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Old 08-12-10, 06:50 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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Do 50+'rs Signal While Bicycling?

When riding solo or not in a pace line, how many of you 50+'rs signal when

*slowing down or stopping on a MUP or street

* Tuning right or left - on a MUP?

* Turning right or left on a street/highway?

* Changing lanes?

Sometimes, never or always?

In Colorado, you may legally signal a right turn by pointing to the right with your right hand. Can you legally do that - do you do that - in your state?

Anyone use or consider bright or flourescent gloves to show your signallling better?

Anyone use signal turning lights? Brake lights?

Do you find a change in signalling habits as you grow a bit older?

Any other thoughts about signalling or situations when you signal?
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Old 08-12-10, 06:56 PM   #2
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I throw out a black gloved hand out of habit. I have rarely had any body sneak up on me and I don't use a mirror. I do try to communicate in my own limited way to the cars that I am here and worth negotiating with.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:02 PM   #3
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I'd rather the cars had an idea of what I'm going to do, just like I like to have an idea what they're going to do. Hands pointing out from the bike convey a lot of information.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:22 PM   #4
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slowing down or stopping - yes

* Tuning right or left - yes

* Changing lanes - yes

I signal for just about everything, in fact. Whenever there is a car within view, I attempt to make some sort of gesture. This includes when they approach from behind, too.

I also wave "thanks" when they are considerate and I wave when they pass and I wave - alot. I'm nice like that.
Yes, I said it... I wave at cars.

We share the roads, cars and cyclists. This may seem a naive approach to some cyclists, many of whom feel the need to be hatin' on cagers.
Me, I see it as non-adversarial, more of a partnership - even if the car drivers are not aware of it just yet.

I also wear red gloves, bright shirts and a fluorescent "doo-rag" to enhance visibility. On top of all this, my big Clydesdale @ss makes me pretty hard to miss.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:30 PM   #5
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Lots of hand signals when riding in a group, almost never when riding solo.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:38 PM   #6
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Always. A bicycle is a VEHICLE, after all. (Student of John Forester.)
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Old 08-12-10, 07:39 PM   #7
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Whenever another vehicle (car) is around, I consider it an act of self-preservation!
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Old 08-12-10, 07:46 PM   #8
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yeah, I'm a signaler. Mostly ride solo and on the road so signals are for the cagers. Like dahut, I wave to drivers that show me some consideration. I figure if I want to know what other users of the road are doing, I ought to signal my intentions as well.
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Old 08-12-10, 07:59 PM   #9
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Yes. I signal my moves whether riding solo or with a group. The legal right turn signal in Georgia is a raised left hand. I point with my right hand. No lights or special equipment.
I also signal to cars when it is unsafe for them to pass me, like when I can see oncoming traffic that they can't. Sometimes I will signal when it is safe to pass if the car is being held up behind me.
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Old 08-12-10, 08:06 PM   #10
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So, what about MUPS?
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Old 08-12-10, 08:10 PM   #11
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I don't ride MUPS or so-called "designated bike paths" - at speeds over 20 mph they're just not suitable/safe for you or anyone else using them.

I rather "do it in the road".
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Old 08-12-10, 08:11 PM   #12
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I signal turns & lane changes on the road, not on bike paths. And I don't signal slow/stop. In NY the correct right turn signal is raised left hand - I usually point to the right...
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Old 08-12-10, 08:17 PM   #13
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I will signal when I am in traffic with autos but in the morning on my commute when I am about the only one on the road,no but in town definitely. We are supposed to use hand signals. I am amazed at the amount of youngsters say under 21 that don't know the proper hand signals.
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Old 08-12-10, 08:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
So, what about MUPS?
I rarely ride them. Not many opportunities to signal turns on the ones I've seen. I signal slowing or stopping if anyone is there to see it.
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Old 08-12-10, 08:36 PM   #15
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I take a quick look and if there is traffic I signal, otherwise I usually don't.
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Old 08-12-10, 11:51 PM   #16
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I always signal - being predictable is a good way to avoid collisions. I also wave at motorists if they stop to let me thru an intersection; never hurts to increase goodwill.

