We’ve all seen the wave. It happens a little differently each time. It may look like an upside down peace sign. It may be a full-fledged wave. It may just be a quick head nod, but the biker wave has become a widely accepted, and widely expected, form of greeting from one biker to another.
A lot of our clients (for obviously reason) call it the Harley wave, but the camaraderie and shared love of riding is what fuels the intent behind the wave. At it’s very core, the biker wave is meant to be a sign of mutual respect.
We asked a few of our rider friends about the wave. Doug Kamerer, our Minister of Culture at A.D. Farrow said, “I always do the wave. I usually throw the peace sign, sometimes a full hand. I’ll nod my head when someone is approaching and my left hand is occupied. If I’m mid shift or about to turn a corner, I’ll nod. But I wave at all kinds of bikes. Any make, model. brand, 2 wheels or three, sport, touring or otherwise. We are all enjoying the same freedom and the same experiences. The same goes for the rides, rallies and charity events that I attend too – seems like lots of people do some version of the wave.”
So where did the biker wave come from? Who started it? The theory is that is all started with the armored knights on horseback during Medieval times. Any type of respectful salute in general seems to be derived from the chivalric action of tipping open the helmet guard. Chivalric code bound knights to respect each other and to show this respect when they met they would raise their right hand and lift their visors so they could see each others face and show that combat was not their intention. As armor faded from popular use the salute took the place of the visor tipping.
There are also some theories that the modern day biker wave was really promulgated by Arthur Davidson and William Harley who would allegedly wave to one another when they passed on their bikes – because they knew each other. And when people around town saw them do this, they assumed it was a wave dedicated to Harley-Davidson owners. So once others began buying Harleys, they also started to do “the wave.” But again, this is just a theory.
Regardless of how the biker wave started, the more interesting part for us is what it has grown into. Yes a Harley rider may wave to another Harley rider differently than the way a Ducati rider waves to another Ducati…but the underlying motive is the same – the acknowledgment of mutual respect and the way of saying to another rider, “is there anything better than this?” That all riders are a part of a brotherhood or sisterhood – no matter what you look like, or sound like, or where you came from.
It’s this familial inclusiveness of riders in general that makes us love what we do at A.D. Farrow. And that’s why we wanted to dedicate our new blog to that drive. Welcome to The Wave. Here is where we plan on posting travel routes, bike tips, history, information on riders we idolize, highlight awesome charities and other topics that deserve a little extra attention. Hell, we may even throw in a recipe or two you can cook over the fire while you’re riding cross-country. Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you back here for more interesting reads and moreover we look forward to having you in to one of our locations – we’d love to meet you.