Vagabond Shark

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Bicycle Naming Scheme

Posted by Peter W on October 21, 2007

Like most cyclists, I love my bikes and have a great deal of affinity with them. I have five bikes currently, and have had others in the past so it should come as no surprise that I name my bikes, partly out of affection and partly so I can refer to them more personally than, say, “my Cannondale R800”.

Here’s a list of the names I’ve used for my bikes and the ones I’m reserving for future use.

Jayni
This is my Kona AA hardtail mountain bike. I got her back at the beginning of high school and named her Jayni because I liked the two names “Jayna” and “Jenny” so I combined the sounds to get Jayni.
Ulysses
My trusty peugeot old school mountain bike that I used as a commuter later in high school. My dad bought Ulysses for me at a garages sale. I named it Ulysses because I expected to travel all over the world with it, like Ulysses did in mythology. Ulysses was an awesome commuter bike, but I eventually gave him to my father in law, hoping he’d ride it to work — unfortunately I believe the trusty old commuter is just gathering dust, lonely in its solitary confinement to the backyard work shed.
Calypso
My Cannondale R800 road bike, which my wife (at the time, we’ve since split up) Riss bought for me so I could do better in my second year of racing for the PSU Cycling Team. I named her Calypso since in mythology Calypso was beautiful and tempted Ulysses (and I had a bike named Ulysses so I wanted a related name for my new bike).
Spike
A Haro BMX bike that I still haven’t really learned to ride (its on my TODO list though). My brother in law gave him to me as a Christmas present one year.
Athena
Riss and my sister Sarah found this blue Centurion 80’s road bike on the side of road down the street from my parents house with a sign that said “free”. It even came with an extra set of wheels and fit me almost perfectly. I set it up as a commuter bike and named it Athena, the greek goddess of wisdom (since bike commuting is so *smart*, see!). I added new handlebar tape, new tires, and Planet Bike fenders (all of which were yellow, so I had a beautiful blue with yellow “trim” bike for only about $100).

When I got Athena I realized I had enough bikes that I should pick a naming convention to things more consistent and convenient. So since then, all of my new bikes have been named after Greek goddesses (I see bikes as beautiful, so for me they are feminine). And almost three years later, I finally have a new bike to name!

From the well known goddesses I’d consider the following:

Gaia
Mother Earth
Demeter
Goddess of the Fields
Artemis
Goddess of the Hunt (she is also seen as the moon)
Aphrodite
Goddess of Love and Beauty
Persephone
“the Maiden of Spring. Wherever she walked flowers grew. Unfortunately, one day Hades, the God of the Underworld, abducted her, raped her, and made her Queen of the Underworld.” -paleothea.com

From the rest, the following are good ones:

Circe
“Circe transformed her enemies, or those who offended her, into animals through the use of magical potions. She was renowned for her knowledge of drugs and herbs.”
Eos
Titanic goddess of the dawn
Eris
goddess of strife
Iris
Messenger goddess who travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other.
Nyx
“the primordial goddess of the night. A shadowy figure, Night stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of personified gods such as Sleep and Death. Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power.”
Nike (the word means “victory”)
goddess of triumph
Nemesis
the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris, vengeful fate personified as a remorseless goddess.

As I mentioned, I just got a new bike. It is a 2008 Redline Conquest Pro. To help me pick a name for this bike and for future bikes as well, here’s my list of bike names with bike types:

Gaia
Touring (tour the Earth)
Demeter
Mountain (ride in the Fields)
Artemis
Cyclocross (hunt in the woods & mud to beat the competition.)
Aphrodite
Road, Track (reserved for a really beautiful bike).
Persephone
Mountain (I associate Spring with the outdoors and mountain biking.)
Circe
Commuter (It’ll Magically transform Enemies — cars — into toads)
Eos
Commuter (I think of riding at Dawn when I think about commuting)
Eris
Cyclocross (Strife is what the sport is all about)
Iris
Touring (a light, fast touring bike that can fly like the wind across the world)
Nyx
Any dark bike that reminds me of the night and exceptional power
Nike
Track (a bike to take me to Victory)
Nemesis
Road (a bike to rain retribution on those who succomb to hubris — which hopefully won’t include myself; also, the arch nemesis of all that is evil)

Now I’m ready to decide on a name, and I’ve decided my new Redline will be called “Artemis Eve”. The last name, ‘Eve’, is so I can have another Artemis cross bike in the future without name conflict, and I choose Eve because 1) it is a good mythological name (Christian mythology), since Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit as the first act influenced by evil (and my bike is black and red, so it is slightly evil), and 2) it can indicate that this bike is the first cross bike I have (Eve was the first woman God created).

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