How to Name Your Cycling Team

08.29.2013 | 7:50 am

As a Very Serious Athlete, you are no doubt approached, from time to time, by other Very Serious Athletes, each with a Lucrative Offer in hand. Their objective: to persuade you to join their cycling team, thus improving their chances at winning local cycling contests.

Of course, you must hear your suitors out. It is the polite thing to do, and cyclists — as you know — are unfailingly polite. But you must listen with a critical ear, because joining a cycling team is a very serious commitment, one which will require you to spend hours riding in a pace line with your teammates. One which will require you to spend your weekends at races. One which will mean that you must sometimes set aside your personal goals in a race to help the team.

One which will mean you will have to wear a jersey so poorly designed that your face will burn with shame each time you put it on.

You must ask yourself whether you are willing to make these sacrifices. But even more importantly, you must ask the team captain if they would mind changing the team name.

Because — and I can say this with utmost certainty — their current team name sucks


I know, I know. It’s not easy to inform a team, before you are even one of them, that they have a ridiculously embarrassing team name. But — and you must trust me on this, because I am approached by cycling teams thrice daily, each begging me to be a part of their team – you need to tell them anyway. They will respect you for your candor, and probably make you team captain or give you a medal or heft you upon their shoulders and parade you around the team bus.

You wouldn’t believe how many times I have been paraded around team buses atop my teammates’ shoulders. “Careful not to drop me!” I always say, half-jokingly, but with just enough seriousness that they know that I regard them as clumsy oafs who might do just that.

How to Name a Team

Once you have graciously acquiesced to be on a team and have had your agent and attorneys make it clear that a team name of your choosing is a condition of your joining said team, you are confronted by a Very Important Decision.

You must now name the team.

Yes, you must name the team. You and you alone. Do not put it to a vote, because you are the only one with the wisdom and perspicacity to name this team correctly. Consider, after all, your team’s former name. Your teammates came up (and apparently were satisfied) with that, so clearly they cannot be trusted, nor even consulted.

Thus, you must shoulder this responsibility alone. But don’t despair, because I will help you with the following Very Good Ideas for Team Names.

Idea 1. Your Own Name

It’s very common and completely acceptable to name a band after a person. Just ask Dave Matthews. Or Barry Manilow. Or One Direction (not many people know that “One Direction” is the actual birth name of the lead singer of One Direction).

If it’s good enough for rock and roll, it’s good enough for cycling.

Also, this is a good idea because people will know who the star of your team is. 

Alternatively, you can give your team a name of a completely different — perhaps even a fictional — person. Why, after all, should a cycling team not have a human name? Is it, after all, not made of humans?

I recommend the name “Steve.” Not “Team Steve.” Just “Steve.” It’s a good, general-purpose name. 

People will ask you why you named your team “Steve.” Your only response should be a blank stare. Practice this stare until you are very good at it.

Idea 2. One Letter

Letters are easy to type, and difficult to misspell. And — when used properly — they sound somewhat threatening, which is good. However, only a few letters work as team names. These letters follow:

  • K
  • M
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • V
  • Y

You may think that I have erred in not presenting the letters X and Z in this list. And twenty years ago, you would have been right. Now, however, they are overused to the point of being trite. (Note: Be very careful before choosing “Q” as your team name — it is right on the threshold of overuse.)

Under no circumstance should you name your team with a vowel (in the list above, “Y” is the non-vowel version), nor a letter that is commonly used as a grade in school. 

Except “B.” You could use “B” I guess.

Idea 3. Black Dolphin

Black Dolphin is the name of the harshest prison in Russia. If I was on ten cycling teams, I would want all of them to be called Black Dolphin. 

Also, if I were in a rock band, I would name it Black Dolphin. 

And if I were writing a screenplay about a Tough Ex-Military Hard Case With An Axe To Grind But Also With A Heart of Gold, I would name the screenplay “Black Dolphin.” And I would have the opening scene be about her — yes, her, because I am a modern and progressive screenwriter — being incarcerated in Black Dolphin and vowing to escape so that she could rejoin her cycling team. And the rest of the movie pretty much writes itself. Or at least I hope it does, because I can’t imagine how else it will get written.

