Tuesday Coffee Talk - Do you Wave?

Do you wave? "Wave, to whom? That person I don't know?" "But why doesn't that person wave back? How rude!" "Hey, I don't know you I don't owe you anything, just let me do my intervals... and please don't draft... let me turn my iPod back on."

What is it with the wave to other cyclists. Do you do it, do you reply if waved to, do you wish we'd stop this foolish act, etc. Waving to other cyclists is mostly done as if we are all apart of some secret non-biological family, some underground club or secret society. The wave can say to the other cyclists, "have a good ride" or "glad to see you bold enough to be out in this weather like me", or a handful of others. One local pro says he makes a point to wave to everybody he see's out on the road but I bet on some days his wrist could get pretty tired out on the roads.

But not everyone waves. I remember when I started out in cycling in the midwest we waved because there were so few of us but come out on a beautiful weekend in Boulder County in March or April and you'd probably come home with wrists more sore than you legs. Do I wave, no not to every single person but I'd say I do most of the time. As cycling grows in the Front Range I might not wave to everyone but I'll continue to wave often.

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21 Comments

A wave, a wink and a nod

The mere fact that you are talking about a 'wave' indicates that you are from Boulder. I had a friend who was visiting from Norway for training and commented that she was going to tape a waving hand to her shoulder, she could not get over the frequent local custom. In Denver, most of us offer a quick down nod. In France they offer an up nod or say out loud (from across the street) a hardy Bonjour! Hola, Couragio ... greetings can be nice and respectful when given, but should not irk when absent. I know it makes me feel good, and connected to others who are having as good a time as I am on a bike.

Do you Wave?

Yes, I wave.
Maybe it is just me, but women (in Texas) don't tend wave back especially if they're riding solo. My unofficial guessimate is 5% of solo women riders might raise their hand. I'll also wave as a driver although this tends to be in a more rural setting.

I like to wave!

I like to wave because I started riding when there were very few of us out there. I guess it's a habit now and it feels good to me.

It's not the pros who don't wave. Most of them are classy enough to say hello. It's the folks who are THINK they are pro and take themselves way too seriously who don't wave. Loosen up non wavers. We are a community, not a community against each other.

I am extremely concerned

I am extremely concerned about waving to other cyclists when I ride. It is quite simple - if I take the time to wave to you, you are obligated to acknowledge and reciprocate. Those that don't are dicks. I also make sure to tell everyone who will listen about the importance of waving, and how angry it makes me when someone doesn't wave back to me. Wave back you dickheads!

This is important.

I'm a woman and I wave, a lot

I'm a woman and I wave, a lot. When my arms are tired from all my saluting I nod. When I'm doing an interval, 2 fingers. At cars a wave meaning "thank you for not running me over". I may add a "hey how you doing" to cars just to keep the love out there. And I always wave a motorcycles, brothers and sisters in the 2 wheel nation.

Wave is just one acknowledgment....

I used to take long rides with a friend who had done a personal "study" on this topic. He would discuss in great detail all the various types of road acknowledgments (bars finger lift, bars hand lift, head nod, finger point low and many more). He would also segment riders by age, gender, pace, solo vs. pack, team vs. casual group, etc. and indicate the likelihood they they would offer an acknowledgment. Unfortunately my friend passed away, your topic took me back to a very special place. Thanks. And yes, I'm an active acknowledger, but not much of a waver.

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