To Wave or Not to Wave
By Shalom Auslander
I love motorcycles, and I love riding. Like many of you, what first drew me to bikes was not just the experience of riding, but the feeling that I'd become part of a special community, a brotherhood, really. Nothing calms me more than a long ride down the interstate, waving to the members of my beloved clan. Except when I pass Harley guys. I hate Harley guys. Hate, hate, hate. When they pass me on the highway, you know what I do? I don't wave. With their little tassle handlebars and the studded luggage and the half-helmets?God, they drive me crazy.
You know who else I hate? BMW guys. Oh, I do hate those guys. I don't wave at them, either. They think they're so great, sitting all upright, with their 180-degree German engines. God, I hate them. They're almost as bad as those old bastards on their touring motorcycles. You know what I call those bikes? "Two-wheeled couches!" Get it? Because they're so big. They drive around like they've got all day. Appreciate the scenery somewhere else, Grampa, and while you're at it, I'm not waving to you.
Ducati guys?I don't wave at them either. Why don't they spend a little more money on their bikes? "You can have it in any color you want, as long as it's red." Aren't you cool! Like they even know what a desmo-whatever engine is, anyway. Try finding the battery, you Italian-wannabe racers! I never, ever wave at those guys.
Suzuki guys aren't much better, which is why I never wave at them, either. They always have those stupid helmets sitting on top of their stupid heads, and God forbid they should wear any safety gear. They make me so mad. Sometimes they'll speed by and look over at me and you know what I do? I don't wave. I just keep on going. Please, don't get me started on Kawasaki guys. Ninjas? What are you, twelve years old? Team Green my ass. I never wave at Kawasaki guys.
I ride a Honda, and I'll only wave at Honda guys, but even then, I'll never wave at a guy in full leathers. Never, never, never. Yeah, like you're going to get your knee down on the New York Thruway. Nice crotch, by the way. Guys in full leathers will never get a wave from me, and by the way, neither will the guys in two-piece leathers. And I'll tell you who else I'm not waving at?those guys with the helmets with the loud paintjobs. Four pounds of paint on a two pound helmet?like I'm going to wave back to that! I'll also never wave at someone with a mirrored visor. Or helmet stickers. Or racing gloves. Or hiking boots.
To me, motorcycling is a like a family, a close-knit brotherhood of people who ride Hondas, wear jeans and a leather jacket (not Vanson) with regular gloves and a solid-color helmet with a clear visor, no stickers, no racing gloves and regular boots (not Timberlands). And isn't that what really makes riding so special?
Shalom Auslander writes Esquire's Dubious Achievements of the Week.