Do you name your bike(s)? - CycleBlaze

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Do you name your bike(s)?

Keith Adams

Until I bought a bike from my brother I never did, but his came with a name: "The Princess" and a suitable back story.  Later he gave me another of his bikes, a mountain bike he had christened "Zeus".  I don't know the origin of that name, but it got me in the habit of naming my own bikes.

Since then all my bikes have had names (some of those listed below have since passed to other hands, and I never had the entire assemblage simultaneously).  Listed here in no particular order, I have or have had:

Scout
Elsie
Abner
Potlatch
Spike
Quicksilver
Odysseus
Mad Max

[Oh!  I totally forgot about Scooter, and Zeus too.  Shame on me.]

Now I'm mulling the name of what will be the newest addition to my fleet.  It'll be something short and easily remembered; it'll be reflective of some aspect of the bike and the purpose for which it was bought.  Nothing grandiose or pretentious- a good solid workaday name for a good solid workaday tourer.

So, what about yours?

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2 months ago
Mike AylingTo Keith Adams

No, simply referred to as the (insert make/model or colour) bike.

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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Keith Adams

I don’t nickname much of anything except for my traveling partner.  I did come up with one for my Rodriguez Adventure though: Roddy.  Perfect, right?  Meets all the specs: short, easy to remember, reflective of the bike itself.  Too bad it’s taken, or you might use it for your Rodriguez.

You’ve got the Phinney Ridge model though, so you might play with that.  How about Huck?  It could be a good conversation starter.  You could use Phinny or Phin or Finn, but I’d go with Huck.  Or Endeavor.

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2 months ago
Susan CarpenterTo Keith Adams

Yes, I name all my bikes. In fact, I wrote an entry on naming my bikes in my first Cycle Blaze journal, here.  The bikes and naming of Dixxie, Stella, and Vivien George are described in the link. I’ve tried out several names for my new road bike but none have stuck - yet.

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2 months ago
Suzanne GibsonTo Keith Adams

I have often named my bikes: My Victoria was named Gloria, the Husqarna was called Husky and my present Simplon is Blu (its color, reminiscent of the refrain "nel blu dipinto di blu" from the hit Volare) - but I never use the names. I just say my bike.

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2 months ago
Keith AdamsTo Scott Anderson

More great ideas!

I could go with Rod, which would also be a nod in my father's direction: his name was Roger but inside the family his brothers often shortened it to Rod.

Huck has a certain appeal, referencing as it does the carefree, adventuresome literary character.

Although suggestions for my own new ride are welcome, mostly l started this thread out of curiosity and general nosiness about other people's bikes and the names they might have.

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2 months ago
Keith AdamsTo Susan Carpenter

That was a great essay, Susan.  Thanks for sharing it. 

We seem to share similar tastes: although I don't have a 520 my 620 was its direct ancestor, and I too have a Madone road bike.  Oh, and my mountain bike is made of titanium. 

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2 months ago
Keith AdamsTo Suzanne Gibson

When in conversation with someone who knows the names, or in a journal article, I use them.  When I'm talking with a stranger, it's usually just "my bike".

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2 months ago
Keith AdamsTo Mike Ayling

Simple, self-evident, unambiguous, and informative.  Nothing wrong with that.

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2 months ago
Gregory GarceauTo Keith Adams

When I first started reading bike touring journals about eight years ago, I noticed quite a few people gave names to their bikes.  Previously, I knew people who named their cars, boats, stuffed toys and, in one case, a very unkind name for a lawnmower.    I always thought it was absurd to name an inanimate object, as if it was a child, or a pet, or a racehorse.

I changed my mind about naming one's bike when . . . um, when I did it myself.  I figured if the U.S. Navy can name its ships, cities can name their streets, and manufacturers can name their products, then maybe it wouldn't be so absurd to name my bike.  I gave my bike a suitably absurd name though, and I'm so glad I did.  Now, I can no more think of the idea of my bike without its name than I can think of my kids without their names.

Below, you'll see I copied-and-pasted an excerpt from the gear page of my America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA journal.  It might provide some insight into how I came up with the name.

"Let's start with the bike itself.  It's a stock 2013 Surly Long Haul Trucker.  It has new tires.  It is comfortable, reliable, sturdy, and fun to ride.  It seems fashionable to give one's bike a name.  I usually do not follow fashion, and it seems strange to me, but I think my bike DESERVES a name.  Yesterday, I looked long and hard at it.  I studied its shape and color, its strengths and weaknesses, its personality.  Everything considered, I narrowed it down to three possible names.

1) The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong

2) Capitalist Pig Dog

3) Jim

Today, I made the final decision.  I chose option #1.   However, I liked #3 so much that I will relegate that name to my tent.  Yes, Jim the Tent."

So, yeah, I named my tent too.  I hope this has contributed to the discussion.

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2 months ago