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Old 11-20-04, 07:11 PM   #1
Jessica
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Forward signal??

Anybody else use a hand signal to indicate forward? I find that I want the cars to know that I am intending to continue forward (sorry, I don't "go straight") when there is an exit to the right, you know not a 90 degree turn but a veering off lane. I raise my left arm to 11oclock and point forward. Any other suggestions? Something that works for you??

Sometimes I think even cars should have an "I'm not turning" signal...
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Old 11-20-04, 07:28 PM   #2
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I hear ya.

I think no signal at all is best, since there is no recognized signal for "straight forward." The best thing I can think of is to move out into the forward-moving lane far enough to make your intentions clear.

The next best thing might be to signal "left" (United States,) as if you were going to turn left, then move left a little. I often signal "left" when I'm ready to move out into the center of the lane in preparation for changing lanes on a four-lane road. You would be, in effect, taking control of the lane for your protection.
Just be sure the motorist behind you is on the same page of music.
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Old 11-20-04, 07:40 PM   #3
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Read about this scenario in an authoritative book on cycling (Forester's "Effective Cycling," Allen's "Street Smarts," or Franklin's "Cyclecraft"). Moving leftward in your lane helps make your intentions clear, as does looking back. If you are moving from a bike lane into the main travel lane, a left turn signal is appropos.
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Old 11-20-04, 07:43 PM   #4
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No I don't use a forward signal

a) Never needed one
b) Like LittleBigMan said, there is no recognized signal for straight ahead.
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Old 11-20-04, 08:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I hear ya.

I think no signal at all is best, since there is no recognized signal for "straight forward." The best thing I can think of is to move out into the forward-moving lane far enough to make your intentions clear.

The next best thing might be to signal "left" (United States,) as if you were going to turn left, then move left a little. I often signal "left" when I'm ready to move out into the center of the lane in preparation for changing lanes on a four-lane road. You would be, in effect, taking control of the lane for your protection.
Just be sure the motorist behind you is on the same page of music.
Let me clarify what I said.

You don't need to move out into the center of the lane. Either move far enough out to make your intentions of forward-motion clear, or hold a straight line.

In most cases, any road that has a left-turn lane that diverges gradually also has wide lanes (in my experience.) You should be able to ride comfortably within a wide lane, far enough inside to show motorists that you are continuing forward in that lane.
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Old 11-20-04, 09:18 PM   #6
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I know what you're talking about, like a freeway onramp, and you're going straight ahead. I move just to the left of the bike lane's white line and point mostly straight ahead but a little to the left with my left arm.
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Old 11-20-04, 11:06 PM   #7
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Good idea to have some sort of hand signal for going forward. The problem with coming up with one is going to be one that motorists from all directions will be able to see, especially those behind you. The left turn, right turn & stop signals are pretty good at letting most if not all motorists seeing what your intentions are. Of course out of the original signals has come the signals of pointing to where you intend on going. Like changing from the right half to the left half of the lane to make a left hand turn, etc.

Does anyone know who originally came up with the 3 hand signals for cyclists? Maybe if we figured that out & contacted that agency a signal for going forward could be developed.
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Old 11-21-04, 01:20 AM   #8
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I never use a hand signal for this application, but I think it's a decent idea. Personally, I just send out that that "I have no intention other than steaming straight ahead" body language. I understand the concern, sometimes you sense that a motorist is unsure of your intentions and is looking for a signal from you before they decided what to do. The comment about lane positioning is apt--it's alot like they teach you in motorcycle training--lane position both communticates your intention to a motorist and increases your options as a cyclist. (If I am in the far left of a lane trying to communicae that I'm heading straight and a car still pulls out in front of me I'm in a better position to make an emergency right turn). Personally, when I want to commuicate that I'm continuing straight ahead, I give it that head down/I'm trying to get my first Tour stage win and there's a guy on the back of my right wheel/ears pinned back/sprint position--I think body language works better than a hand signal in this case and the driver will know you are going forward. Of course, you only make it appearas if you have tunnel vision. All the while you are really keeping an eye on the car(s) in question to make sure it/they isn't doing anything dodgy.

My opinion is that body language rather than a hand signal most effectively announces my intention of continuing along the present course of travel. It takes some acting to sell it, but I feel like the alternative (taking my hands off the bars to signal) communicates further indecision--(since such a move results in decreased speed, which is often interpreted as a precursor to turning)--exactly what I don't want to communicate to the car(s) in question.
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Old 11-21-04, 01:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica
Anybody else use a hand signal to indicate forward? I find that I want the cars to know that I am intending to continue forward (sorry, I don't "go straight") when there is an exit to the right, you know not a 90 degree turn but a veering off lane. I raise my left arm to 11oclock and point forward. Any other suggestions? Something that works for you??

Sometimes I think even cars should have an "I'm not turning" signal...
As others have said, I also don't signal that I am continuing forward. Cars assume you are doing so unless you signal otherwise - which is what they do for each other. Accidents happen when someone doesn't signal a turn or slowing/stopping (i.e. brake lights out). Annoyance happens when someone leaves their bloody turn signal on for 30 miles....
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Old 11-21-04, 03:01 AM   #10
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As others suggested, move left a bit.

But another trick that makes your intentions clear is the left turn signal (unless there is also a real left-turn intersection at the same time). Call that "positive reinforcement".
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Old 11-21-04, 06:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Becca
As others have said, I also don't signal that I am continuing forward. Cars assume you are doing so unless you signal otherwise - which is what they do for each other. Accidents happen when someone doesn't signal a turn or slowing/stopping (i.e. brake lights out). Annoyance happens when someone leaves their bloody turn signal on for 30 miles....
OMG! I just got a mental image of a cyclist signalling a turn for 30 miles now. Thanks Becca.
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Old 11-21-04, 12:45 PM   #12
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Easy. This only applies to cross traffic: Put your hand up like you are telling them to stop.

It makes it pretty evident that you aren't going to stop and that the person hesitates long enough to realize there is no time to dart in front of you. People don't realize road bikes can haul ass and this hand signal really works. It also makes it evident that you are a human communicating with them, rather than just an anonymous biker target.
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Old 11-21-04, 06:02 PM   #13
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OMG! I just got a mental image of a cyclist signalling a turn for 30 miles now. Thanks Becca.
You're welcome! And your icon is *perfect* for your message...

Seriously, I've seen this happen many times out on the interstate when my family and I were driving to visit my folks. I have found a method for waking these drivers up: get in front of them, and hit my turn signals. Three times one direction, three times the other. Pause. Repeat. Usually they realize they need to examine their own blinkers, and turn them off.
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Old 11-21-04, 10:35 PM   #14
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I just point up and forward in a sweeping motion with my hands a couple of times. I think it says pretty clearly that I'm going forward.
I started using it on group rides through the city at intersections in addition to yelling clear. Cause with all the wind noise and everything, I might be taking up a lead of a block or so and people might not be able to hear me if they're half a block behind me. At intersections, if I can see that there isn't a car for miles, I simply point forward. Sometimes if I'm feeling festive, I yell "CHARRRGE!" as I do it.
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Old 11-22-04, 11:52 AM   #15
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I also point forward, but keep my arm up sort of at an angle, so my hand is at about head level, so the cars in back of me can see what I'm doing.

I'm in favor of "CHAAAAAAAARRRRRRGE!"
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