Roadie Hand Signals

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  • Roadie Hand Signals
  • mrmo
    Member

    the left/right hand behind back thing doesn’t mean turn right/left IME. What it means is i am moving in this direction and so should you, ie pulling out for a parked car, pothole etc etc.
    A proper hand signal would confuse a driver but it is not for their benefit it is for yours. If you are riding on wheels you soon understand why the hand signals are important.

    What it means is i am moving in this direction and so should you, ie pulling out for a parked car, pothole etc etc.

    Yep. I do it automatically now and feels unnatural not to signal if there is another rider behind.

    tlr
    Member

    That particular signal is nowt to do with turning right. It means moving out to avoid parked car/slower rider/ pedestrian etc, and telling those behind to do the same.

    As far as I am aware turning right is still signalled in the usual fashion.

    clubber
    Member

    As above.

    But be wary of hand signs. They can be different in different areas… Something I keep finding out when I go road riding in Northern Ireland.

    pointing down (left or right) – pothole/obstruction
    pointing with open palm and shaking – gravel/leaves/poor road surface/diesel
    pointing behind back – I’m moving this way, follow me and for god sake don’t half wheel.

    bike/car/horse/pedestrian down (in front) or up (coming from behind)

    its for everyones benefit, in a group you cant really see or hear whats going on so are relying on those in front to warn you.

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    Some of my road riding mates use these signals when we’re out on the MTBs. Unfortunately they are about as much use as a chocolate fire guard to me as I have no idea what any mean! I’d rather just stick with shouting “car”, “dog sh*t” etc etc…

    mrmo
    Member

    I’d rather just stick with shouting “car”, “dog sh*t” etc etc…

    which then leads to the question where?

    which is the point of the signals, it doesn’t really matter what the problem is most of the time just where is it and where to go to avoid it.

    Yes it can be confusing for an MTBer who has little road experience, but it does make sense to understand a few basics.

    bigG
    Member

    thisisnotaspoon – Member
    pointing down (left or right) – pothole/obstruction
    pointing with open palm and shaking – gravel/leaves/poor road surface/diesel
    pointing behind back – I’m moving this way, follow me and for god sake don’t half wheel.

    bike/car/horse/pedestrian down (in front) or up (coming from behind)

    its for everyones benefit, in a group you cant really see or hear whats going on so are relying on those in front to warn you

    This, except we also use calls of nose and tail to warn of vehicles and hazards to the front or rear, we also use “coming through” to warn of vehicles overtaking the group.

    Ahhh, I see. That makes a lot of sense – thanks chaps. Guess my confusion arose when I see some guys use these signals, but then don’t use any signal for turning right/left at all! But anyway, I should probably start helping other riders out with these signals too.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    Is the shark thing just American?

    I ride solo 90% of the time but have seen most of the others used by groups.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    It’s so ingrained with me I often catch myself doing them when on solo rides or at the back of a club run, mind you I generally indicate in the car as well even if there’s nothing else about through habit.

    I’d rather sit far enough behind that I can see what’s ahead, rather than relying on deciphering someone in front that I don’t know. There’s enough to concentrate on when commuting without that nonsense.

    Either that or get past them.

    It all gets very confusing if you take up road cycling after doing a lot of white water canoeing. If you took up canoeing after being a roadie then it would be downright dangerous.

    When kayaking people always signal the route to take, whereas roadies point to the obstruction.

    Chances are that if a roadie paddled a rapid and then signalled his buddies to run it he’d point to the monstrour pourover/strainer/rock and carnage would ensue.*

    * assuming reliance on signals rather than words

    why’d you say it twice?

    I didn’t
    I didn’t

    I’ve been commuting to work again recently in the Big Smoke, and I’ve noticed a lot of riders using what I assume are roadie club run hand signals (I’m not in a club, you see, and I brake all ‘the rules’). So, if they are turning right, rather than stick their right arm out, they use their left arm behind their back and point right.

    Someone can explain, I’m sure – but I’m guessing this reduces your drag when signalling and also stops you inadvertently punching a passing club mate as he comes through?

    Which is all well and good. But on the commute, will car drivers understand this?

    EDIT: sorry, just realised I put this in the wrong section. My bad.

    jonba
    Member

    It all gets very confusing if you take up road cycling after doing a lot of white water canoeing. If you took up canoeing after being a roadie then it would be downright dangerous.

    When kayaking people always signal the route to take, whereas roadies point to the obstruction.

    I did just that, I can bunny hop, it helped.

    I would never follow a wheel commuting. I get annoyed when people do it to me. In a race or club run then fine, we all know the score, but not if you are a stranger – equivalent of tailgaiting and can be dangerous in traffic.

    Also there is no need to shout. Riding with good riders in my club you don’t even need signals you just follow the wheel. They move, you move and everyone is happy. You need to trust them though. I have never understood why when I ride with the a group of newbie roadies or mountainbikers they seem to shout about every car ahead or behind, It’s a road so it comes as no suprise.

    smiffy
    Member

    Doesn’t the palm of your hand showing from behind mean you are overweight?

    Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    Does anyone else do “dead badger on the left/right”? With left/right hand pretend you have a sock puppet opening and closing its mouth.

    We have a lot of dead badgers on the roads round here.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    American version of the same thing:

    Most of the signs are basically the same except for what they use to say “slowing down” is what we use to say “moving out around obstacle”.

    You sometimes get regional variation and the most confusing one is people calling “car up” – some groups use UP to mean behind, some use it to mean in front.
    Hand signals are there to avoid the need to shout cos if a rider at the front says “car up” or “stopping” or “pothole” all the guy at the back hears is “ah uh”.

