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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Waving to other riders, and 'coolness': Some thoughts

A friend just sent me an article on waving from a guy pictured in front of his dresser wearing a HOG member vest, all about the coolness of an appropriate wave and what it meant to him. This got me thinking about waves. Sorry to beat a dead horse, but thought I’d get the thoughts of others on this subject to determine whether they’re similar to mine.

I wave, but I’m not hung up on it as I once was when I got back to riding. I’ve learned that the so-called brotherhood of those who ride is a myth, confirmed repeatedly after stopping to help anothers on two wheels (usually when I'm in the car and see him in time) only to find that I was the first and only who stopped with many others on 2-wheels riding by without even an acknowledgement. We’re all too busy, I suppose.

If both hands are required to ride safely, then they get a nod. Sorry, it's all I've got. I've read in this forum that those in UK often just nod as an appropriate acknowledgement to others they've never met. I agree with them in theory; however, a nod seems a tad bit aloof in the US, unless safety’s a factor. Perhaps I could get away with it if I’d let my white beard grow, ride a BMW, and have lots of money (which I don’t).

The type of wave that the article mentioned (the left arm slowly lowered extended with two fingers [really?] point toward the ground) I have difficulty doing well. (I often think that they’re pointing to a road hazard and wondering why.) Yet, in fits of sympathy to those who’ve not thought about the subject, I sometimes comply with a similar wave, but their waves harkens me back to using a suicide shift, something that “looks” stereotypical hardcore biker (or what one imagines has evolved by 1%ers). When I do comply, I afterwards feel phony.

Perhaps my feeling of phoniness is because others have pointed out that irrespective of the leathers I wear on a cold day, I'm anything but a "biker". My affinity for button-down shirts or interests in fountain pens and handwriting, Reformed Theology, Baroque music, and model shipbuilding don't exactly fit the interests of even the moderate biker, let alone hardcore. Only my interest in martial arts, shooting and reloading, may be similar. Oh, yeah, definitely beer, but not when riding.

The article also placed extreme emphasis on the motivation of the wave: to prove coolness. Well, I ain't cool. Just look at my interests! Why pretend just because I'm on two wheels? (And having thought about it: now with electric start and EFI, what is so noble about jumping on a bike anyway?)

I'd be a liar to say that I’ve never had the inclination to be cool, but the motivation was always with a purpose (attracting the opposite sex—with the strongest urge in Middle School, as my fuzzy brain-housing group recalls). It was never an end in itself. At 64, my coolness—though doubtful that it ever existed—is due to poor circulation. Besides, the subject of coolness is so evasive. I suspect that the only people who think I'm cool now are those who ask, "Isn't it dangerous to ride a motorcycle?", as if they would like to but can't fathom the courage to even swing a leg over a seat.

The type of genuine wave for me to give is similar to swearing in with your left arm/hand without movement. But that's me. No pretense…just a simple “Hey”, without all of the imaginary "coolness".

Your thoughts?
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:07 AM
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When I wave it's just to say hi to someone who enjoys biking as much as I do; it's just a slight raise of the hand off of and to the side of the handlebar. I only wave when it is safe to do so not when cornering or on a challenging road surface. I am not a hardcore Sons of Anarchy type and have no desire to cast that illusion.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:24 AM
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Depends upon my mood, the type of road, amount of traffic. When I do, I just lift my hand off the grip and give a quick wave.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:25 AM
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I'll give a simple wave - hand about shoulder high. I won't use the type of waves I see others use simply because I have no idea what the hell they mean. I'll nod when my hands are busy at an intersection. I'm just saying "Hi". When it's cold or wet, it's acknowledgment of sharing the challenge. "Cool" isn't usually part of it for me at all but there are times when I feel cool or envied. Recently, as I slowed and leaned into a turn on a country road, a guy mowing his lawn on a John Deere tractor waved. Since I was busy, he got the nod. That's when his wave turned to a thumbs up.

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:25 AM
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I wave if I feel comfortable enough to take a hand off the bar. If not, I nod but apply the quick "heads up" nod as to say "What's up my two-wheeled brother?". When waving, I utilize the universally accepted "2-fingered low wave" because I was told it means keep two wheels down.

Seriously, I wave when I can as a simple courtesy and if I can't or do not get a return wave, no worries.

I do not wave at ATVs, golf carts, bicyclists that won't move over, joggers, or liquor cycles (mopeds that require no DL). However, I reserve the right to wave at old guys sitting on their porch, kids, and pretty girls wherever they may be or regardless of their mode of transportation.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by PaulMattoon View Post
The article also placed extreme emphasis on the motivation of the wave: to prove coolness.
Those guys in the article should use this hand gesture for their wave to each other:
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:30 AM
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Link to the article? Sounds like a few laughs.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 09:58 AM
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The 'wave' is one of the perks of motorcycling. I definitely don't do it for a coolness factor. I'll wave (left hand ,a couple fingers down +/-) at anyone from a Vespa rider to a Hell's Angel and anyone in between. It's almost like acknowledging that we're all out here taking the same relative risk to feel free on the roadways. I honestly never though of the 'wave' as cool. this is an interesting subject, though.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 10:02 AM
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I raise my hand slightly most times if safe to do so or give a nod of the head . As far as this hardcore biker , 2 fingers down and son of Anarchy type BS , grow the f up and become a real man or women .It's time to move past being 10 years old .

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-10-2015, 10:04 AM
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The first time I was the recipient of a wave, I felt very cool. It was from a grizzled dude on a HD (no doubt), long hair, bucket helmet. It made the day of the noob on his Suzuki 800.
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