Be a better cyclist – use hand signals


A good post, with good advice. I think I do pretty well when riding my bike around, but this is definitely something I could improve upon!

Originally posted on PedalWORKS:

I witnessed a cycling accident yesterday and it prompted this post.  It happened during my morning commute on a quiet section of a bikeway.  No automobiles, no pedestrians, just two cyclists in a hurry.  It was raining, cold and windy but the visibility was good and there was no traffic.  No traffic.  One cyclist was travelling quickly and on the back wheel of the rider ahead.  The lead rider decided to turn right and quickly slowed to make a sharp turn  The rider behind could not stop quickly enough, crashed into the bike ahead, both lost control of their bikes and fell to the ground.  Neither rider was seriously hurt but the incident could have easily been avoided.
Too few cyclists signal when they are turning, stopping or slowing downing.
Unlike an automobile, a bike is not equipped with stop lights that…

View original 111 more words

4 thoughts on “Be a better cyclist – use hand signals

  1. I totally agree with the need to signal… and I try to do so all of the time for left and right! But signaling a stop is often beyond my …skill? I *think* I need both hands on my handlebars while I am stopping the bike. I need to plan my stops further in advance, and I need more confidence!

    I love reading your posts – you eloquently express so many things in my life with your pictures! I, too, live with a hardcore cyclist / cyclocrosser. Thank you!


    • Hi there! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Yes! I feel the same way about signaling to slow down. I don’t think I have EVER done that. When I had road bars, I never felt comfortable take one hand off the bars. With flat bars, I feel better, but I still like to hold on at all times when in a congested area.

      They sell lights that you can put on the back of your bike that will light up, like a brake light, when it senses you slowing down! I’m saving up to get it because I know that I will never be good at signaling I’m slowing down, but still think it’s important to communicate.

      And thank you so much for those kind words! They really mean a lot to me. When I’m having a bad day, I come back and read these and it cheers me up :) so thank YOU!


  2. I wouldn’t know how to signal that I’m slowing down either. I think if you’re a club cyclist they have specific hand signals to indicate just about everything, but for most of us who just ride our bikes around town the only signals we (and anyone else around us!) know and understand are left and right turn signals. Furthermore, if you can’t slow down without the cyclist behind you crashing into you, the problem isn’t that you didn’t signal – it’s that the other cyclist was too close.


    • Very good point–not everyone will even know what the ‘stop’ and ‘slow down’ signals are :) not many people use them anymore.

      I also agree that, if a crash were to happen, it would definitely be the fault of the person who was behind. Maybe they were too close (as you said) or going too fast, or even just not paying attention.


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