And may explain why most cyclist wave by nodding their heads slightly ... and most motorcyclists wave by slightly extending a low hand. It's all about efficiency.
Amazing, just indubitably amazing.
Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.
'85 Trek 460 road racer
'89 Raleigh Technium PRE
'79 Motobecane Super Mirage
the wave died in the early 90's, but the rednecks at the sporting events i go to in southwest ohio keep doing it. sigh!
Thanks for sharing your results.
My experiment: I wave to every cyclist I see and about 50-60 percent return the waves. Most all ladies, casual riders and older folks wave back at me. The 20-something to mid 40s guys with expensive bikes and outfits are the ones typically who do not wave back.
IMO, The real reason some "roadies" don't wave back is they are judgmental A-holes plain and simple. If your not as cool as they are, you don't deserve a wave.
When I do give a wave, I usually lift my left hand and wave while keeping my palm on the bar. It is obvious that I'm giving a wave but I'm not getting my arm in the action.
I think it is too much work sometimes though. When I'm getting to the end of my ride and I'm feeling the bonk coming on, I really don't have much energy to expend on even a nod of my head, let along actually having to lift that single finger. I need every bit of energy I can get.
I wear speed gloves. I think they have negative drag or something.
Hard science! We now have somewhere to point when this topic inevitably comes up again.
It really bothers me that I finish my ride .00000099 seconds slower because I waved at someone.
The "real" roadies are the ones out there riding when it's near freezing (or worse) or the weather's bad. Funny how I never see these "super serious roadies" when I'm out putting in the miles then. I supposed they can't be bothered to wave because their cycling is limited to the brief period when the weather is perfect - gotta be intense to get it all in for that brief period. Watching these guys with their faux intensity is always good humor for a mile or so.
There is one guy who just kills me. He's riding a classic 60-70's road bike complete with cloth bar tape. He's got his little cycling cap on with the brim pulled down over his eyes, a jersey from the same period and wool shorts (no kidding), macrame style gloves, lace up cleats/toe clips all locked in - the whole nine yards. He comes riding by and won't even look at someone going the other way no matter what. It's hilarious - he's deep into his Eddie Merckx fantasy.
I'm going to have to work on my waving form now that I realize the severe aero consequences.
I don't begrudge anyone their Eddie Merckx fantasy or their fair weather intensity. Heck, being occasionally self conscious I figure if I'm in the full getup, get a fierce intense look on my face, gear down and spin really fast, no one will notice how slow I'm actually going. Not from a car window anyway.
But that 12% extra drag, people spend thousands of dollars to drop less drag than that, that's serious business.
Test needs repeated with the wave being a slight lift of the first 3 fingers or palm from the handgrip, not arm extended flapping around like a flag in a hurricane.
Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!
Well, i don't know but I even find myself waving at homeless guys on junk bikes with hobo bars. It must be an illness or something.
I wave all the time with a twitch of 3 fingers. Sometimes a tiny jerk of the head. My impression is that no one notices. (if they don't notice, they'd have the same complaint about me not waving as if I hadn't, so we need a big wave here) You can test for the small waves if you want - but my intuition is that waving generally falls between the two extremes.
Last edited by wphamilton; 06-30-14 at 10:53 AM.
Earn the Burn.... Reap the Gain