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Gear Prudence: I always see cyclists making the old-school turn signals with their arms, where “left arm out” means left turn, and “left arm up” means right turn. Can we please update this? I realize this method was useful in cars before they came with blinkers, since people were signaling out of the driver’s side window. But for cyclists it seems unnecessarily confusing, given that we’re free to use both arms. We’re decades beyond the period when these signals were relevant. Can’t “right arm out” just mean right turn? —Try Upending Relics, New Indicators Now, Gang
Dear TURNING: Great news! No less of an authority than the League of American Bicyclists, which certifies instructors to teach proper bicycling technique, confirms that sticking your right arm out is a completely valid method for signaling a right turn. So feel free to retire the anachronistic and auto-oriented hand signals that only the most curmudgeonly driver’s ed instructor would think proper, and just do what makes sense. Point left, go left. Point right, go right. Signaling turns is a good habit, even if not strictly required, as it helps provide additional clarity in the absence of blinkers. Signaling left turns is especially useful because you’ll likely be crossing traffic coming from the opposite direction, and therefore will alert not only the driver behind you, but also the oncoming driver whose path you’re about to cross. Ultimately, it’s more about Not Getting Run Over than Doing It The Right Way, so convey your intention in whatever way you feel is best. —GP
Gear Prudence: I have a bike frenemy. We get along OK, but the main difference is that he rides an e-bike, and he conveniently ‘forgets’ to mention this on Strava when he logs his rides and shows up on leaderboards. So it looks like he is much faster than he actually is, when really his electric motor is doing all the work. I know this shouldn’t bother me so much, but I think it’s unethical, even if it doesn’t mean anything in the big picture. But he’s a jerk for doing this, right? —Cad Has E-bike And Temerity, Erroneously Records
Dear CHEATER: Sure, he’s a jerk. And you’re right, it doesn’t matter. Or does it? Falsely representing your bike prowess in a self-selecting group of people who feel very strongly about virtually documenting and promulgating their own rapidity is more than just a tiny peccadillo. It’s a willful misrepresentation and probably illegal. Jail time isn’t out of the question and you should send an all caps email to your local prosecutor about CYBERCRIMES and assiduously watch the local news for coverage of your frenemy’s guaranteed impending arrest. Or just casually tell him that he can mark his rides down on Strava as “e-bike ride” and not just “ride,” a setting with which he may not be acquainted. Either way, really. —GP