Sexing the Bicycle

When I emerged from the CVS store on Shattuck last Saturday evening I was momentarily stopped in my tracks by the silhouette of my bicycle in the golden sun. It has been my primary form of transportation for probably five years now, and it still doesn’t have a name. How bad does that make me look?

Before naming it, I first had to figure out whether it was a masculine bike or a feminine bike. I quickly came to realize it has elements of both genders in evidence, and that its name would have to reflect that.

“Pat” was my first thought, but Pat is too, well, pat; a little too on the nose and frankly not very flattering.

Johnifer was my next choice, but that felt contrived.

The name that eventually stuck was Cornelia. It’s a feminine name, reflecting the bike’s elegantly light frame and the pink undertones of its paint scheme. But Cornelia is also a strong workhorse of a name, suitable for a mountainbike with a milk crate lashed to its rear rack that is used in lieu of a flatbed pickup truck.

The name is no doubt inspired by East German swimming sensation Kornelia Ender, who took Montreal by storm in the 1976 Olympics.

LIke Kornelia Ender, if my bike ever had to pee in a cup, the results might not be conclusive, and that’s the way I like it.

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