Idea 4. Large Company Names

You can intimidate other teams and make them think you have the backing of large and important companies, simply by naming your racing team after them. Some examples:

  • Team IBM
  • Team McDonalds
  • Team Hormel Foods, Tinned Meat Products Division 
  • Team Supreme Court

The awesome thing about doing this is the companies after which the cycling teams are named often hear about these aforementioned cycling teams and decide to sponsor them after all, because — and I’m quoting (myself) here — “we like your moxie.” 

Also, they never send cease an desist letters, because most large companies have a really good, self-deprecatory sense of humor.

Idea 5. Movie Names

A really funny way to name your team is with a play on a movie title or other pop-culture reference. For example, if you are in a relay team for a triathalong and two of you are getting on in years and one of you isn’t and all three of you are male, you could call your team “Two and a Half Grumpy Old Men.”

No, I’m just kidding. Pop-culture references as team names are horrible. 

Idea 6. Political Statements

One thing most people don’t realize is that you can use your cycling team name to make a political statement, and that if you do, it will probably influence a lot of people and change their minds toward your way of thinking. 

To prove this, I am going to name the next team I join “NObama 2016!!!”

And just you wait and see if he gets re-elected. 

Idea 7. Lots of the Letter K

Did you know that if you take any word with a “c” in it and replace the “c” with a “K,” that the word automatically becomes clever and precious? 

Or should I say “klever and prekious?”

Well, it’s true. So if you’re looking for a team name that’s very adorable, be certain to choose any pair of words that have “c’s” in them, and replace those “c’s” with “k’s.”

Note: This effect is intensified if you make the “k’s” backward.

Idea 8. Two Random Words

The fact that you’ve read this far without having come to a satisfactory solution demonstrates that you are a Tough Customer Indeed. And so I will now provide you the very best method for naming your cycling team:

Use two random words.

And it’s not like you even have to pick them out of a hat or anything. Just go to a Two Random Word Generator page on the internet (yes, it actually exists). 

And there’s your team name. Unless you don’t like it, in which case you should just refresh the page. 

If you don’t come up with a team name you love within five tries, you’re being fussy and your team is probably not worth naming anyway.

I have found the following team names, each of which is brilliant, within the last three minutes:

  • Team Injury Ingredient
  • Team Desk Hamburger
  • Team Shoelace Ravioli
  • Team Prize Planet
  • Team Insulting Cousin

Or, finally, you could just call your team “Team Fatty.” 

If you don’t mind hearing from my lawyers, I mean.


  1. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 08.29.2013 | 8:15 am

    I’m rather fond of Mastermind Clone

    Thanks Fatty!

  2. Comment by Paul W | 08.29.2013 | 8:17 am

    Team ‘Star Oath’ on only my third attempt!

    “… and SO are so dominating the race today …”

    (I’ll get my coat)

    Wow. That’s actually a really good name. I feel a little bit weird about having my advice actually produce a valuable result. – FC

  3. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 08.29.2013 | 8:22 am

    To keep the postal Service busy: (C&D letters must be sent registered mail, I assume)

    Team Team Carbo Rocket sponsored by Dunkin Donuts!

  4. Comment by Jeff Bike | 08.29.2013 | 8:24 am

    Oh man my “Team Lanterne Rouge” must really bite! But at least it is a cycling cultural reference. I hope the rest of the team doesn’t see this.

    Just give me their IP addresses and I’ll block ‘em. – FC

  5. Comment by Keith | 08.29.2013 | 8:28 am

    How awesome would it be if the “two random word generator” came up with “black dolphin”?

    It would be the team-naming equivalent of having the clouds part, trumpets sounding, and a voice (with a British accent) from on high telling you to seek the holy grail. – FC

  6. Comment by Jeff Bike | 08.29.2013 | 8:29 am

    Team Team Carbo Rocket sponsored by Dunkin Donuts!

    I think it would help cut down on trips to the post office for the pesky letters if it was “Team Carbo Rocket POWERED by Dunkin Donuts”! It’s all about word selection.

