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Hand Signals


In a standard staggered formation, you should be 1 to 1½ seconds behind the staggered bike in front of you, which would put you 2 to 3 seconds behind the bike directly in front of you.

If you like to ride slowly or are new to group riding get up front in the formation. Those who like to ride fast should ride in the back. New riders may think they want to ride in the back, but the reality is just the opposite, they need to be near the front.

Spread out a little around tight corners.  Most will need a little extra space.  We don't want anyone riding off into the ditch.

No horseplay!.  People should also not slow way down from the group, then zoom back up to the group.  While it may be fun to goof around with your bike when you're alone, it can create problems with the safety of the group.

Below are some more common hand signals used when riding in groups sponsored by Fairfax VA H.O.G.:

Start Engines:  With right or left arm extended upward, move index finger in a circular motion.
Also means: "Prepare to start rolling!" - for example when a red traffic light is about to turn green.
Stop:  Extend left or right arm at a 45-degree angle downward with the palm facing rearward.

Slow Down:  Extend left or right arm at a 45-degree angle, and move hand up and down. Tighten-Up:  Raise left arm with fist clenched, and repeatedly move the fist up and down.  Indicates leader (Road Captain) wants the group to reduce separation between riders.

Left Turn:  Raise left arm horizontally with elbow fully extended. Right Turn:  Raise left arm horizontally with arm bent at elbow 90 degrees vertically.

Hazard Left:  Option #1:  Extend left arm at a 45-degree angle and point towards the hazard.  Option #2:  Shake and/or point to hazard with left leg.  (This is good to use when you shouldn\'t take your hands off the handlebars.) Hazard Right:  Option #1:  Extend right arm at a 45-degree angle and point towards the hazard.  Option #2:  Shake and/or point to hazard with right leg.  (This is good to use when you shouldn\'t take your hands off the handlebars.)

Single File Formation:  Position left hand over helmet with index finger extended upward.  Indicates leader (Road Captain) wants group in a single-file formation.  Usually done for safety/road conditions. Staggered Formation:  Raise left arm well above shoulder with left hand showing index and pinkie finger extended, and continuously rotate hand.  Indicates return to staggered formation.
Images courtesy Ann Arbor American H.O.G. Chapter.
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