A name is an important part of life. A good name can be a road-map which guides its owner on their way. Names can be a reminder of who we are, who we wish to be or a reminder of those who love us. The best names give their owners a head start in life and by their use, can influence the interactions and experiences of the owner’s entire life. The popular song “A boy named Sue” is a good example of this. By naming his son Sue, the father in this Johnny Cash ballad has made sure that his son’s “fists got hard” and that his “wit got keen”. Something that was necessary since his absent father could not protect him. His name and the interactions which would stem from this acted like a compass making sure that he would be tough enough to survive.
Some bike companies put a lot of work into the names of their bikes, endowing them with a personality and a vigor ( a soul if you like) before they are even purchased by the final user. These bikes are often loved so much that obvious shortfallings in the specification can be forgiven, (just like we do with family members). These bikes are owned for longer and cared for better since we identify with them more as a person than as a thing. I once marveled at the lightweight feel of a carbon XC bike whose name consisted of numbers alone. Read my piece on bikes used as tools (by triathletes) here. A wise man informed me that companies can make these bikes so light because they remove the soul,(Red planet wisdom at its best, thanks, Ivor, RIP) maybe that’s why most of the well-named bikes here are made of metal.
One of my favorite names from the bicycle world is the Kaffenback (Cafe and back) from British bike company, Planet-X. This re-imagined name endears me to it, the Kaffenback sits firmly atop my list of bikes that I should own if a need arises. Read my bike justification post, here. Other names of merit are Surly’s Karate Monkey and Salsa’s Pony Rustler, for their absolute distraction from the cycling theme. Some bicycle manufacturers such as Vancouver-based Cove bikes and Premier BMX race frame specialists Dialled bikes have given their model’s X-Rated names. Googling any of these could certainly get you in trouble at work and may even land you on sex offenders list somewhere deep in cyberspace. Names such as Kobe-Ti (Tai) named after a porn star and the One-one Pompino, or blowjob in Spanish, must have made a few people laugh when parked in certain neighborhoods. Typing literally any of the Cove range into google is likely to shock and disturb, Just try Stiffee image! Some of these may seem innocent enough but beware the Shocker. The press generated by these infamous names creates a wave of news which is likely a deliberate move to get the brand noticed. This tactic is used elsewhere, even by multi-million dollar companies, as the saying goes, sex sells.
I have always enjoyed naming my bikes, I feel more of an affinity to a bicycle which has a name than to one which doesn’t. Naming a bike is easy, it doesn’t need to be common knowledge so it won’t be teased if you choose a silly one. Often, I decide on slightly comedic names, using alliteration has given me such bikes as; Betty, my black Tarmac (Bam-a-lam), Sammy, the Surly and Pauline, my commuting Pompetamine who gets ridden daily and loves every minute of it. Naming a human, on the other hand, is not easy, as I have recently discovered. Becoming a father and being trusted to come up with a name for a child who needs direction is a daunting task. Sleepless nights and endless lists hindered my progress until the night of her birth when a wolf moon shone down from above and ended my searching. Welcome to the world Luna Gray, I hope this name serves you well and guides you right.