Home > Bike Commuting > Tip of the Day: Throw Up a Friendly Hand

Tip of the Day: Throw Up a Friendly Hand

No I’m not suggesting eating then regurgitating Edgar Friendly’s hand. I’m saying wave; the universal hand gesture for howdy neighbor. I share my commute with logging trucks and wood chip trucks. Despite there being a four-lane highway running parallel to and in sight of my commuting road, these massive trucks stick to this scenic back road. I understand why; they are trying to avoid a ticket for their overweight loads.

Bike commuting with logging trucks is our equivalent to swimming with sharks. If you’re not alert you’ll get bit, maybe eaten. Lately I’ve made an effort to build a relationship with these gruff burly men by throwing up a friendly hand. As if to say, “Hey neighbor, I’m the guy that was sitting next to you in the pub Saturday night and in church Sunday morning” or “Hey neighbor, didn’t we go to high school together?”

I think it’s working. They are starting to wave back and I’m beginning to recognize the same faces day after day. They’re beginning to cut me a little slack and don’t seem to be as impatient. And why not? The trucks may be monsters, but the drivers are just hard working guys trying to provide for their families. Humans are very social creatures and we’re all looking to make connections.

Thanks for reading The Velo Hobo!

Categories: Bike Commuting
  1. May 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Yes, yes, yes – a thousand times yes! My riding partner and I were discussing this very thing just Sunday afternoon. In addition to waving at the four-wheeled variety of vehicles, I might also add: try waving at your fellow cyclists. Or nod. Bob your head. Raise an index finger. Acknowledge the brethren!

    • The Velo Hobo
      May 20, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Oh yes, let’s wave to each other too…a brass bike bell is music to my ears as well! Often the only contact some riders make with each other is to scream “ON YOUR LEFT!”.

  2. frank8265
    May 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Couldn’t agree more!
    A friendly wave can build a bond and give you some assurance that they’ve seen you.
    And a bit more friendliness amongst the different type of cyclist can’t hurt either.
    Great read!

    • The Velo Hobo
      May 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      True, a great thing to do before crossing an intersection…making sure they’ve seen you. I had a friend tell me “if they can’t see you, thay can’t hit you”…I’m sure he was kidding (at least I hope so.

  3. archergal
    May 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    I’m an inveterate waver. I also occasionally blow kisses.

    I don’t know if it helps, but it makes ME happy. 🙂

    • The Velo Hobo
      May 21, 2014 at 8:56 am

      I’m not sure what reaction I’ll get from these truck drivers, but I’ll try blowing kisses too! 🙂

  4. May 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Makes good sense.

    I have, however, stopped waving to ones who try to hassle me (usually auto drivers).
    I don’t want them thinking I am giving them the finger, for, that would be asking for more trouble.

    Peace 🙂

    • The Velo Hobo
      May 28, 2014 at 7:34 am

      Yep, I guess if they’re pissed it might be best to keep hand gestures to ourselves.

  5. May 22, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Waving does work….

    • The Velo Hobo
      May 28, 2014 at 7:35 am

      Hope all is well where you are Conifir.

  6. June 11, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Asking questions are really good thing if you are not understanding something fully, except this piece of writing offers nice understanding even.

  7. June 16, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.
    After all I will be subscribing in your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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