You know The Wave. Not the Mexican Wave but the Biker Wave.
You’re riding along on a quiet country road.
You take sharp deep breath and sigh in relief to get away from your office and boss which you named “The Gulag” and “Jong Un” respectively in your phone. Let’s not get to the Mrs.
As you ride under a natural canopy formed by overhanging branches, you wonder how nice it would be if other bikers, your brethren, had ridden here and admired such beauty. You make a mental note to share this route on Facebook later.
With that positive thought in mind, you notice quaint houses dotting the roadside every few kilometres, but they all seem empty. You haven’t seen a car or a motorcycle for the last 20 kilometres, come to think of it. Not a soul except for birds darting among the branches. Some loneliness, or a pang of guilt, perhaps?
A few more kilometres down the road and you spot a group of bright lights heading up the hill towards you. You smile in your helmet.
As your draw near, you notice they are riding the same model as yours, perhaps it’s a same-make ride. So, you take your left hand off the handlebar and wave.
The leader looked straight on as he passes by, as if he doesn’t want to acknowledge seeing a ghost. Slightly irritated, you keep waving nonetheless, but the rest of the group did the same too!
You start to question yourself. Are my bike and I cloaked in an invisibility shield? Was it because they didn’t notice my hand because of the black gloves? Am I in Padang Mahsyar and my soul continues to ride?
That episode has left you seething under your helmet for the next 10 kilometres, swearing their pistons would seize. Or a solar flare shorted out their ECUs. Or the same flare blew out their GPS and send them riding in circles.
The above scenario isn’t unique to a just one occasion, it’s now happening everytime I go out on a ride.
Everyone waved at each other when I started biking in the 80’s, regardless of what either party rode; be it a sportbike, cruiser, tourer, dual purpose, even small bikes.
More and more bikers don’t acknowledge each other these days, although when riding on the same model, what more when encountering others on different makes. It happens even when we’re side by side at the traffic lights. Or worse, they’d return your wave by flipping the middle finger. Adoi.
I’m not being annoyed because of not being acknowledged but are people so full of themselves these days? Are they trying to say, I own a large capacity motorcycle, thereby I’m an elitist, therefore another person isn’t supposed to be on one? But hey, I bet they pound their chests about “brotherhood” and “sisterhood” at biker meets. I’ve often noticed male bikers waving to lady bikers without reservation, though. Tsk tsk!
When one biker waves at another, it might also be because he’s trying to warn you about the dangers that lie ahead. Watch out, there are potholes on the road. Or slow down, there’s taik lembu in the next corner.
Well, I continue wave at other bikers. But I don’t wait around for their response anymore.