Doin’ the wave
The wave ” the simple, friendly hand motion, not the silly thing people do at football stadiums ” may be about the oldest form of communication there is.
Proto-humans who could barely speak, much less walk upright, waved to one another, mostly to show they weren’t packing prehistoric heat (a rock). Over millennia, humans have evolved, but the wave is pretty much the same.
Still, there are variations.
One of our humble correspondents walks his dog on the Gypsum bike/pedestrian path along the frontage road most mornings. Neighbors and strangers pass as they’re driving, and many of them wave. But, while friendly, there are different varieties of waves.
Women are more likely to include a finger-wiggle or wrist-pivot with their waves. Guys, on the other hand, usually just put up an open palm and sometimes a subtle head-nod.
Guys who grew up in rural areas mostly don’t take their hands off their steering wheels. Some will give a four-finger greeting, with the thumb still wrapped around the top of the wheel. The really cool rural types will just lift their index finger and nod.
Motorcycle riders are pretty good wavers, but what kind of wave you get depends on where you are.
If you’re riding a two-lane, most guys will either slightly lift their left hand off the handlebars (the right hand runs the throttle) or drop their hand down to about knee level.
Remember, this is motorcycles, and mostly guys, so overt enthusiasm is viewed with some suspicion.
The interstate is a different story, requiring an arm-outstretched wave for people in the opposite lanes, or just a quick finger-forward “how ya doin'” motion for people who are passing.
There are other waves, to be sure. E-mail your favorites to email@example.com, and we’ll see if we can get a collection. Future anthropologists will thank you!