On Naming Your Bike: The Baby Post of Bike Names

One of the posts people read frequently on this blog is Say My (Bike’s) Name: On Naming Your Bike, in which I described my  tandem partner’s affinity for naming bikes and my own tendency not to do so.

Bike collage

That bike naming post received great comments about people’s processes for naming bikes as well as their bikes’ names. I liked them so much that I thought they deserved their own post, rather than being an addendum to my original remarks.

Below you will find the “Baby Post of Bike Names,” a first attempt at capturing the bike names shared on Chasing Mailboxes. Thanks to all contributors.

Enjoy, and if you have a name to add please do so in the comments. I will update the post accordingly.

By the way, the name The Big Cat stuck so our Co-Motion Java Tandem is frequently referred to as such. Meow? Rawr!

Baby Post of Bike Names

Amelia — Cannondale Quick 3. Named after Amelia Earhart, she flies far and fast. @astridbear

Archie, short for Archaeopteryx –  Blue 1974 Raleigh Professional set up as a fixed gear. Because I used that as my animal totem in the Furnace Creek 508 years ago, and somehow that became the bike’s name. Emily O’B

Audrey – Mixte named after Audrey Hepburn because she is a pretty little mixte that I ride to work or to the coffee shop/pub in my street attire/makeup. She even has a woven basket. @Vic_toria

Baby – Circe Helios Duo tandem. @velovoice

Battleship Stupid – Surly Big Dummy @I_am_Dirt

The Beast – Salsa Mukluk fatbike. It’s big and likes to roll over things. Christopher T.

The Beast – Specialized Crossroads Sport (very heavy)
. Laura

Betty – Electra Cruiser. Because that’s the name she comes with (it’s model). @girlonabikedc

Big Blue – Blue Raleigh Grand Prix: Big Blue. Rootchopper

Big Nellie – Tour Easy Recumbent. So named because I yelled “Whoa Nellie!!” as I passed 45 miles per hour fully loaded on Big Savage Mountain. Rootchopper

Birte – Koga  Named after the person who signed off on the QC tag checklist…but I just call it, My Traveller. @mujozen

Blackie – 
Black Trek 1200. Rootchopper

Bluey – Jamis commuter. @jerdlngr

Blue – Jamis. Her name is Blue because, well, she’s BLUE. pencilfox

Bridget – 2010 Surly Cross Check. @velovoice

Casper the Little White Moulton – Moulton. Judith S.

Clover – Surly Disc Trucker, dark green. Named after one of the workhorses in Animal Farm for color, dependability and ability to haul lots of stuff. Sally H.

Demon - 2010 cannondale F5. robyn

Doris – Specialized mixte. Named after the BMW satNav system, Drive On Roads Intelligent System. Take the bike rather than the car, any day. LisaEmms

My Dumpster Bike – rando/commute bike. Because that’s where my wife found it and insisted I go dumpster-diving to get it. Andy

Electric Dream Machine – Felt ZW5. EDM for short. Laura

Esmeralda – Surly Long Haul Trucker. Iron Rider

Esmeralda – Brompton. @MrTinDC

Esmerelda – 2010 Raleigh Venture 3.0. The 2008 Raleigh Venture 3.0. James R.

Essie – Raleigh SC30. James R.

The Fixie – Raleigh Super Course. An admittedly unoriginal name that reflects its conversion. MT Cyclist

Fleur – Linus Dutchi @seven2seven8

Frankie – Handbuilt frame from tube steel. @josephlrc

Frankie – Red 80s steel frame with lots of replacement parts including crazy mustache bars with black-and-white zebra tape. Named after Frankenstein, but androgynous. Sally H.

Free Spirit – Schwinn Free Spirit. Laura

Giant – Giant Innova. Pronounced: gee-aunt but with more of a French accent to make it sound fancier. Renee Christine

Giddyup - Salsa Vaya. Because it’s light and quick. Christopher T.

