4 Basic Hand Signals You Should Know when Riding in Groups

bikingRiding in groups has its advantages, but you have to be cautious to get the most of the experience. According to law, you need to follow the basic guidelines when it comes to group riding. One of these things is hand signals.

Communication plays a huge part in making group rides safer and more fun. So, it pays to be familiar with the following hand signals to get your cycling experience rolling:

Stop Signal

Hitting the brakes without warning, especially when you are in front, can lead to pile ups and even injuries. Warn those riding behind you whenever you have to stop by putting your behind your hand back and making a fist. When you are following someone, be ready to follow suit when you see the one ahead of you flashing this sign. Another stop sign example is raising a hand straight up in the air.

Slow Down

Particularly when navigating a downhill slope, most riding groups break into separate ranks or ride with considerable space ahead and behind them to manage the speed better. In such cases, it is best to look at the leader to know when to slow down. The leader usually extends one arm and makes a gentle gesture, which mimics patting a dog.

Avoid Road Hazard

When you are at the front, it is part of your responsibility to look out for possible road hazards. Potholes or bumpy parts can cause damages to your bike and cause injuries. As soon as you see an obstacle, extend your arm and point down the road where the obstruction is. It is advisable to call “below” to grab the attention of those riding behind you.

Making a Turn

When making a turn, you have to slow down before you give the directions. Extend your left or right arms depending on the direction you intend to turn. Do this at least 10 yards before you make the turn.

Safety should be your top priority when you ride in a group. Even if there is someone in front who is leading the group, you have to be accountable for the other riders in the group as well. Discuss your route and other details before you hit the road to ensure a great riding experience. Plus, according to many bike experts, make sure your ride has the proper components to avoid road mishaps.

About the Author

As a New York-based psychologist. Thelma Scott has conducted several seminars tackling adult autism.