As an international cycling lifestyle / comedy blogging superstar (you have no idea how massive my demographic is, but trust me: it’s easily 80% as big as the speed chess lifestyle / comedy market), I am frequently approached with requests from my readers.
Some want money. Some want my autograph.
Some — most, really — want advice. Well, most of them want money and advice, but I can tell that what they really want is the advice.
It was just such a person who recently sent me the following email:
Dear Fat Cyclist,
You are very smart and handsome. Also, you have an electric wit and impeccable taste.
I have a question for you, Mr. Cyclist: I have a bike I love very much, and would like to show my commitment to and affection for this bike by naming it. So I ask you: What should I name my bike?
Oh, and also: Could you please give me $10.00?
One of your countless (adoring) fans
There are two interesting things about this letter. The first one is that I actually wrote it myself. The second one is that it poses a question most — if not all — cyclists ask themselves: What shall I name my bicycle?
Today, I shall walk you through this important and complex topic.
Before you name your bicycle, you need to engage in some serious introspection. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I willing to accept the responsibility that comes with naming a bike? If you name a bike, you’re essentially saying it is no longer an inanimate tool. Now it’s a child, a friend, or at least a household pet. If you’re just going to ride it for a season or two, don’t name your bike. Your casual infidelity toward your bike will not go unnoticed by your bicycle, and it will tell other bicycles. Word will get around.
- Why do I want to name my bike? Are you saying something about your riding ability (or lack thereof)? Are you making a joke, or (much worse) a pun? Are you being intentionally whimsical? If you can answer “Yes” to any one of these questions, maybe you shouldn’t name your bike. Instead, maybe you should just wear a funny hat or other attention-getting device.
- Can I remember the name I have selected for my bike? If you can’t, maybe you should think of a different name.
Once you have carefully performed your preliminary bike-naming research, you can use the following techniques to select a name:
- Name your book after a favorite movie, book, or song: People understand pop culture references, as long as they’re no more than mildly obscure. If you use too obscure of a reference as a name for your bike, it makes you look like an elitist snot. Also, you’ll get sick of explaining the reference, no matter how gratifying it is to make it clear you know something others don’t. (Note: Movies are an especially useful vein for bike naming, because they allow you to name future bikes as if they were sequels, even if the movie had no sequels. I, for example, look forward to naming a bike Deer Hunter 2: This Time It’s Personal.)
- Name your bike after a famous person: If you’re going to anthropomorphize, you may as well go whole-hog and make your bike into a famous person. I recommend naming your bike Richard Nixon. When people ask why, look at them like that’s the silliest question you’ve ever heard, and then say, “Think about it.” If they come up with a good explanation, accept that as correct. This way, you never have to be the one to think of how your bike is like aforementioned celebrity.
- Name your bike after a color, prefaced by an adjective: “Big Blue.” “Angry Orange.” “Hateful Pink.” If you do this, you are required to use the actual color of the bike as the color in the name. Calling a green bike “Petulant Brown” is just asking for trouble. Unless you’re color blind, in which case it’s a pretty good joke.
- Name your bike after a weapon: The Howitzer. The Arrow. The Hammer. These are all good names. If you’re a girl, you get 13 extra sexiness points for naming your bike after a weapon. I don’t know why, but it’s true. Look it up.
- Name your bike after a beloved pet or a childhood (imaginary) friend: But only if you want to be ridiculed for the rest of your life.
These are your instructions. Please use the comments area to tell me what you either have named or are going to name your bike, and I will do my best to provide additional guidance as to the quality of your bike name.
PS: Today’s weight: 161.0