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  • Writer's pictureSwimBikeRun Fun

10 Cycling Group Ride Hand Signals (Most Popular)

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Swim Bike Run Fun Saturday Group Ride in Pflugerville, Texas
Photo: Swim Bike Run Fun Club Saturday Group Ride in Central Texas

Info For Endurance Cycling & Group Pack Riding

Before joining any group ride, make sure that you and fellow riders understand the rules of the road. That way, the entire group will be able to ride safely. After all, group riding is not about speed and adrenaline rushes!

It's essential to ride close to other riders to minimize drag and conserve energy. This saves energy and can lead to complex interactions among the riders and teams. In addition, the term 'peloton or pace line' can also refer to a community of cyclists riding together in uniformity.

Cycling Group Ride Hand Signals

Cyclists love group rides on the weekends. Our ride crew enjoys sharing tips for safe group riding for new cyclists.

Unique things you can expect to be heard on a group ride:

Cyclists shout "On Your Left" to other cyclists (and sometimes runners) when passing.

In Group Rides, riders use hand signals to alert each other of danger.

Swim Bike Run Fun Weekend Group Ride Williamson County
Group Pack Riding near Jonah, Williamson County

The pack's front cyclist gives visual warnings to alert those behind. The warning is then repeated to the back of the pack so everyone is informed.

Cycling group ride hand signals keep the pack safe. Here are the most significant hand signs:

  1. Single Finger Pointed Up = Single File

  2. Finger Point Right/Left = Obstacle

  3. Fist in back center = stopping

  4. Palm down = collective slowing/stopping

  5. Waving finger/hand down Signifies lookout for debris

  6. Elbow Out: Pass me/pull/drop back

  7. Open arms left/right = group turns

  8. Open palm flat left/right = lane blockage

  9. Wave on = safe to pass rider

  10. Patting Right hip/butt = pay attention

When biking in a group, it's important to know these hand signs to avoid accidents.

Information shared must reach the back of the group for safety. If you're uneasy taking a hand off the bars in a group, yell/shout so other riders can be notified.

You must yell to alert the group to a hazard, pace change, or nearby car. Call out potholes so riders behind you can avoid them.

Safety Audibles heard on group bike rides:
"Car up!" "Clear" or "car back!" alerts others to approaching automobiles.

Casual group rides may have a fixed itinerary, route, and pace. Hold your line in your group when near other riders and/or stay 1-2 bike lengths apart if you are new to pack or pace line riding.

TIP: Your first few group pack rides should be slow and steady.

WARNING Don’t Overlap Wheels

Try not to let the front of your wheel get ahead of the back of the one directly in front of you. Even if you can anticipate and avoid a swipe across your front wheel, doing so might require a jerk backward—right into the front wheel of someone behind.

And, just like when you’re driving a car, learn to maintain the right distance behind traffic ahead while keeping your eyes trained farther up the road.


It's not only about cycling group ride hand signals: Learn the route beforehand. Knowing what to expect, being prepared, and knowing the pace will make any group ride "wheeely fun"


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