Reading a Cue Sheet

The Cue Sheet

There is no standard format for a cue sheet. However, every cue sheet will have a logical way it should be read. The layout may vary, but the cue sheet should have these basic features:

  • Total Mileage ridden.
  • Direction of Turn.
  • Cross Street where turn should be made.
  • Distance to next turn or instruction.
DistanceType or TurnNote or StreetNext or For
0.3Park Drive East2.0
2.3AC Powell Blvd1.2
3.5BR  Gordon Place0.4
3.9Rest Stop1.0

Cue sheets use a common set of acronyms or graphics. You will readily be able discern their meanings by looking at the road intersection.

  • R, L = Right Turn, Left Turn.
  • BR, BL = Bear Right, Bear Left (i.e., turn is at a fork or at less than 90-degree angle).
  • SL R, SL L = Slight Right, Slight Left (i.e., turn is at a fork or at less than 90-degree angle).
  • SR, SL, ShR, ShL = Sharp Right, Sharp Left (i.e., turn is at a greater than 90-degree angle).
  • QR, QL = Quick Turn Right, Quick Turn Left (i.e., the turn will be less than 1/10th of a mile away).
  • R@T, L@T = Right at T-Intersection, Left at T-Intersection.
  • S = Straight.
  • X = Cross (a particular street, railroad tracks, bridge, etc.).
  • TRO = To Remain On (usually appears in the “Street” column).

Reading The Cue Sheet

  • From the start, proceed 0.3 miles.
  • Make a Left Turn onto Park Drive East.
  • Proceed on Park Drive East for 2.0 Miles (at this point you have traveled 2.3 miles from the start).
  • Make Right Turn onto AC Powell Blvd.
  • Proceed on AC Powell Blvd for 1.2 miles (at this point you have traveled 3.5 miles from the start).
  • Bear Right (slight right turn) onto Gordon Place.
  • Proceed on Gordon Place for 0.4 miles (at this point you have traveled 3.9 miles from the start).
  • At 3.9 miles you have at a rest stop.
  • Leave the rest stop and continue on Gordon Place for 1.0 miles.
  • At 4.9 miles you have reached the end of the route.

What To Do With This Information

  • First off you need at least a basic bicycle computer that gives you the miles ridden
  • Clear the bicycle computer (set it to 0) before you start your ride
  • As you start off on your ride take not of the distance to the Next Turn and Total Miles
  • When you have ridden that distance you should be very close to the turn – Make the turn
  • Take note at the distance to the Next Turn or the Total Miles
  • As previously done when you reach that distance – Make the turn.
  • Continue this process until you complete the ride. – It’s that simple.

Note: From time to time, compare the Total Miles on the cue sheet and compare it to your bicycle computer. After a while, you may notice that the Total Miles on the cue sheet may not exactly match your bicycle computer. Don’t worry, you did not do anything wrong. The actual distances to each turn and the accuracy of your bicycle computer will vary a little. You will have to mentally keep track of the difference. Example: At the intersection of AC Powell Blvd. and Gordon Place, the cue sheet says that the Total Miles is 3.5 miles. Your bicycle computer says that you have ridden 3.6 miles (a difference of +0.1 miles). The cue sheet indicates that the rest stop should be a 3.9 miles. Since your bicycle computer is off by +0.1 miles, when you reach the rest stop your bicycle computer will read 4.0. 

The best way to attach the cue sheet to your bike’s handlebar is with a cue sheet clip. You can purchase a cue sheet clip on line or at your local bike ship. You can also attach an inexpensive clip to your handlebar and clip the cue sheet to it.