Group riding - Hand signals

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Group riding - Hand signals

Postby sandman » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:14 pm

Hi ALL

Did my first ride this morning in a bunch and I was welcomed to a bunch of hand signals I'd never seen before. No they werent just "the finger" :lol:

I've checked google and havent found too much except for the usual , left, right, stop etc. I've seen them pointing to issues on the road, a really different one to going around a parked hazard. Anyone have any pointers to URL's with any info. I sat upfront on the ride for a while today but I suspect I should have passed on some info via hands.

Lets say they invited me back and I didnt cause any wheel buckles by lack of info :shock:

Cheers..Pete
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by BNA » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:23 pm

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Postby KillerHeadWind » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:23 pm

Yeah it came as a surprise to me as well when I rode with a few riders for the first time. Although I'm aware of the signals, I so used to riding solo it becomes second nature not to stick my arm out unless I'm stretching :)
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Postby ggundersen » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:31 pm

http://www.inlandempirecycling.com/Cycl ... ignals.htm

don't know if it is relevant

I just point at everything and shout what it is
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Postby inaminit » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:52 pm

Hi sandman, it can be pretty daunting and confusing riding in a bunch with the different signals, and voice calls.

I ride with a few different groups and they all have their own little way of doing things. For example one group actually points with a finger at an obstacle on the road, and another gives a little flat wiggle of the hand. First time I saw the hand wiggle, I thought what the heck is that..followed by a thud as my wheel hit a pothole...followed by ahhhhh so thats what it means :lol:

Although they can vary slightly between groups, some of the common hand signals are :

Arm outstretched at about shoulder height = turning.

hand pointing out to side at waist height = rider moving over or preparing to pass someone on that side.

Hand waving low to side or pointing to road = an obstacle to be aware of on that side of the rider but not directly in the current riding line.

Left Hand waving behind riders back = merge over to the right to avoid obstacle in current riding line. Can also mean go single file.

Right hand waving behind riders back = merge over to the left to avoid obstacle in current riding line. Can also mean go single file.

Hand behind seat with palm facing out = slowing or stopping.

And one I saw for the first time today....

Hand straight up in the air with a closed fist = slowing or stopping.

Whenever I join a group for the first time I try to sit at the back and get a feel for not only the hand signals they use but their voice calls too...remember if you're confused by their signals and calls, then chances are they'll be confused by yours too. Best to play it safe until you are all speaking the same lingo.
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Postby sandman » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:54 pm

ggundersen wrote:http://www.inlandempirecycling.com/Cycling/hand_signals.htm

don't know if it is relevant

I just point at everything and shout what it is


Thanks for the URL. I saw that one a little earlier, its certainly got a few good pointers in it, ta !

Pete
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Postby sandman » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:58 pm

inaminit wrote:Hi sandman, it can be pretty daunting and confusing riding in a bunch with the different signals, and voice calls.

I ride with a few different groups and they all have their own little way of doing things. For example one group actually points with a finger at an obstacle on the road, and another gives a little flat wiggle of the hand. First time I saw the hand wiggle, I thought what the heck is that..followed by a thud as my wheel hit a pothole...followed by ahhhhh so thats what it means :lol:

Although they can vary slightly between groups, some of the common hand signals are :

Arm outstretched at about shoulder height = turning.

hand pointing out to side at waist height = rider moving over or preparing to pass someone on that side.

Hand waving low to side or pointing to road = an obstacle to be aware of on that side of the rider but not directly in the current riding line.

Left Hand waving behind riders back = merge over to the right to avoid obstacle in current riding line. Can also mean go single file.

Right hand waving behind riders back = merge over to the left to avoid obstacle in current riding line. Can also mean go single file.

Hand behind seat with palm facing out = slowing or stopping.

And one I saw for the first time today....

Hand straight up in the air with a closed fist = slowing or stopping.

Whenever I join a group for the first time I try to sit at the back and get a feel for not only the hand signals they use but their voice calls too...remember if you're confused by their signals and calls, then chances are they'll be confused by yours too. Best to play it safe until you are all speaking the same lingo.