I could never understand the motorist right turn signal (left arm raised) used by cyclists. The reason motorists signal a right turn with the left arm is because only the left arm could hang out the side of the car back in the pre-turn-signal days. Cyclists can signal right turns with their right arms, and it's way clearer (unless the motorist is on your left, in which it doesn't really matter to that motorist what you're going to do anyway). Indeed, if you're in the forward crouch position low on the drops, the guy behind you doesn't know if you're signaling a right turn or drinking from your bottle; the upper part of your left arm is not visible!

In pace lines, my favorite signal is for railroad crossings - the arm back with the fingers crossed.

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Old 08-12-10, 11:56 PM   #17
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I signal turns when riding in traffic.

I don't signal slowing or stopping, except in a pace line w/other cyclists.

There are also a couple of oddly shaped intersections that I cross on my bike from time to time when I *know* the cars stopped at the lights can't figure out which way the cyclists are supposed to go. I will often just stick out my arm and point dramatically at the point I'm headed for. Seems to help.
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Old 08-13-10, 12:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badamsjr View Post
Whenever another vehicle (car) is around, I consider it an act of self-preservation!
I always check behind if turning to make certain I can move out. Self preservation is the right term for this. Signals are always made if traffic is about to let them know what I am doing. But also for pedestrians and other cycles. Same if I am overtaking parked cars.

I think the important thing is to let other road users know what you are doing. One thing I hate as a driver is to have vehicles in front of me suddenly do things without warning. And that includes Cycles.
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Old 08-13-10, 04:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciocc_cat View Post
Always. A bicycle is a VEHICLE, after all. (Student of John Forester.)
Well, at the risk of having the Mods move this to the Vehicular cycling sub-forum of A&S I will endeavor to correct your misunderstanding of John Forester's position regarding hand signals. John F. does not advocate the use hand signals in all situations where they are required by law. In fact he strongly discourages them in some situations. For example, here is his description of a low speed lane change taken from page 309 - 310, Effective Cycling, 6th Ed. (bolding mine):

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Low-Speed Lane Changes

Imagine yourself riding near the curb on a multi-lane highway in heavy traffic. You see ahead a lot of cars flashing for a right turn, and you suspect that it is a slow right tur that is holding up traffic. Naturally you want to move from near the curb into that line of traffic before you reach the point where they turn across your path. If possible, you would like to get into the next lane over, where traffic moves steadily instead of in starts and stops.

You can't just move left - there is a solid line of cars backed up. So you must persuade some motorist to let you in. You ride about 2 feet from the line of cars at their speed, and position yourself next to the gap between two of them. As you ride, you must watch the car ahead. If the car moves right, or moves right and slows down to park, you must avoid it.

Start alternating your glance from the back of the car ahead to the front of the car behind. Turn your head quickly and look to its driver, then back to the car ahead, then back to the driver behind you. That driver has seen you, all right - the distance between your faces is no more than 8 feet - and your position, speed, and questioning look have told him that you want to get in front.

You have now asked the question "will you let me in?" Notice that you have obeyed the spirit of the vehicle code while disregarding its specific requirement to make the left-arm signal. You have notified the only driver you affect by moving to the proper starting position and looking at him. There are two reasons why this way is better than using the arm signal. First, looking behind puts you in the position to receive an answer, whereas the arm signal makes looking harder. Getting the answer is what will save your life, not making the signal. Second, the traffic situation might suddenly require both hands on the handlebars and brakes, which makes you discontinue a hand signal even though you still want to move left. Even though you may resume the signal, you have conveyed the undesired message of irresolution and incompetence, when you wanted to convince the driver that you know what you want to do and how to do it, and that you will do it in an expert manner.
What John recognizes is that even though bicycles are a vehicle there are a few differences that actually do require us to behave differently than other vehicles if we want to be safe. One of these differences is that bicycles do not have turn signals and thus require one hand to be taken off the bars to signal a turn, stopping, or lane changes while at the same time requiring both hands on the handle bars to maintain control. Other vehicles do not have to make this choice between signaling and maintaining control. So, while the general principle of vehicular cycling dictates that bicycles behave like other vehicles there are exceptions and signaling lane changes is one of them. Note the law also recognizes this - bicycles are unique among vehicles in that they are required to signal lane changes only if "any vehicle may be affected by the movement," whereas other vehicles are always required to signal lane changes even when there is no other traffic. For turns bicycles also have an exception that recognizes this difference "further provided that a signal by hand and arm need not be given continuously by the driver of a bicycle if the hand is needed in the braking, control, or operation of the bicycle."