Greased Lightning – Jamis Ventura Race. @TurtleDub616

The Great White – Santana Noventa tandem. Named such due to its pearl white color, and also my penchant for singing the Jaws theme as we overtake an unsuspecting half-bike. - pearl white Santana Noventa tandem. Paul

Gregor – a stupidly big bike named for the mountain that rides (Gregor Clegane). TheAirgonaut

Idéefixe – Bianchi San Jose, a fixed-gear. Named as an homage to Idéfix, Astérix’s dog and as a quasi-joke about fixation with bicycles. @ricksva

Ivan – Dahon folder. Tim

Jealousy, the Green Dragon – Lemond Ventoux, repainted British racing green. @josephlrc

Jon Snow – Specialized Allez. He knows he’ll never inherit the title and lands, but he is noble and strong nonetheless and goes off to join the Black Watch, and does an honourable job defending the kingdom. @Vic_toria

Julek – Trek 8000 mountain bike. @seven2seven8

Julius – Peugeot folder, named after its color. “Orange Julius,” get it? MT Cyclist

Kermit – Velo Orange Polyvalent. Because he’s green and has an affinity for swamps. @girlonabikedc

Lady Raincorn – 
Peugeot Versailles (white with rainbow accents)
. Laura

The Lead Sled – Cannondale mountain tandem, charcoal gray in color. Another bike Felkerino succeeded in naming.

Leela – Takara Tribute, 80s steel frame. Smart, sturdy, light purple, one eyed (headlight) so named after the Futurama character. Sally H.

Liesl – 1950s Puch Rugby Sport. @velovoice

Lil Bleu - 2008 cannondale six13. robyn

Little Nellie – Bike Friday New World Tourist. Named after James Bond’s kit helicopter in You Only Live Twice.
 Rootchopper

Lorelei – 1979 Puch Princess mixte. @velovoice

Lucy – 2012 Brompton custom S8L. @velovoice

Miss Persimmon Pimpernel — Electra Townie. With her deep orange paint, white fenders and rack, and a flower bedecked front basket, she is every inch a lady. @astridbear

Mongo – Surly Big Dummy. Tim

The Mule - Heavy as hell old Specialized Sequoia, a corruption of Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer that only he can lift. Rootchopper

Old Faithful – Specialized Expedition (mountain-y hybrid). Laura

Ole Red - 1995 Cannondale Super V-900. robyn

Old Ironsides – Specialized hybrid. Named to note its substantial weight and steel-like qualities, but in truth rarely use the term. Steve

Pauline – Surly Long Haul Trucker, because the silver screen like smoggy pearl color reminded me of old silent movies like “The Perils of Pauline,” in which the heroine goes on many adventures, as I plan for the bike to do. James R.

Pearl – Cyclepro Mixte. My husband rescued and rebuilt it for me. True love, my commuter! @JenBrenneman

Pig, short for Iron Pig – Novara Randonnee. Originally named for how it handles with a 60 pound load, it’s kept its name (fondly) for the way it got me across the country. Pat L.

Pilot Vanishing Point – Custom Fast Boy Cycles mixte. Named Pilot Vanishing Point (a certain type of fountain pen), after the lugwork. @justshinyorg

Puck – Jamis 26″ mountain bike. Tim

Rachel – 1996 Specialized Rockhopper. James R.

Riley – 2014 custom Enigma Etape.

The Radish – 70s Motobecane 10-speed. @seven2seven8

Resolute Ruby – 2007/2008 Cannondale Quick. The story of how she got her name is here. russtyred

Robin – 2011 Surly Pacer. @velovoice

Rocinante – CCM. This bike somehow made its way south of the border to Washington, Illinois in the late 1970s. Every part was worn out, I eventually added a third wheel to it so I could compete in a high-school tricycle race, and shortly thereafter, I retired it. It was politely exotic and pretty much shot. 16incheswestofpeoria

RocketGirl – Titanium Seven  @LDMay, who also works for NASA)

Rollie – ’75 Raleigh Sprite, the bike that launched my bike-wrenching obsession. MT Cyclist

Rootie – Trek mountain bike, because of its root beer color scheme. MT Cyclist

Ruby – a ruby-red 2010 9:Zero:7 fat bike. Michael L.

Sandy – Bianchi Volpe. @TurtleDub616

Silver Bullet – anodized silver Santana Sovereign. The frame looks like it’s made out of aluminum (Coors) beer cans and it’s fast! MikeC

Speedy - 2007 Cannondale Supersix. robyn

Sweetpea – ANT mixte. Nancy L.S.

