Monday, August 18, 2008


OK, if you know me outside the virtual world, in what we old-timers like to call the real world, then you've heard me brag about the fantastic compliments from my teammates. Well, I think I already bragged about it in the virtual world too.

I think I've said this before too... it's my blog, I can write what I want.

So anyway, one of my super cool teammates, Rob, (don't read me wrong, they're all fantabulous rock stars!)... anyway, Rob, has loaned me his precious Penn State baseball cap. It's to be my daily reminder that one of my top goals right now is to purchase a road bike. Believe me, I don't need a daily reminder, but I certainly enjoy it.

Over to the right... that's Rob and me at the end of RAGBRAI 08 getting our picture taken in front of the Mighty Mississippi, with me wearing the PSU road bike hat.

See that nice hybrid bike that has taken me across the state and more in the last 4 years? It is named Shadowfax. Instead of being redundant again, I'll just point out that the explanation for this bike's name is in a prior post. So let's move on to the main point here... I name my vehicles.

The bike pictured... Shadowfax, so that I could imagine that I'm fast. And we know now how that turned out!!

My car is named Bindi. It's a forest green Subaru Forester with an alligator hanging from the rear view mirror. Not a real one... a ceramic one! If you can't put those that all together, no worries mate! Catch a few key episodes of the Crocodile Hunter, know that I worked as a canoe instructor in Florida briefly... now do the math. Still can't get it? Then you're hopelessly out of the pop culture loop (or at least one that involves the Discovery Channel!) and I can't help you.

Let's not get into the whole history of my vehicle names or the reasoning behind it. It doesn't matter, what matters is that even though I haven't settled on a particular bike, no particular brand. Nothing is yet settled but this one crucial tidbit. I now know the name of my yet to be purchased road bike.

Now, once I reveal the name of the bike, some might accuse me of pandering to my Pennsylvania friends without any thought. Not true. First, the name... drum roll please! My new bike will be dubbed Nittany.

And for the more judgmental in the crowd here's the rationale this time... Nittany is not simply because the hat is a Penn State hat and that is their mascot. There's more to it.

Apparently Nittany derives from a Native American word that means "single mountain." Mount Nittany serves as a Penn State backdrop. I can't say whether I've seen this mountain or not. I have been to PA. But that was a long time ago, back when I was a silly teenager more interested in taking pictures of Porsche's out the window of the tour bus hauling me and the other silly teenagers around on our high school choir trip than in knowing about the geological formations also lurking outside the tour bus.

Anyway, back to Nittany, which not only is it my future bike, it is a mountain which is a symbol of something for a cyclist to conquer. On top of that, one possible meaning of the Native American word is "barrier against the wind." While the good folks who compile the facts at Wikipedia claim that this definition is not likely to be accurate, I don't care. I like the idea of my bike protecting me from the wind.

So there you go. Pandering or not, the new bike will be christened Nittany... now on to the other minor details, saving the dough, doing the research, testing out the choices, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.


Oh, and stay tuned for the adventures of Linda and the Road Bike Hat!

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