Sun Jul 19, 2009 9:20 pm
I had a wonderful visit riding with the Club on 2 weekend rides. It was like comiing home to ride familiar roads with familiar faces.
During one of these ride I notices a few riders calling clear in intersections. I wrote this article for the Pequot Cycling Club in CT and would like to share it with the MHCC.
When passing through an intersection, some cyclists callout " CLEAR!" Please stop doing this.
by Ronald Joe
" if there is no cross traffic. This is a dangerous practice that should be abandoned. It encourages riders to follow the leader, letting others do their thinking for them. Each cyclist is responsible for verifying that the way is indeed clear..."
"... Some riders will call out "CLEAR" to indicate that an intersection is free of cross traffic. Be wary of this signal as it is not always reliable. Do not depend on it. Check to make sure that the traffic is clear before you cross. If you feel compelled to use this signal, do so only when the traffic is clear for a distance. If the visibility is limited (because of a curve or hill) it is best to not give any signal. Let the other riders check for themselves..."
The "CLEAR" call was new to me when I started riding with the Pequots in 2001, even though I’d ridden with many other groups over many years. Then just recently, I heard it from a rider new to the Pequots. I asked him why he did it. His answer was the same as another friend who's been with our club for several years now, "I hear others do it." It is a common Pequot call, and over the years, I've watched many declaring "CLEAR!" What does it mean, and what should I do?
"Car UP, Car BACK, Car LEFT, Car RIGHT, TURNING, SLOWING, STOPPING, HOLE, TRACKS, HEADS-UP, LOOK, TAKE-IT; these calls alert riders to prepare or to take action.
The road, with that bend, curve, or rise hides a fast approaching car just out of sight. Approaching the intersection, it's better to; check traffic, the road, and be ready to slow or stop.
"CLEAR!" seems to be a restatement that a rider didn't get run down going through the intersection, "I am CLEAR." They’re NOT really promising; it's ok, follow me, I guarantee safe passage. “CLEAR’s” probably meant as a courtesy and with the best of intentions. Just as I’m certain, the explanations and apologies will be sincere... visiting the injured cyclist in hospital.