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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know we have talked about this in this forum before, but until Saturday I don't remember it ever happening to me.
Less than half way into the second lap I caught and passed a rider and thought nothing of it. He latched onto my wheel and wouldn't let go. No problem as far as I was concerned. He wasn't in my class and I wasn't pacing him up in his class either (or so I thought.)

When we had reached the steepest part of the course I offered to give him some more room to pass me, he said he was spent and I was doing good enough by him. On the downhill I figured I'd drop him. Didn't happen (and man was that a fun romp down the mountain!) He was right on my wheel as soon as it was safe to latch on. The next chance I had to drop him I figured I'd hit a steep transition real fast and jump to the bottom (although I heard him yell "OH SHITTTTTT' he made it to the bottom in tact.
At that point we were getting too close to the finish for me to drop him so I just focused on the next rider in front of me. As I came up on his wheel I yelled 'on your left' and he moved over, unfortunately for the guy on my wheel, the guy I passed thought I was there by myself and started to pull back onto the desired line the moment I had gotten around him. I heard the guy behind me yelling LEFT LEFT LEFT, but it was too late. They locked bars ((I'm guessing) and I heard both of them go down HARD. One into the fence and the other into the shrubs on the other side of the trail.
After the finish I waited for them both to stagger in (a few minutes after I finished.) The wagon I was towing looked beat up badly. He dropped his bike and leaned against the fence in obvious discomfort.

Did he earn the damage or not?

BTW he was on my wheel for six or seven miles.
 

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Nothing wrong with drafting.

The best races IMO are ones with close racing and real tactics. the Guy on your wheel should have yelled "one more" earlier or you should have yelled "two back, passing left". I usually call out for two or however many I happen to be battling with at the time. Much better to win by strategy or fitness than them crashing with a lapper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had wondered if I should have noted there was two of us there, but we had passed a number of riders prior without me noting my wheel mates presence.

Isn't there a difference between pacing and drafting?
I don't know if he was doing all he could to keep pace (no matter what I tried, he always ended up back with me.)
 

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I don't think he earned the damage for holding your wheel. From your description it sounds like he was doing all he could to hang on to you. I've got no issue with that - it's a race after all.

I do think the lead rider should call for the riders he knows are following. I've seen enough times in races where the lead rider only calls for themselves and the 2nd rider has to avoid the passed rider moving back onto the racing line as they are unaware of them. Simple enough to do.

On the flip side, the rider following should not have automatically assumed the passed rider would give way without calling so he only has himself to blame for the accident in my opinion

Sounds like you had a good race though.
 

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You may not have been pacing up to someone in his class in front of him, but you surely helped him stay ahead of anyone trying to catch him from behind. It's one thing if a guy chooses to pace off you but stays far enough back so as to not get a draft, and it's a whole 'nother thing if he's actually drafting. Of course, it's his responsibility to not draft you, not your responsibility to keep him from drafting.
 

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Nope

Broke That said:
I I offered to give him some more room to pass me, he said he was spent and I was doing good enough by him. On the downhill I figured I'd drop him. Didn't happen (and man was that a fun romp down the mountain!) He was right on my wheel as soon as it was safe to latch on. The next chance I had to drop him I figured I'd hit a steep transition real fast and jump to the bottom (although I heard him yell "OH SHITTTTTT' he made it to the bottom in tact.
You probably made his race. It takes less skill to follow a target than establish ones own pace. He was in over his head and it showed when you turned it up to pass.

As for not calling out to pass? It's not your job to call for him and that's a tough way to learn. You see it on the trails all the time.
 

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I can't always tell if someone is behind me, so I think it's silly to assume that a person I'm following knows I'm there. I try to call everything myself.
 

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Yup!

AndrwSwitch said:
I can't always tell if someone is behind me, so I think it's silly to assume that a person I'm following knows I'm there. I try to call everything myself.
+1.:thumbsup:
 

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"It's one thing if a guy chooses to pace off you but stays far enough back so as to not get a draft, and it's a whole 'nother thing if he's actually drafting. Of course, it's his responsibility to not draft you, not your responsibility to keep him from drafting."

Huh? It's not cool to draft?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It was a good race for me. It was the first time I felt strong from start to finish since my return to racing. There is no doubt the guy following me was smooth, I could barely hear him shift, so I wasn't always thinking about him being on my wheel. To be sure, it was a learning experience for me.
Next time I'll call out for the two of us, that way the risk of taking out two riders is diminished. Neither of them deserved to crash.
 

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sumguy1 said:
"It's one thing if a guy chooses to pace off you but stays far enough back so as to not get a draft, and it's a whole 'nother thing if he's actually drafting. Of course, it's his responsibility to not draft you, not your responsibility to keep him from drafting."

Huh? It's not cool to draft?
Not if you're not in the same category.
 

