I was eating some pasta and flipping through the new issue of Bicycling magazine today when I came across a fun feature on things to love about cycling. They nailed quite a few, like the sound of everyone’s derailleurs shifting when the pack crests a hill, the satisfaction of getting down in the drops and grinding through a headwind, and learning to appreciate the beauty of frame scratches and paint wear.
But there was one thing to which I couldn’t relate: naming a bicycle. I’ve never been interested in doing that.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my bikes. I get attached to them. Probably too much. I’ve ridden some for years past the point at which I would have benefited from switching to newer technology. But at the end of the day, they’re machines. Fascinating, beautiful machines that are engineering marvels, but still just machines. I don’t assign animate qualities to them, and the idea of naming them seems rather silly.
After all, they come with names that I use to refer to them around the house or with friends. Epic. Fatback. Trucker. Road bike. (OK, that last one is a bit dull, but TCR C1 is just too much of a mouthful.) Giving them new names seems unnecessary.
Is this a gender-based thing? Most people I know who have named their bikes are women. Maybe the men do it, but are shy about admitting it.
So I’m asking those of you who read this blog: Do you name your bikes, and why or why not? I’m truly curious. So leave a comment if you have a spare minute, and identify yourself as male or female, if you don’t mind.
Naming bikes, yes or no?