Understanding the meaning of each of these signs not only helps you, but also your fellow riders and drivers. Please take a moment to review these signs as you will see them throughout the RAGBRAI route.
These commands should be sounded off to alert fellow cyclists that a vehicle is approaching from up ahead “CAR UP!!!!”or from behind “CAR BACK!!!”. Cyclists should ride with caution and attempt to ride as far to the right and single file to allow the vehicles to safely pass the cyclists. Be courteous to those that we share the road with!
Cyclists should never stop in the middle of a roadway or driveway. When stopping, you should signal and sound off, “RIDER OFF”. Cyclists should pull completely off the road and shoulder to not block the road. Cyclists should not pull into a driveway and stop as this is a danger to the cyclist and to motorists.
The solid yellow line indicates that it is unsafe for motorists to safely pass in this area because it is difficult to see oncoming traffic due to hills, curves or other challenges. Likewise, it is extremely dangerous for cyclists to ride left of the solid yellow or double yellow lines. Cyclists should ride always ride right of solid yellow lines!
Most bike accidents are caused by collisions with other bicycles or trying to avoid other cyclists. You cannot only injure yourself while riding, but you can also injure others by your unsafe riding. Please do not play around while on the road as people can be injured.
When entering the roadway, you should look to see that it is safe to enter the roadway and loudly sound off, “RIDER ON!!!” This lets everyone know your intentions. When stopping, you should signal with your arm straight down and your open palm towards the rear and sound off, “SLOWING!!!” and as you begin to pull off the road sound off, “RIDER OFF!!!”. Cyclists should pull completely off the road and shoulder to not block the road. Cyclists should not pull into a driveway and stop as this is a danger to the cyclist and to motorists.
You should ride as safely as possible to the right when possible. If you hear a cyclist sound off, “ON YOUR LEFT”, this means they are attempting to pass you on your left. Do not turn your head to the left to look as you could collide with the approaching cyclist, but rather acknowledge them with a simple “THANK YOU” and let them pass. Be courteous and let faster riders pass safely on your left. Do not force them into the left lane. If you want to hold a conversation, do not block the entire lane. Leave a passing lane in the right hand lane!
As a cyclist in Iowa, you are responsible to follow the same traffic regulations as other vehicles. Yes, bicycles are vehicles! This means stopping at red lights and stop signs, not crossing solid yellow lines and obeying all traffic laws.
Cyclists should always ride on the right side of the road. Since all roads utilized during RAGBRAI are still open to motorists, we cannot ride on the left side of the road as well. There are townspeople that need to get to work, farmers tending to fields and others that should not be hindered by cyclists taking up both sides of the road. Hogging the roads might anger motorists and create a negative image of cyclists in their mind. Be a good guest and share the road!
If you intend to pass a cyclist or group of cyclists, please be courtesy and sound off, “ON YOUR LEFT”. This lets them know you are approaching and intend to pass them. If you rapidly pass them without signaling, the cyclists could be startled and steer into you causing a collision that could have been avoided. Make sure you signal enough in advance that you do not startle them with your signal.
When stopping, you should signal with your arm straight down and your open palm towards the rear and sound off, “SLOWING!!!” and then “STOPPING!!!”. If you are pulling off the road, please sound off, “RIDER OFF!!!”. Cyclists should pull completely off the road and shoulder to not block the road. Cyclists should not pull into a driveway and stop as this is a danger to the cyclist and to motorists.
Dehydration is a big concern for cyclists. You should always drink plenty of water before, during, and after bicycling. A fatigued or dehydrated cyclist could cause injury to themselves or other cyclists. Even if you are drinking other fluids such as Gatorade, you should still be drinking water in addition to these fluids.
This informs motorists to expect very heavy bicycle traffic ahead. It does not tell the motorist that the cyclist has the right of way! It is there as a courtesy to the motorist and cyclists still need to obey the traffic laws of our State.
These indicate that a bike shop is ahead where you can take your bicycle for repairs and parts as well as merchandise.