I’ve been cycling for a while now, almost a year I think, and I was quick to notice two things. It’s hard to cycle into a headwind, and it’s easier to cycle into the wind if you’re behind some other poor sod. This became particularly relevant on the way home yesterday whilst I was battling against a headwind the entire way home.
After a while I got fed up with getting nowhere, and so I started free-wheeling. As a large number of people take the same route home that I do, it was unsurprising that I was passed rather quickly by another cycle-commuter. As a side note, it is interesting to see the different people that cycle home. There are the hardcore biking nuts that have all the lycra, and the bright yellow vests and the super-expensive helmets, and the flashiest accessories. And then there are the people who have just hauled the bike out of the garage and are just hoping like hell it gets them home. I was passed by one of the former.
Anyway, it suddenly struck me that it would be nice to just cycle behind this guy and get a reprieve from the wind. A couple of other people caught on too, and before I knew it there was a trail of cyclists taking advantage of the ol’ laws of fluid dynamics.
The question I have, in terms of cycling ethics, is this: Is it okay to deliberately slow down so that the person behind you gets fed up and overtakes you, so that you can draft them?