21 Feb 2017
TIPS: 8 ESSENTIAL GROUP RIDING HAND SIGNALS: STAY SAFE AND LOOK PRO
Riding in a club or group is one of cycling’s great pleasures, but no-one needs to be nervous about the prospect of your whole mini-peloton sliding along the road in a mangled, out-of-control heap. Accurate, timely and clear signals are a huge part of staying upright and safe. Consequently, everyone from the pro peloton to the club newbie – and even mountain bikers transitioning on roads or savvy commuters alerting the wheel-sucker behind – must know what they’re seeing and how to react. It might look like high-speed tic-tac-toe to begin with, but you’re learn quickly with our of list of all the key signals…
#1 SIGNAL: Slowing down
A vital signal within the pack.
WHEN… you know you’re about to brake meaningfully. If there’s no time for the hand signal, use the optional call instead.
This signal is pretty well universally recognized – you pat the air with an outstretched arm, as if calming an animal. Make sure to hold your arm slightly behind you to give those following the best view, and pat your hand palm-down from the wrist.
Shout out ‘Slowing!’ in a sharp voice. It can give the others a vital extra second or two to respond, especially if they don’t happen to be looking at you at the time.
#2 SIGNAL: Turning
The most important signal for everyone outside the pack.
WHEN… you’re turning off one road onto another, particularly at dangerous left turns (right turns if you’re in the UK, Australia or other locations that rive on the left).
Stretch your arm out horizontally in the direction of the turn you’re planning to make. Do it in good time, and /always/ look behind to check the traffic has actually reacted before even moving to the center of the road – let alone actually turning. In busy areas it’s all too common to watch car after car simply overtake as you sit there with your arm out.
If you’re at the head of a big pack, lift your arm higher still and actively point towards the junction, so riders further back can see.