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Understanding Hand Signals and Shout Outs

The purpose of these signals is that the riders can continue to ride at a steady pace and can ride round the smaller obstacles without constantly having to brake.  Sudden braking causes the most incidents in groups. Communication is key to a group ride. The roads are full of pot holes, signs, parked cars, animals etc. Visibility can be limited for cyclists in a group so riders should point out hazards to other riders and the group are responsible for passing the information up and down the group to keep everyone safe. 


Familiarise yourself with the signals and shout outs to enjoy your SGCC group ride experience.


Hand signals  

  • Pointing to ground – pot hole or obstacle on road.

  • Pointing to ground moving right and left – speed hump/sleeping policeman.

  • Pointing to ground in waving motion – gravel or bad road surface.

  • Left hand pointing to right behind lower back – parked car or hazard on left causing group to move out.

  • Right hand pointing to left behind lower back – obstruction on right hand side of road meaning group needs to move to left.

  • Hand extended up as if you are about it ask a question – we’re stopping

  • Arm flapping up and down as if you are trying to fly – we’re slowing down

  • Two riders both point to the ground between them - small obstacle or pothole, to ride one either side of.



Shout Outs


  • Car back – car approaching from back of group.

  • Car up – car approaching from front of group.

  • Car left – car coming from left at junction.

  • Car right – car coming from right at junction.

  • Hole, Gravel, Rocks – obstructions in road.

  • Walker, runner, cyclist – person on left hand side of road who needs over taking.

  • Clear – if the way is free from traffic at a junction.

  • Slow – reduce speed coming up to a junction or hazard.

  • Stop – we are going to have to stop.

  • Line-out/single out – move from two abreast to single file to let a vehicle pass.

  • On the Left/Right - A general warning of some kind of hazard – usually parked cars or pedestrians. 

  • Puncture - Let the others know and they will wait while you repair it. 

  • Horse(s) - Make sure that both the horse and rider are aware of your presence and if you are approaching from behind call out, hello or good morning, calmly, so not to spook the horse.


To be safe it is important to ride smooth, don’t over react, avoid hard braking, be alert as to what is going on up the road in the front of the pack, and anticipate what traffic will do.  Any members who do not support the safety of group rides through appropriate communication and signals should be reported to the committee, who will determine any action to be taken.

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