/ Do they know you're racing?

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Kemics - on 05 Mar 2013
....Asked my girlfriend after I wobbled into the house on shaking legs covered in sweat. Sure in my recent and devastating victory over another commuter I knew: "Oh they know. They know".

So basically I commute around 15 miles a day on my road bike. I generally try and cycle fairly quickly. With an office job it's the easiest way to get exercise each day, so usually treat it like a bit of a workout.

(there are a few usual suspects who share a similar commute route to me) If I see someone else on a road bike cycling fast in the same direction, I do two things:

1: Maintain calm outward composure.
2: Cycle as fast as I possibly can.

Am I the only one who does this? If someone overtakes you on a ride do you continue at your pace...or do you throw down? ...Am I the only one racing?

*note: Riding quickly but safely, so no running lights etc
andy - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics: Silly Commuter Racing is a highly regulated sport. Please see itsnotarace.org for details.
Mike Gee - on 05 Mar 2013
tron - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics: You're definitely not the only one http://www.itsnotarace.org/
tron - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to tron: damn it, took too long
mattrm - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

I do the same thing when out running and mtbing, so it's definitely a 'thing'. Don't commute to work tho, so can't comment on that.
Toby_W on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics: I only race if:

We exchange "the look" and both parties are up for a bit of fun otherwise I just ride to work at my efficient speed passing or being passed as it happens.
The exception is if someone really annoys me like the guy the other week. I rode past him going up a hill and he obviously couldn't stand being passed so raced after me like a loon catching me waiting at the next set of lights which he rode though on RED in front of a big queue of traffic. Anyway I caught him up and passed him again and he is now going red and making a sound like a dyson in a failing attemp to stay with me.... I slow down so he sits on my wheel and I ride though every puddle and stream of water on the road before dropping him very pointedly on the next hill.

Cheers

Toby
Kemics - on 05 Mar 2013

HA! amazing!

I got so much entertainment from reading the original thread on the bike forum. Proper giggles, cant believe I've been playing a game so widely supported.

Which makes my scalp of two full lyrca sponsored kit roadies last night oh so sweet. Tailed them through town for a full 2 miles. Then on the final mile stretch up hill put the hammer down. oh sweet sweet victory. I don't think I'll be able to maintain my SCR ranking of 3 for long. Heavy is the crown.
999thAndy on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Gee:

I just calculated my FCN is 12.

Is this like a having a big handicap in golf?
Kemics - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to 999thAndy:

Basically...but you could be sand bagging :)
mkean - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:
Everyone does this, but only the fast ones admit it :-)

JohnnyW - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

FCN of 7.
Will be commuting tomorrow, so we'll see how I do - My only problem is 10 miles of steep hills and country roads - Great in the spring, but cycle-less in grim weather, like wot we have forecast tomorrow :(
a lakeland climber on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Oh yes!

Was biking in to work one morning when I heard the distinctive ker-clunk of a gear change behind me. Slowly started putting on the power. My shadow stayed just behind me. Things started getting faster - he still stays just behind. Then we hit a long but fairly easy angled hill which I normally go up at about 14mph (mainly to avoid getting too sweaty). I crested the top of the hill at 24mph and nearly blue in the face. Fortunately at the next set of lights he went straight on while I turned off.

It's still the fastest I've ever done that section even when on a club run. :-)

ALC
999thAndy on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

well as my 'commute' only takes 10mins its not worth donning special clothing and my bike is an elderly hybrid with panniers. The downside is, on such a short commute there is very rarely anyone else on a bike. When I have been passed it's normally with them on the pavement and me trying to trackstand for the enterainment of the driver behind me
Mikkel - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Toby_W:
> (In reply to Kemics) I only race if:
>
I slow down so he sits on my wheel and I ride though every puddle and stream of water on the road before dropping him very pointedly on the next hill.


Like your style.
New POD - on 05 Mar 2013
I just try and keep up with anyone who overtakes me.
Toby S - on 05 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

I do, fortunately I am rarely the dropee and almost always the dropper on my route to work through Inverness on my increasingly battered commuter bike.

