Friday, January 25, 2013

In Which CR Biker Seeks A Moniker For A Bike

My bike, in need of a name, in a rack at MMU. I assume that like ships, the bike is "she" and should have a feminine name, but if you think she's a "Ralph," let me know. Anyway, help CR Biker name his bike.

I rode yesterday, and it was a bit of a challenge in the morning. As in, it was freakishly cold, and bundled up as I was, I am not sure it was a great idea.

Today was very different—flurries overnight had left no snow on the street, the clouds were clearing, there was very little breeze. I had to leave home early due to an 8 a.m. class, and I had to run with lights on, but the morning ride was pleasant.

I suspect the afternoon ride will be even more pleasant, and yes, I’m looking forward to it.

And here is my bike, Old Blackie, parked at Warde Hall today. I think “Old Blackie” is a terrible name, by the way—a lazy, thoughtless name based only on the mere color of the bike.

OB is all alone in the rack. Last night, there was a fairly sexy looking Schwinn (10 speed with the drop handlebars) to keep my bike company, but today? Nothing but passing pedestrians, who surely must be wondering: Who is that bright, intelligent, intrepid soul who would cycle up this hill on this fine winter morning? Or they were thinking something like that.

Last night when I was leaving work, one of the administrators of the U was passing by, and she made some friendly remark about how I must be a “hardy soul.” Somehow, seeing me on a cold winter night with my lights on, I doubt that “hardy” is the first adjective that most onlookers would choose, but yes, I like to think I’m a hardy soul.

I would also like to think I’m a better bike namer. Early on in my life, the family car was a 1959 chartreuse VW microbus that my mother dubbed, for no reason I can discern, “Clarissa.” The name stuck. When we went somewhere, we didn’t go in a van, we rode Clarissa.

I don’t carry on the tradition. The Kia Sedona and the Mazda G3 that are parked in my driveway are nameless hunks of steel and plastic, practical machines that serve only utilitarian purposes.

Old Blackie is different. She and I have a relationship. I ride my bike as a hobby or pastime, not strictly as practical transportation. And it is the nature of machines that my relationship with Old Blackie will probably be longer-term than the relationship I have with the Kia of no name.

Yet, I am not satisfied with “Old Blackie” as a name. It’s too lame. Help me out, blog fans.

I could, as an homage to tradition, name her “Clarissa,” but I won’t because that would be too confusing. Clarissa will always be green. I could name her, as a nod to both my spouse and to “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Audrey II.” But no, the bike is not a man-eating monster.

See her sitting there all alone in the rack, friends. What should her name be, and why?

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