|Nicholas' Velo Orange Campeur|
And it also allowed folks to express their hate* on Velo Orange, which mostly hinged on the name "Campeur". It's sooo...French. And as 'mericans, we are not supposed to like the French.
|Any excuse to drag this pic out, I will use.|
While I may slightly (and I say slightly) agree that the trend to use French words and terms can be a bit pretentious and a way to make things sound classier than they are, Velo Orange's M.O. is French-inspired bicycles, so it goes with their aesthetic. And really, every bike company has a certain aesthetic that is evoked with the names bestowed on their models. These names are not only supposed to give an idea of what the bike is intended for, but give a romantic feel for where the bike might bring you.
Take, example, my bicycles. Surly's bike names combine Minneapolis middle-west punk rockedness** with utility. Whille Long Haul Trucker is the least romantic named bike I own,*** it's name states what it does very clearly, in a punk rock way. My Raleigh Crested Butte evokes a mountain setting, which is what a mountain bike name usually does. (Crested Butte, Colorado is also the home of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.****) And my Raleigh Wayfarer? Well, the name evokes a feeling of travel and freedom. That it's also the pen name of W M Robinson, a man who inspired the Rough-Stuff Fellowship, can be considered coincidence or intentional.
|The Picnic Truck Bike.|
Names for bikes provided by bicycle companies is one thing, but what about personal names of bicycles bestowed by their owners? You know, people who name their bike "George" or something. Try as I might, I could never do this to any of my bikes. I just always called my bike what they are, the "Long Haul Trucker".
Okay, I tried a little harder than that, bestowing names that fit the purpose of the bike. I sometimes referred to my Univega three-speed as the "Picnic Truck Bike". But that's clunky, what about an acronym? Like MCLM or something. But if I do that, no one but me will know what those letters stand for. So it has to be an acronym that sounds like something.
I've been thinking about this a little in regards to the Raleigh Crested Butte.**** While it technically is a mountain bike, I don't think about it that way, at least in regards to what mountain bike means to most people. Yes, I want to ride it in rural areas and off pavement. But I ride it on pavement, mostly in the city. And it's optimally set up for that. It's also brown and I'll be "bombing" around on it, so "Brown Bomber" could be an apt title. But I don't like the sound of that. What about "Country-Urban Bomber"? Yeah! And that way, the acronym would be CUB.
Does this bike look like a cub to you?
*Not as popular as hating on Grant/Riv, but up there.
**See the 45 North brand, another QBC line. One of their tires is named "Husker Du", which is also the name of the famed Twin Cities 80's punk band.
***Even less romantic than my Rudge Sports.
****Or, as Jacquie Phelan calls it, "Hollow Fame".
*****Which means more than I should.