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Finger Down Signal?

Old 04-16-07, 09:05 AM
  #1  
Mr_H
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Finger Down Signal?

This may sound stupid question, but it's a new one to me. For the first time ever I hooked up with another rider while doing my weekend rail trail ride (I almost never see other bikers when I'm out). Because it was on the second part of our ride (30 miles total for me) and into the wind, we drafted off each other a bit (as much as I could, that old guy was strong). I have never riden in a 'real group' of even two people, although I understand the ideas behind drafting, being careful not to overlap wheels, etc.

While we were riding on the road, he would occasionally take his hand off the right handle bar and point to the ground with a single finger.

What does this mean? I know nothing about signals in group rides, so it confused me.

Any other common/useful hand signals one should know before getting into group rides (something I hope to do later this year).

Thanks
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Old 04-16-07, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr_H
What does this mean? I know nothing about signals in group rides, so it confused me.
I don't know the answer myself, but I'm glad you asked, since I didn't realize there were group rules to begin with. Good to know!
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Old 04-16-07, 09:21 AM
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I do that as a warning if I'm riding with others and there is something to be avoided in the road such as a broken bottle or nasty pothole.
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Old 04-16-07, 09:31 AM
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Over here, that's done to indicate a pothole or other potential hazard on the road. You're also expected to actually point at the problem, not just give a general signal for the sake of it.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by CdCf
Over here, that's done to indicate a pothole or other potential hazard on the road. You're also expected to actually point at the problem, not just give a general signal for the sake of it.
Means the same on this side of the pond as well.
OP, your new friend is an old skool group rider, he'll probably call out "Car Back" when he's in the rear of the group and notices passing traffic too.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AllenG
Means the same on this side of the pond as well.
OP, your new friend is an old skool group rider, he'll probably call out "Car Back" when he's in the rear of the group and notices passing traffic too.
Thanks for the info...makes sense.

I Actually call out car back if I'm in the rear, since I have a mirror and can give advance notice...I didnt realize it was old school
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Old 04-16-07, 11:38 AM
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I haven't ridden in a group in almost twenty years now, but it was the bike etiquette I was taught in high school.

Last edited by Allen; 04-16-07 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 04-16-07, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr_H
Thanks for the info...makes sense.

I Actually call out car back if I'm in the rear, since I have a mirror and can give advance notice...I didnt realize it was old school

no, old school is "buggy back"
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Old 04-16-07, 12:10 PM
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There are technically different hand signals for various hazards (pothole vs. glass vs. gravel, etc). I can't remember any of them. When in doubt, a cyclint pointing (or waving, or gesturing in some way) at something on the ground means "Don't run over that."
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Old 04-16-07, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG
he'll probably call out "Car Back" when he's in the rear of the group and notices passing traffic too.
That's standard procedure on our group rides.
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Old 04-16-07, 02:49 PM
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I hate when there is a continious line of cars and someone feels the need to hollar CAR BACK for each and every one of them.
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Old 04-16-07, 02:52 PM
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Yeah and besides, if you are last in line who is there to hear you?
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Old 04-16-07, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by veloGeezer
no, old school is "buggy back"
Come on veloGeezer! Us Pennsylvanians, and Bikeforumites who have ridden in Amish country know that's current school as well. That finger pointing to the ground around there is usually a warning about them road apples those "buggy motors" leave behind.
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Old 04-16-07, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by veloGeezer
no, old school is "buggy back"
I spend the whole year waiting for one of the centuries that I ride in just for the chance to yell "tractor up"...
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Old 04-16-07, 10:22 PM
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Pointing usually means that there is a small pothole or rock or something on the road.

Pointing and doing a circle motion with the finger means that there is a slightly larger pothole, boulder, roadkill, or something on the road.

Pointing in a long sweeping motion means that there is a really big pothole or parked car on the road, or that the road next to the curb suddenly ends and we've all got to swerve out to avoid it.

Putting your right arm in an L behind your back (pointing left) means that there is a parked car on the right and the group will all have to move out to the left.

Putting your left arm in an L behind your back (pointing right) means that there is a parked car on the left and the group will all have to move out to the right.

Depending where in the world you are "Car UP" could mean the car is coming toward you (North America) or up behind you (Europe).
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Old 04-17-07, 12:40 AM
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OK, so what does it mean when they give me "finger up"?
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Old 04-17-07, 03:15 AM
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It means Bill, it's time to find new folks to ride with.
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Old 04-17-07, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Stacey
Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun
OK, so what does it mean when they give me "finger up"?
It means Bill, it's time to find new folks to ride with.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Pointing usually means that there is a small pothole or rock or something on the road.

Pointing and doing a circle motion with the finger means that there is a slightly larger pothole, boulder, roadkill, or something on the road.

Pointing in a long sweeping motion means that there is a really big pothole or parked car on the road, or that the road next to the curb suddenly ends and we've all got to swerve out to avoid it.

Why make it so complicated. It doesn't matter WHAT you're trying to avoid - just avoid the damn thing!
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Old 04-17-07, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CdCf

Why make it so complicated. It doesn't matter WHAT you're trying to avoid - just avoid the damn thing!
Machka can certainly explain it herself, but I would guess that it's because she comes from a very experienced and disciplined form of riding. Randoneering ain't just about a pic-nic in the country.
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Old 04-17-07, 11:47 AM
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Why bother yelling car back? What are you supposed to do with that information?
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Old 04-17-07, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
Why bother yelling car back? What are you supposed to do with that information?
If you got anybody up ahead riding two abreast it lets em know it'd be a good time to single file it.
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Old 04-17-07, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by nick burns
If you got anybody up ahead riding two abreast it lets em know it'd be a good time to single file it.
OR if they are 3 or 4 or 5 wide but for some reason it dosen't seem to register with folks that do that.
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Old 04-17-07, 01:38 PM
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Why bother moving over? Shouldn't the car be "encouraged" to pass using the full lane and not by squeezing by the riders?
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Old 04-17-07, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
Pointing usually means that there is a small pothole or rock or something on the road.....
And you don't wait until the hazard is right next to you. You point a bit ahead of time, so there's enough time for the folks behind to react.
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