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OFSO
17th May 2012, 10:45
As I don't drive my car all that quickly these days, if I see a motorcyclist in the mirror I pull well over so he can overtake me. Almost all motorcyclists wave "thanks" with their foot - the right foot here on ze Continent is lifted off the peg and a quick up-and-down motion acknowledges my act.

Is this universally known ? When did it start ?

Tableview
17th May 2012, 10:52
I started seeing it a couple of years ago, the first time I thought it was probably a rude gesture but clearly it isn't, and in fact I quite appreciate it now and make an effort to pull over and let them pass. As an ex-biker I know how much safer it feels to know that motorists are aware of you.

david1300
17th May 2012, 10:54
Here is Australia it's usually a wave with an open left hand - we drive on the left so it is easy to momentarily take your hand of the bars and wave. In countries where you drive on the right it's not possible to take the right hand off the bars as then the throttle closes, so an acknowledgement with the foot is a courteous gesture of appreciation.

sled dog
17th May 2012, 11:00
i used the foot wave as a gesture of thanks many many years ago. Nothing new at all.

mixture
17th May 2012, 11:06
In countries where you drive on the right it's not possible to take the right hand off the bars as then the throttle closes

Erm... you've got two hands, what's the big deal with waving with your left when riding on the right ? You're only riding a motorcycle .... the car driver is going to as easily be able to see your left hand as your right !

McGoonagall
17th May 2012, 11:11
They may be letting one rip as a gesture of contempt?

:uhoh:

Radar66
17th May 2012, 11:14
Not in the left side driving UK when the bike has passed you - you can only see the left side so either the left hand or foot is used to acknowledge your courtesy.

When I see a bike behind me I often tuck in as close to the left of the lane/road as possible to allow them to overtake whilst flashing my indicator briefly to indicate that it was a purposeful move - especially in heavy traffic. Just because you can't overtake, there is no reason to stop bikes doing so if they should wish. 99.9% of them seem to appreciate it and use either the left foot or hand to show it. ;)

JEM60
17th May 2012, 11:23
RADAR66. My move is absolutely identical to yours, and it is appreciated 95% of the time by 'proper' motorcyclists with a wave of left hand or left foot.

Fareastdriver
17th May 2012, 12:01
They don't have bikes in the Middle East that can overtake you.

Fitter2
17th May 2012, 12:29
or in China........

http://i50.tinypic.com/30utshg.jpg

vulcanised
17th May 2012, 12:45
Must be 20 years ago I received my first foot (left) wave. I too thought it was a rude gesture at first, then considered that I'd done the chap a favour so it couldn't have been.

david1300
17th May 2012, 12:57
@mixture - sounds like you don't ride ;) or you would know the answer (not as visible to the driver as it can be obscured by your body) :)

As a regular biker I know there is generally great goodwill from bikers to drivers whenever the driver sees a biker and works together to facilitate overtaking.

Windy Militant
17th May 2012, 13:59
I think it comes from racing, especially the smaller classes.
If riding a stinkwheel buzz bomb
You can't wave the left hand as you don't want to shut the throttle and lose speed.
You don't want to use the left hand thats on the clutch lever in case the bugger nips up and locks the back wheel.
Depending which side the gear shift is, that foot is probably busy tapdancing the shifter.
So the only one left is the one working the back brake which doesn't get used much any way. :}
It's possibly become fashionable on the road as people fiddle with onboard gagets like intercoms and MP3 players.;)

sitigeltfel
17th May 2012, 14:12
Also, in the big cities here, drivers tend to leave a larger gap between the vehicles in the two outside lanes in slow moving traffic to let the "motards" pass. The authorities have tried to ban the "undertaking" manoeuvre, but the bikers being French held a go-slow and brought the peripherique in Paris to a grinding halt.

mixture
17th May 2012, 14:25
@david1300

@mixture - sounds like you don't ride or you would know the answer (not as visible to the driver as it can be obscured by your body)

Indeed I don't ride, but I do cycle and I do drive. Wearing my cyclist hat (helmet ?) I can't think of a reason why I would favour one hand over the other, for example I would counter that I depends where you hand is ? For example anything above shoulder height is unlikely to be obscured unless you've got a massive head ... :cool:

Carry0nLuggage
17th May 2012, 15:24
When in traffic I always do my best to leave more room for motor cyclists to get past, for the benefit of both of us. It is amazing to see the number of drivers who get out of the way AFTER the motor bike has passed. I'd bet they don't check that there isn't a second bike coming up on the other side before moving over either.

