Common Tread

And two for flinching, of course

Oct 22, 2014

Regardless of the bike you ride, it’s a safe bet you have a stance on waving. I’ve owned motorcycles and I have a Jeep Wrangler. I (briefly) owned a ‘Vette and a Miata, so I am not a stranger to the waving game. Happily for you, I won’t tell you how I feel about waving. It doesn’t matter. Instead, I invite you to reconsider motorcycle waving as we know it. I think the whole system needs to be revamped.

Waving can be inconvenient. (Mid-turn waves? Ugh!) They are often tiresome. (Fifty miles from a rally? All you’re doing is waving like a little kid on a road trip!) Sometimes, they’re just plain tiring. (How many times does Apehanger Andy have to take his arm off the bars to do the cool-guy two-finger down low wave? How many bro-beach-curls is that equal to?) Scooter, trike and Can-Am Spyder riders don’t like not getting waves.

We’ve all seen the lists about why so-and-so doesn’t wave. The bottom line is this: You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Until now! The only sign I will now throw up to another rider from here on out is The Circle. Those of you who recall The Circle Game (or who currently play it) need no education. For you rookies, here’s how the game gets played. You see a biker you want to communicate with? Great. Toss up The Circle. The other rider will do one of two things. He may do nothing if he has not looked at The Circle or suspects you are flashing him The Circle. If the rider’s gaze falls inside the bounds of The Circle, however, the game changes a bit. He who has stared at That Which Must Not Be Stared At will indicate, through a greatly exaggerated gesture of surprise or shame, that his gaze has fallen into the forbidden area.

He may now receive one arm-punch at the discretion of the rider who has formed The Circle. It is the initiator’s responsibility to change direction and deliver the punch if he so desires to deliver it.

Does this sound stupid? Of course it does. It’s a terribly dumb idea.

Stupid stuff is usually very fun, though. The very ridiculousness of this game may explain why several riders have already played with me, intuitively understanding what I was doing. Everybody wins with this plan. If you’re a waver, you can still do your thing, albeit with a different shape. You have, of course, the option to give The Circle or not, and if you’re busy, you don’t need to chase down the other rider. If you do, you might get yourself a soda pop or a friend out of the deal, and if you don’t, you may find yourself feeling magnanimous and benevolent.

I think we've got a winner here. I’ve already punched a few riders, and I am looking to punch a few more.