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Hey, I'm just wondering who started the generally accepted practice of waving to oncoming riders, and bikers? Has anyone figured out the origins of the "timeless" tradition?

Things to ponder....

1. How did the practice get started?

2. Did the practice originate with other forms of travel, such as the original UPS drivers who were undoubtedly using "Brown" chariots? Or maybe even pony express riders?

3. Have you noticed a particular "group" or "segment" of the biking public that doesn't acknowlege the "wave" as a general rule?

4. Have you noticed a difference from an age or generational standpoint?

5. Does it have any type of military "salute" connotation connected with it?

From my own standpoint, I well remember having my slightly older brother "explain" to me the fact that as we "passed oncoming riders," we should acknowlege their presence with "a wave." (He is 18 months older than I am, and I was initiated into the biking world by being a passenger on the back of his Yamaha RD 250 street bike.) I do not know how he came to the understanding that bikers wave to each other. I only remember his insistence upon the practice, and to this day I "salute" or "wave" to every oncoming biker I see. (It does bother me a bit when the wave goes unanswered, but what are you gonna do?)

Any ideas, anyone?

Metric4me
 

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I used to own a Jeep and Jeep owners also wave to each other like we do. I have found that here in the Chicago area most bikers wave to each other. I keep in mind that due to the trememdous stop and go traffic you are constantly up and down shifting and it isn't always practicle to wave.

Two years ago I did notice something more significant. I was broken down on the side of the road on my 81 GL1100. I had called for a friend with a trailer and was waiting for him to come from the far south side to the north side. During my wait it was very comforting how many people stopped to offer help. Most were on bike and some in cars. Many slowed to see if I needed help as well. The only segment of the vehicles passing me that were not represented amoung the helpful were those on the crotc rockets. They didn't even wave.

One young girl stopped because her father is a biker and she couldn't leave a biker stranded on the road.

Although I had broken down I really enjoyed meeting all the people that day and had a good time.
 

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I had a '68 VW Beetle and during the sale closing it was one of the instructions that they gave. It rated right up there with service intervals:lol:
 

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I wave because I'm glad to see other bikers, not because of any " tradition"
I have noticed that while most bikers wave to each other, Wingers wave big to other Wingers. The cruiser bikers do the low "cool" wave but most Goldwingers raise their hands and really wave, like they are glad to see you.
Last year 4 of us went to Yellowstone (3 on wings) during the Sturgis rally. We passed thousands of bikers and the Wing riders were much more demonstrative than any other group. Just my observation.

Shep
 

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Wave

It must have started in the south. :thumbup: Then again we wave to just about everyone except them scooters (see previous thread). That is kind of funny. Po folks... Nobody waves to them. They still have the liker sickle tag strongly affixed to their ambiance.
 

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Here's what is in my mind when I wave. "Hi there, I see you have a motorcycle too. We share a common interest, or common love. We have special needs here on the highway and you and I know it better than anybody. If you ever need help, I'll be the first to stop. If I ever need help, I know you'll stop. I am please to wave and happy that you waved back. I never met you, but I fell like I know you."
 

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I used to own a Jeep and Jeep owners also wave to each other like we do. I have found that here in the Chicago area most bikers wave to each other. I keep in mind that due to the trememdous stop and go traffic you are constantly up and down shifting and it isn't always practicle to wave. :agree:


I too used to own the Jeep an old CJ-5 and it was common to wave to other Jeep owners and drivers. That's how I got started. When I moved to the motorcycle world seems everyone riding was waving.:thumbup:
 

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Hey, I'm just wondering who started the generally accepted practice of waving to oncoming riders, and bikers? Has anyone figured out the origins of the "timeless" tradition?

Things to ponder....

1. How did the practice get started?

2. Did the practice originate with other forms of travel, such as the original UPS drivers who were undoubtedly using "Brown" chariots? Or maybe even pony express riders?

3. Have you noticed a particular "group" or "segment" of the biking public that doesn't acknowlege the "wave" as a general rule?

4. Have you noticed a difference from an age or generational standpoint?

5. Does it have any type of military "salute" connotation connected with it?
Smart alec answer, the Harley riders warning the oncoming rider about the number of parts he dropped in the last two miles.

Seriously. My father lives in a very rural town in central Utah. Everyoen waves. And the local wave is done by raising the fingers of the one hand on top of the steerig wheel. He taught us how to do that so we could get along a bit better.

