For the next few weeks, we’re going to focus on communications. Most accidents occur because of a lack of good communication. Verbal commands are important and we will cover them over the next few weeks, but let’s start with hand signals.
REMEMBER, if the road is too rough or if you don’t feel comfortable taking your hands off the handlebars, and you need both hands to ride, please don’t use hand signals. Maintaining control is paramount and trying to give a signal when you are not sure you have total control, can lead to a more dire result.
I know there are variations, but on TeamCBC rides, let’s use the following signals:
1. RIGHT TURN – Put your right arm out parallel to the ground.
2. LEFT TURN – Put your left arm out parallel to the ground.
3. SLOWING – Put your arm straight down with your palm facing backward. This can also mean stopping, but let’s stick with slowing.
4. STOPPING – Put your arm behind your back in a fist. I’ve also read where this can mean a hazard in the direction your elbow is pointing, but I’ve never seen anyone do that.
5. HOLE or HAZARD – Point to the hole or hazard as you approach it.
6. GRAVEL – Put your arm out with your palm facing down and wave it.
7. CHANGING LANES – Point at a downward angle either right or left to indicate that you are moving to an open spot.
8. MOVING RIGHT OR LEFT – Put your arm down with your palm facing towards you and move your arm back and forth. This is to move the group to avoid an upcoming rider(s) or hazard.
9. MOVE UP – Put your arm out and wave it forward. This is when you want a rider to move past you.
10. COMING OFF THE FRONT – Pat your backside with your hand. This can also mean pay attention or warning. Ultimately, you’re saying “Pay attention, I’m doing something different”.
11. TRACKS – Put your arm behind your back and make the “peace sign”. Wave your arm up and down.
Let’s use them out there so everyone can have a safe, as well as fun, ride.
Quote of the week: “When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise, you’re not riding hard.” ―George W. Bush (Former US President)