Group Riding Decoder Ring - Cycling Magazine

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Sunday, 16 July 2017

Group Riding Decoder Ring

Group Riding Decoder Ring

AFTER DECIDING HOW FAR AND FAST the group will be going, it’s very important to keep those phone lines open while you’re out on the ride. When you’re riding close together, one person hitting a rock or pothole can have a dangerous cascade effect on the rest of the riders, who only have a limited view of the road. If you’re the leader or there are riders behind you in a pack, it’s considered not only polite but also responsible to let them know what lies ahead. The shout-out is nice, but keep in mind the other riders may not be able to hear you over traffic or wind noise. Always use sign language and fall back on using a verbal warning only if there’s not enough time (or it’s not safe) for you to signal.

SIGNAL WHEN YOU’RE COMING UP for a turn or changing lanes.
The Shout-Out: “Right,” “Left,” or “Turning”
Sign Language: Pointing right or left with a straight arm parallel to the ground. You can also use the driver’s education version of hand signals—point Stopping left with a of straight left arm, or stick your left upper arm straight out and lift your lower arm 90 degrees so your hand sticks straight up and your arm looks like a right angle.

THIS CAN HELP Stopping AVOID of A NASTY Slowing multi-bike pileup.
The Shout-Out: “Slowing” or “Stopping”
Sign Language: Put your left upper arm straight out and drop your lower arm from the elbow to make a right angle that faces down. Also, with either arm angled straight down toward the ground and the palm of your hand facing behind you, swing your arm gently backward a few times.

ANYTHING YOU WANT TO AVOID riding over falls into this category.
The Shout-Out: Call out whatever the obstacle is.
Sign Language: This is probably where you see the most variety of signs. All of them generally point to the object. If it’s scattered and spread out—like gravel or glass—the riders will often spread their palm flat to the ground and shake it back and forth.

ANYTIME YOUR PATH OF TRAVEL IS significantly altered—for example, by the shoulder disappearing or a car being parked in it—you’ll use this signal.
The Shout-Out: “Narrowing” (rarely used)
Sign Language: With a straight arm pointed behind you, swipe your hand toward the direction riders need to move.

SOMETIMES YOU’LL WANT TO OVERTAKE cyclists or pedestrians from behind. Because they can’t see what you’re doing, it’s important to warn them you’re passing before you line up with the back of their wheel since they likely won’t be expecting it. Always pass on the left.
The Shout-Out: “On your left!” is better than “Passing!” but the best is a ring of a bell.
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT and consistently used warning to other riders, and it’s the one time that the riders from behind hold the responsibility.
The Shout-Out: “Car back!”
Sign Language: None, since the riders being warned can’t see behind them.

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