I've just moved and my new route finishes at the top of a long reasonably steep hill. Unfortunately most folk walk their bikes up the hill which spoils the fun.
SteveRi - on 06 Mar 2013
Extra points for dropping a cyclist when running (choose your hill wisely). Extra shame for cyclists being passed by runners. Do not engage with the old guy in faded hi-viz and the bobble hat, he's got form.
John Rushby - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to SteveRi:

Wise words.

May I add never try and race the bloke on the Brompton along Otley Road. You have just ridden in from Skipton and there is a reason he has calves like George Hincapie

Top tip number 2 - never try ride off the front at the traffic lights and think you're earning kudos from the rider behind, especially when he turns out to be Rob Jebb and he passes you half a mile later on his mangled old steely with a cheery wave
lummox - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to John Rushby: Plus, Rob Jebb might well be going out for a run after his little ride home as well...
John Rushby - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to lummox:

Indeed- I seem to recall you actually spotted me at the lights at Shipley on that fateful night. He'd just ridden the 3 Peaks and won it the day before.

It was one of those events that recalibrates the ego......
lummox - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to John Rushby: Mine's well and truly deflated anyway : ). Watching a Brownlee descending on the Auld Lang Syne as I was still hauling my sweating bulk up the hill had much the same salutary effect..
SteveRi - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to John Rushby:
I remember Jebb winning Causey Pike a couple of years ago. I was quite pleased to survive, he had a quick cucumber sandwich and rode home. There's a reason he's a winner :)
VS4b - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to SteveRi:

FCN3: target for everyone on my commute, working hard not to be scalped...
nniff - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

My 'recalibration' involved an old bloke on a beaten up old bike with a wooden beer crate on a rear rack as a basket. All it needed was a Jack Russell in situ and my shame would have been complete.
IainFP on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to nniff: Many years ago, nearing the end of an mtb "marathon" type event and going through all manner of hideous dark places on the "final" climb of the day, I was passed by a bloke complete with child in the kiddie seat on the back! Humiliation doesn't come close...................:0(
tlm - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

> Am I the only one racing?

I think all the blokes are racing and the women aren't. I got overtaken by a 73 year old on a hill the other day, and he stopped for a chat on the way past to show how he 'wasn't really trying'.

I don't like to overtake unless they are going VERY slow, because you then have to KEEP UP THE PACE!!! Too much mental pressure for me!


tlm - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to IainFP:
> I was passed by a bloke complete with child in the kiddie seat on the back! Humiliation doesn't come close...................:0(

Ha ha! Maybe that was my mate Gary? He overtook someone on a mountain biking single track, with a wide grin and his baby ASLEEP in the back!

neuromancer - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

The problem here is that the really, really rapid blokes actually end up with a pretty high fcn.

Your average, masked, nondescript lycra wearing courier, ex courier or commuter on a roadie wearing spds can get an easy 4, and scalp everyone.

Slow old men obviously in tdf gear moving in the granny ring are easily below.
thermal_t - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:
> ....Asked my girlfriend after I wobbled into the house on shaking legs covered in sweat. Sure in my recent and devastating victory over another commuter I knew: "Oh they know. They know".
>
> So basically I commute around 15 miles a day on my road bike. I generally try and cycle fairly quickly. With an office job it's the easiest way to get exercise each day, so usually treat it like a bit of a workout.
>
> (there are a few usual suspects who share a similar commute route to me) If I see someone else on a road bike cycling fast in the same direction, I do two things:
>
> 1: Maintain calm outward composure.
> 2: Cycle as fast as I possibly can.
>
> Am I the only one who does this? If someone overtakes you on a ride do you continue at your pace...or do you throw down? ...Am I the only one racing?
>
> *note: Riding quickly but safely, so no running lights etc

Brilliant, I knew I wasn't the only one. There's a hill heading out of the town I work in, and I have nearly thrown up a couple of times after "racing" up it. The challenge is tring to look like you are putting no effort in, when in reality your lungs are going to burst and your about to blow a blood vessel in your temple!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Phil79 - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to tlm:
> (In reply to Kemics)
>
> [...]
>
> I think all the blokes are racing and the women aren't.