Storminnorm
17th May 2012, 15:30
I never used to wave to motorists when I passed them when
I had a motorbike.
I was usually going so quickly they wouldn't have noticed anyhow.

pvmw
17th May 2012, 16:43
.I can't think of a reason why I would favour one hand over the other,..........
It is very obvious from that statement you dont ride a bike. The right hand is operating the throttle - remove your hand to wave and you are suddenly subjected to a large amount of engine braking. Do that halfway through a manoeuvre and you will be smacked up the chuff by the following car (who may well be fixated on keeping the correct distance from the car in front of you, as for a number of drivers the motorcycle appears to be next to invisible.)

As has been pointed out, the left hand is often obscured by the body of the rider and can't be seen. The leg shake provides a convenient alternative. Where they drive on the other side of the road, for example in France, the hand wave with the left hand is much more common.

Seldomfitforpurpose
17th May 2012, 16:46
@david1300



Indeed I don't ride, but I do cycle and I do drive. Wearing my cyclist hat (helmet ?) I can't think of a reason why I would favour one hand over the other, for example I would counter that I depends where you hand is ? For example anything above shoulder height is unlikely to be obscured unless you've got a massive head ... :cool:

Comparing riding a pushbike and a motorbike is like comparing apples and bathtubs..........

In the UK in general a motorcyclist will acknowledge courtesy by taking their left hand off the handle bar by no more than a few inches, pause for a second or two with an open palm before returning the left hand to it's proper place.

By doing it that way there is no major effect on balance etc and because the hand remains in such close proximity to the handlebars safety is also hardly compromised.

On the continent to carry out the same thing would mean removing the right hand from the throttle, throttle being spring loaded now closes and bike decelerates which is bad juju in busy traffic so the use of the right foot to "wave" makes sense.

Try to imagine that next time you are on your push bike peddling like mad and getting up a real head of steam then imagine taking either hand off the handle bars and position it such that you can clearly wave to someone over your opposite shoulder.........

Now imagine doing that whilst on a motorbike going a darn site faster in busy traffic and you will have the reason behind why they do it as they do :ok:

mixture
17th May 2012, 17:05
Seldomfitforpurpose,

I would have thought waving your foot and leg around would have been more likely to compromise your safety than arms.

Then again, as a driver, I've never been thanked by leg or arm by bikers for letting them pass..... they just zoom past at 100mph never to be seen again. Guess the roads on which I find myself attract more of the those deserving the "organ donor" title !

Oh well, each to their own... left foot in, right foot out, shake it all about ... guess we could argue this one out until the cows come home. So let's agree to disagree.

pvmw
17th May 2012, 17:06
I used to consider motorcycles the work of the devil, as a rider I have reluctantly decided to revise my opinion!!!!:}

I drive reularly on the continent and occasionally in Italy, and have recently started doing so on the bike. Generally, motorists are much more tolerant and amenable to bikers than in the UK - esp. in Italy where most car drivers drive like lunatics.

I discussed it with the son of an Italian friend who is a keen biker last year. His explanation is that, especially in Italy, all teenagers aspire to riding a motorbike (his younger brother started riding his moped around the local town when he was 12 - when I questioned it his logic was impeccable "if I'm wearing my helmet that can't see me, so they think I'm my brother). When they graduate to driving a car, most drivers have experienced what it is like to be a biker - so they are much more understanding of what it is like to be on a bike. No Italian car driver I know would suggest taking his hand off the throttle at speed to wave thanks.

Perhaps driving experience should be graduated. Minimum of 1 year on a moped, one year on a large bike (assuming test passed), two years driving a Morris thousnad, and then finally be permitted to graduate to something larger.

spekesoftly
17th May 2012, 17:22
Putting this in the context of MotoGp etc, the riders are evidently a very friendly and polite bunch - much foot waving to be seen! ;)

Seldomfitforpurpose
17th May 2012, 18:25
Then again, as a driver, I've never been thanked by leg or arm by bikers for letting them pass.....

I, like others on here have said, have been thanked with a wave on numerous occasions for showing consideration to bike riders, guess you and I must have very different driving styles :ok:

anotherthing
17th May 2012, 18:46
Get thanked, either by foot or hand by about 75% of motorcyclists, latest about an hour ago.

I always try to make eye contact in the rear view mirror with any motorcyclist behind me, just to let them know that I am aware they are there (so won't drive in a manner that will compromise them) and pull to the side as much as I can.

