A situation arose this morning, that got me thinking about commuting etiquette. As I merged onto the Mt. Vernon Trail and began to pick up speed, a rider passed me as I was accelerating. As I settled into my planned pace, I realized that I was sitting on his wheel. So I thought, this guy passed me for the sake of passing me. I wasn't sure what to do, but quickly worked out a couple of options in my head:
1.) Throw down the hammer, pass the guy and don't let him catch me.
2.) Back off a little and give the guy some space...he did pass me, and since I don't know him, sitting on his wheel is rude.
3.) Sit on his wheel...if someone passes me, he should do it with authority, or at least ride at a pace I'm not willing to ride.
Since it was a windy day, and I had no intent of hammering all the way to work today, nor did I want to delay my ride by backing off the passer, I sat on his wheel. After a couple of miles, he waved me on and I pulled for the next 2 miles before we exchanged pleasantries and he left the trail. This was probably the ideal situation today, as I got to relax for a bit of the ride, but I could see my choice to quietly sit on the wheel pissing someone off. I'm sure "asking the guy" would be part of proper etiquette, but that's not my style. I'd much rather quietly choose option 1 or 3.