I try to wave at every oncoming rider during my morning ride IF I see that the oter rider is not in heavy traffic. Without exception I have NEVER had a V Twin cruiser wave back. I do NOT want to blame this on the Harley riders. I suspect that it is more of a case of newer riders riding a V twin cruiser of any brand. They seem to be very focused on the road in front of them.

Seems like the younger (<45) guys wave more.
 

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I was thinking about marketing an attachment that 'goldwinger's ' could add as an accessory that would have an arm extend out from the side of the bike with a rubber chicken when you press on the transmit button !!

:joke:
 

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count me out

i dont play that wave game

i am busy riding my bike

the last thing i need around a corner is some moron waving and running into me
 

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Good question to ponder and I am sure that no single answer is sufficient as the spontaneous gesture probably does not have a single root.

I would guess one root goes back to the acknowledgement of bikers before cycling became more mainstream. What we know as the wave probably was more of a raised fist saying "go ahead", "ride on", etc.

Just a thought.
 

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Started after WWII when all the Pilots came back from war and missed the excitement. They all wore their leather flying jackets, goggles, leather head gear and got into riding motorcycles to keep the excitement going and continued to wave and acknowledge each other just as they did as Pilots. So still today we have motorcycle riders with leather jackets that wave to each other. Also back then if you had survived a bad motorcycle wreck they would tie a red hankerchief on the handlebars so everybody would know you had survived a bad accident. So now we give the two fingers down wave to mean keep your two tires on the pavement or rubberside down..... So Now you know the History of the leather jacket, goggles, due rags and the wave....... The Gold wingers all smile big and use the upper normal hand wave because they are all on Viagura...:yes1:
 

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I had a '68 VW Beetle and during the sale closing it was one of the instructions that they gave. It rated right up there with service intervals:lol:
My family had a '59 Beetle up until 1966. They were so rare in St. Louis, MO in the early 60's, that I remember another VW owner making a u-turn to catch us at a stop sign & say Hello!
 

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Good question to ponder and I am sure that no single answer is sufficient as the spontaneous gesture probably does not have a single root.
I would guess one root goes back to the acknowledgement of bikers before cycling became more mainstream.
Just a thought.
I started riding in 1960 in So. Ca., & traveled all over the West on my Triumph TR-6. Motorcyclists were indeed not mainstream then & "the wave" was simply an acknowledgement of a kindred spirit.
The "Japanese invasion" had not started yet, but when it did those riders on the small displacement "bikes" were not accepted by the riders of the large displacement motorcyles of the day, & were not acknowledged with a wave.
Today i'm just happy to be able to ride, & i wave @ EVERYTHING:yes1:, farmers plowing fields, people walking along the road,pretty girls,even scooters.
happy trails,
the hobo
 

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count me out

i dont play that wave game

i am busy riding my bike

the last thing i need around a corner is some moron waving and running into me

:lol: Figures......:lol:


Hey I wave.....unless it is not safe at that moment. :thumbup:

Mark
 

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Growing up riding in Southern Indiana from the mid '60s through the late '80s, you never saw anyone wave the way you do today. Maybe it was just a mid-western thing, but every rider gave each other the "power sign". A clench fist raised. I always assumed that it meant power to the riders. We're all brothers. It's us against the cagers, etc... After all, we wanted to show that we were individuals that chose our own path. Not sheep. (Does anyone remeber this, or was it just me?)

Then I took a hiatus from motorcycle riding for about ten years, and when I started up again in the mid '90s, I got the strangest looks when I gave other cruisers the old power sign. I soon found out that cruisers had to do the "cool" wave at each other. I thought to my self, "Man, that's lame." But oh well, times change. Customs change. We move on. I started waving, just like the rest of the sheep. :rolleyes:

Now I find that Wingers do yet a different wave. I guess you have to give a high wave to be seen over all that gadgetry on the dash! :p
 

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I'll wave back if I see you. But, I won't usually wave first. I get to irritated by people when they don't wave back, then I give them the big middle finger. Therefore, I just avoid the irritating crap and keep my hands to myself.
 

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Now I find that Wingers do yet a different wave. I guess you have to give a high wave to be seen over all that gadgetry on the dash! :p
Man that is funny!!! I love the ones that do it from across a divided 6 lane interstate. It's fun to stand up on the pegs and wave back, just like them. lmfao
 
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