The club uses these calls and signals on all rides. When you're cycling in a group you can't always see the road ahead as clearly as you would when riding alone, so clear communication is essential for keeping everyone safe and moving efficiently, and that means learning a few simple hand signals and calls.
When the group needs to stop at lights or a junction, raise your hand straight up so everyone can see. Calling out 'Stopping' as well if you're braking heavily.
To slow the group down coming up to a tight corner or junction, put your arm out to the side and move it slowly up and down, while calling 'Slowing'.
To move the group out to the centre of the road to avoid parked vehicles or other hazards, point behind your back in the direction you need to move using the arm that's on the side of the hazard.
Point out potential hazards on the road surface such as potholes and drain covers that need to be avoided. Shout out "Hole" – or whatever other type of hazard is coming up.
If there's a patch of gravel (or something similar) that could be loose and treacherous, put your arm out and wave your palm towards the road surface. Give a "Gravel" shout to avoid any doubt.
Warn riders behind of features that run across the road ahead by pointing down at the surface and waving your hand laterally. Shout out the specific name of the hazard - speed bumps, cattle grid etc...
When you're approaching a turn, stick your arm out at shoulder height to indicate the change in direction. A "Turning" shout is often useful, particularly in a large group.
Shout out Car Up if there is an oncoming car that might be a hazard to riders behind on narrow roads. Not every oncoming car needs a call!
Shout out Car Back if there is a vehicle approaching from behind which might try to pass the group. When safe on a straight road, single out and let them through.
When you've done your time at the front of the group, flick your elbow forwards before moving. Flick your left elbow, if you want them to come through on the left. Look behind before you move!
At junctions call to the riders behind that the junction is clear. But use your own judgement - just because the rider in front says its clear you still need to look!
Start riding single file to narrow the group to allow vehicles behind to pass or where the road is very narrow. Raise one finger in the air and call 'Single'
If a gap opens up in the group, call Gap to alert the riders in front to slow the pace, so that the group stays tight on the road and is easier for cars to pass.
Start the group riding in pairs when safe on wider roads by raising two fingers in the air and call 'Double'