Thursday, August 13, 2015


So, John, you think it would be cool to have a road name? So
mething like “Thor” or “Big Guns” or “Torpedo”?
Well, careful what you ask for. I know a biker named “Limp Dick.” I know another guy named “Mouse” and gals called “Spitter” and “Batshit.”

The tradition to the biker name is this: you don’t pick it yourself. Nearly always you get named by someone else, which is part of the fun. No matter what you end up with—and be patient, it can take a while—it’s best to accept it and own it with a smile. Even “Limp Dick” had a patch made for his vest. You gotta love a guy for that.

In the end, who you are and what you do play a big role. So here are the most common ways folks get a road name:

1. Some incident on a ride, like a guy who earned the name “Slider”: He hit a patch of gravel with his back tire in a left hand turn. He stuck with it, slid up the slope of a hill, missing a tree, then laid her down on the upside of a gully. No damage to him or much to the bike.
“Split” earned his name for splitting lanes on a crowded freeway for more than a mile.
Sometimes the “incident” is less impressive. One guy was christened “Kickstand” because he forgot to put down his kickstand at a gas station, with about five girls as witnesses.
“Domino” also forgot to put down her kickstand—knocking over a row of bikes beside her.

  1. Maybe it’s the way you ride. “Flinstone” wears out the soles of his boots when he puts his heels down through the low curves on his V-Rod. “Tippy” got her name because no matter what sport bike she rides, she can barely touch the ground. “Guardrail” rides close to the…yep you got it.

3. A distinctive personality trait. A biker called “Patch” got his name from a little party trick: he gives tequila shots out of his eye socket. A guy I know got the name “Shylock” because he’s super shy until he gets to know people.  A badass biker chick who’s been known to fight goes by “MyTy,” for Mike Tyson. “Elephant” never forgets anything. “Sideshow” has been known to cause a scene or two.
I know an “Evil Bob” and a “Crazy Mike,” (and when they’re both around, it’s sure to be a fun night).  

  1. What you wear or look like. “Houlihan’s” nickname hails from Hot Lips Houlihan, from the TV show M*A*S*H.
“Bossy Boots” got her name from her tall boots she wears over tight jeans.
Another guy, who rides with a paralyzed arm, goes by Slotmachine.
They call one biker “Scraps” because he’s got a lot of scars.

5. Your bike. One female nurse who rides her own fatboy goes by “Voodoo.” Then you’ve got “Chopper Dave,” “Honda Sally,” “Panhead Fred,” and so on.

6. An animal you remind people of. “Snake Bite,” “Wolf,” “Big Dog,” “Goat,” “Bunny,” “Shark,” “Catfish” (who’s called “Catshit” when his buddies have had a few beers).

So how do you stack the odds for a good name? There’s not much you can do. Of course, you can come up with your own and try to get your buddies to use it. If that’s your plan, use one word or two: “Chief” is a lot easier to remember than “Eagle Who Soars With the Sun.” Also, words that rhyme are usually winners, like “Side Ride.”

But even when you do get a name, sometimes it takes a while to stick. If you have an unusual real name, like Cody or Cleo, your road name has less of a chance to make it than if your real name is Mike or Bob.
So, always introduce yourself by your  road name. If it feels awkward to say, “I’m Superman,” say, “They call me ‘Superman.’”  It also helps to use it on social media, making it part of your Facebook name, for example.
No matter what, you’ll always have a conversation piece.
Oh, they call me “Christmas.” I’ll tell you the story behind that one when I meet you on the road. Until then…

This blog was written by: Joelle Fraser - Contributor to Long Ride Shields (Author of Hard Rider Press)