Bike Language: the Wave, the Yell and the Nod


Publication:
Date: 
July 14, 2008
City cycling can be hectic. Let's be realistic: most American cities are not meant for cyclists. It would be great if they were, but for now, our city forms are primarily designed for the movement of cars.

Because cities are made for cars, it's understandable that car drivers tend to disregard the fact that somebody might be riding a bike out there. (Interchange blogger Mike Lydon recently wrote an excellent piece about planning for bicycle networks.) Until our urban forms and public policies encourage the use of roads by a variety of transportation types, the burden is on cyclists to assert their role in the transit jungle. Communication is key to achieving this goal. Safe cycling (and safe transportation in general) relies heavily on communication. Safe cyclists speak bike language -- a rudimentary system made up of three main components: the wave, the yell and the nod.