Calling Hazards And Obstacles....too Many Calls?


New Member
Oct 10, 2015
Went on a 80+km ride with social cycling group. Felt like a constant stream of people yelling "hole", "slowing", "gravel"!!!! with panic filled voices. Maintaining communication and pointing out hazards is important. But when is it too much???? Is there such a thing as too many calls?
I feel like it would depend on lighting honestly. From the sound of your experience, it would seem like your ride was during the daytime where all those obstacles are easy to see. During well-lit rides too many call outs become redundant and should only be saved for actual danger. During a night ride, where everything is now hard to see, the number of call outs should increase significantly. Still, if they are constantly calling out in a distressed and panicky voice then they should try to relax a bit because distressed call outs put everyone on edge which is even more dangerous than the perceived "danger" that they screamed about.
Professional bike racers expect the road to be swept and all hazards to be be marked. So they have good reason to call out unexpected problems.

But local rides should never need calling out. Everyone knows what the roads look like.

Even at night you just follow the guy in front and he gives wide berth to all hazards.
Like you say on a professional road racing event is would be expected for call outs to be made about debris in the road, but on a local ride it shouldn't really be a thing unless there is a major hazard up ahead like glass in the road or something, but even then it shouldn't cause too much of a problem and shouldn't warrant panicked voices like from a crew member of a bomber experiencing flak in some cheesy cliched war movie.
Hand signals should be enough, but even that can become excessive. Typically I signal for significant changes in the road condition. If we are riding on **** roads, I don't make an effort to call out each and every pothole or bump.

However, it the road is smooth and fast, I will call out for smaller obstacles.
Quote by Maydog:
"If we are riding on **** roads, I don't make an effort to call out each and every pothole or bump. Ohio you would need elbow joint replacement due to our **** poor roads. Yesterday we hit one county road that was so bad the two of us were forced to ride the centerline.

You just learn to sit NOT directly behind the rider in front of you and steer clear of hazards. Ride heads-up and alert.
Well, it's a lot better to be forewarned even if it's through loud and repetitive shouting. I'd choose that over becoming the next victim of an upcoming pothole that I may have ignored. But I guess, some folks can be a bit scary when they shout things at you abruptly, and it's difficult to discern exactly what they're saying.
I think those calls are sometimes out of excitement. I remember having a ride like that where once too often I would hear calls for obstacles that were not really hazardous at all. But I understand that those riders doing the call outs are an excited lot with their riding maybe due to the crowd of cyclists behind them. For me, those call outs are breathers.
I've definitely been on rides with very excessive call-outs. I personally only call out (and expect to be called out) something that can damage a bike or take a rider down. Every little road imperfection doesn't need to be called out.
Same with traffic: on a rural country road I expect cars to be called out (if possible). One of my pet peeves is when someone calls out every single car on a busy road (especially when we are riding in a bike lane).