  7. Comment by ScottyCycles | 08.29.2013 | 8:30 am

    “Team Tile Soldier”

    That’s randomly adorable. – FC

  8. Comment by NYCCarlos | 08.29.2013 | 8:31 am

    in college, we were team “Banana Slug Muffins”.

  9. Comment by Keith | 08.29.2013 | 8:32 am

    “Team Laxative Pain”

    I think that’s a keeper.

  10. Comment by George | 08.29.2013 | 8:32 am

    “Crazy Lizards”

  11. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 08.29.2013 | 8:34 am

    How about whatever pops up in the sidebar ad when your blog site opens? “Team Fitness Singles”, “Team Special Coupon”, “Team Seriously Creative” (hey, that fits!)

  12. Comment by Jim Tolar | 08.29.2013 | 8:37 am

    ‘This effect is intensified if you make the “k’s” backward’

    That is just pure blogging genious right there.


  13. Comment by Jonomc | 08.29.2013 | 8:50 am

    Random word generator team name:

    Team “Moral result”

    No accusations of doping would ensue! I’ll take it.

  14. Comment by rich | 08.29.2013 | 8:52 am

    Team Truck Roulette….
    Actually, that sounds like my daily commute more than a team name….

  15. Comment by BZ | 08.29.2013 | 8:55 am

    Team Stool Mite… ewwwwww

  16. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 08.29.2013 | 9:24 am

    My random two word team name came up:

    Team “Sausage Lunatic”

    This is fun. Wheee!

  17. Comment by KC | 08.29.2013 | 9:38 am

    Reminds me of my favorite line from “The Money Pit” with Tom Hanks. In the movie, he plays a lawyer who represents a band. The band is trying to come up with a good name. “We want to call ourselves Meryl Streep.”

  18. Comment by Jacob | 08.29.2013 | 9:40 am

    I like the idea of Team Gastrointestinal Distress.

    Or, to be more like Team Norvo-Nordisk, Team Tums, but you can only join if you have a weak stomach.

    Also, did anyone else find Team Norvo-Nordisk’s sponsorship of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge a little disturbing. The first time I was watching, they had that little pull out box with Peter Sagan and Team Norvo Nordisk under his name. I was wondering how Team Type 1 landed that kind of talent for most of that day’s stage.

  19. Comment by KC | 08.29.2013 | 9:48 am

    Old blues musicians would use a malady and their last name as their stage name. For example, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, etc…

    Couldn’t you use that construction for a team name as well? Team Simple Chronic Halitosis Sky? Team Clubfoot Cannondale.

  20. Comment by Tom in Albany | 08.29.2013 | 10:01 am

    Third time’s the charm. I am the proud captain of…


    No need to feel embarassed that you don’t generate random words as well as I do. After all, you’re not the back of the MOP cyclist I am anyway!!!

  21. Comment by Dave T | 08.29.2013 | 10:05 am

    Wow this random name generator is pure genius. “Kidney Butter”, “torrent machine”.

  22. Comment by Marty | 08.29.2013 | 10:16 am

    Riding RAGBRAI (Register’s Great Bike Ride Across Iowa), you see an endless number of great team names.

    Team Donner Party (Slogan: We eat the slow ones)
    Team “Trust Me” (Their team has two lawyers, a car dealer and two insurance salesmen; their mascot: Pinnochio)
    Team Roadkill (They decorate all the dead critters with beads, beer cans, balloons, and anything else they can think of).
    Team Bad Boys (Team members each carry a part of a complete bar. One has the bar, another a generator, another has the blender, etc.)

    My randomly generated team: Shampoo Fan

  23. Comment by UpTheGrade SR CA | 08.29.2013 | 10:25 am

    Fatty, is this your subtle way of asking me to join your team?

    ‘Cause if it is, I have to first think about it.

    OK, I’ve thought it over and I’ll be happy to join, just so long as I get to rename it. I’m going with “Blog Perspicacity”. What, you’re questioning the exquisite perfection of the name: I am now giving you the Blank Stare!

  24. Comment by Steve | 08.29.2013 | 10:47 am

    You had me at Steve.

