Naming the New (to me) Bicycle

Recently my friend A. introduced me to her dog, Nell. 

“Same name as my vagina,” I said, citing an old social media meme that instructed the reader to “name your vagina after the last movie you saw.” At the time, the last movie I had seen was Nell:

My friend S. said the last movie she saw was “The Hustle” and we all laughed.

As of that conversation, the last movie I had seen was Shazam, on the plane home from France. Shazam would make an excellent vagina name, but I’m already attached to Nell. Like Nell, my vagina is almost impossible to understand unless you get to know her really, really well, and is probably better off without any more dicks in her life. Also, Jodie Foster is super hot.

But I do need to name my new (to me) bicycle, a used Lightning P-38 Voyager, and for this, Shazam is perfect. Shazam’s superhero costume is red with a lightning bolt; my new bike is red with the Lightning Cycle Dynamics logo:

Shazam transforms back and forth from a smallish mediocre kid to a big impressive stud; likewise my bike transforms from a compact collection of parts in a hard-shell case, into a strong impressive road recumbent.

Momo supervises the opening of the 26″ x 26″ x 12″ case. The rest of Shazam is still under the foam pad.
Assembly in progress. Lola tried to help by biting the ends of the cables.
Almost done! The only available reference was these videos, and the Voyager’s design has changed some since then. Fortunately, it was easy to find youtube videos of rear-derailleur-mounting, and other parts, such as the disc brakes, fit together like a puzzle. Bike mechanic-ing does not come naturally to me, but I’ve dealt with enough recumbents now to at least know that if I’m slow and patient, I can usually manage.
Success! I later installed the rear rack, which came with no diagrams or instructions and felt like it took almost as long as the whole bike. Then I rode her around the park. Shazam is the first short-wheelbase recumbent that has felt “natural” to me. As soon as I install a decent handlebar mirror, we’ll go on a longer ride. And if that works out, we may travel together overseas, which is the whole reason I bought her.

Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

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