Dan Henry

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Dan Henry (1913-2012) is the inventor of directional pavement markings commonly used to guide participants along the route of organized bicycling events. The markers themselves are usually called "Dan Henry Arrows".[1]

An example "Dan Henrys" for six different routes. All indicate the same direction of travel.

Originally, the markings consisted of a circle with a vertical line from the edge of the circle pointing in the direction of travel (straight ahead, left turn, right turn). Other common markings are a circle X to denote wrong way, and a circled horizontal line to denote caution.

Variations on the circle pattern developed to differentiate between different rides as more and more rides began to use the same roads. Variations include color, triangles, squares, letters, etc.[2]

Other cycling related inventions by Henry include front and rear suspension systems and the 'sling' saddle.[3]

Henry worked as a commercial pilot, starting in the 1920s, later on DC-2 and DC-3 aircraft and the Boeing 707 jetliner[4][5] .


The League of American Wheelmen awarded Henry its Paul Dudley White Medal in 1992[6] and a bike route in the Santa Ynez Valley has been named for him.[7]


  1. ^ Henry, Dan. "Bicycle USA, September, 1985" (PDF). League of American Wheelmen. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  2. ^ "Dan Henry Arrow—Illustration". Archived from the original on 2006-05-14. Retrieved 2006-05-28.
  3. ^ Fertig, Ralph. "Quick Release, July 1999". Sbbike.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  4. ^ "2013 Solvang Century Dedication, Solvang's Grand Old Man of Cycling". SCOR Cardiac Cyclists Club. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  5. ^ "Cycling legend Dan Henry to be buried Friday". Santa Ynez Valley News. Retrieved 2014-07-04.
  6. ^ Fertig, Ralph (1992-09-10). "Quick Release, October 1992". Sbbike.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
  7. ^ Wintermoss, Sandra. "Quick Release, October 1999". Sbbike.org. Archived from the original on 2014-07-17. Retrieved 2012-11-04.