Jeff Miller, Maine bike advocate that instigated this option. As a young kid, the revision was relieving :-)
We've probably all seen the several kinds of signalers out there. Those who don't, those who do sort of timidly, and then the overzealous. I have always considered hand signals mostly a way for cyclists to communicate with motorists and protect themselves, but until this weekend I hadn't really thought about cyclist to cyclist communication.While riding back to Nagoya after Nuts!Fes, we fell into a column of about 15 cyclists biking close together along the paths and roads in Nagoya, and biking fourth in the column I found myself faced with a pretty constant stream of hand signals from the rider ahead of me. I recognized the right and left arms outstretched, and quickly learned the others. As I figured them out it became pretty clear these were well known by the other riders and I wondered if they were Japanese standard signals.
right turn: right arm extended
left turn: left arm extended
stopping: hand open, palm out flat on lower back
slowing down: right hand down by saddle
keep left (oncoming traffic): right hand down by saddle waving left. I didn't see keep right (in Japan you ride on the left) but I imagine the same but maybe inverted
obstacle coming up (pot hole, post, ledge): right hand down, pointer finger pointing down
and my favorite and most complex
left-turn followed by a U-turn (instead of using the car turning lane at an intersection to turn right, turning left, pulling a Uey and waiting at the light): right hand turn signal, pointer finger out, an upward S flick with the pointer finger
Everyone in the line did the signals and we rode very smoothly. The communication was excellent and allowed us to keep together tight and only the head rider had to navigate, with no yelling or explaining turns and so forth.
I tried to find out if these signals were at all standard to Japan, but I could only find the 3 signals you're probably familiar with. Right, left and stop.
These cyclists from Nagoya had the bike to bike communication down to an art, and it impressed me and made me feel like, despite the language barrier, I was able to communicate quickly and effectively with the members of the group.
Ride with friends this week!