Sunday, August 10, 2008

The bikers guide to the secret handshake.

Every society, weather it be secret or not, has a certain expected ritual in which individuals identify themselves with that particular society. In the office world, it has a form of "Casual Fridays", In the Party School Fraternity, it looks more like a upside-down beer chugging contest. Whatever society you are a part of, there are rituals, regardless if you know it or not!

Bikers beware, what I am about to share has been passed down from generation to generation, unknowingly through time. It is a truth that will awaken the realization to others that bikers, although they work hard to communicate their solidarity, are actually one of "Them"... A part of the "In" crowd (please don't egg my house or throw rotten fish at my windows, you know that its true).

Just like the frat boys of old, or the Illuminati... The secrets in the handshake (or beer guzzle if you prefer).

It begins at about 100 meters out, the recognition of another biker heading your way. Any further than 100 meters makes it more difficult to distinguish if it is a "True" motorcycle, or a set of motorized wheels that an 8 year old would get for Christmas, or a last attempt mode of transportation for someone who can't keep a license if their liver depends on it (and in most cases it does).
At this point the handshake truly begins....

step 1. Recognition - I see them, do they see me?
step 2. Loyalty? - What kind of bike are they riding? Harley, Harley Wannabe, Crotch Rocket? and will they respond if I initiate?
step 3. Execute - The Most Vital of Steps!
step 4. The Return
step 5. The George Lucas!

Steps 1&2 are fairly self explanatory, yet critical to the "Brotherhood". It's not a pretty site when you let slip a brotherhood tradition, to someone who is driving a metal frame powered by a lawnmower!

Step 3 - The Most important, is the execution of the "Secret Handshake".
The execution begins from the neck. As you are riding (regardless of what type of bike you may be on) at the point of execution the bottom of your chin should be parallel to the gas tank on which you sit. The neck should be limber, but still firm in that you don't want a sudden gust of wind to ruin all that you are preparing for.

At this point, the chin should be lifted heavenward no more than 15-20 degrees at which point the chin should stop moving and begin its return to its resting place parallel to the tank. This movement should take precisely 1.5 seconds to complete from start to finish. Any faster, and you risk looking like you are having a spasm, any slower and the people driving next to you will begin looking for the piece of sky that is falling. This move should not exceed more than 15-20 degrees, any more than this and you risk whiplash, and a good sound laughing from your passing brother

This is the tricky part.... As soon as the chin has begun to move, the left arm should also move... out away from the body turning only at the shoulder, elbow locked in the same position as you were driving. The arm should move out so the left hand is facing the opposite street ready to greet the passing driver. Now not everyone sees the importance of the hand shape as I do. Let me explain.

Some bikers prefer to extend the first 2 fingers out as the "Peace" sign... This is perfectly acceptable, however discouraged by me because of its insinuation that you are a part of another crowd... the hippies.

Others see it as just sticking your hand out fully extended.... here's the problem with that;
1. it looks like you are trying to fly-- please, for the love of all that is holy... don't flap
2. If your arm is raised too high, you can be mistaken for a white supremacist, or one of the Luftwaffe.

My preferred method is sort of a mixed approach - first two fingers go lazily out the other fingers stay in roughly the same shape as while riding. This speaks volumes... it says, Hey man, what's happnin.... your cool, I'm cool --- but not too cool, ya dig??

Now at this point you have completed the execution!

Step 4. The return. If you have judged carefully, and the other driver has seen you then as soon as your arm has been extended you should see the return "Handshake" from the other driver.

If there is no return, don't worry... You may not have completely botched the execution.... It may be that the other driver has misjudged and assumed you wouldn't "Shake" because of bike breed type, or other factor. However it may still be your fault so try every time you see another biker (of course there could be other environmental factors, wind, water, sun, etc.)

Step 5. The George Lucas, Affectionately called this, by me, based on his use of sunsets as a metaphor for change... At this stage of the "handshake" there is nothing left to do but to ride off into the sunset, hoping for another opportunity to prove your mettel in the brotherhood that is the biker!


terry said...

Perhaps the term "mettle" would have been better used at the conclusion.

Timothy R. Heistand said...

Yes, perhaps...
thanks terry.... unfortunately spellcheck only works when the word is spelled wrong, not the wrong word

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