Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We Ride Bikes! Woop, Woop, Woop!

There is a peculiar little wave used by cyclists who are passing each other in opposing directions sometimes. In London Ontario, almost nobody does it, so I don't usually do it either. I am, however, always ready to wave back when it happens. I kinda like it. Here's a sample:
I understand why the wave needs to be understated. Nobody wants it confused with a signal for turning or stopping or whatever. It seems awful quiet and tentative though, considering how awesome it is that 1) you are riding a bike and 2) they are also riding a bike and 3) you're both willing to wave, signifying that you "get" each other at least in some small way.
Have you ever heard a group of Australians respond to the call "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" with a rousing "Oi, Oi, Oi"?


I wish it was like that with passing cyclists. I mean, how fun would it be if instead of a small hand gesture, we all did this:
An additional bonus is that this could be used after you've overtaken someone too, since it isn't a visual thing! Tell your friends. If the tens of people who read this blog start doing it, surely it will become an international phenomenon, right? WE RIDE BIKES! WOOP, WOOP, WOOP!

Yer Pal,
PS - In this day and age it seems everything has already been done. I often think up little inventions, only to search for them online and sure enough, somebody else has gotten there first. Wondering if by some bizarre chance somebody had already done something like this before, I searched "we ride bikes woop woop woop" and found that the Aussies, of all people, were already in the ballpark with the "WOOP! Rolling Festival", some sort of fun cycling thing in Sydney.
This event is not in direct conflict with my idea; in fact if they do it again, these people would probably be more than ready to take up my chant! I'm gonna try to contact them and give a link to this post on their facebook page. Can you feel the momentum building? WE RIDE BIKES! WOOP, WOOP, WOOP!

PPS - If you think it would feel awful stupid doing this, try doing both parts standing alone in a work parking lot at lunch just so you could make a stupid video. I hope nobody noticed.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I needed the lift after Bike Snob.

I was out for a post work therapy ride at two this morning and crossed paths with a cyclist who was probably in his late teens. I said "Good morning," but he never took his eyes off his phone.

RANTWICK said...

My pleasure. I had an abnormally good "good morning" day on my way in. Perhaps it will be your turn soon and I'll go back to getting the stinkeye.

John Romeo Alpha said...

I've noticed that the athletes tend to make, and respond best to, a gesture which resembles grabbing the lycra-encased rear end of the rider right next to their left-hand handlebars. So I make that type of wave to them, typically. To all others, I put my hand in the air like I just don't care. It's all rather confusing, but fortunately for this situation, drivers are mostly too distracted to notice anyway.

Anonymous said...


With all respect ... I'd prefer if bikes were so commonplace that we wouldn't need to celebrate them or congratulate each other for riding.

Give this a look ...

"I've been saying for years that we don't have bicycle culture in Copenhagen. We just have vacuum cleaner culture. We all have one, we all have learned to use it, we use it. End of story.

We don't buy vacuum cleaning clothes at a specialty store, we don't wave at other vacuum cleaning enthusiasts on the street, we don't keep 7 vacuum cleaners polished in our shed. It's not a hobby or a fetish or a sub-cultural membership card.

Our vacuums, like our bicycles, are just tools that make everyday life easier".

Dave said...

I just raise two fingers, if I feel gregarious. But sometimes, like today when I got the helpful suggestion for the one millionth time from a driver that I should ride on the sidewalk instead, I just raise one finger. I can only stand so much camaraderie.

Ian Brett Cooper said...

I always thought the response to "Aussie Aussie Aussie" was, "You f***ing c***!"

But that's just me.

Ian Brett Cooper said...

@ Anonymous:

Point taken, but the difference is, when you're using a vacuum cleaner, people with bigger and louder vacuum cleaners don't tell you to get off the carpet. If they did, then smaller quieter vacuum cleaner enthusiasts might band together, form subcultures and wave to each other on the street.

John said...

I hope I never get the same thrill from my vacuum as I do from my bike but if I ever do, I'm sure my family would have me locked-up.

John said...

ps. I usually just give a little head nod or a finger wave, rarely do I take my hands off the bars when there is a possible head on "meeting".

RANTWICK said...

Anon - I agree, it would great if everybody just rode bikes. The post was supposed to be just a bit of nonsense though. You know, like lighthearted stupidity rather than food for actual thought. Maybe the "tell your friends" thing was misleading...

Richard Sleegers said...

I call that one my "motorcycle wave" but it's hard to see. I can't say that I heard the Woop, Woop, Woop as I passed by, but I may have been listening to a podcast.

The construction on Wavell had diverted me, I don't usually go out that way but eventually I knew the camera would capture me in my spandex glory.

Richard Sleegers said...

I watched the videos out of order, the "first contact" was silent. I usually only give a nod, maybe secretly I was hoping for a featured profile post.

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