Ok, I'm just clarifying what John F's position is on this and what the law actually requires for signaling since this issue was raised by ciocc_cat. I am NOT criticizing what anyone actually does (including ciocc_cat) as indicated by any of the responses to the OP's question. So please don't take offense and turn this into the sort of tirades that A&S threads almost always turn into.
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Old 08-13-10, 04:04 AM   #20
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*slowing down or stopping on a MUP or street----- NO

* Tuning right or left - on a MUP?
No

* Turning right or left on a street/highway? Yes at times, I want to let close cars to know where I am heading so they can react accordingly.

* Changing lanes? No, can not think I ever really change "lanes"

Sometimes, never or always? So sometimes I do on the road and I would have to say never on the MUP I use from time to time.

98% if rides are solo too.
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Old 08-13-10, 06:30 AM   #21
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Turning: Always
Slowing down: Only when riding with others
Waving Thank You: Always for drivers who are considerate (positive feedback to keep it up)
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Old 08-13-10, 06:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akohekohe View Post
So please don't take offense and turn this into the sort of tirades that A&S threads almost always turn into.
A very "special" sub-forum...

As I originally posted a lot of my signalling is just habitual. I find I do it even when I know I am the only moving thing on the road and, like BD notes, I signal a right by pointing with my right hand. Whoever wrote the rulebook did so for cars...

I have rarely ridden in the kind of situation akohekohe included in his post but when I have I probably did just what he described. The key is to communicate your intentions and get a response of understanding in a situation like that. Nothing "habitual" about it. I'll shout to get another's attention if I have to.
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Old 08-13-10, 06:38 AM   #23
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To answer my own question, I almost always signal - especially on MUPS - which we have a lot of excellent ones and I ride a lot around here. We have enough bicycles traveling at higher speeds and passing without "on your left" or whatever, and we have many trails that take off left and right from the main trail, that if I don't signal it seems that I am invariably surprised by someone right there on my tail or ovetaking me. I have had a couple of close calls when I haven't signaled.

I signal on the road, especially to change lanes. Although I turn and look, I find that I, at least, have a "blind spot" - perhaps due to my greater stiffness at 70 years old?? In any event, I both look and try to make eye contact AND signal. Even when I was using a mirror, I still found a blind spot.

I signal for slowing down, right and left, and for waving hello. I almost always wave a "thank you" when a car has made room for me or waited for me at a crossing. I point with my right arm for a right turn, and in other situations, I use my arm to indicate my expected progression - if appropriate.

I am a great believer in eye contact when either driving or bicycling. If I can't see their eyes looking at me (they are on a cell phone or watching the kids in the car), I simply stop or take other evasive maneuvers. I am the product of a number of defensive driving courses, and that is one of the things they teach you - eye contact is critical.

So, there

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Old 08-13-10, 06:40 AM   #24
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I also wave at motorists if they stop to let me thru an intersection;
Yeah, I do that too.
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Old 08-13-10, 07:31 AM   #25
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I use hand signals when appropriate when riding on the road. To answer the OP's question, yes, Massachusetts law permits signaling with either hand. I use my right hand, arm out straight, to signal a right turn. I don't think anyone around here knows what the left arm, bent up at the elbow, means. It's one of those things learned for a license road test, then promptly forgotten.

When approaching peds on a MUP, I use my bell. State required that an audible signal be given when approaching peds from the rear. Saying "Left", or "On your left" just doesn't seem to work very well.

One of the big problems today is that a lot of peds on a multi use path are totally engrossed in their cell phone conversations, or whatever is on their iPods. As cyclists, we simply have to keep the speed reasonable, and compensate.

I've been running my Planet Bike blaze headlight in superflash mode during the day. This seems to help matters in all situations, on the road, or on a MUP. Give it a try if you don't believe it.
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