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Old 08-11-06, 02:33 PM   #1
Alox
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Hand Signal for 'straight ahead'?

We all know the had signals for left and right turns and stopping on a bike, but lately I've had a couple of experiences where I've felt the need to communicate to motorists that I intend to proceed straight ahead, such as when approaching a four-way intersection with a green light, where the oncoming car may cut you off if they try to make a left. Whether or not the motorist is signalling a turn seems to be an un-reliable indicator around here.

When I am approaching an intersection that I intend to go straight through, and I feel I need to communicate this to other people, I've adopted a signal that pretty much consists of a 'tomahawk chop' with my left hand, fingers pointing in the direction that I intend to go, and repeated for 4 or 5 'chops'.

Does anybody else use a signal to communicate their intention to go straight ahead?
Is there an official / traditional signal for this?
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Old 08-11-06, 02:37 PM   #2
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i usually just scream out NO BRAKES!!!
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Old 08-11-06, 02:49 PM   #3
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With a flat hand and edge forward, start a little in front of face, make a chopping motion forward and down, ending with fingers pointing forward.

Last edited by cc_rider; 08-11-06 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 08-11-06, 03:03 PM   #4
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With fingers pointing up, lower all but middle finger to indicate using the center lane?
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Old 08-11-06, 03:55 PM   #5
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I sometimes do point my hand across the intersection with all fingers together (so as not to be mistaken for an obscene gesture), if it looks like it would help people know what I'm going to do. I might try a new variant where I point them at my chest, then point them across the intersection, to communicate more clearly that *I* am going *there*.

A particular place where this is useful is our 4-way stopsign at 37th and Perry. Perry goes straight through, but the two pieces of 37th don't line up with eachother, they're offset by about 10 meters. So even if you're going "straight" on 37th, you have to make a left swerve as you go through the intersection.

Overhead view of it: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...06738&t=k&om=1
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Old 08-11-06, 04:12 PM   #6
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make it too complicated and people won't get it (or maybe they will get that "centre lane" signal). Just point where you're going. Make eye contact as you do.

Last edited by cooker; 08-11-06 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 08-11-06, 04:48 PM   #7
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In as much as there is no signal necessary to procede straight ahead while traveling your course, only to turn or stop, is there a need to confuse those enrobed in steel, glass and plastic with extranious gestures that only we as a community would understand?

My thoughts are, that as I'm crossing the center of the cross street others will understand by my lane position that I'm going straight. If not, I then become a hood ornament, and if possible I'll deal with the situation accordingly. If not, there's gonna be one heck of a party in a couple days
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Old 08-11-06, 07:35 PM   #8
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I do the same signal you do Alox.
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Old 08-11-06, 08:07 PM   #9
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On the occasion where I feel some indication is neccesary, such as dual directional lanes with painted arrows I make sure I look the most neccesary driver in the eye and point forwards in a way they can see.

I've also found that when a lane change is nessecary but not actually a turn in that direction is communicates better to just point at that lane rather than stick the arm right out.

I realise there is some inconsistency with the prescribed signals and presumption of direction in the absence of any signal. However, I've found that most drivers are perceptive to the fact that you are trying to communicate and interpret from the variation. Given that communication on the roads is almost always linked to a form of motion they usually get it.
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Old 08-11-06, 08:59 PM   #10
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I've also sometimes felt like I wanted to do this, but never have, and agree intellectually that it would probably just confuse people. I think just making eye contact while continuing in a straight line is usually sufficient. If someone looks like they are actually considering turning into my path, I've also found that adding a stop signal, taking my left hand slightly off the bar and facing the palm toward them, is very effective, especially combined with a "you don't really want to do that, do you?" look. (While simultaneously checking my escape route!)
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Old 08-11-06, 10:48 PM   #11
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I move into the center of the lane, put my hands over the brakes prepared for emergency braking, and pedal without accelerating so it looks like I'm not slowing down.
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Old 08-11-06, 11:57 PM   #12
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point and shoot, just point and shoot -


most people can pick up nuance of hand gestures, esp. at slower intersection speeds. but keep aware, what looks like recognition may be annoyance in the windshields....


works real well in the tight congestion of city riding, also country road ambiguities, and pedestrian interactions...

and my favorite way of signalling forward.....sitting straight up, both hands off the bars pointing in my preffered direction.....

Last edited by Bekologist; 08-12-06 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 08-12-06, 08:59 AM   #13
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Tomahawk Chop*

* For added effect, sing the war chant in conjunction.
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