  25. Comment by KarinNH | 08.29.2013 | 10:49 am

    Let’s see…

    Statue Zoo
    Corporation Fleet
    Winner Alphabet
    Gossip Chisel
    Hope Section

    I so did not need to know this random word generator exists. There goes my (mostly imaginary) productivity!

  26. Comment by the Putti | 08.29.2013 | 10:54 am

    For an adventure race, my partner and I went with “The Dave Bergman Trio” (Bonus points if anyone knows who Dave Bergman is.)

  27. Comment by walter | 08.29.2013 | 10:58 am

    Your blog is like a healthy breakfast – it makes me smarter every day. I had to look up “perspicacity” – big word. Now I have to work it into a conversation.

    BTW, is the Leadville 100 story done? I was looking forward to it!

  28. Comment by drinkslinger | 08.29.2013 | 11:00 am

    Still a fan of the Beavis and Butthead band name generator. It’s three words, but what the hell…

  29. Comment by SteveB | 08.29.2013 | 11:05 am

    I vote for ‘Steve’ as well… that’s two votes, we win.

    Change it to Eh! Steve! and we have a deal. – FC

  30. Comment by Jerry Pringle | 08.29.2013 | 11:08 am

    I’m gonna follow my moxie and name my team Team Fatty following idea 4. Now just have to wait and the sponsorship dollars and free stuff will be flowing to me like the Mississippi!

  31. Comment by Christina | 08.29.2013 | 11:09 am

    “Prairie Gnome”

    I’d like to combine rules and make it Prairie Knome.

    Ingenious. I award you double points. – FC

  32. Comment by andy@wdw | 08.29.2013 | 11:31 am

    Thanks to @fatty and @drinkslinger I now have to decide between:

    Team Cockroach Religion

    Team Bovine Death Juice

    What’s a guy to do?

  33. Comment by andy@wdw | 08.29.2013 | 11:41 am

    I’ve got it -

    Team Steve’s Kockroach Religion V sponsored by Black Dolphin

  34. Comment by Josh | 08.29.2013 | 11:44 am

    Team Reindeer Circus.

    Game over, you can all stop posting name now.

  35. Comment by john | 08.29.2013 | 11:44 am

    So, the randomizer has dubbed us the “bicycle tarts”. Seems about right.

  36. Comment by Jacob JG | 08.29.2013 | 12:18 pm

    Team name: Team Tail Arithmetik. Have been doing a lot of that in races this year.

  37. Comment by zeeeter | 08.29.2013 | 12:20 pm

    You are the only person I know with the acuteness of perception to use perspicacity in a sentence. I feel truly honored. No really.

  38. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.29.2013 | 12:34 pm

    “I recommend the name “Steve.” Not “Team Steve.” Just “Steve.” It’s a good, general-purpose name.”

    I concur.

  39. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.29.2013 | 12:35 pm

  40. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.29.2013 | 12:36 pm

    crap. that was supposed to have the words ‘blank stare’ in HTML-like carats.

  41. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 08.29.2013 | 12:42 pm

    This needs to stop. Zeeter, please. Fatty’s twitter feed suggests he used to study at the side of the OED…and would read it for fun. I horripilate at the thought of what he will pencil in next.


  42. Comment by MLB | 08.29.2013 | 12:46 pm

    I thought some 2 letter combos would make good team names. KP or OK or in your honor..FC. Problem is there are too many risky ones that could lose you some teeth. Image telling some your team name is FU.

  43. Comment by GrannyGear | 08.29.2013 | 1:27 pm

    By show of hands, how many of us had to look up “perspicacity”?



  44. Comment by mykill | 08.29.2013 | 1:28 pm

    The combo:

    Mykill’s X Black Dolphin Global Dynamics Saturday Night Fever Goldwater ‘64 Krutch Traktor

    Good thing i have the mass to get that all on one kit.

  45. Comment by Al Pastor | 08.29.2013 | 1:43 pm

    Team Croissant Baton!

    Or, I could use my pseudonym. Team Tacos Al Pastor

  46. Comment by MtlDan | 08.29.2013 | 1:48 pm

    The generator gave me “bicycle jass”. I had to look that one up. It turns out it’s a thing with two wheels, pedals, and a seat that people ride around on.