Sweetpea – Surly Long Haul Trucker. Because it’s an apt description of her nature and color. @kfront

The Tank – Specialized Sirrus. @WilyMouse

“Taxman Craig” (or simply “Craig”) – Shogun Ninja I bought off Craigslist the very day I received my tax return. Jordan L.

Thorp – Custom road bike (named after Jim Thorpe). Tim

Tiny – Bike Friday Pocket Rocket. Bob T.

Tropical Gail and Storm - 2008 Cannondale road tandem. Captain half is Tropical Gail; stoker half is Storm. robyn

Venture, short for Aventurine – Surly Disc Trucker in matte green. Julie S.

Veronica – 2008 Raleigh Venture 3.0. James R.

Violet – Specialized road bike. Because the first road bike I test rode was purple, and the name stuck. Apparently there really are reddish violets.  @jerdlngr

Woody Anne – 2000 Surly Cross Check, named after a bar down on Winnebago Street. Michael L.

Yellow Submarine – Dahon Speed Pro folder, due to an unfortunate episode involving a (surprisingly deep) river, back when I lived on the Isle of Man. @WilyMouse

Zwijn – Schwinn World Tourist. Zwijn is Dutch for hog, sounds like “sfwain.” I’m Dutch by birth, as are most of the people in my corner of Iowa. Plus, the Netherlands is solid bikes from one end to the other, so it works. Nathan

33 responses to “On Naming Your Bike: The Baby Post of Bike Names

  1. Casper the Little White Moulton has got to be on the list. He’s a legend of his own tiny three!

    Like

  2. Miss Persimmon Pimpernel — Electra Townie. With her deep orange paint, white fenders and rack, and a flower bedecked front basket, she is every inch a lady.

    Amelia — Cannondale Quick 3. Named after Amelia Earhart, she flies far and fast.

    Like

  3. My bike’s name is Resolute Ruby. The story of how she got her name is here: http://rustyredriding.blogspot.com/2013/12/how-suicide-sally-got-ner-name.html

    Like

  4. 2007 cannondale supersix: speedy
    2010 cannondale F5: demon
    2008 cannondale six13: lil bleu
    1995 cannondale superV900: ole red
    2008 cannondale road tandem: captain half is tropical gail; stoker half is storm.
    and yes, they each have different personalities. speedy is an effete racer, can’t change his own flats. demon looks slow but don’t mess with him. lil bleu misses gay paree. ole red is cranky, tired and do NOT piss her off, she will whip your a$$ and then bake biscuits for church dinner. gail/storm pretends to be a leisure loving tourist but put her in an A++ group and she’ll wink at you while doing 33 mph.

    Like

  5. Mongo: Surly Big Dummy
    Thorpe: Custom road bike (named after Jim Thorpe)
    Ivan: Dahon folder
    Puck: Jamis 26″ mountain bike

    Like

  6. I’ve never actually named a bike before. Although I did refer to my Trucker as “Big Blue” on one Flickr picture when I first got it. I’m going to have to rectify that now. From this point forward it’s name shall be: Babe, the Blue Ox. It’s a fitting name for a Minnesota bike.

    Like

  7. Leela. Takara Tribute, 80s steel frame. Smart, sturdy, light purple, one eyed (headlight) so named after the Futurama character.
    Frankie. Red 80s steel frame with lots of replacement parts including crazy mustache bars with black-and-white zebra tape. Named after Frankenstein, but androgynous.
    Clover. Surly Disc Trucker, dark green. Named after one of the workhorses in Animal Farm for color, dependability and ability to haul lots of stuff.

    Like

  8. And, as of last week, my ride is now Blue Riot.

    Like

  9. My brevet bike is the only one that has a name. Its name is Archie, short for Archaeopteryx, because I used that as my animal totem in the Furnace Creek 508 years ago, and somehow that became the bike’s name. It’s a blue 1974 Raleigh Professional set up as a fixed gear.

    My better half likes to name his bikes, but only two of them really get their names used regularly. They are Daisy, his commuter, and Molly Stark, his custom brevet bike, named after a park in Vermont that just has a cool name.

    Like

  10. Ooh, just had to add.. my dad had a bike named Rosinante at one point. I saw that on the list. :)
    I’ve sometimes referred to my touring bike as Ugly Bob, but since it’s currently getting S&S couplers and a new paint job I guess I’ll have to call it something else.

