Words to Live By

Don't be afraid your life will end; be afraid it will never begin.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More On The Wave...

I was reminded of this by Willy D's comment on my last post regarding the random "10 HP Hona-yama-zuki Scooter" rider giving him the "hand up in the air haven’t seen you in a year wave". I would like to mention that the post was originally written in 2006 and has had 89 comments on it since then. The blog owner, Jeff, said he would be honored to have me use part of his post here. If you want to see the whole post, click here. This post made me literally LMFAO. To bikers, it's clearly satirical, though to others, not so much. Equity and the Odds of Engagement The odds of receiving a wave from an oncoming biker are first and foremost governed by the "laws of equity." This means that the more things you have in common with him the better chance he will engage as either the initiator or the replier.There are basically three categories in the laws of equity: 1. Brand equity. This means that if you both are riding the same brand of bike, the odds of a wave transaction are increased. 2. Style equity. If you both are riding the same "type" of bike, such as chopper, rocket or touring motorcycle, then your odds are increased as well. 3. Helmet equity. If you both are either wearing or not wearing helmets - odds increased again. The Big Five When a fellow biker is approaching, his left arm and hand will tell the story. Whether he is the initiator or the replier, the signals are the same. Following are the five main hand gestures you may encounter: 1. The Nothing - This is the "default" hand position of most cross-encounters. Simply leaving his left hand on the handle bar can mean anything from "not paying attention to the fact you're approaching" to "I see you but I'm not interested in exchanging a greeting" - to the harsher, "I see you but since we don't enjoy any 'equity,' I'm not going to acknowledge your existence." Of course since no words are ever exchanged to clarify, all the rider can do is simply speculate. 2. The Two-finger Flip - The most casual AND most common acknowledgement. Left hand still on the hand grip, but the index and middle fingers raised briefly. This one simply says "dude, how's it going?" Most of the time the receiver will respond just out of courtesy. Of course the whole issue of who goes first really boils down to nothing more than a game of greeting chicken - or who ever is in the better mood at time. 3. The Big One - This is the granddaddy of all greetings. Left hand down off of the handlebar and out to the side. Fingers may either show a "peace" sign or be spread open palm side out. Here, the initiator is sending a clear signal that he acknowledges you. Not replying to this blatant plea for hospitality may be considered rude - and could possibly be interpreted as a strong message of inequity. 4. The Dis - Left hand down and resting on the thigh. This could be viewed as a request to treat the opposing party as a hostile witness - ESPECIALLY if it is moved there while you are approaching. Dating back to the days when rival motorcycle gangs roamed the streets, this signal indicated disrespect to the other rider(s) and was clearly meant as negative and often times led to confrontation. Today, however, the old cultural significance has been lost, and could simply just mean your arm is tired and resting on your leg. 5. The Geek - Left hand raised high in the air as if to say, "Hi mom!" This one is specifically reserved for the new rider, who is "SO excited to be one of the gang!" Also may be seen being used by Moped or scooter riders. Recommendation: Just don't. So there they are. All the secrets behind those mysterious motorcycle hand greetings revealed (not to be confused with the standard hand "turn" signals). So the next time you approach an oncoming rider, take note. He could be sending you a very intentional message! Or not. I believe Willy D experienced The Geek from the scooter ride. I prefer using The Big One. :) Many thanks to Jeff for allowing me to use his material!

8 comments:

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Ann, thanks for the refresher course in the proper use of the wave. It was funny indeed!!

"Joker" said...

All I can say is I hope my balls don't get itchy just as I'm being approached by another rider. I'm not even going to mention the single-nostril side aimed snot blow. Of course, since leaving others to "speculate," is a favorite of mine, there's no telling what I'll do.

On a serious note, I was not aware of the hand-on-thigh being a dis. Never heard that before. I may just have to sew a mannequin arm and hand to my thigh just to fuck with people!

Jeff said...

Thanks for sharing the love Ann. You've got a great bunch of friends here who are wicked funny. As a smart-ass biker myself, I'll definitely be stopping back to see what else you all have to say.

Willy D said...

A GEEK! Damn! You don’t think he was trying to “Hit” on me or something do ya?

Now that I think about it, he did have some pretty impressive action going on with that wrist!

Kim Thomas said...

I may need to start biking.

Dean "D-Day" said...

I'll usually either give the two-finger flip or a head nod. I favor the head nod. It acknowledges the other rider without too much commitment. (Just in case they don't acknowledge me back.)

One Harley Rider said...

Hey, thanks for the lesson (he says waving his hand high in the air palm exposed)

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Great posts on the wave!