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    I’ve never really gotten the pothole signal. Some roadies I’ve ridden with point out every single bump in the road, to the extent that they spent most of their time with one hand on the bars. If there’s a big pothole then I can see the point, but otherwise isn’t it just increasing the likelihood that they’ll lose control and potentially cause a crash?

    elliptic
    Member

    the most confusing one is people calling “car up” – some groups use UP to mean behind, some use it to mean in front.

    This. I try and stick to “car front” and “car back” instead.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    crazy-legs – Member
    American version of the same thing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVHs6RSlhhE

    I’d already beaten you to that 😉

    mrmo
    Member

    but otherwise isn’t it just increasing the likelihood that they’ll lose control and potentially cause a crash?

    you can ride with one hand on the bars you know?

    But yes it can get a bit much sometimes, thing is you know some egit will whinge because they crack their carbon rims on the one pot hole that wasn’t pointed out 🙂

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Nobeer – need to get you back in the velodrome soon and get that knocked out of you 🙂

    In seriousness though, agree with most of above, with signals being for the benefit of riders behind. The one I hate is when riders in front of a group don’t call potholes 🙁

    Some very amusing comments in here. 😀
    I agree about not tailgating when commuting, I find it very annoying when people do it to me. But people have obviously been signalling to me when I’m behind, even though I’m 2 or 3 bike lengths away – either coming up to overtake, or having been overtaken by them. All the more amusing as my old banger of a road bike has an adjustable stem all the way up, flat pedals, odd wheels that don’t match anything and I ride with shorts over lycra and non shaved legs. This made me assume I’d broken so many rules that I looked like the roadie equivalent of a travelling circus. But maybe I’ve been adopted by them like some kind of ugly duckling.

    I’d rather sit far enough behind that I can see what’s ahead, rather than relying on deciphering someone in front that I don’t know. There’s enough to concentrate on when commuting without that nonsense.

    It’s not a commuting thing through, it’s a roadie thing. I find myself sub conciously doing it on my own! I don’t mind people following my wheel, if they’re crap and try and half wheel they’ll end up in the ditch, it’s unlikely to bring me down.

    Doesn’t stop me speeding up to try and drop them though!

    TiRed
    Member

    For potholes, we try and call “inside” and “outside” depending on which line is riding over them. We point to them too.

    Pointing L/R means going to move out or back in.
    Waving hand L/R behind means move out NOW!
    Hand down is slowing usually called as well.
    Arm up is stopping, called as well.

    Turn signals are as per hte highway code.

    I don’t mind people sitting behind me and signal automatically without thinking.

    Premier Icon Mad Pierre
    Subscriber

    Forgive my further ignorance of roadie stuff but: what does “half wheel” mean?

    lemonysam
    Member

    Riding with your front overlapping the rear of the person in front – i.e. the forwardmost part of your front wheel is ahead of the rearmost part of their rear wheel.

    If the person in front moves into you whilst you’re halfwheeling they’ll take out your front wheel and hence probably also your teeth.

    See:
    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ0KrDOpdYw[/video]

    trail_rat
    Member

    “I would never follow a wheel commuting. I get annoyed when people do it to me. In a race or club run then fine, we all know the score, but not if you are a stranger – equivalent of tailgaiting and can be dangerous in traffic.”

    this – although its even more mental in sportives.

    So how do you signal to car drivers that you’re pulling out to avoid parked cars? I use the turning right signal for two reasons – firstly that is what was taught in cycling proficiency when I was a nipper, and secondly because that’s what drivers will understand. After all, cars only have one set of indicators for all actions of this nature.

    So if you’re otherwise using roadie signals, and you indicate right to simply move out, this would confuse other roadie cyclists that you are actually turning right. But if you instead use the arm behind the back signal, the car drivers won’t understand you and run into you. Paradox?

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    If you’re indicating changing direction to a car then yes stick your hand out horizontally as that’s the gesture they’ll recognise, it’s confusing on a club run though as generally means you’re going to turn that way (next junction) not that you’re avoiding a pothole etc.

    As for what potholes to point out, it’s a tricky one, too few and someone can have an accident, too many and it’s tiresome + people will probably start ignoring you (and then risk an accident). Personally I work on about 20cm either side of my wheel, if the pothole/hazard is outside of that then you’re on your own. as for size I generally just go off whether I hit it unexpectedly with only one hand on the bars if I’d likely lose control (or if it looks likely it could cause a blow-out), I know that’s subjective but it works OK most of the time (trickier on night rides as it’s hard to tell the depth of potholes so I end up pointing out a lot more).

    Premier Icon ransos
    Subscriber

    bike/car/horse/pedestrian down (in front) or up (coming from behind)

    Yep, except as noted elsewhere it varies – some people call “car back” when it’s coming up from behind.

    CTC types call “easy” when they’re slowing down for reasons lost in the mists of time.

    lemonysam – Member
    Riding with your front overlapping the rear of the person in front – i.e. the forwardmost part of your front wheel is ahead of the rearmost part of their rear wheel

    That’s overlapping wheels. Half wheeling is constantly upping the pace to stay half a wheel ahead of the person your riding beside when at the head of the group.

    TiRed
    Member

    So how do you signal to car drivers that you’re pulling out to avoid parked cars?

    If i’m on my own, or last in the group, I signal as per the highway code with arm out at 90 degrees.

Viewing 35 posts - 1 through 35 (of 35 total)

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