Maybe - A while back I passed two or three people on a hill on my commute, including a lady on a mtb. A few miles later she hammered past me when I slowed up a bit.

Maybe she wasn't racing, but I sure couldn't keep up :)
ti_pin_man - on 06 Mar 2013
theres a whole sub culture for this very topic:

http://www.itsnotarace.org/
nufkin - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

> Am I the only one who does this? If someone overtakes you on a ride do you continue at your pace...or do you throw down? ...Am I the only one racing?

Throw down, of course. But only if it looks like I'll win.


Have you joined Strava? Then you can race even if there's no-one there
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics: https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events?&zuv_bc_discipline_filter_id=21

Rather than burning past grannies, or kids on bmx's maybe give it a go when everyone else is trying too...
a lakeland climber on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to VS4b:

Oh cr*p! FCN of 4. Now they really are out to get me.

ALC
Just Another Dave - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man:


27 hours late! Check the first 4 responses. That's a thread scalp.

Not long ago I claimed a roadie in club gear sweating uphill while on my converted singlespeed MTB in jeans with a 14 kg toddler on the child seat. Came very close to death trying to maintain composure and pace for the following straight mile clime, after exchanging casual pleasantries on passing and trying to ignore the trauma and shame of the back seat rider "slow down daddy! TOO FAST!!" But totally worth it - I da man.

Ego problem? Mid-life crisis? Most of you don't even know the meaning of the words; I'm redefining the standards.
duchessofmalfi - on 06 Mar 2013
Everyone is honour bound to overtake blokes on mid-life crisis bikes...
Liam M - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to John Rushby: I got dropped by a guy on a folding bike going downhill this morning, but as he was bolt upright and not pedaling as he accelerated away I considered it cheating via the means of too much gravity!
gethin_allen on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:
My FCN came out at 9, but I did gain an extra point for the beard that occasionally isn't there.

I had an odd incident with a cyclist who I passed quietly, not racing (really) who saw me and exclaimed "oh no you don't" and then started racing me.
I was happily in front for a while until the traffic slowed in front with a few cars turning right and no space to pass on the left when this fool went whizzing past on the right almost getting splatted by the car turning right.
A moment later I passed this chap who was celebrating like wiggo on the Champs Elysée but had who'd turned down a side street in an effort to hide the fact that he was coughing up a lung.
The race was obviously on for this chap but I bet he'd have felt silly if he'd hit that car as it would have put him over the bonnet of the approaching car and at the ~35 mph he was going he'd have been buggered.
Just Another Dave - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Chateauneuf du Boeuf:
> (In reply to Kemics) https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/events?&zuv_bc_discipline_filter_id=21
>
> Rather than burning past grannies, or kids on bmx's maybe give it a go when everyone else is trying too...

But we're not trying! That's the whole point, I'm just riding home from work at my normal pace. It just so happens that my pace is considerably faster than yaw.

Seriously, that's all a bit too real and I'm not sure my fragile ego could handle it. But we can always enter friendly sportives and treat them like races. Bad form, obviously, but everyone does it, don't they?
ti_pin_man - on 06 Mar 2013
always too late to any parties... I'm an FCN8 and used to regularly scalp shaven legged roadies on the route into central london, these days my commute barely see a car never mind other cyclists.
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Just Another Dave: Don't get me started on sportives!
gethin_allen on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:
Just read the rules and noticed that he lost for being dangerous, HA! I WIN.
Rigid Raider - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

No mention in this thread of the important roadie skill of DRAFTING.

Basically it means you sit behind your target for a couple of miles enjoying the 30% reduction in effort while he does all the work and then, just when you sense he's beginning to tire, nip out into the wind and blast past him. You will know you are in the drafting zone when the wind rushing past your ears becomes turbulent, if there's a side wind the zone will be off to one side of the target as forward speed and side wind are vectoring at you.

