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Old 06-04-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Motorcycle wave etiquette, from a different angle..

So... here's something I have never heard discussed about the motorcycle wave. I went for a ride with the wife yesterday. She loves the whole riding experience, and loves to do the wave as well She does the standard casual from-hip-two-fingers-out...and that's what got me thinking about this... here's the question...

When riding two up, is it ok for the passenger to wave? If the passenger does wave, should the driver abstain or is it ok for both to wave? Or should the right to wave be strictly for the driver and the passenger should be told to sit on their hands during a ride..

discuss...
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:21 AM   #2
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It is perfectly fine for either driver, passenger, or both to wave. I've seen it all. Though personally, I've seen just the passenger waving more often.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #3
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"She does the standard casual from-hip-two-fingers-out"

Some people will see that as a left turn indication.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye_m_no_angel View Post
Some people will see that as a left turn indication.
Not the way most people wave, angled down. Left turn should be full arm out.

I love to see everyone wave, passenger, rider, both, whoever. I actually get a little miffed when someone doesn't wave back.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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It should be, but seldom is around here. Most people I see using left hand signals kind of point down like, "I'm going THERE." I guess many newer riders aren't even used to seeing hand signals anyway though.

As for waving, I don't care if another rider waves or not, and in fact would seldom notice if he did or not. I'm more concerned with watching for cars and other potential threats, or just enjoying my ride. Watching to see if another motorcyclist acknowledges me just isn't on my list of things to care about.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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Frankly I think the rider should give priority to concentrate on riding and not waving. No offense to anyone but if I'm in the middle of shifting and another rider comes out of nowhere and waves and me, don't take it personally if I don't wave back. My left hand is busy with the clutch.

I'm not going to hurry to dump the clutch so that I can wave.

Priority one for me is maintaining control of my bike.

Priority two is making sure that traffic doesn't kill me.

Priority three is ... everything else, including waving.

Hence, if my passenger (although I have never had a passenger ... yet) can wave, I'd gladly delegate the waving to the passenger so I can concentrate on riding.

Just my 2c.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:39 AM   #7
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Just nice to get a wave -- doesn't matter from driver or passenger to me.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #8
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wave is OK from rider or passenger.
can be one finger or two ... sometimes whole hand.
thank the Harley guys for the wave - it's their invention. :-)

dT
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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Get one of these and don't worry about it:

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Old 06-04-2012, 12:49 PM   #10
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Wave any way you want, as long as safety is not compromised.

While riding is a loose fraternity, there is no secret handshake. Unless you are in a club, but that is different.

Just don't get all emotional if I do not wave back. I may be busy or may not have noticed you.

And dT, I doubt HD riders invented the wave. I suspect that cavemen waved to each other as they passed each other on their brontosauruses.

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Old 06-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralphlong View Post
... cavemen ... on their brontosauruses.
Harley riders.



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Old 06-04-2012, 05:35 PM   #12
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No disrespect to the OP but I thought drivers drive cars and riders ride bikes. Either or both can wave it's fine with me, but I just nod.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #13
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I've about quit waving. So many aholes around here think they are to badass to wave I simply said screw it. Wave to the same three bikes on the same road at the same time on the way to work every morning for weeks, no reply. Kinda hurts to have a brother dis ya like that. Fk it. If they wave, I'll reciprocate. Outside of that, meh.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:17 PM   #14
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I judge the book by its cover. Meaning, if I can see it's an older guy on a HD he more than likely won't want anything to do with me on my Ninja.
I do the same as far as above, safety and survival first.
As a motorcycle rider they should understand if I can return or initiate the motion.
I tend to nod a lot though, that way if I don't get it back I don't look/feel lame. I do like it though when someone sends one my way or returns one, helps keep that understanding we are all out just enjoying the life.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:45 AM   #15
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I am a big fan of the wave like the brother hood of bikers idea. I dont think its a big deal passenger or driver. Its a respect thing I have respect for anyone who rides driver or passenger after all we all put our safety on the line when we get on the bike.