    Like

  11. Violet the red Specialized got her name because the first road bike I test rode was purple, and the name stuck. Apparently there really are reddish violets.

    Like

  12. Pig, short for Iron Pig, my Novara Randonnee. Originally named for how it handles with a 60 pound load (http://pdlamb.wordpress.com/lamb-trans-am/into-missouri-near-ozora-mo/), it’s kept its name (fondly) for the way it got me across the country.

    Like

  13. “Taxman Craig” ( or simply “Craig”) shogun ninja I bought off craigslist the very day I received my tax return

    Like

  14. I have one bike named Bip after @roadchickie’s (merider) Uromatsyx lizard (story here: http://onespeedgo.blogspot.com/2010/05/burple-bike-gets-name-on-charles-m.html), while my commuter is named Yasuko after the lead singer for the Japanese noise band Melt-Banana. Both namings were an attempt I think to give some personality to bikes I ride frequently, but they remain stubbornly unpersonified, although I do feel some emotional attachment to them.

    Like

  15. Autodämmerung (Twilight of the Cars) because Wagnerian opera makes an excellent soundtrack for urban commuting.

    Like

  16. These names are so good! Love the stories of the bike names and the way people are describing their bikes’ personalities. Makes me see bike naming in a whole new way…

    Like

  17. MG, Bip is a purple Trek 950 mountain bike. Yasuko is a black Fuji mountain bike with fenders and a rear rack.

    Like

  18. Great list MG! By the way, Zwijn is Dutch for Hog, not hot :) It’s a rather homely, heavy bike that doesn’t mind the mud puddles.

    Like

  19. BDM short for Bike Dork Magnet- VanDessel Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Like

  20. velovoiceblogspot

    Thanks MG for adding mine! Quick explanations:

    Riley the custom Enigma: A name to honour the frame designer Mark Reilly but easier to spell. ;)

    Robin the Surly Pacer: She’s British Racing Green and I lived on Sherwood Park Road when I bought the bike, so it’s a nod to Robin Hood.

    Bridget the Cross Check: The Cross Check is, to me, an odd mixture of old school and modern… sturdy but not without elegance… fun and always “up for it” yet loyal and reliable. Somehow all this put me in mind of Bridget Jones….!

    Lorelei the Puch Princess mixte: A friend suggested Dora when I got her, but on one of our first rides, struck by how smooth and silent she is, a couple of lines from a song that I was really into at the time popped into my head (http://www.songlyrics.com/luka-bloom/i-hear-her-like-lorelei-lyrics/) and that was that.

    Liesl the Puch Rugby Sport: Liesl was the eldest Von Trapp daughter. (Well, Puchs were Austrian too!)

    Lucy the Brompton – all my Bromptons are named after characters from Peanuts. My memory may play me false, but didn’t the various TV animations show Lucy in a blue dress?

    Like

  21. Thanks, MG, for the trip down memory lane! I still have Old Ironsides and he/it often serves as the bike for my 17 year old, who occasionally is bitten by the cycling bug.

    Like

  22. Basil, a yellow/racing green M6R Brompton; Argyll, a racing green/sage green H6R Brompton.

    Like

  23. Stephen Dubberley

    Sage green 2004 Surly LHT: Huckleberry
    Silver 2009 Surly Pacer: Percival

    Like

  24. My commuter bike is officially Little Lord Fauntlero because when he was first built, he was pale blue with a lacy plastic basket on the back rack. Now he’s grown up and no longer lacy, still blue but with sleek black Nordic accessories.

    My Cannondale Synapse road bike is Donnerwetter, German for “thunder,” because he’s matte black. The Mechanic’s Cannondale road bike is bright yellow, and named Blitzen, German for lightening. Plus, that gives us Donner and Blitzen!

    My mountain bike-to-be will be the Sopwith Camel, and painted accordingly. The Mechanic’s red mountain bike will be renamed The Red Baron to match. : )

    Like

  25. My two bikes are named the tortoise and the hare. My commuter is the tortoise. My wife named them.

    Like

  26. Civia Prospect: The Friesian, after the horse breed. Both very good looking, the horse is a light draft/work horse, the prospect is a light tourer, plus I’ve got roots in the province of Friesland in the Netherlands where the breed originates.

    Like

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