The WAVE (no, not at sports events)

Spring is here and that means taking the motorcycle out (actually I sit on the back while my boyfriend drives). I am new to the cycle world and actually enjoy it more then I thought I would, it’s amazing how much scenery I have missed while sitting in a car. I do have one major beef though…the wave! Who the hell started this annoying tradition. For anyone who does not know, you have to do this 2 fingers down kind of wave at EVERY bike that drives by you (although rumor has it Harley riders only wave to other Harley riders…there’s snobbery even in cycle world). Sorry but I’m not doing it…I drive a Mitsubishi car and I don’t wave at every Eclipse that drives by me. I am a very friendly person but this tradition is ludicrous.
(I’m close to buying a hybrid, does that mean I have to wave a green flag to every other hybrid driver)?


7 Responses

  1. The other day I was riding my bike ( Yamaha not Harley) and a on coming rider had an unusual wave that caught my attention. He put his hand in the position as if he was holding a gun and pointed it at me. Also being new to this world of street bikes I was at first a bit taken and if not a little fearful of this guys intentions. I new that I had not done anything to upset this guy and since my bike is all black and looks like a harley I knew it was not the snobbery you spoke of, I just passed it off as another freak. I continued to drive about another half mile and rounded a corner to come face to face with a police officer aiming a radar gun at me. Now all the bad feelings I had toward this other rider were gone and I actually felt like I wanted to turn around and thank him for warning me.
    As far as the wave at every bike you pass I must agree with you its a unnecessay and sometimes unsafe to remove your hand from the bike. I generally only wave if first the other guy waves and that can be frustrating waiting to see if he is going to wave. Another issue is the fact that I almost always ride by my self meaning not with other bikers and when I pass a large pack of bikes do I wave once or do I wave at each one as they pass. I some times find my self waving so much that it looks more like I am trying to shake something off my hand rather then actually waving. Oh well I am sure that I can not change everbody else and I will wave if I feel like it and not wave when I don’t.

  2. Uh…….yeah…..although this is a silly bit of tradition – simply put – it is the way that those of us who are in the “motorcycle fraternity” acknowledge one another. Fact is, not everyone rides, or even understands the mentality behind riding….the risk/reward/freedom factor. The rebellious/counter culture nature inherent in the tradition of riding – whether it be a Harley or a Rice Rocket….”the wave” is a simple acknowledgement amongst riders and while Harley rider’s typically don’t wave to “others” the same holds true for each cycle segment. Typically sport bike riders acknowledge other sport bike riders and ignore the likes of the Yuppie on a ton of chrome.

    And Dalia – at the end of the day it really is a fraternal “guy” thing – so it doesn’t surprise me that you would find it silly. Welcome, however, to the glorious world of riding, whether from the back seat or the drivers seat, there is no greater exhileration or sense of freedom than that which derives from the open road, the wind in your face, all of the senses firing and that soccer mom on her damn phone paying attention to everything but the road.

    Watch for the red & black flash when you are out this weekend…… That’ll be me throwing the two finger wave as I scream by.

  3. Kneedragger, I wouldn’t call it a “guy” thing, my boyfriend and his son also find ” the wave” annoying. I do agree with you though, it is a very freeing feeling, even for me a female who is not a soccer mom. There is nothing like it! And I will look for a red and black flash this weekend and I won’t wave because I will be too busy enjoying the scenery while listening to my ipod.

  4. leave it to kneedragger to
    1) speak on behalf of an entire group
    2) bash women
    3) go way over the top

    but he is a skilled rider.

  5. I simply push the envelop. 😉 No fear of controversy here Hills Local…….but you know that. Harsh on the use of “Bash” – but like Samantha tells me…..I just have to own it. As for going way over the top……it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t throw in the dramatic impact (in mockery) and make light of that which others may take so seriously. The human race is a perplexing entity which provides hours upon hours of amusement and entertainment for me. Vader’s spirit lives here. And no, it is not the embodiment of the Dark Side, but rather the raw Alpha Male Ora that the character personifies. Who doesn’t appreciate a hard core logic based, emotion deprived, bad ass! 😉 How is your efactor today?

  6. I personally think the waving concept is a bit off in practice and logic.

    To me it almost seems paradoxical. The acknowledgement of two bikers both being a part of the rebellious/counter culture with a wave (that KneeDragger mentions) sounds more like the Desperate Housewives waving at each other as they grab their mail in the front yard.

    Furthermore, socially we have all been taught to acknowledge others as a part of society through a wave. Therefore, by waving at eaach other, these riders are still complying with social standards and norms, and are not as rebellious as they may claim.

    By bikers creating a strata of bikers through waving at only those in their own “group,” it seems as though they are more like the very thing they are “rebelling” against. By “rebelling” against society, they in fact are conforming to each other and to social norms. They are “rebelling” because they don’t fit in and yet they don’t wave to other bikers because some bikers don’t fit in with them.

    Lastly, I had to contain myself a bit when a read the comment above stating that biking is a “fraternal guy thing” and that is why DD doesn’t understand this waving institution. That comment is as patronizing as it gets. It’s not that we don’t get it because it’s a male thing, we don’t get it because the argument doesn’t make sense.

    I conclude with a thought about this comment: “no greater exhileration or sense of freedom than that which derives from the open road, the wind in your face, all of the senses firing and that soccer mom on her damn phone paying attention to everything but the road.” How do you feel a sense of freedom when you are constricted by the very same social rules and norms in the biking world that the very soccer mom from Wysteria Lane does?

  7. In response to xpressyrsf – my take was entirely rooted in sarcasm aimed at generating a response similar to yours, although, I actually expected that it would be DD responding as such. If you know the DD personally, ask her about who I am and how I like to poke, push and be a little controversial….more so to get folks out of their comfort zone than anything else. At the end of the day, it is what it is….and 100 years from now or 15 seconds from now my take on this topic whether serious or parody really won’t matter. It’s really just cyber babble.

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