Now as far as the wave it self I have seen many different waves. I think any acknowledgment is nice there are times when if I am unsure of the road they may have to settel for a head bob.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #16
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I wave to people, not tank badges.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmago View Post
I wave to people, not tank badges.
I'm happy for that, I just have gave the wave too many times already and seems like I get snubbed for what I ride. By no means would I not give anyone a chance, I just feel it's easier for me not to feel like an idiot and not to bother them, lol. I'm always ready(if I can be) when some one wants to toss one my way.
My area is a university area, so I'm sure people assume I'm just a dumb college kid on a "crotch rocket." In reality I'm 24, it's a standard essentially and I'm super nice in person as well as level headed.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:14 AM   #18
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I can't believe so much thought goes into waving.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robow View Post
I can't believe so much thought goes into waving.
It's more on "paper"(in text) than actually occurs I'm sure.
EDIT: This is too much thought.
http://www.viewfromthecloud.com/2006...greetings.html

This is from another Forum
Quote:
"I'll just add that the primary reason many people attribute the genesis of the "wave" to the American Harley crowd is that its origin was post-WWII in the late '40s and early '50s when the vast majority of motorcycles on North American roads were Harleys and Indians... British bikes were just beginning to make inroads in that market. The H-D crowd has always maintained the tradition, notwithstanding that it was not brand specific - that sort of snobbish mentality came many years later (thanks to marketing and Madison Avenue...)" - ironmike

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Old 06-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadWolf View Post
I am a big fan of the wave like the brother hood of bikers idea. I dont think its a big deal passenger or driver. Its a respect thing I have respect for anyone who rides driver or passenger after all we all put our safety on the line when we get on the bike.

Now as far as the wave it self I have seen many different waves. I think any acknowledgment is nice there are times when if I am unsure of the road they may have to settel for a head bob.
I feel exactly the same.

Heck, I wave to everybody and I get particularly vigorous return waves from the guys on the little scooters who are dressed like restaurant employees. I think everyone likes to be acknowledged.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:43 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKshooter View Post
I've about quit waving. So many aholes around here think they are to badass to wave I simply said screw it. Wave to the same three bikes on the same road at the same time on the way to work every morning for weeks, no reply. Kinda hurts to have a brother dis ya like that. Fk it. If they wave, I'll reciprocate. Outside of that, meh.
Someone doesn't wave and you can read their mind to know what they're thinking? You can devine if they've even seen you, and know what actions they are taking at the time, and then you somehow know that they think they are too badass to wave, all while passing on the street? How is it that you can do this?

And you think that everyone that rides a bike is your "brother?" Seriously dude.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:46 AM   #22
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Quote:
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I can't believe so much thought goes into waving.
Really man.

I think it would be interesting too, to know how long someone has been riding when you read the "wave" comments. I'm guessing that the whole wave thing is more important to relatively newer riders. Most guys I know that have survived riding for a number of years really don't give a $hit about who waves and who doesn't.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:32 AM   #23
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Really man.

I think it would be interesting too, to know how long someone has been riding when you read the "wave" comments. I'm guessing that the whole wave thing is more important to relatively newer riders. Most guys I know that have survived riding for a number of years really don't give a $hit about who waves and who doesn't.
I think you're right. When I first started riding I was all into the wave thing. A couple years later and now riding 2000+ miles per month I could care less who waves. I don't wave unless they wave first. It seems most of the people who wave at me are the weekend riders. Nobody waves to me when I'm commuting during the week.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:56 PM   #24
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I know life long riders who wave. Seems like an easy way to be friendly, but to each his own.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #25
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I know life long riders who wave. Seems like an easy way to be friendly, but to each his own.
Amen. Way too much grumpiness in the world today. Sure is nice to see a friendly gesture or a smile every once in a while. Makes the world a better place to live in.

HKSHOOTER: I just did a long distance wave to you. Felt good.

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Old 06-05-2012, 05:16 PM   #26
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Sunday was my first ride on American roads and I was impressed how many waves I got. Its just nice to be acknowledged no matter what you drive. Anyone that gets on 2-wheels is brave and deserves respect.

To address the OP I did have a lot of passengers wave back at me and the driver just kept trucking on. I guess you have the added responsibility of another person behind you.

