Monday, April 8, 2013

What's In A Name?

As all of you know, I am a complete nerd.  I name all of my bikes after horses.  TT bikes are universally named for race horses because they both do one thing and one thing very well.  Go fast.  They are not always comfortable or polite, but they are certainly fast.

There is a reason for the nerdy naming... horses, especially racehorses, were so influential in my development as a human being.  A lot of the work ethic, drive, and toughness that I have can be directly credited to the years I spent at the tracks and yearling sales.  It is an environment where backing away from a challenge cannot happen, weakness is not tolerated, falter for a moment and you get replaced.  You work 24/7/365.  If you get sick, you don't have a job.  If you can't perform to standard, you don't have a job.  If you cannot perform the task, you don't have a job.  Whine about it and you don't have a job.  The machine grinds on and you either survive or you get destroyed.  This is true for human and animal.

But there is something (sick) pure and honest about it.  The animals are elite, the handlers are the best.  There is no lovey-dovey kissey-poo on the pony going on... that colt is lethal and he will take your face off.  Don't believe me?  Ask the son of the trainer I used to work for... he lost part of his face to one and the parents (a trainer and a jockey) both felt that he deserved what he got for being stupid.  He tried to kiss a colt on the nose.  It's a different world.  It begs no forgiveness, puts up with no shit.

There is a point when a ride has gone wrong that a good rider knows it is time to jump off.  Stay on board and you'll end up dead.  That, for me, was true of life at the track as well.  I saw the flip coming and I jumped off.

But it left it's mark.  It cemented my particular brand of crazy (sorry coach... it's not going away any time soon) and even though I no longer ride or own horses, I know full well that they made me who I am.  They also still pay the bills.  When I jumped off, I landed in triathlon/cycling so I name my bikes after horses to remind me of where I've been (and how much more a sport can actually cost!)

Soo... Just as I used to name my horses (often after vehicles: Best jumper I ever had was a TB named Mini Cooper), I now name my bikes.  I name them for the horses that have inspired me.  I have a new bike and it needed a name.  This bike needed a special name.  I moved away from my trend of choosing highly recognizable names that Hollywood has elevated in the eyes of the general public and chose the name of my favorite, the horse I personally consider the be the greatest... the best.


"The horse's name is Phar Lap."

1 comment:

  1. Some kinds of Crazy is wonderful. The lesson in life is to not to survive, but to welcome changes.