I think motorcyclists are appreciative if people are aware of them. They often get the 'organ donor' title that Mixture alludes to, but a lot of the time the accidents are caused by drivers who pootle along in a dream like state, totally unaware of what goes on around them.

Never had a bike, but do cycle. Although poles apart, I think the experience gained by being on two wheels makes you more aware of your actions when on four

Seldomfitforpurpose
17th May 2012, 18:56
but a lot of the time the accidents are caused by drivers who pootle along in a dream like state, totally unaware of what goes on around them.


And generally those are the drivers that never get waved at :ok:

Sir George Cayley
17th May 2012, 19:01
I've always waved my foot to drivers to thank them for being courteous :ok:

However I don't own a bike just a car:eek:

SGC

jabird
17th May 2012, 19:48
I think this kick does have a translation into driverese?

If on a country road at night where a tourist is pootling along and they see you want to go past and pullover, you can't respond with a flash of headlights, so is it not good practice to flash the indicator left then right?

In the daytime, a simple raise of the hand should do.

As a cyclist, I think raising a hand should do fine, I rarely find myself in a position where I cannot do that, as it is only a brief loss of stability and I can wait a few seconds to change gear - although I wouldn't want to make such a signal if I was going round a corner and needed both hands on handlebars.

As someone who uses SPD pedals, I want to keep my feet "locked in" as much as possible - I have only ever had to give a "foot signal" once, and it was in order to stop a driver from pulling out straight into my path. Needless to say he got the message!

stuckgear
17th May 2012, 19:49
i never had tableview pegged as a biker.. the CT chapter of the HA :ooh:

even though my driving style is at the upper end of speed limits, i always make room for bikers and afford them extra caution and consideration (same with HGV drivers too), never noticed the foot signal though, usually i get the throttle fingers raised in salute. ('salute' being a word of french origin!)

racedo
17th May 2012, 21:30
See the foot rising all the time on the M25 if I or someone has moved out of way, means more likely to continue to do so, when bikers start being ignorant :mad: and inconsiderate then will act differently but not expecting to see that anytime soon. Have often deliberately adjusted mirrors so they know I see them when they behind and not seeking to pass.

Consideration costs nothing both ways.

Loose rivets
17th May 2012, 21:45
Flippin' SILLY!


I wouldn't dream of taking my foot off the peg while overtaking, it might well release the suction grip of my buttocks to the saddle. :ooh:

mixture
17th May 2012, 22:39
I, like others on here have said, have been thanked with a wave on numerous occasions for showing consideration to bike riders, guess you and I must have very different driving styles


Or just the fact that you pootle about in leafy Oxon .... whilst I have to contend with roads that see motorcycle couriers and such like.... who display the motorbike equivalent of White Van Man Syndrome. :mad:

Don't get me wrong. I know there are many good bikers around.... just like there are no doubt many good cyclists..... but around where I find myself, I seem to get red light jumpers and everything else !

david1300
18th May 2012, 02:43
As a biker I have found most of the comments on this thread great, and they have given me an inner feeling of well-being, specially to all you biker-aware drivers. Thank you :ok: We know that being on a bike makes as more vulnerable and we also know that we can (and do) upset some people, but the general goodwill shown here is great.

Tomorrow the sun will be shining on our crisp Autumn morning, we'll head out for breakfast and a ride in the countryside - appreciative of the considerate drivers :)

http://i46.tinypic.com/2u74p35.jpg

OFSO
18th May 2012, 11:04
Heck no, David, you're on the more powerful machine, it's nice and narrow, why shouldn't we let you pass in safety if we can ?


Thanks for all the posts here and let the spirit of brotherhood* on the roads continue.


* Except for the white van man. And the French drivers from 66 land. Especially the French drivers from 66 land.

Lon More
18th May 2012, 11:29
Top Ten Reasons Why Goldwing Riders Don't Wave Back

They aren't sure whether the other rider is waving or making an obscene gesture.
They risk getting frostbite if they take their hand off the heated grip.
They have arthritis and it is difficult to raise their arm.
The reflection from the etched windshield was momentarily blinding.
The on-board espresso machine had just finished.
They were asleep when other rider waved.
They were involved in a three-way conference call with their stock broker and accessories dealer.
They were distracted by an oddly shaped blip on their radar screen.
They were simultaneously adjusting the air suspension, seat height, programmable CD player, seat temperature and satellite navigation system.
They couldn't find the "auto wave-back" button on their dashboard.

