The Name Game

My new bike is perfectly lovely so far! Yesterday I took her to work and back and also for a lunchtime joy ride. I’ll write more about those rides later. For now I’m still mulling over her name. I briefly considered Chanel based on her rich and sophisticated look, but that would be a bit silly.

Maybe she is more of a crunchy granola hippie type, with her fun and rustic Fat Frank tires. What name would that be: Hope? Sunshine? :)

No, that’s really not her personality. She’s sweet and sophisticated. I think she may be a Chantilly.

Chantilly is my top choice, but I’m not ready to make anything official. I know there are quite a few Rustine fans, but that makes me think of my mom’s big, butch dog, Rusty.

Whatever her name, she certainly gets looks and compliments from all around, including from two midwestern tourists asking directions to H&M, two fur-coated women laden with shopping bags as they left the Chanel boutique (“and look at that bell!”), and a guy in lycra on a nice steel road bike, who said his wife would love it.

Sadly, Chantilly (?) will be staying home today. Snow is falling with several inches expected and the roads look treacherous. I could take Oma with her winter tires, but after a very stressful ride home in the falling snow on Friday, which included being buzzed, nearly right-hooked, honked at, and a car sliding next to me, I’m reminded why I hate riding in the the falling snow. Sure, fresh snowflakes are pretty, but the logistics of riding in the city don’t work out for me. So I am off for the L train. Once the snow stops and the plows have time to clear the roads, I’ll be back out there.

Update 1/13 – Coco it is!  Thanks for the suggestion, neighbortease.  I may hang on to Chantilly and say she’s Coco for short.  I’ll have to wait and see what comes naturally.

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41 thoughts on “The Name Game

  1. She certainly is a beautiful bicycle! Hoping you have many years of happiness together. I like Chantilly too, over here we have Chantilly Cream, which is a type of clotted cream with bits in it (much nicer than it sounds) and, well, the bike is cream too so it fits.

    Lovely photos, as always.

    Big bike love from London!


  2. neighbourtease says:


  3. Simply Bike says:

    My first choice was Chantilly as well, such a pretty and interesting name.

    We’ve gotten sooo much snow here too and the roads are treacherous, the sidewalks not even approachable, and I’ve seen too many cars fishtail. So I’ve been getting rides from T. to campus and home (on his route to work). I really miss cycling though and I’m hoping this clears up a bit by the end of the week. I’m sure it’s even more disappointing when you have a gorgeous new bike beckoning to you! ;)


  4. cycler says:

    I’m hoping to get home by bike tonight before the storm hits, but I’m expecting tomorrow and maybe Thursday to be snowed out- if we truly do get the 17 inches that they’re threatening (or even a more conservative 12 inches), it might be pretty grim for a couple of days. My worst nightmare is a driver sliding into me, so I’ll just grab a book and take the train!

    I like the name Chantilly (you should get lace dress guards:)), but somehow it doesn’t roll of my tongue properly.

  5. Nicole says:

    She’s absolutely lovely but Chantilly doesn’t trip of the tongue. Maybe because we’re English? How do the Fat Frank tyres ride? Is she as heavy as Oma? She looks as though she’d be heavier than Betty Foy. Whatever, really lovely colour choice.

    Whatever the weather, you have to feel safe and comfortable riding in it. There’s no point terrifying ourselves for the sake of appearances. Taking my car every now and then only serves to remind me of how much I love my cycle commute and more determined to enjoy every second on my bike.

    Good luck with the name choice!

  6. Sara says:

    Gorgeous pictures! The roads were not that bad this morning. I was pleasantly surprised.

  7. Lynnety says:

    Those Fat Franks will spoil you! I rode cycle support for a marathon on Sunday and beat my friends up the toughest hill on my Retrovelo. They were riding road and touring bicycles.

  8. ScottyD says:

    Chantilly is nice but agree with those that say it just doesn’t roll off the tongue. While looking at the pictures with my Ipod on shuffle a Lucinda Williams song came on and that stuck for me. I’d go with Lucinda.

  9. Kara says:

    I actually like Chantilly. There is something genteel about it. What about Blanche? It kinda plays of the french “blanc” or white. But is it too Golden Girls?

  10. JTuttle says:

    Oh, Hey Dottie, I saw you ride by me while I was walking Gypsy and didn’t know it was you. (I was at a writers retreat this weekend, so no internet). I recall thinking I ought to wave because here was another lady bicyclist on a lovely white european city bike, but you were gone before I could! Congrat’s, she’s beautiful. I think Chantilly would be a great name for her!

  11. Krystle says:

    I like Coco as well!

  12. Stephen says:

    How about Brigette or Bridget? Supposedly means strong. Very French, oui?

  13. philippe says:

    Mey 0.2$ :
    Why a french name ?
    That’s a very nice bike indeed, but it doesn’t look french at all ! It’s a danish bike with some dutch features, keep it northern european. German if you wish, since it’s been built there ? Some austrian or danish pastry ?
    Zwetschgenfleck ? (just kidding).

  14. cb says:

    oh i love chantilly! i am on the look out for a white mixte but a used one. i haven’t found a new one that i really want that i can go on long treks and commute with…public has one but i don’t like the way it sits. will find that beauty out there!


  15. SM says:

    I alway think of the big bopper song too: Chantilly Lace. But, if you like Channel and you like Chantilly, how about Chantelle?

  16. donna says:

    What about Marion? Bianca?

  17. Paula says:

    Pretty bike, great photos. Chantilly sounds very fitting.

  18. Kagi says:

    I’m sorry, but Chantilly reminds me only of A) the Big Bopper and B) Northern Virginia suburban hell near Dulles airport. This bike’s better than that. She has a certain…gravitas. How about Sonia, after our excellent Supreme Court Justice?

    • Dottie says:

      I’ve never heard of the Big Bopper or the Virginia suburb, so that doesn’t make a difference to me. I know too many Sonia’s in real life to use that name. Elena and Ruth don’t really work, either. :)

  19. Julie says:

    Dottie, I like Chantilly. Can you help me name my latest bike? She’s a roadie though so she may need a “fast” name. I’ll bring her next month to brunch.

  20. anthony says:

    That’s a beautiful bike you have there.
    I love the Chantilly name. Of course, being french, I’m partial… ;-)

  21. Stephen says:

    Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959) also commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his recording of “Chantilly Lace”. On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as The Day the Music Died, Richardson was killed in a small-plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

  22. I’d be singing Chantilly Lace to myself every time I rode, if I named my bike Chantilly! Love the new bike.

  23. Rupert says:

    I would call her Creme Droolé, because she is a beaut, and many envious cyclers will drool over her!

  24. Nestor says:

    hmmmmm ok but I’m sorry did I miss the part about where you got this lovely machine, who manufactured it, and I how I hope it cost US$600 or less? Because it seems gorgeous, and I trust your urban-cycling judgment.

    • Dottie says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by your comment. The bike costs more than $600 and it is the least expensive of my three bikes. My “urban cycling judgment” has always been about using the best locks and common sense on where to leave my bikes, not about riding cheap bikes. If you read this blog, you know that my bikes are investments. I do not own a car and I make no apologies for my bikes.

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