I always draft big rigs on the beltway. Being in the middle of the lane, I have had zero issues with debris hitting me in my open face helmet. I'm probably 2 bike lengths behind. Just enough that I'm in the low pressure area and I can't feel the wind buffeting my shoulders/arms anymore.
Been a biker since the late 90s and I'll keep doing it.
The moment I worry about every little think that might happen on the road is the moment I sell my bike.
Also, you've obviously never been on the Capital beltway or you'd never ask that
99% of my "highway" driving is on the local interstates in the DC area. I have a greater chance of getting killed by a dear (3 close calls to date) than road debris (no incidents). At night, the beltway can be a ghost town. At daylight hours, you can be lucky to get to 65 non-rush and 35 if you're lucky during rush. One little incident can have a ripple effect and it can become a parking lot REALLY quick.
We have a thing here called "rubber neck delays" because of something that happens on one side of the interstate that causes people on the other to slow down to 25-30 so they can look, instead of driving like they should.
I would love to see how Jeremy Clarkson would handle our beltway at rush hour. He would lose his mind, lol.
Back on topic, the reason I draft is you have three choices: Back far off behind the rig so the wind doesn't whip your bike around, pass them if you have that option, or speed up and get in that "pocket". I always choose option 3.
>I would love to see how Jeremy Clarkson would handle our beltway at rush hour. He would lose his mind, lol.
Average driving speed in the centre of London is around 10-12 miles per hour... :-) Clarkson/Hammond/Stig/Capn Slow did a top gear race where they tried different methods of transport through the city. If I recall correctly Hammond won using his bicycle (Clarkson was on a motorboat, Stig was on public transport, James was driving a Merc).
Clarkson also did a London race against a marathon runner, the guy on foot got to the destination first, beating clarkson in his car.