A wave of the hand has to be one of the most simple and yet basic of human gestures.
A wave can say, “Hi,” or it can say, Thank you.”
Most important a wave to a stranger is saying, “I acknowledge your existence, I am not ignoring you.”
The wave immediately says, “I am friendly towards you.” Even the most hostile and aggressive of drivers, will give another driver a thank you wave, if they slow and let them in.
In fact if you don’t get a thank you wave, you feel slightly offended, somehow deprived, “Hey, I let you in and I didn’t get a thank you wave, where’s my thank you wave?”
Some cyclists will not return a wave to another cyclist, or will not do so unless they are wearing Lycra like them. Total bull-shit. I know it must be terribly hard if you are lying down comfortably on those aero bars, to struggle up to give a proper wave, but at least raise a hand, make the effort.
Unless you are a serious time-trialist, or tri-athlete, it might be a good excuse to dump the aero bars. Set yourself free to sit up and wave to the whole world.
I wave to everybody when I am riding, not just people who look like me, other people on any kind of a bike, those walking, running, or on skate-boards.
Even ladies pushing babies in strollers. They are all people like me, out getting some fresh air, and exercise. Sometimes, I get a wave back but not always, I don’t feel deprived or offended if I don’t.
If I see a driver waiting to turn in front of me, or pull out from a side road, I give a wave. This time it is more of an attention getter, “See me, I’m over here.” Rather like the wave to a waiter in a busy restaurant.
However, it is still a friendly gesture, and the driver may interpret it as, “Thank you for waiting, and not pulling in front of me. Often they will wave back, which is very nice. It means they have seen me, but more important they acknowledge my existence, and my right to be on the road.
A wave costs me nothing, and yet it gives so much. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure, makes my ride a better experience.
If you are not in the habit of waving, I can recommend it. It is good for the soul, yours and your fellow travelers.
To Share click "Share Article" below