Milo Minderbinder
18th May 2012, 16:59
If all car drivers were forced to spend three years riding bikes before moving to four wheels, the roads would be a damn sight safer
You learn safe defensive driving techniques rather quickly on a bike - something you'll never forget

OFSO
18th May 2012, 17:14
Lon - how very true

Milo - how very true

jabird
18th May 2012, 23:28
Thanks for all the posts here and let the spirit of brotherhood* on the roads continue.

Lol (in both senses perhaps Mr Cameron?)

If you want the argument thread, look up the cyclists!

I got waved at by a bus driver earlier on as he drove on and I was about to walk across a pelican crossing - quite bizarre, but it seems that particular crossing (by the Library in the Royal Spa) works in reverse to the way all the others work!

As for cyclists v bikers, I could perhaps sum it up as follows:

I love by bike, it is a gracious, fast and clean machine - but I do despair at the actions of so many of my "fellow" cyclists.

I can't stand motorbikes - they are noisy, dirty, and frankly extremely dangerous machines. However, I have never experienced anything other than courtesy from 99% of the bikers I encounter, whether I'm on my bike, on foot, in a car or just walking past the bikers' pub round the corner.

I suppose the "organ donor" label must mean that those that do wish to go around on two wheels with a very powerful engine make sure they live life to the fullest whilst they can, and a happy person is always a courteous person.

Milo Minderbinder
18th May 2012, 23:41
a week before Christmas i had the headgasket and radiator blow on my old Rover 400 while heading north up the M6. Managed to get it off and onto the slip road at J31 (Preston) where it seized and a quick check proved it was ****ed.
I stood on the side of the slip road at the junction with the road into Preston for two hours waiting for a tow from the AA. During that time (evening rush hour) just one person stopped to see if he could help - a fully patched Hells Angel on a Harley
Theres a moral about preconceptions there somewhere

ShyTorque
18th May 2012, 23:48
Cyclists round our way are taught to respond to consideration shown by sticking up one finger. Or two fingers if you've been extra specially careful by swerving to avoid killing them when they fly off the pavement in front of you.

If I can't knock them off I just scream abuse and reply like for like with the same number of fingers. If my wife is driving I help her out by dropping my trousers and mooning out of the rear windscreen at them.

:E

FullOppositeRudder
19th May 2012, 02:12
Interesting thread. :D

In 50+ years of driving I've have never seen a leg wave from a motorcyclist in Down Under, and I certainly wouldn't do it myself.

For 40+ years I rode bikes barely powerful enough to pass a fit cyclist. Now that I have significant power under the seat, I find that my style is to stay with the open road traffic speed, so I still don't do much overtaking. I always acknowledge with a brief wave of my left hand if I have to. Oncoming motor cyclists in remote areas get a lesser acknowledgement with the left hand, or the Motor Cyclist Nod (http://ask.metafilter.com/213383/How-do-motorcyclists-and-cyclists-around-the-world-greet-each-other) .

It traditional and polite to acknowledge all oncoming vehicles, no matter what you are driving, when in remote parts of Australia. The precise definition of "remote" varies, but when you see oncoming divers giving you a wave, it's safe to assume that you now qualify.

Regards,
FoR

sitigeltfel
19th May 2012, 06:14
If all car drivers were forced to spend three years riding bikes before moving to four wheels, the roads would be a damn sight safer

Darwinism would also weed out the reckless ones before they were allowed to move up to larger, and more dangerous vehicles.

jabird
20th May 2012, 21:31
Cyclists round our way are taught to respond to consideration shown by sticking up one finger. Or two fingers if you've been extra specially careful by swerving to avoid killing them when they fly off the pavement in front of you.

If I can't knock them off I just scream abuse and reply like for like with the same number of fingers.


ShyTorque - I'm sorry but your attitude is despicable.

There are bad apples in any group, and I don't deny there are plenty of cyclists who have a rather imaginative interpretation of the road rules. However, their stupidity does not give you a carte blanche to go round trying to knock them off their perch.

You have a duty of care and attention to your fellow road users, but especially to riders of any type (motorbikes, pedal cycles and horses) as these modes of transport are inherently less stable than 4 wheels.

If you still want to hurl abuse, then by all means go ahead and be as juvenile as you like - all you are doing is matching your manners with their road skills. :D

avi8.5
20th May 2012, 22:13
I suspect ShyTorques tongue is very firmly planted in his cheek........but then again :E

vulcanised
20th May 2012, 22:34
You have a duty of care and attention


Your use of that phrase speaks volumes about you.