Out of curiosity, is waving pretty common in other parts of the world too.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:43 PM   #27
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...I'm guessing that the whole wave thing is more important to relatively newer riders. Most guys I know that have survived riding for a number of years really don't give a $hit about who waves and who doesn't.
Well I guess it's all relative...got my first road bike in '83...does that make me a newer rider?!? Frankly for me I have no problem with waving or not waving, whether it's me or the other guy. It was just a thought that crossed my mind while riding the other day. I agree with the guys that say priority #1 is safety and control of your bike. I never wave if shifting, braking, coming into/during/coming out of a hard corner or while sitting at a light/stop sign. the thread was as much tongue-in-cheek as it was a legit question .....but you all have to agree we got some interesting responses..
My wife and I were actually discussing this thread the other night, and with all seriousness she asked if she was waving 'properly'... lol I told her as long as she wasn't flailing both arms wildly above her head...then she's doing it right. When she asked what would happen if she did wave that way, I promptly replied... "It'll be your last ride behind me.." to which she replied "Then I'll just have to get my own bike.." lol
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:08 PM   #28
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I live in a small suburb of Tacoma. We have a few people here that frequent the 3 "biker bars"... OK more than a few more like I didnt know this many people lived in this town! They are generally a rough looking bunch that are all teddy bear inside (just dont tell them that). I ride a CBR250R, wear a full faced helmet and my gear is textile. Almost all of them will wave or wave back. Around here it is not the type of bike or gear you are wearing but the fact you are on a bike.

Another thing I have noticed about the 2 wheeled community in my area is they do not tolerate stupidity no matter what type of bike you are on.

All and all, wave if you want, wave back if you want, but be safe while doing it.

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Old 06-05-2012, 08:30 PM   #29
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I judge the book by its cover. Meaning, if I can see it's an older guy on a HD he more than likely won't want anything to do with me on my Ninja.
I do the same as far as above, safety and survival first.
As a motorcycle rider they should understand if I can return or initiate the motion.
I tend to nod a lot though, that way if I don't get it back I don't look/feel lame. I do like it though when someone sends one my way or returns one, helps keep that understanding we are all out just enjoying the life.
Eyes on the road

Just wave man.......that same guy on a HD might be riding a Ninja tomorrow....or a BMW on Friday.

Ive got em all......I ride em all......and I wave at em all.

Hell I wave at guys on mopeds......even if Im wearing my club colors....its all the same to me.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:04 PM   #30
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I judge the book by its cover. Meaning, if I can see it's an older guy on a HD he more than likely won't want anything to do with me on my Ninja.
This is not true. At least in my experience. I have had many nice conversations with rough looking HD riders that I have met while on my naked bike.

Be nice to them, and chances are they will be nice to you.

Ralph
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:54 PM   #31
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^^^+1 on what Ralph said. I ride a Yammie, but every HD rider I've ever spoken too has been really nice, and always willing to chat.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:28 AM   #32
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"Well I guess it's all relative...got my first road bike in '83...does that make me a newer rider?!?" Yes it does. <chuckle> But like you said, everything is relative. <smile>

Look, I wave too. When it's convenient, when I see the other rider, when safety isn't going to be compromised by waving. I mean, I'm a warm and friendly sort of fellow, right?

But I don't get spun up if someone doesn't wave, and I honestly don't give a crapp if they don't. Honestly, I really don't notice other riders all that much, and whether they wave at me or not has absolutely no effect on my ride. It's just not something I give a $hit about. You've been riding almost as long as me...you don't really care if someone waves or not, do you?

But I was speaking in generalities and wondering if waving is more important to newer riders. Judging by what I've seen on here I think maybe it is.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:31 AM   #33
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"if I can see it's an older guy on a HD he more than likely won't want anything to do with me on my Ninja. "

not true. think positive. although the HD guys and the big cruiser guys seem like they come from the "world of hard knocks" - they will be glad to wave to any bike. Maybe a few hardcore outlaws won't wave to you - but chances are they would do the same to me. So don't assume that being on a ninja disqualifies you. Many of those riders believe in the brotherhood of bikers, and they would be the first to stop if you got into an accident.

"I can't believe so much thought goes into waving."
The acknowledgment is important to riders. BTW, there's a cool way to do the wave - watch and you'll pick it up. But ya don't need to take the whole thing too seriously. It's the spirit that's important.