Anthony

Thanks for the post. I agree, it might be better to sit down the back of a group and watch what they do. The stuff you posted is interesting, I saw the "single file" hand signal today and wondered what was going on :lol:

Another one was a little like a one arm "breast stroke" manouvre. Hand out to the left side and then it curled back like the stroke indicating obstacle we were to go around was up ahead.

Anyway, all good fun...

CHeers..Pete
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Postby inaminit » Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:25 pm

Another thing...with your voice calls keep them loud, clear, calm, simple and relevant.

For example, if you're at the back of the group you need to keep an eye behind you and inform the group of vehicles approaching from behind. Normally this is done by calmly, clearly and loudly calling out "car back" as the vehicle approaches to pass the group so the riders in front know to stay left and not try any passing moves which would put them into the path of the passing vehicle.

Unlike a guy this morning who screamed out in a mad panic..."there's a car coming from behind, there's a car coming from behind, look out there's a car coming from behind".

When we heard this mad panicked call, we immediately expected some drunken hoon coming to run us down so we dove in as close to the gutter as we could and slowed dramatically expecting the worse.

The guy, then flew past the lot of us, still screaming about the car coming from behind sending the group about 25 metres in front of us diving for the gutter as well.

After a few seconds hugging the gutter waiting for this manic driver to come clean us all up, nothing happened. We then heard the guy who was now at the back of the line say "your kiddin me...Roll on". Ends up that the car was some guy driving very sensibly and slowly, and even by then it was still a good 25-30 meters behind us.

When we got back up to speed it didn't take long to catch the guy who gave the paniced call and the riders at the front made sure he knew how to call out in future.
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Postby stryker84 » Sun Dec 09, 2007 5:13 am

The other important one, for etiquette's sake is the one fingered point, or for some, the "gun" signal, towards any potential obstacle, e.g., potb=hole, glass, piece of crap on road, car in side street, etc.
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Postby tuco » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:27 am

inaminit wrote:Hand waving low to side or pointing to road = an obstacle to be aware of on that side of the rider but not directly in the current riding line.

And one I saw for the first time today....

Hand straight up in the air with a closed fist = slowing or stopping.


The open hand waving horizontally like a magician doing a magic trick in our group means gravel on the road or some offensive scatter like broken glass.

The hand up closed fist guy must be military or been watching too many war movies.

Another one is the arm above your head, open hand or pointing finger with the arm moving from back to front. Used if in a large group and the light changes to orange and there's no hope in hell of the front riders stopping without causing a 20 bike pile up.

The single file one we use is moving your arm backwards and forwards parallel to the bike. I rode in a different group yesterday and a guy did that and he was actually pointing out a couple of obstacles.

I don't know about other groups but we usually have verbal commands with the signals, EG STOPPING, GOING (if a red light changes green as we're approaching it), CAR - direction, name of obstacle, SINGLE FILE, etc. Even calling out that your moving up on the left or right of a rider so they know your there.

The biggest safety feature we have in a group is our voice. Even if someone isn't looking out for a hand single, they WILL here a voice.
I think we can do better. I KNOW we can do better.
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Postby inaminit » Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:24 pm

Agree totally with Tuco. Voice signals should always be the primary signal used, as there will be times when you physically can't get your hands off the bars in time to give a signal, or it's too dangerous to do so, particularly when cornering at speed.

A few weeks back in a group of about 6 I was in 2nd wheel, we took a corner at speed. The lead rider couldn't get his hands free mid corner, but still yelled "glass". I replied "found it" the rest of the group had a good laugh.

On another note...if your only new to group riding, especially if your still relatively new to riding, I would actually recommend using voice signals only and not hand signals until you are confident and capable enough to hold a straight line and maintain your speed while removing your hand from the bars to give a signal.

A sudden swerve from a rider in front can actually do more damage to the riders behind than the obstacle you are trying to warn them about.

I had a bad habbit of verring right if I removed my left hand from the bars (probably too much weight transfer). So on my solo rides I'd practice holding my line while giving left handed signals. It probably looked a bit funny to passers by, but it was well worth it.
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