Friday, December 20, 2013

How my bike got her name

How Suicide Sally Resolute Ruby got her name:
I was heading up to Wexford on I-79 for a bike fitting with a bike I was simply calling 'the silver bike'. I was hoping to get more comfortable riding her. I liked her shifters, drivetrain and climbing capabilities much better than the Monster.
Just before the Carnegie interchange, as I'm doing 55 MPH, I looked in my rear view mirror and the bike's ass end was dangling off the rack, only held there by a cable lock that I like to use because the silver bike is tiny and doesn't fit properly on a bike rack designed for adult-sized bikes. It had popped out of the rubber latches on the one side.

Negative Spin:
She was attempting to end her life by leaping off the back of my car and under the wheels of a tractor trailer.
Positive Spin:
As Vannevar so plainly put it, this bike stayed with me despite my incompetence.

Adrenaline kicked in and I was able to put the hazard lights on, NOT hit the brakes or make any evasive maneuvers that would cause the bike to come off the rack completely in the middle lane of 79. I edged over to the shoulder, thankfully traffic there saw my predicament and gave way.

There on the shoulder, the adrenaline wore off and and I started shaking. What if it had come off and caused another vehicle to crash? This was horrible and it was all my fault. Now I had to get out and get the bike back on the rack with car and trucks zipping by at 70MPH just feet away in the rain. I had visions of all those horrible police dash-cam videos of police officers getting hit by wayward traffic on the side of the road.

While Ruby's supposed to get my heart rate up, this wasn't the route I'd anticipated. I didn't stop shaking until I got beyond Neville Island.

At the bike shop, I promptly bought a bar that will prevent that sort of thing from happening again.


  1. How was the bike fitting? Was it beneficial / informative / waste of time?

    ItemTwo: hey, this passive-aggressive red-headed-stepchild thing you've got with that wonderful bicycle. What, you make a (small, non-event) mistake and so you name your bike after your snafu? I WILL NOT REST, I say, until you give this bike a proper positive name.

    I think you've chosen the wrong story. I think this bike was unattached AND STILL STAYED WITH YOU in spite of it. Kind of like the dog that follows the owners after they lose the dog on the interstate rest stop. And it stayed with you, even though it senses your conflicted feelings. Names drawn from the positive story: HangWithMe Harry, Loyal Lana, Steadfast SilverWings, etc.

    This may call for bike therapy.

  2. Very, very gracious of you to consider my feedback. And I love love love the double-parallel alliteration between Rusty Red and Resolute Ruby.


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