Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Perils of Naming a Bike!

If you are reading this and you know me well, you know that these days the only thing anywhere near as dear to me as my daughter is my bike.  I got hooked on cycling a year ago and since then my bike has become my exercise, my therapy, my anti-depressant, my meditation space . . . basically my bike has become my "happy place."  I LOVE my bike.  Given that my bike is so important in my life, I couldn't help but give my bike a name.  (Maybe that notion comes from having a kayak – it is common practice to name a boat.  It just seemed natural to me to name my bike, too.)  So what is my bike's name?  My bike's name is Ben!

Where did the name Ben come from, you ask?  Well, I ride a recumbent bicycle.  (I LOVE my recumbent.  It is extremely comfy and extremely fast.  It is a complete joy to ride.)  Anyway, people in the recumbent world refer to riding a recumbent bicycle as "getting bent."  Ben's full name is Bender.  As in, "I get bent on Bender."  As is typically the case in the U.S., Bender was quickly shortened to the nickname, Ben.  The name Ben works for me.  However, I still love exclaiming as I walk out the door to go for a ride, "I'm going out on a Bender!"

Interestingly enough, for some reason, EVERYBODY I know refers to my bike as Ben.  It probably has everything to do with the fact that I always refer to Ben as Ben and, my personality being what it is, people follow suit just to humor me.  Ben is never referred to as 'my bike' or 'your bike.'  Ben is just always Ben.  Even my avid cyclist friends, who think naming a bike is the most absurd thing they could ever imagine, call my bike Ben.  They say things like, "Hey Danni, throw Ben in the car and come on over and we'll go for a ride."  My non-cyclist friends call my bike Ben, too.  They will ask, "Did you get out on Ben today?"  And that is exactly where the peril of naming my bike, Ben, comes in.  (Do you see where this is going yet?)

So, last week I was at a very nice restaurant with some very dear friends and some other friends of theirs that I don't know very well.  Before ordering my friend asked what I was thinking of having for dinner.  I said I was thinking of keeping it light and just having a salad.  At which point she loudly exclaimed, "Oh right, you haven't been riding Ben!!"  This exclamation was followed by complete, jaw-dropped silence at the table.  Me, being completely oblivious because I am so used to hearing Ben referred to as Ben, didn't even catch on to what was going on.  However, THANKFULLY my friend figured it out immediately and clarified quite quickly, "No, it's not what you're thinking.  Ben is Danni's bike!  No . . .  really!!!"

I guess it could have been worse.  She could have exclaimed, "Oh right, you haven't 'gotten bent' in a long time!!"  YIKES!!!!  (And if you don’t get the reference on that one, I am SOOOO not explaining . . .  ;-)

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