"... and I get particularly vigorous return waves from the guys on the little scooters who are dressed like restaurant employees"
HAHAHAHAHA !!!
I'd be laughin' my a** off.
But I'd probably still give them a wave. :-)

dT

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Old 06-06-2012, 01:16 AM   #34
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I judge the book by its cover. Meaning, if I can see it's an older guy on a HD he more than likely won't want anything to do with me on my Ninja.
Rereading this reminded me of a "motorcycle" function me and my cousin went to.

Patch holders from a few different clubs......one of their members died it was his funeral.....had some partying and such going on in the parking lot (beer drinking, burnout or two...typical). We show up.....Im riding a cruiser and hes riding his 06 GSXR.....bright yellow and purple. He was clearly the "which one of these is not like the other". After we park about 6 or 8 people gather around his bike.....no clue why, maybe they were just curious.

This big dude walks towards us from the distance, right past the bike and all the people and straight up to him.....at this point Im ready for it.....here we f*@#$* go....

"any one of those sumbitches get in your face about your bike Ive got your back, we'll whoop their ass together or get bloody trying......F(@$8 em, its got two wheels just like their bikes"

.....well that wasnt what I was expecting.

For the record we had no problems.....all was well.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:23 AM   #35
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Frankly I think the rider should give priority to concentrate on riding and not waving. No offense to anyone but if I'm in the middle of shifting and another rider comes out of nowhere and waves and me, don't take it personally if I don't wave back. My left hand is busy with the clutch.

I'm not going to hurry to dump the clutch so that I can wave.

Priority one for me is maintaining control of my bike.

Priority two is making sure that traffic doesn't kill me.

Priority three is ... everything else, including waving.

Hence, if my passenger (although I have never had a passenger ... yet) can wave, I'd gladly delegate the waving to the passenger so I can concentrate on riding.

Just my 2c.

I agree, heck half the time I don't even know if it's just a fast lane change, guess this will not surprise anyone but must admit in the very short time riding
seems a lot of riders with a bigger motor look their nose down at many riders, I do to on people riding scooters ... actually best just to nod probably?
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:22 AM   #36
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Yea, I toss it out there more times that not just because.
I didn't mean for my "judge riders" statement to come across so d!ck-ish. I guess to be fair I do the same thing to guys on sportbikes with backwards hats, sunglasses and shorts on. Not cause they are under geared, rather I just don't think they think about being on a bike like I do.
Again, that's just generalities. This all types way longer than I'm sure most of us think about.
I appreciate the machine for what it is and can do, my goal is to enjoy that while advancing myself in skills and personal enjoyment.
I would gladly ride next to any cruiser or any other bike. I love bobbers and hope to maybe one day build one or maybe get a Shadow.

Stay safe.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:46 AM   #37
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There was a discussion on a mustang forums about greeting other mustang owners.. For me, I don't greet, wave or anything like that, I just drive.. Not worried about someone hating me because I don't wave, greet or acknowledge them somehow.. I expect this to be the same when I start riding.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:53 AM   #38
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There was a discussion on a mustang forums about greeting other mustang owners.. For me, I don't greet, wave or anything like that, I just drive.. Not worried about someone hating me because I don't wave, greet or acknowledge them somehow.. I expect this to be the same when I start riding.
When I had my pony I would wave if windows were open to other classic Mustangs. I did not back then and still dont care about the 71+ Mustangs. While driving my Camaro, still no waves except to a classic 67-73s only. Yes I am picky about that.

Now on the bike, that is different. Bikes are a class all by themselves and not everyone can saddle up and ride like you can with a car. Unless you ride you dont understand all the complexities that go with a bike. I look at it like this... We are all one big disfunctional family!

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Old 06-06-2012, 11:58 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Massey View Post
When I had my pony I would wave if windows were open to other classic Mustangs. I did not back then and still dont care about the 71+ Mustangs. While driving my Camaro, still no waves except to a classic 67-73s only. Yes I am picky about that.

Now on the bike, that is different. Bikes are a class all by themselves and not everyone can saddle up and ride like you can with a car. Unless you ride you dont understand all the complexities that go with a bike. I look at it like this... We are all one big disfunctional family!

Massey
I seriously doubt riding will magically make me wave at people.. When I go out, I just want people to leave me alone, you know? No uneccesary contact.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #40
Massey
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RL, you and my wife have alot in common! Both from VA and both just want people to leave them alone!! I dont remember reading in my MSF book that waving is a requirement so I think you are going to be just fine!!

Massey
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