’re doing it wrong. The idea is to notify someone of something about to happen and provide advance warning – not state matter of fact that they can already figure out for themselves.

  • Serious Starsider

    As a very tall guy what drives me crazy is that it’s always the very tiniest person who gets on my wheel so that when we rotate there is this ant sized creature in front of me and I get absolutely no relief :)

    • Eleri

      On the other hand – you still get a good view of the road ahead. :-)

      • Ant

        As a larger rider it’s not often i lose my view of the road. Seems quite unsettling when I do! So, sorry to all those whose vision I’ve impaired in the past!

    • lowercasev

      I am that tiny person… I’m 155cm/5’1″….

  • 42x16ss

    THAT CYCLIST also sticks to your wheel like glue when you try to peel off the front after taking your turn, almost causing a pileup and then wonders what the commotion is all about. They also jump from the file moving up, to the file dropping back while in the middle of the bunch during a rotating paceline.


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