Stealing a Wheel

We're in a road race. The pace ramped up suddenly. There's a guy who was moving up but now he's out of gas and he's just ahead of me and starts moving in.

This dude's about to try and steal my wheel. No way I'm letting that happen. Go find another wheel from someone who's sleeping.

It just happens during races. But I don't like it when I'm right on the wheel in front of me, and someone starts trying to butt in and take my position. That's when you just have to hold position and not let a large enough gap form that they can come in. Usually they'll move on and find someone who's not paying attention and can steal their wheel. 

There are tricks to stealing wheels too. You can get your butt close to another racers' handlebars and brake levers and that usually gets you a spot. You can start sitting where you want to go, and when the wheel you're trying to get moves in front of you it's much easier to take possession of it. You can also look for someone who's having trouble holding the wheel in front of them and just move in. Those are easy wheels to take.

On most group rides, stealing wheels isn't cool. You can ask for a wheel, then I think it's fine. But either get in the rotation on the front, or put in an attack, or if you're not doing anything to push the pace then just hold your position.

In races, you don't have to be polite and ask. It's a race. You have to move up and take spots, or they'll be taken from you. There's always a guy that complains about etiquette during races, like that we should be gentlemen racers. I mean, don't push people over but it is a race after all.

The only thing worse than having the wheel in front of me stolen is when I'm holding a wheel, and that cyclist isn't holding his wheel very well, and within a few minutes, since everyone's stealing the wheel in front of him, we're at the back of the peloton.

Dude, hold your wheel!

Usually when that starts happening it's simply a good time to start moving forward again and find a new wheel. Usually one that you have to steal from someone else.