Saturday, July 13, 2019

Bike Club

You might have noticed that when motorcyclists pass each other going in opposite directions, the riders often wave. A tiny flick of the left wrist. 
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD NERDS: Cool-running Pete,
biking to accordion school

You've also probably asked yourself, "Why do they do that? What's it mean?"

I am not allowed to tell you. The answer is a secret. 

However, just so you won't feel you've wasted your time reading this far*, I shall share the following bikers' wave lore...

When I was a younger man, I thought it was uncool to wave. If somebody went zooming past and raised his or her left hand, far be it from Joe Cool here to acknowledge it. 

I got older.

I realized how spiritually demoralizing it must be to wave and not get waved back at. It'd be like moving in for a high-five but the other person not reacting. So now I wave.

I also kinda feel really bad for all those riders over the years who gave me the wave but didn't get a response. I guess this is my public apology.  (I feel like a politician.) 

Another thing? 

We've been known to wave to other oncoming bikers even when there's eight lanes of traffic between us. Seriously. I found myself doing it on the Don Valley Parkway en route to work this week. I was in the shoulder lane heading north and I exchanged waves with a biker in the shoulder lane headed south.

VROOM WITH A VIEW: Friday 13th's Port Dover's lucky day. (I swiped this
London Free Press photo off Google.)
Which reminds me of my friend Malcolm Roberton. 

When Malcolm atttended our wedding 30-odd years ago, he had a new female acquaintance with him.I asked how they met. 

Days earlier, he said, he had been walking east past Toronto's Royal York Hotel when this woman exited Union Station across the street and their eyes met. 

For those who've never been to Toronto, Front Street separating Union Station from the Royal York is about as wide as the Champs Elysees. 

I said exactly that to Malcolm. He grinned and said, "I know, eh?"

Malcolm also once told me his favourite movies were the kind you'd enjoy even if you were blind or deaf. This blog would probably be more interesting if I wrote about Malcolm instead of adult strangers on toys waving at each other, but I digress. 

You have to know we don't wave or nod to any vehicles that aren't motorcycles. If you do drive a Vespa or an e-bike or a three-wheeled jobbie and if a motorcyclist waved at you, it was an honest mistake. The sun was probably in their eyes. Don't let it go to your head.  

STASH IN PLAIN SIGHT: What do they do?
Wiggle their curly do's at one another? 
I just thought of something else.

I could probably win a place in the Guiness Book of Records for most waves in a single day. 

Here's why. 

There's a town not far from Toronto called Port Dover and for some reason, every Friday 13th in riding season, thousands of  bikers roar into the town for a day of -- I'm not sure what because I've never been. 

Last July the cops estimated 140,000 bikes showed up in Dover! That's 280,000 separate wheels! I did the math!

A couple of years ago right around suppertime, I had reason to be riding south on highway six in the direction of  Port Dover. It was at the exact time the Dover visitors were starting to head home. 

It was like riding headfirst into a swarm of one-eyed firefly monsters with huge chrome handlebar moustaches.

They only had me to wave at.

Meantime my left hand was, like, "UP down. UP down. UP down...."  Probably a few hundred times.

My wrists must have thought I was riding a parade float. I know I felt like a dork.

Speaking of big chrome moustaches, when my daughter Ria and I were at Burning Man a few years back she asked a chap with a handlebar moustache if similarly whisker'd guys exchange some sort of secret acknowledgement when they pass on the sidwalk.

He said they do. Can you believe it? How silly.

(*Wasted valuable time reading Pete's Blog&Grille? Thats Unpossible! hahaahahahaaha)

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