Reading Cue Sheet



There is no standard format for a cue sheet.  There are many variations of the column’s order.

However, every cue sheet will suggest a logical way it should be read.  The layout may vary, but the cue sheet would have these basic features:


  • Distance: The total mileage ridden at the point of the instruction
  • Type: What to do at that location with a turn abbreviation or an arrow
  • Note: The cross street where a turn should be made or other instruction
  • Next: The distance to travel to the next turn or instruction 











Park Drive East



AC Powell Blvd




Gordon Place



Cue sheets use a common set of acronyms or graphic (with some variations; you will readily discern their meanings by looking at the roads for which they are providing instructions).

  • 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)
  • 1stR (2ndR, etc.), 1stL (2ndL, etc.) = Turn at the first (second, etc.) Right or Left
  • [email protected], [email protected] = 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)


So what do you do with all 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 take notice if the Distance on the cue sheet matches your bicycle computer.  After a while you may notice that the Distance 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 may vary a little.  Keep note of the difference.  You will have to mentally keep track of the difference.  Example:  At an intersection the cue sheet says that the Distance is 3.5 miles.  Your bicycle computer says that you have ridden 3.6 miles.  A difference of +0.1 miles.  It the cue sheet indicates that your Distance at the next turn is 5.5 miles you can deduce that your bicycle computer will probably read 5.6 miles at that turn. 

The best place for a cue sheet, particularly if you only have a bicycle computer, in attached to an inexpensive clip mounted on the handlebar. Reaching for the cue sheet is to be avoided.