If you are being drafted and there's a wind from the right, stick to the left of the road so that your wheel-sucker can't get any shelter from the wind.
JohnnyW - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

25 mile to work this morning, Stirling to Livingston via Falkirk, not a bloody soul on the road going my way.

...and tonight, it's only 8 mile to Linlithgow station on a country road, so no chance there either.

How will I ever get off FCN7 ?! ;(
Toby_W on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Rigid Raider:

My FCN is 3-4. I don't mind being drafted and will tow people along pointing out holes. I will also draft people (very politely) and thank them afterwards (cheers mate I think you've saved me 10 min of my journey time).
Sadly I rarely get someone fast enough to draft although one time on the Bristol Bath path a guy sad on my wheel for about 30sec before deciding that 20mph was too slow and went past. Yipee, I jump on his wheel for an easy ride and he just got faster and faster until we were tanking it along at 30mph. Now i'm torn, this is not an easy ride but I am saving a load of time of my 17mile commute. The guy was a semi pro and I still made his day by gasping out thanks through my anearobic haze when I turned off.

Cheers

Toby
Alyson - on 06 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics: 3 years ago my husband was feeling the pressure of his recategorisation from MTB commuter to road bike commuter and the subsequent change in performance expected of him. On only his 4th ride out on the new beast he encountered someone who mounted pavements continually to avoid traffic lights etc, so clearly this person needed putting in his place.

Unfortunately, after making said pedestrian-botherer eat his dust, he caught his front wheel in the tram tracks, flew over the handlebars and smashed his leg to bits - in full view of an ambulance which happened to be driving towards him at the time on the other side of the road. It is with great satisfaction that he retells the story as "I was already being loaded into an ambulance when the other commuter finally caught up with me".

Personally I'm not sure this counts as a win.
Just Another Dave - on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to gethin_allen)
> Just read the rules and noticed that he lost for being dangerous, HA! I WIN.

Don't worry Geth, I thought it was implicit that you were fully familiar with the rules and ethic, but he'd already disqualified himself from sporting scalping on two much more important points than danger:

1. "Oh no you don't" - the sporting ethic is that it's NOT A RACE, exhibiting deliberate effort or pain is not on; the fiction must be maintained.

2. Turning off down the side street to cough up a lung - he must have known that he needs to maintain the lead to fairly drop someone.

He obviously took no pride in the extent of his ego problem.
mikehike on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics:

Great thread true to T

Class
Quote from http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12575770
This is true.

No outward sign should be given that you are hanging out and juiced.

At the next lights a small mothfull of water is allowed but the shoulders must be flat level and not heaving. I think I've done this so often that I can now breathe through my skin.

Must not show weakness control breath ing
elsewhere on 07 Mar 2013
I used to keep up with mopeds sometimes - but I always got knackered before they ran out of fuel :-(
AlasdairM on 07 Mar 2013
In reply to Kemics: I get into regular races with a guy on a Tricross on my way into work. If I'm on my road bike, I win every time but it's more of a challenge on my MTB.

However, the ultimate prize has been the Lycra clad roadie in London whom I chased down and overtook three or four times after he kept jumping the red lights I stopped for. My weapon of choice - a Boris bike.
Hephaestus - on 08 Mar 2013
In reply to AlasdairM:
> (In reply to Kemics) My weapon of choice - a Boris bike.

No idea where that sits on the recognised hierarchy, but a that's worthy of anyones' respect: the weight of a scooter, but with pedals!
ScraggyGoat on 08 Mar 2013
I caught up a brompton rider dooing nearly 20mph, obviously unusual but this one had a brooks saddle, clipless peddle and racing handle bars so not your normal folder rider. Overtake the guy and he just drafts, up the anti to 25mph and still no shaking him. Mange to touch 30mph on the flat to no affect.

If he had a racer he'd be awesome....the battles continue for a couple of months. Then one day this chap comes past on a full carbon racing mean machine, smiles and says 'may trainers beeing fixed', I didn't see him for dust...............
Liam M - on 08 Mar 2013
In reply to ScraggyGoat: You didn't overtake Dr Hutch did you? He has been world Brompton Champ before, as well as one of the strongest time triallers in the UK.

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