How was your ride today?



In training, that’s where they could learn/practice the technique. Apply in races.

Doesn’t happen


Ok, fair enough… I guess.


I just find it rather weird…


Yup… I don’t get it either.


I was equally confused by this when I started riding here. There are a lot of strong cyclist in Taipei, and there are actually a handful of roads flat enough and long enough to ride in a decent paceline for a sustained duration. The north coast road and the road from Pingxi to Fulong both come to mind.

So after a few times riding these roads with a club group who should know how to ride together, I just found myself confused by the bizarre behavior: mad accelerations, ‘slinky’, one guy trying to pull for the entire time and then inevitably slowing or dropping.

Also, the behavior at the front: the first time I saw the second rider just go around the front rider in order to take a pull, I was cracking up. Now I have seen it so many times I just roll my eyes and shake my head.

My working theory is this must have something to do with face. No one pulling at the front wants to fall off to the back because it’s a loss of face? Am I grasping at straws here?

Agreed with @ColT that it’s probably somewhat due to a lack of history of the sport, and experienced riders teaching the young uns how it works, as I benefited from many years ago in Colorado & Boston.

But also, it’s gotta be culture. Just look at the scooter traffic: a damn free for all. Cycling in a paceline is based on teamwork, positioning, and control. Scooter riding in Taiwan, and even car driving, is based on a mentality of HOW CAN I GET AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSE NO MATTER WHAT EVEN IF THERE IS NOT REALLY SPACE FOR ME THERE!?!!?!?!

With that driving mentality in mind, it’s no surprise that when people cross over to bikes, paceline riding does not come naturally.

Such a shame because it is the most fun and rewarding part of the sport of cycling.


This is becoming my go-to catch-all theory for inexplicable behavior. For example, during my daily commute on the river paths, there’s a scenario that pops up one or two times a week where you’re approaching someone who looks to be going along at a steady pace. You pass them up, then at some point you hear/sense that someone is on your wheel, look back, and yep! there is that guy you passed a few minutes ago. Sometimes they are working damn hard to stay there, and it is truly baffling to me.

First of all is the rudeness of sitting on my wheel like that, but more perplexing is that they had to put some effort into accelerating when they seemed to be quite content at their previous pace. Is this because of face? I hardly had this happen back in the US, and on the rare occasions it did, it was clearly due to macho pride bullshit (face equivalent?).


Oof, this one always baffled me. I don’t have much experience riding outside of Taiwan, but I do know that in the states and in EU, people don’t really like it if you wheel suck, don’t ask if you can and/or aren’t part of their group. From what I hear over in the sub-reddits, there’s a macho pride or elitist mind set.

Something similar happened to me yesterday in the mountains. I passed two kids riding without helmets right before the steep section of the climb, I took the stinger at a consistent pace and I heard some clicks behind me as I ascended. I didn’t look back, but I assume the kids saw me pass by and thought, the same as the guys on the river. I mean…nobody likes to get passed, so you want to test the rider who passed you and your own ability to see if you can hang, right?

So, in retrospect, it is kind of not wanting to lose face, but how I see it, if I was out on my own on a ride and someone came by, I would test to see if I could hang.

One night, after a few drinks, I decided to ubike home via the riverside. Some guy on a TT bike passed me and I wanted to see if I could keep up on the ubike. I think the guy heard me gaining on him, so he added a little bit more and…he disappeared.


Uh, so what happened? Did you teach them a lesson?

Ha, ha. Sounds like something I’d do. I’ve had my fair share of battles on the riverside paths. I’ll oblige then. On the mountains, I won’t even try. Running, I’ll give a thumbs up as I’m passed. In the pool, I’ll see what the guy/gal has. I don’t see this as rude at all. I really enjoy the competition, and I think the other guys do too.


Judging by their apparel and lack of helmets, I was certain that they wouldn’t be sticking around for too long. I didn’t look back. I still have the habit that my high school track coach edged into my head, “Don’t look back, just run harder.”

Needless to say, no one gained on me until the last 500m to the finish. I thought it was one of the kids going balls out sprint, but turns out it was my friend.


Yeah, I can get the idea of wanting to test yourself out a bit or have some fun, especially if it’s fellow sportive cyclists. But can I assume that you’re not getting right on someone’s wheel when you’re doing this? For me it’s analogous to tailgating, where it’s just annoyingly stupid to do when you can just as easily have your private little game a few meters further back.


Back home I wouldn’t care if someone hung onto my wheels, and likewise I’ve held on to plenty of wheels (and would thank them if I peel off).

In Taiwan, I think its more of a safety thing to not hang too closely, due to rider skills, road conditions, traffic etc.


Yes, I know we’ve been down this route before, but I know some very good riders who choose not to wear a helmet. Why is that in any way relevant to their (presumed) ability?


He also said their apparel. If I pass someone who’s wearing a t-shirt, baggy shorts, flip-flops, and no helmet, I’m going to be mildly surprised if they suddenly wind up passing me a few minutes later. I’m not judging them and thinking “Oh, they must be shit cyclists.” Faster cyclists tend to have a certain look compared to slower cyclists, and that look usually involves a helmet, jersey, and cycling shorts.


No helmets isn’t the only factor here. It’s age of rider + no helmet + choice of apparel. There’s other factors at hand that I can’t see and so I can’t account for it, but based on what I saw, I made that assumption.


Book, cover, etc:


Oh crap! Even the ‘proper’ cyclist is helmetless. I imagine this forum will implode… :wink:


Yeah… no.

I know where you’re coming from, but prejudices exist because they help us to navigate in an otherwise too chaotic, confusing world.

And most of the times people who are serious about riding buy lots of super expensive gear. Although sometimes you find strong riders with powerful legs and shitty gear or lacking a helmet.


Yeah, no one and nothing is going to implode.

I don’t really understand what point you’re trying to prove and your issue with helmets. I made an assumption and it was true. That assumption applied to that one instance and could apply to other situations, but somehow you assume my statement of:

…implies ALL people that are wearing whatever clothes those kids were wearing and not wearing a helmet are slow af and scrubs.

Maybe I haven’t made it clear in the past or I failed to explain it, but I think you’d know, that I know, that it’s not always about the gear or appearance.


I couldn’t care less about gear or appearance. I want people to feel free to ride bikes without being judged.

I don’t have any issue with helmets at all. I wear one most of the time. I have 4 from which to choose.

My issue is with the ongoing, widespread demonization of those who choose not to wear helmets.

I think elsewhere you have stated something along the lines of “… if you are not wearing a helmet, you are not welcome on our rides…” Would the same apply if riders turned up with no gloves? They are a protective item? No lights if it’s likely to get dark? They are a safety item.

The end.


I make no assumptions whatsoever, mate.

I respectfully suggest you reconsider your assumption. Ta.