  47. Comment by Chris | 08.29.2013 | 1:56 pm

    My team name is Bandage Ladybird. Thanks for the link.

  48. Comment by Wife#1 | 08.29.2013 | 2:00 pm

    BWAHAHA! “Most large companies have a really good, self-deprecatory sense of humor.”

    Still snorting out loud at that line (among others). Thanks for making me wake the dog.

    One point of contention dear sir, though I realize you are always right (as long as the Hammer is not around), I can say with utmost certainty that there is one current team name that does not suck. I can only dream of me and my Hakkalugi Disc one day becoming part of the cyclocross Team Soft Like Kitten group. They have the most awesome “team name meets perfect visual identity” ever created in the history of man. Just saying. Oh, I mean other than Team Fatty of course.

  49. Comment by Wife#1 | 08.29.2013 | 2:08 pm

    When will I learn to read the comments before posting myself?

    “You had me at Steve” *wiping tears of joy*

    Team Hooligan News for me. That could work!

  50. Comment by SteveB | 08.29.2013 | 2:24 pm

    I count 3 votes for ‘Steve’… we still win.

    Eh! Steve! would be an acceptable compromise.

  51. Comment by Chris | 08.29.2013 | 3:37 pm

    Team Lunatic Rhinoceros. Yes. One thousand times yes.02.jpg

  52. Comment by Mateo | 08.29.2013 | 3:45 pm

    Team Guacamole Raptor. Done. Everyone knows “Steve” is a pirate, and peg legs have no bolt pattern for modern pedal systems.

  53. Comment by Gumby | 08.29.2013 | 3:46 pm

    Team Blank Stare

  54. Comment by ScottR | 08.29.2013 | 4:48 pm

    Several fantastic examples above.

    I do love the show ‘How I Met Your Mother’, so calling my team ‘Puzzles’ remains a strong contender.


  55. Comment by Kukui | 08.29.2013 | 6:07 pm

    Team Kitten Squid!!! I accept! =)


  56. Comment by New Zealand EV | 08.29.2013 | 6:53 pm

    Team Passion Strategy

  57. Comment by Wife#1 | 08.29.2013 | 7:49 pm

    @Kukui you need that kitten squid to be holding some knives!

  58. Comment by MikeL | 08.29.2013 | 8:31 pm

    I have used “Team Old but Slow” for various masters and old guy teams I have led. It is more descriptive than I care to admit.

  59. Comment by AKChick55 | 08.29.2013 | 11:37 pm

    How about (drumroll please)

    Team Bacteria Bin!

    This is a VERY appropriate name for an Alaskan when she travels to states where there are rides and it’s 90+ degrees. Or to Hawaii where the sun is intense as is the humidity. Unless it’s Kona. Then it’s just hot. In any case she becomes one stinky hot mess.

    Oh @Wife#1 I love the Team Soft Like Kitten!

    These produced major snort fests – thanks for posting @Marty (now I want to do RAGBRAI but I could never come up with such a clever team name)
    Team Donner Party (Slogan: We eat the slow ones) Team “Trust Me” (Their team has two lawyers, a car dealer and two insurance salesmen; their mascot: Pinnochio) – See more at:

  60. Comment by Thad | 08.29.2013 | 11:38 pm

    Quadruple Butted, Pedaling Squares, Draft Horses (for Clydesdales), Crank Yankers, Loose Bearings, Hugh Jass Construction, Forked, all team names rejected by my team.

    I like Steve, but we have a Steve so it might go to his head. Karl, though would be crazy good.

    For a nominal fee, folks are welcome to use the registered trademarks.

  61. Comment by Hautacam | 08.29.2013 | 11:51 pm

    FWIW the Soft Like Kitten team are hellaciously fast during cyclocross season. Or maybe it’s because I pass out laughing whenever they go by. Not sure. I’ll try to pay closer attention.

    +1 for Reindeer Circus. Winner!

  62. Comment by Diane | 08.30.2013 | 1:16 am

    Still laughing at team “Soft Like Kitten”!!

