We’ve put together the following guide to commonly used calls. We’ve also included a description of hand-signals where appropriate. You’ll be familiar with most of these already, but in case you need a reference, read on…
|All-on||Question asked by riders toward front of group to confirm all riders in group are together, usually following a junction or a drag/hill. Should be answered by riders near back of group with “All On – Yes” or “All On – No” as appropriate.|
|Car-down||Used to indicate a car approaching from the front of the group travelling in other direction.|
|Car-up||Used to indicate a car approaching and overtaking group from the back of the group and travelling in the same direction.|
|Change||Used to indicate time to rotate riders at front of group; on this call rider on inside (left) at front should ease off slightly to allow rider on outside (right) to come across and take up position on inside; all riders on right of group should move up as appropriate|
|Clear||Used at a roundabout or junction to indicate to those behind that it is safe to proceed (e.g. no traffic coming).|
|Moving Out||Used to indicate group should move out to centre of road usually to pass / avoid an obstacle or other road user e.g. walkers; parked car, etc. Helpful to call out object e.g. “moving out – parked car”; “moving out – jogger”
Hand signal: put arm behind your back and wave in direction of moving.
|Notch||Used to indicate to riders at front of group to slow down to allow a split group to reform e.g. if one or more riders got detached due to a junction or incline.|
|Ramp||Used to indicate a ramp ahead in the road.
Hand signal: extend arm up and down to indicate ramp
|Roundabouts||At Roundabouts the call should be made in advance of roundabout indicating which exit the group is to exit e.g. “2nd exit; 3rd exit”. Otherwise and well in advance of roundabout, call “straight through roundabout”; “left at roundabout” or “right at roundabout” as appropriate.
Where more than one lane at roundabout Group should occupy lane appropriate for how exiting (i.e. as if driving a car) – left lane for left turn or straight through; right lane for right turn.
|Shore||Used to indicate a manhole cover or similar hazard in the road; usually accompanied by location of hazard e.g. “shore left” to indicate by kerb/ditch; “shore centre” if in middle between riders; “short right” if to right of riders.
Hand-signal: extend arm and point toward direction of hazard
|Single File||Used to indicate to group to file out into single file, usually if road is narrow, and to allow oncoming traffic pass safely or to allow traffic from behind pass if it has built up (NB: this call is to be used only rarely as it is nearly always safer for group to ride 2 abreast and for cars to wait for a safe opportunity to pass).|
|Slowing||No explanation needed; usually used when approaching a junction, roundabout or obstruction on the road; begin to slow and be prepared to stop if required.
Hand signal: extend arm and move up and down
|Standing||To indicate rider is going to get out of saddle and “stand” on pedals; usually used when climbing and leads to a temporary slow down of rider as they transition from seating to standing.|
|Stopping||Again clear what this means; used when stopping at STOP sign, lights or stopping for any other reason.
Hand signal: extend straight arm upward, palm open.
|Surface||Used to incidate a rough or uneven patch of road or other similar hazard (e.g. chippings); again usual to indicate direction e.g. “surface left”; “surface cnetre”; surface right”
Hand signal: extend arm in direction of hazard and move hand from side to side / up and down to indicate uneven surface
It is very important that all riders through the group repeat any calls made. Many calls start at front of group and it is important that all cyclists through group repeat the calls as those at middle and back of group are unlikely to hear the call of front riders. This works equally from back-to-front.
Cycling Ireland have also detailed a list of frequently used calls and hand signals as part of their Cycling Ireland Guide to Cycling on the Road – a very useful document and well worth a read.
Some of the Cycling Ireland calls may be a little different to those used by CCC. If there’s any confusion or conflict, the CCC calls detailed above are the official CCC calls and should be used.