January 8th, 2006 13 Comments » | View blog reactions
“I even had a Harley rider wave at Jimmy Jam and Stinky on their Ultras and pulled his hand back when he saw me.”
A quote from a post on Gymi’s blog a while ago, mentioning the reaction he gets when riding his ZXR with his friends on Harleys. It made me reflect on the whole waving thing among motorcycle riders.
I’m not going to go berserk in a to-wave-or-not-to-wave-and-who-to-wave-when-you-wave discussion. But I’ll just share a bit of my own experience before I take a more scientific approach to the subject.
The Jekyll and Hyde of bikers
When I ride my Harley, a lot of sport bike riders tend not to wave unless I wave first. Maybe they don’t wave Harleys because they’ve gotten used to grumpy Harley riding bad asses that lack the brain capacity to interpret these strange gestures.
When I ride my Honda everybody wave, except the grumpy bad asses of course. I occasionally meet the youngster on a tuned up ’96 Fireblade who interprets the wave gesture as; “Hey! Let me see you wheelie across the red light at 100 mph (160km/t) in dense traffic”.
To me, the brand based wave seems a bit stupid and unnecessary. I bet you appreciate riding your bike just as much, whether you ride the latest crotch rocket or the largest hotdog stand Milwaukee has to offer. That’s why we greet each other, not because yours is red and mine’s blue.
The grand “wave” investigation
After a thorough search in various archives (5 min on Google) I produced two reports approaching the subject from different angles.
One is a message board discussion labelled “Stupid Motorcycle Wave” Concerning a SUV owner envying the motorcycle community their wave tradition. Which result in a series of smack-on-the-mouth replies like; -“Nobody waves at you because, well, nobody cares.”
The other, is a paper by John Cerilli called “The Wave“. He makes an interesting point, among others:
“in the United Kingdom, a nod is much more acceptable than a wave”
It’s a funny little observation, but of course. In UK they drive on the left side of the road and would have to let go of the throttle to wave.
Well, a big wave, a wish for a happy New Year, may the riding season of 2006 be your best yet.