by Timothy S. Oey, 1988
A little care, can make a world of difference. Think of those around you. Safe bicycling is a state of mind, not just compliance with the local traffic regulations.
Most club bicycle rides are a challenge in group riding skills. Often, cyclists are more hazardous to other cyclists then cars are. Good group riding skills can make group rides much more enjoyable and significantly less dangerous. The key to good group riding is being predictable and communicating with the other cyclists around you.
Hand signals are a good way to communicate your intentions to both cyclists and cars, and they are required by law. But often your hands may be occupied or it may be difficult to warn of an impending road hazard with hand signals.
Voice signaling is a simple and very useful riding technique which you can use to communicate with your fellow cyclists. Some common voice signals are:
Car Back - a car is behind you and is trying to pass. Upon hearing this, all cyclists should quickly single up (ride single file) and move as far to the right as possible.
Car Up - a car is coming from ahead.
(Passing) On Your Left - very useful, lets cyclists, runners, and walkers know that you are about to pass them. When using this one, be careful around people who may not be familiar it (such as many of the people walking along the Charles River Bicycle path).
Slowing, Stopping - these prevent cyclists behind you from running up against your rear wheel
Left, Right - use these to supplement turn signals or to warn people of an immediate and quick turn. Also use these when it is not possible to use hand signals.
Bump, Glass - these warn cyclists behind you of impending road hazards. You can also use your hands to point out avoidable hazards on the road such as pot holes, gratings, etc.
The above voice signals are meant as a general guide. Feel free to improvise as the situation merits.
Don't be shy. When you see some hazard approaching, let yourself be heard. I do. And remember to think of those around you.
Copyright © 1988 Timothy S. Oey.
Permission granted to reprint or excerpt as long as it is attributed to Timothy S. Oey.
Last updated 2000/11/24