The Mechanic has been playing this game for over 20 years, he started it in his youth whilst cycling with a South London Cycling Club. Town sign sprinting is common amongst cyclists with a competitive disposition. The Mechanic has developed quite an elaborate point system, so much so that the game is now a little like scrabble on a bicycle!
The Point System:
- First rider to cross the town sign line = 1 point
- A town sign with two consecutive letters the same = 1 bonus point
- Multiple two consecutive letters the same are awarded further points, i.e. WOOTTEN BASSETT = 4 bonus points
- Twinned towns = 1 bonus point
- County signs = 2 bonus points
- For USA – State signs = 2 bonus points
Other rules to note –
Points are only awarded whilst cycling on the road, no points can be won when cycling on a pavement or cycle lane. Mr M. generally considers it bad form to sprint for the last sign at the end of the ride, the exception is if all sprinting parties are in the inner-ring, and in the smallest gear… but this is really only for the comedy spectacle.
It is also worth noting that stealth tactics can be employed. It is perfectly acceptable to distract a fellow cyclist from an upcoming sign, by engaging them in conversation or feigning bike or body malfunction. The sneakier the better.
You can also form alliances with fellow riders, and get a lead out, what you bribe them with is entirely up to you.
I’d love to hear if anyone else plays the town sign game.