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mudge said:
Not if you're not in the same category.
There are no written or unwritten rules against drafting in USAC mass-start mountain bike racing. It's an accepted practice all the way up to the pro level, just as it is in road racing.
 

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jbogner said:
There are no written or unwritten rules against drafting in USAC mass-start mountain bike racing. It's an accepted practice all the way up to the pro level, just as it is in road racing.
I'm not sure where you're getting your info, but it is illegal and definitely not an accepted practice in road racing to draft or otherwise work together between individuals in different classes. It's a DQ offense. As for mtb racing, I admit I haven't looked it up, but I'd be very shocked if there isn't a prohibition against individuals in different classes working together.
 

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mudge said:
I'm not sure where you're getting your info, but it is illegal and definitely not an accepted practice in road racing to draft or otherwise work together between individuals in different classes. It's a DQ offense. As for mtb racing, I admit I haven't looked it up, but I'd be very shocked if there isn't a prohibition against individuals in different classes working together.
Where are you getting your info from I just checked the USA cycling rule book online, and there is no mention of this. Not trying to argue about it, just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mudge said:
I'm not sure where you're getting your info, but it is illegal and definitely not an accepted practice in road racing to draft or otherwise work together between individuals in different classes. It's a DQ offense. As for mtb racing, I admit I haven't looked it up, but I'd be very shocked if there isn't a prohibition against individuals in different classes working together.
No rule like that I'm aware of in mountain biking. I can see why that would apply in road racing, and in some instances mtb racing, but overall mountain bike races are more individual events rather than team competitions.
I also have never entered a mass start race either. Not that I could stay with the experts, but latching onto a wheel might help me out then.
 

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ne_dan said:
Where are you getting your info from I just checked the USA cycling rule book online, and there is no mention of this. Not trying to argue about it, just curious.
You know, I can't find it in the rules, either but...In over 20 years of road racing, at every single race I've ever done where there would be more than one category on the course at the same time, the officials have reiterated that it is not allowed to work with individuals from other classes. And, in every single race I've ever done where a group I was in came up to and passed a straggler from an earlier group and said straggler tried to pace/draft off the group, members of the group reminded them that it wasn't allowed. Funny as it may seem, it seems that there was in fact a sense of fair play involved.
 

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mudge said:
You know, I can't find it in the rules, either but...In over 20 years of road racing, at every single race I've ever done where there would be more than one category on the course at the same time, the officials have reiterated that it is not allowed to work with individuals from other classes. And, in every single race I've ever done where a group I was in came up to and passed a straggler from an earlier group and said straggler tried to pace/draft off the group, members of the group reminded them that it wasn't allowed. Funny as it may seem, it seems that there was in fact a sense of fair play involved.
That is also my experience on the road.

The same doesn't apply on the dirt though. Even at C1 events there is drafting between the top level categories.
 

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I read the OP's post to mean age class, not category, and I didn't mean to imply differently. For example there is no prohibition against two MTB Cat 2 racers in different age classes drafting off each other. And honestly, there's nothing in the USAC rulebook to prevent racers in different ability Cats from working together, either, but that's probably because in 4 out of 5 USAC mtb races, the various Cats are not on the course at the same time, so it's rarely an issue.

But you're right about road races.
 

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jbogner said:
I read the OP's post to mean age class, not category, and I didn't mean to imply differently. For example there is no prohibition against two MTB Cat 2 racers in different age classes drafting off each other. And honestly, there's nothing in the USAC rulebook to prevent racers in different ability Cats from working together, either, but that's probably because in 4 out of 5 USAC mtb races, the various Cats are not on the course at the same time, so it's rarely an issue.

But you're right about road races.
Given that the older groups typically start after younger groups, anyone who gets caught from behind by someone in a different category and then chooses to draft, or even pace, off them should be forced to wear a 'cone of shame' like a dog coming from the vet's office. Geez, taking advantage of an old guy to catch up to someone in your own age group is pathetic.
 

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mudge said:
Given that the older groups typically start after younger groups, anyone who gets caught from behind by someone in a different category and then chooses to draft, or even pace, off them should be forced to wear a 'cone of shame' like a dog coming from the vet's office. Geez, taking advantage of an old guy to catch up to someone in your own age group is pathetic.
That's rather insulting to older racers. We've got one Cat 1 racer in the region who's 50+ and routinely turns in times competitive with the top 19-39 racers. And our 40-49's and 30-39's always turn in faster times than our 19-29's.

In the heat of a race, it's often impossible for the trailing rider to know what class the leading rider is in, because racers usually only have a front number plate. And good mountain bike race courses have plenty of singletrack that minimize any benefit from drafting in the flatter sections. You can't hide in the pack in most mountain bike races, so it's really a non-issue...
 
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