    Apparently I’m Team Justice Hazard.
    Classic irony as applied.

  63. Comment by Sienna | 08.30.2013 | 2:29 am

    Awesome tips Fatty, my team name is team dynamite pepperoni :) it’s an explosion of awesomeness!

  64. Comment by Clancy | 08.30.2013 | 7:58 am

    To avoid your lawyers, and because most of my buddies are no longer exactly ‘fat’, we’ve decided upon TEAM CHUBBY. It must be a good name, everyone snickers when they see our jerseys.

  65. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 08.30.2013 | 8:38 am

    @Clancy Not fair. We all enjoy a good snickers. How ’bout a photo.

  66. Comment by Lisa | 08.30.2013 | 9:03 am

    * antique pharmacy*
    try explaining that one while they’re taking a sample…

    I agree with @Wife#1… Soft Like Kitten is an incredible name!

  67. Comment by MattC | 08.30.2013 | 10:20 am

    Wow Fatty…that random word generator is BRILLIANT! (I think the owners should charge a nickel for every time you use it)…I clicked it 5 times, and got five AWESOME team names:

    Pudding Storm
    Pumkin Suicide
    Shoehorn Seaweed
    Handbag Ferry
    and finally, my favorite of the five,
    Mutton Prize

    I think I found a new time-wasting website…thanks Fatty!

  68. Comment by Eric | 08.30.2013 | 11:41 am

    Team Creation Fertiliser.

    And while I love the UK spelling of “fertilizer”, I’m honestly not sure what to make of that name.

    I suppose it would be worse if the words were reversed. Or better.


  69. Comment by roadrash | 08.30.2013 | 1:50 pm

    Cool generator. Found these options for consideration:

    Team Gravel Tar

    Team Family Sanity

  70. Comment by leroy | 08.30.2013 | 8:42 pm

    Why not an unpronounceable glyph?

    Then you could be referred to as “the team formerly known as Steve.”

  71. Comment by Wife#1 | 08.30.2013 | 10:45 pm

    Maybe it’s because I’m crazy for Team Soft Like Kitten, but I’m having an awfully good time with team names from the 3 word random generator!

    Team Radar Merit Snake
    Team Courier Apple Pie Crisis
    (I noted with great interest that they counted the two words of apple pie as one word for that one)
    Team Curl Bait Stampede
    and then my favorite so far…
    Team Cult Star Nun!

    David works Friday nights. I really have to come up with a better way to end my work week. :-)

  72. Comment by englishstu | 08.31.2013 | 6:11 am

    Go Team Skateboard Manure!

  73. Comment by DARREN | 08.31.2013 | 8:37 am

    Team Corded Mobile Phone Yes. I know it is three words but when I asked for 2 random words, this is what it gave me. And on my first attempt

  74. Comment by Heidi | 08.31.2013 | 7:53 pm

    Team Mustache Lap. Oh, I think not…

  75. Comment by Paul Guyot | 09.3.2013 | 6:34 am


    One of my favorite posts ever.

  76. Comment by PBRMEASAP | 09.3.2013 | 9:13 am


  77. Comment by TallFirinOregon | 09.3.2013 | 1:16 pm

    A bunch of medical professionals and I rode a race as “Team Monostat” – We’re itching to ride.

  78. Comment by Patty in Portland | 09.3.2013 | 5:39 pm

    Team Flamenco Warship

  79. Comment by J | 09.3.2013 | 10:10 pm


    ” I hope the rest of the team doesn’t see this.

    Just give me their IP addresses and I’ll block ‘em. – FC”

    Too late!!!

  80. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 09.4.2013 | 3:47 am

    Slipper Bomb

    Corporate Calm – or should I say KORPORATE KALM!

    Or. My current copyrighted favorite: OneMoreDonut

  81. Comment by Libby | 09.5.2013 | 6:54 am

    Being the ‘wife of’ a Steve, I’m fond of “Steve”. & would do “Steve, Eh?” but “Eh! Steve” does work…being Canadian I can make it work either way.

    Great read for this morning’s ‘catch up with Fatty’ session..chortle chortle….


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