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Bike - Bicycle or Motorcycle? - cellophane
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renniekins
renniekins
Bike - Bicycle or Motorcycle?
Yesterday, for the first time ever, I rode my bike motorcycle to work! It was pretty cool. I'm still in the process of figuring out what I need to carry with me, and how to carry it. So far using a bag and bungie-ing it onto the rear seat is working okay. I have an idea for a littler bag that I can attach above the tail light a bit more permanently, but haven't done it yet.

Today should have been Bike Bicycle Day, but it's been thunderstorming all morning. Not my idea of a fun ride, so I drove my car.

Oh well... it will make things more convenient when I leave work early this afternoon, in order to hurry home and pack. I just realized last night: I'm flying to NYC this evening! Just a long weekend trip, to visit family and see Rent and stuff. Should be a really fun time, even if the whole trip kind of snuck up on me.

That is, if the thunderstorms don't ground my plane. Hopefully it will be fine... but I'd better bring a good book (or two) just in case we're delayed.

Side discussion: this is really confusing, the word "bike". How did it manage to get itself used for two very different vehicles? It is especially confusing because now I like to ride both bicycles and motorcycles! I find that I am never able to express myself properly anymore without resorting to full words.

I maintain that the word "bike" should only be for bicycles. After all, the word "motorcycle" doesn't contain a "bi" root at all, whereas "bicycle" does.

The strange thing is that "biker" has become so strongly associated with motorcycles, that bicycle riders have taken to calling themselves "cyclists". Which is especially silly, because "cycle" is in both words, but "bike" is only in "bicycle"!

While it should only make sense to call a bicycle rider a "biker", it is unfortunately way too late. The term "bike" is too deeply rooted in biker motorcycle culture. I use it myself quite frequently and accidentally... but there is still a part of me that is annoyed by the fact that the term has been usurped by motorcyclers, when it isn't even a part of the word. Even if I am one now.

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Comments
aiela From: aiela Date: June 21st, 2006 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it probably stems somewhere from "motorbike"
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: June 21st, 2006 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you bought a tank bag yet?

Please NYC standing I have not been there yet.
egon010 From: egon010 Date: June 21st, 2006 04:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Technically, motorcycle is motor + bicycle
eviljohn From: eviljohn Date: June 21st, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
two wheels good, four wheels baaaad.

;-)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 21st, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Now that is something I can wholeheartedly support. *grin*
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 21st, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps, but SIX wheels, full circle back to good again...
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: June 21st, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
LAUGH!`
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: June 21st, 2006 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
LAUGH!
johnridley From: johnridley Date: June 21st, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I rode in a LITTLE bit of thunderstorm this morning. Unfortunately I got in to work about 5 minutes before it really cut loose, but at least I had SOME fun.
Not much hope for this afternoon, either.
I have no answers on the true meaning of "bike" other than that if I say I rode my bike to work, anyone who does not know me assumes motorcycle. Too bad, because it's a lot easier to say than "bicycle".
renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 21st, 2006 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hee! You should have turned around and pedaled around the block a few times, to enjoy the weather.

Yes exactly... "bike" is easier to say! That's why I find myself using it anyway, and confusing issues. Also my conversation sounds too formal and precise when I keep using the words motorcycle and bicycle; I feel silly.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: June 22nd, 2006 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I just checked on GMap pedometer; the "block" that work is on is 8.8 miles around. As tempted as I am to just keep riding past work some days, I do have to go to work at some point :-)

I just say "bike" and let them figure it out.
dagibbs From: dagibbs Date: June 21st, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
motorcycle is a contraction of motorized bicycle. So, that's where bike comes from. In some parts of the world (I think including England) the "long" word would be motorbike, not motorcycle. Bike as a contraction comes from that quite naturally.

You might ask elizilla how she deals -- she's been living in both worlds for a while, now.

Oddly, "biking" is almost always human-powered, but "riding" is more ambiguous. And "driving" could be car or (motor)bike.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: June 21st, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Some VC fanatics refer to riding a bicycle as driving as well, to enforce their legal positions as operators of vehicles with full road rights.
But they're pushing things, IMHO.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: June 21st, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Too bad you're not trying to see The Drowsy Chaperone. Probably hard to get ticket now too.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: June 21st, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
BTW, you are not a "biker." You are a "rider."
jenx From: jenx Date: June 21st, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I don't know - we could tart her up like Sandy at the end of "Grease" . . .
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: June 21st, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
somehow this image came to mind....




I think you need to have a bed roll tied off the front of the handlebars!

:-)
elizilla From: elizilla Date: June 21st, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ever notice that riding is more like driving, and driving is more like riding?

Driving is considered active and riding is considered passive. Yet piloting a bike (motor or pedal) is active and requires lots of energy and alertness, while driving a car is so passive that it's hard to stay awake.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 21st, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Huh... Good point, you're completely right! Somebody "riding a motorcycle" really seems like it should be the one on the back. In your case, um, the stormtrooper?

Yet another instance where the useage has changed so much that the words make no sense anymore.
thatguychuck From: thatguychuck Date: June 21st, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad you had a good ride yesterday, and even more happy you decided NOT to ride today!

this is really confusing, the word "bike". How did it manage to get itself used for two very different vehicles? It is especially confusing because now I like to ride both bicycles and motorcycles! I find that I am never able to express myself properly anymore without resorting to full words.

I maintain that the word "bike" should only be for bicycles. After all, the word "motorcycle" doesn't contain a "bi" root at all, whereas "bicycle" does.

The strange thing is that "biker" has become so strongly associated with motorcycles, that bicycle riders have taken to calling themselves "cyclists". Which is especially silly, because "cycle" is in both words, but "bike" is only in "bicycle"!

While it should only make sense to call a bicycle rider a "biker", it is unfortunately way too late. The term "bike" is too deeply rooted in biker motorcycle culture. I use it myself quite frequently and accidentally... but there is still a part of me that is annoyed by the fact that the term has been usurped by motorcyclers, when it isn't even a part of the word. Even if I am one now.


Do you mind if I post the above text to the motorcycles group? It's a great topic.

renniekins From: renniekins Date: June 21st, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sure, go ahead! Will be interesting to see responses....
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