I have a little different theory about people waving on the roads and the apparent regional differences. While I can't argue that hospitality is rampant through much of the South, there are certainly many places thoughout the country where folks wave will wave at on coming traffic and usually use more than one finger. I believe that in most rural areas of the country this is usually the case.
That doesn't mean that there are not any friendly urban environments but as a whole urban environments are generally less friendly. Here are o few of my thoughts.
1. The social pressures of cramming so many people in a small area and the hectic pace of urban life makes people less friendly.
2. Your chance of meeting an a**hole is directly proportional to the population density.
3. Urban drivers are too busy shaving, reading, applying makeup, eating, talking on the phone, etc., etc., etc.
4. In urban environs it is almost impossible to look at every driver to see if they are waving so you miss many opportunities
. Passing a lone rider on a country road is easier to manage.
5. Most urban drivers are plum tuckered out after a half hour on the road and just can't raise their arm any more
6. People are driving faster and they don't have time to respond. By the time they figure out you don't have a gun in your hand it's too late to wave back
In spite of the urban/rural bias it is still obvious that the motorcycling community, as a whole, seems more road friendly than people in cages regardless of the locality. That is probably because we are feeling so happy to have survived another day of car wars
. I find that the majority of riders will wave back regardless of the type of motorcycles that are being ridden though there are definitely some folks running around with a brand or style bias. They are probably stuck up on any number of issues and I could care less.
I put myself solidly in the "always wave" group. What I find interesting is I find myself waving differently depending on which motorcycle I ride. On my HD I tend to do the inverted V down to the side thing that has become so prevalent. I don't know if this is the V-Twin salute or some other secret squirrel biker insider thing. Of course the motorcyle scene is one of the most conformed non-conformant movements in history. I have been riding HDs since 1972 and the only other thing that came close to this was the peace symbol. Maybe all the baby boomers are just getting lazy
. I feel comfortable doing it on my HD but for some reason I wave with my whole hand riding on my LT. Perhaps investing all five fingers in this expression makes it less of a social statement and more of a sincere greeting