While riding recently with someone I don’t normally ride with, after passing the umpteenth cyclist going the other way, he proclaimed, “I don’t do that wave thing.”
I had to ask him to repeat himself because, what?
I didn’t consider it a thing. I just wave. Unless I hate the person.
I guess it’s sort of a thing. Let’s look at other similar creatures.
Jeep owners: They wave. I’ve always thought that was kind of dumb actually. If you’re surrounded by windows and a roof, a wave is kind of pointless.
Harley bikers: They wave that that down low wave. Doesn’t get cooler than that.
Walkers smile, and say “hi”. I mean, they have time for an entire conversation.
Runners at least give themselves a knowing look.
A look that says, “OMFG this hurts. Why do I do this?”
So cyclists? Of course we should. We’re freakin’ happy!
Personally, I do the Harley wave. Or the don’t-let-go, lift-your-fingers, wave if I’m bombing down a hill at 45 mph. Or at least a head nod.
For the love, life’s too short, give a wave.
But here are some important questions that I ponder while out there with my thoughts.
Should a cyclist wave to a runner? At least out of pity.
Should a roadie wave to a mountain biker? Respect.
What do you do when you pass a 20-man pace line? All the waves? one long one?
And what about if you’re overtaking someone? Especially on a big hill. I admit, there’s a bit of gloat there. Insult to injury.
And most importantly, what if you get snubbed? Chase him right down and confront.
Here’s a thought. How about waving to a motorist? When someone lets you cross, passes safely, patiently waits for you to go by before proceeding out of a stop sign. Do you wave a thanks?
There’s enough cyclist hate out there that we could use to diffuse it a bit with some nice gestures once in a while.
So I’ll leave you with that. Next time out, wave to a motorist.
They won’t wave back, but that’s ok. you’re not driving a Jeep. And they probably hate you. But hopefully a little less.