Cycling Cue Sheet Abbreviations
About 3 years ago I gave up on creating cue sheets for bike rides I was doing. The cue sheets had become redundant for me since I could map my rides using an online route planner and download the file containing the route into a Garmin GPS device which would provide me with ride navigation. I thought the need for cue sheets was finally over. No more dealing with awkward sheets of paper on fast paced rides. No more need to print documents and waste paper. No more need to always be looking for street signs in order to know when to turn.
But recently I have gotten involved in doing rides with Randonneurs USA. And cue sheets still play an important role within that organization. The members are allowed to create their own rides (routes) and are expected to share them with others by creating cue sheets. Such cue sheets can be used to create a Garmin GPS file with an online route planner tool. Or, as many of the members do, those cue sheets can be used like they were originally supposed to be used: as a navigation tool while riding a bike. When creating good, informative, and descriptive cue sheets I think the best abbreviations to use are as follows:
L – Turn Left. There might also be a number in front of the L to indicate 1st Left, 2nd Left, 3rd Left, and so on.
R – Turn Right. There might also be a number in front of the R to indicate 1st Right, 2nd Right, 3rd Right, and so on.
S – Continue Straight. This typically will be used when a street name changes, or when passing some point of interest landmark.
X – Cross. This typically will be used when crossing a “significant” road or landmark such as a river. Maybe the road is significant because it is an interstate highway? Maybe it’s significant because the next turn is unmarked without any street sign?
BL – Bear Left. Similar to Turn Left (L), but not nearly as blatant of a turn. Also used when you need to go straight, but the road you are currently on is bearing right.
BR – Bear Right. Similar to Turn Right (R), but not nearly as blatant of a turn. Also used when you need to go straight, but the road you are currently on is bearing left.
TL – @ T Intersection Turn Left. You will only make your turn when you get to the end of the road you are riding on.
TR – @ T Intersection Turn Right. You will only make your turn when you get to the end of the road you are riding on.
@SS – At Stop Sign. A landmark at an intersection where a turn is being made. This abbreviation can be added to any of the above-listed abbreviations, but usually is only used with either L or R.
@TFL – At Traffic Light. A landmark at an intersection where a turn is being made. This abbreviation can be added to any of the above-listed abbreviations other than @SS, but usually is only used with either L or R.
ETS[ ] – Entering Town Soon with the name of the town in brackets.
Climb – Start of a climb worth mentioning.
Ctrl[ ] – Location of a Controle with its number in brackets. For each controle the following should be provided: name, address, phone#, store hours, open stats (date, time), and close stats (date, time).
aka – Also known as. When making a turn there typically is a street sign present naming the street/road. That name should be listed first regarding the turn, but the street or road might go by other names “down the road” so to speak. Or the road may have both a name and a route number it goes by like NJ-32 (New Jersey State Road 32), PA-29 (Pennsylvania State Road 29), I-95 (Interstate Highway 95), or CR-518 (County Road 518). These other names should be listed as well regarding a turn, but after an “aka” abbreviation.