Motorcyclists aren’t a monolithic group of people. We don’t necessarily share the same values and likes. We wear different types of gear. Our tastes in bikes vary.

Some of us like to cross the country on big cruisers that make the ride comfortable and easy. Others want something light and quick that can take tight curves and narrow straightaways. There are guys on adventure bikes, women on retro classics. Some turn old Japanese motos into British style café racers. Others create custom choppers or bobbers. Some people have only ridden on concrete; others were raised in the dirt.

For most of us though, there is a common occurrence, something most of us have seen or done.

When another rider is coming toward you, more often then not, that rider will give you a wave, and you will probably wave back. And over time, a lot of us end up being the person who initiates that wave.

Now I’m not saying this is an indication that motorcyclists are a great peaceful brotherhood or sisterhood, but there is a sense that we share something. Almost everyone drives a car. Motorcyclists are a smaller lot. We know the road can be dangerous and have a respect and admiration for those who are willing to take that risk with us. And while riding can be a joy, bad weather can quickly turn it into misery; a wave from another rider is an indication that he or she knows what you’re going through when your boots are filing with water. He or she’s been there too.

So if you’re new to riding and someone on a bike waves to you, feel free to wave back. They’re probably not an overly friendly creep. He or she is just acknowledging the shared experience of an engine, two wheels underneath and the road in front.

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