Riding in Groups

Hand-and-Voice Signals


Turn Signal

 A few seconds before entering a corner turn:
Right or left arm horizontally-extended with forearm bent-upward: to indicate a left or 
right turn, respectively. 
 Combine this with: "Left Turn!"; or,
"Right Turn!" (shout).


Turn Signal

 A few seconds before entering a corner turn:
Right or left arm horizontally-extended to indicate a right or left turn, respectively.
 Combine this with: "Left Turn!"; or,
"Right Turn!" (shout).

 Note: A bent-arm turn signal may be unclear, or not be visible, further back.


 A few seconds before the maneuver:
To indicate to cyclists behind: you are slowing; or, intend to bring your bicycle to a complete stop, very soon.
This gesture may be made with either hand; and, should be visible to a cyclist immediately behind you.
Combine this with: "Slowing!"; or,
"Stopping!" (shout).

Note: Avoid making a very sudden stop, braking with one hand.


 A few seconds before the maneuver: This signals an obstacle: pothole; sewer grate; manhole; (parked) vehicle; 'passing' pedestrian(s); bridge railing; impeding sign; or, before such.

 Combine this with:
"On Your Left!"; or, "(appropriate descriptor)!" (shout).

 Also, steer well-clear of it, early; so, anyone following you may see (that), past you.

 Also, waving your (same) arm behind your back; signals to move away-from this side. 

 One(s) backward may choose to take-the-lane, while approaching any obstruction; thus, allowing one(s) forward to do likewise, more confidently and safely.    

Loose Surface

 A few seconds before the maneuver: T
his signal is to alert cyclists of a hazard which may cause traction-loss: pile of detritus; leaves; and, so on. 

 Combine this with: "Gravel!"; or, "(appropriate descriptor)!" (shout).

Anyone near the end of the line may choose to take-the-lane, while approaching any such hazard; thus, allowing one(s) forward to do likewise, more confidently and safely


 Paceline-in-crosswind may form a diagonal line, in line with resultant wind vector -- a combination of wind and motion.

 Depending on width of lane: Echelon may be limited to less than total number of riders!  Therefore, more than one echelon may be maintained, in larger grouping.

Relaying a
 Paceline or echelon: To indicate completion of a turn-of-pace for your (sub-)group

 Choose a side: Look to where (next) following-cyclist is. This is often on the downwind side; if in crosswind/echelon. 
 If the follower is directly behind; moving to right-hand side is often preferable.
 Flick your elbow to this side, (left or right,) a couple of seconds before moving toward that other side.
 Combine this with: "Go Ahead!"; or, "Pull Through!". 
 Slow, perhaps sitting-up; go to your paceline-place, as one(s) immediately behind you pass your flicked-to side; then, resume 'drafting,' (also called 'slip-streaming')

 Generally, it is best to do this maneuver with no/light traffic, while on wide paved areas: Avoid it in heavy traffic; and, on 'blind' curves.

Basic Shouts


(You-name-it) Up

"Rider Up!" or "Walker Up!" (or, some similar phrase) may be shouted when there is rider or pedestrian on a trail coming toward the group in the opposite direction; or, you will be overtaking a Cyclist or Walker in the direction the group is headed, soon.

"Car Up!" is shouted by someone of the group when there is a threat from a vehicle going the opposite direction.


One in the group may shout "Car Back!" when a vehicle is approaching from behind; and, is probably going to pass.

One in the group may shout "Car Right!", or "Car Right!"; while a car is approaching, with right-of-way.

Slowing / Stopping

"Slowing!," or "Stopping!"; if you are going to be quickly decelerating.


“Rolling!” is to alert any cyclist(s) behind you: you will be rolling-through an intersection where traffic may be intervening.

[Do not announce "Clear!", under any circumstances!]


League of American Bicyclists Five Rules of the Road

and, Colorado Department of Transportation Colorado Bicycling Manual.

Beach City Cycling Club: "Pace Line Basics" by Al Burdulis

"15 Tips for Riding in Paceline" by John Mash

FCCC - Fort Collins Cycling Club

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