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Riding in Groups



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. 
 Shout: "Left Turn!"; or, "Right Turn!"


Turn Signal

 A few seconds before entering a corner turn:
Right or left arm horizontally-extended to indicate a right or left turn, respectively.
 Shout: "Left Turn!"; or, "Right Turn!"

(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.
 Shout: "Slowing!"; or, "Stopping!"

 (Avoid making an abrupt deceleration, particularly while braking with one hand.)


 Leader riders (group) are to do a full-stop at stop signs (and regather pace-group together); this is not a race!



 A few seconds before the encounter 'point' toward the ground on the side where an obstacle-to-indicate is soon to be. 

 This signals an obstacle, (such as, a pothole, a sewer grate, a manhole, a vehicle, a pedestrian, bridge railing, impeding sign).

 Shout an appropriate descriptor. 

 While approaching a pedestrian (from-behind), shout to that one, "On your left!" or some similar warning-to-them.

 Also, steer well-clear of it, early; so, anyone following you may maneuver around it.

 Also, waving your forearm behind your back signals to move away-from 'this' side. 

 Rider(s) further back in a group may choose to take-the-lane while approaching any obstruction; thus, allowing one(s) further forward to do so, 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 (such as, a pile of detritus, leaves, or whatever).
 Shout: "Gravel!"; or, "(appropriate descriptor)!"
 Also, steer well-clear of it, early; so, anyone following you may maneuver around it.
 Any rider near the end of the line may choose to take-the-lane, while approaching any hazard; thus, allowing one(s) further forward to do so, more confidently and safely

Echelon paceline


 A paceline-in-a-crosswind may form a diagonal line, inline with resultant wind vector (a combination of wind and motion). 

 The lead rider should be toward the upwind side of the line so to allow others enough space to ride safely within the echelon. 

 Depending on width-of-lane: an echelon may be limited to less than total number of riders!  In that case, more than one echelon-group may be maintained.  Perhaps only two riders may rotate turns-of-pace (also called 'pulls'). 

 Generally, it is best to do this maneuver with no significant traffic, while riding on wide paved areas, known as 'Wide Outside Lane (WOL): Avoid it in heavy traffic; and, on 'blind' curves.

Relaying a
(Swing Off)
 It is done to indicate completion of a turn-of-pace (also called 'pulls') for your paceline or echelon group....
 Choose a side: Look to which side of you the next/following cyclist is going along. This is often on the downwind side in crosswind/echelon situations. 
 Flick your elbow to the (left or right) side, a couple of seconds before moving sufficiently off-the-line, away from the side you flicked-to. (This maneuver is called a 'swing off'.) 
 If the follower is directly behind; it is often preferable to move to the right side: Flick to the left; then, soon 'swing off' sufficiently off line to right-hand side; this would tend to make 'm pass you on your left side.
 Shout: "Your turn!", "Go ahead!", "Pull through!", "Take the lead!", or, something to indicate you have completed your 'pull'; then, slow slightly, perhaps sitting-up; go to your paceline-place, as one(s) immediately behind you pass your flicked-to side.   Resume 'drafting,' (also called 'slipstreaming')
 However, if some have almost 'kept-up' and lost the slipstream, but are likely to 'catch' with you as a drafting partner; then, you may slow enough to allow 'm catch-up with you.  Then, together you work as a team to try and rejoin the group. 

Basic Announcements


(You-name-it) Up

"Rider Up!" or "Walker Up!" (or, some similar phrase) may be shouted when there is rider or pedestrian along your way, whom you will be overtaking a Cyclist or Walker, 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 Left!"; while a car is approaching, with right-of-way.

Slowing / Stopping

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


“Rolling!” or "Going!" 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 almost any circumstances, as it only encourages illegal and risky behavior, (such as, running stop signs or red lights).

[The exception to the rule to not announce "clear" may occur when the turns-of-pace are as quick as possible, (that is a constant through-and-off): When communicating to the current paceline leader that you have moved sufficiently behind to allow that one to crossover to your line without touching wheels and begin moving rearward. Even then, it is not expected to be announced each time, once rhythm is well established.]

League of American Bicyclists Five Rules of the Road

and, Colorado Department of Transportation Colorado Bicycling Manual.

"15 Tips for Riding in Paceline" by John Mash

League of American Bicyclists: Essential Bicycling Skills

FCCC - Fort Collins Cycling Club

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