Motorcyclists point two fingers down, why?
- on September 19, 2019
While riding on the serene roads of Germany with my buddies, I noticed a biker riding on the opposite lane who raised a two finger wave to us. Some of us waved back to him but some didn’t understand what the anonymous rider actually meant. It got me thinking, how many of us are actually aware of the ‘two-finger biker wave?’ And even if some are, how many actually practice it when they see other riders?
When thinking of a ‘two-finger wave’ the first notion that comes to the mind is that: your index and middle finger are straight, touching your forehead, while the rest are folded. This is a kind of salute used by the armed forces in different parts of the world, symbolizing honour and fatherland. However, the action of ‘two-finger wave’ is different for motorcyclists, which altogether has a different meaning. Let’s find out!
Motorcyclists, while riding a bike when encountered by other bikers coming from the opposite direction, point out their index and middle finger of their left hand towards the ground. This is a way of expressing respect towards the other motorcyclist. It’s our way of saying, “Hello! Keep the rubber side down, keep both wheels on the ground”. It signifies that the rider is wishing the fellow rider to stay safe and ride safe. Though there are many mysterious talks around the traditional biker wave, but let’s leave it for some other day. Also seen are many variations of rider wave, which all interpret into different ways of wishing goodness to other riders. While, when the same gesture is shown to a four-wheeled driver by a motorcyclist, it means that the biker is saying ‘Thank You!’
So whenever you cross paths with a motorcyclist, raise your hand to greet him with a two-finger biker wave. Let’s bring the community closer.
On Needles highway in South Dakota, when you come to the check in station to go through the park, there is a glove on the pole signifying “Two Wheels Down”. Be careful, it’s a very winding road! As is Iron Mountain!
The gesture originated as a low key warning from club bikers to other club bikers that there were cops ahead. it was a downward motion “wave” as if to say SLOw DOWN. It evolved into a “respect” gesture for riders but without the downward waving. *Pro-Tip, If you’re riding past a group of bikers the protocol would be the first and last biker in the group will throw fingers. it keeps the group speed more constant so they don’t get the “slinky effect.” Also; don’t do it on curvy roads, smart riders will ignore you, but RUBS and novices may try to wave back when they should be finishing the turn.
For me personally it’s a show of respect and we’ll wishes. All riders should be safe and respected. Not all riders do this and the form is different but all started in the same place 2down, be safe.
Rubber side down
Anything that promotes caring, understanding, peace & goodwill is valuable and worthwhile. Humankind needs every bit of shared concern for one another. Treat everyone the way you’d like to be treated is the best advice ever given.