What’s in a Name?

I’ve always had trouble naming things. Titles of stories, newspaper articles, even fictional characters. You have to achieve a precise balance of original and understandable.

When I decided to start this blog, I faced the dilemma of what to name it. My pre-Livejournal website, which included a blog before there were blogs, was first called “The Black Hole” and then retitled “Anything but Quotidian.” (Both are embarrassingly, but entertainingly still semi-available via the Wayback Machine). The first title was painfully overused; the second painfully pretentious. You know it’s bad when you need to define a word in your title for your visitors. Needless to say, I wished to avoid those pitfalls this time around.

When beginning this blog, I knew I wanted it to focus on bicycling, in part to chronicle my preparation and riding of the 2011 Climate Ride. As such, I thought back to a charitable bicycle ride I organized for Christian Aid, the development agency for the British and Irish churches. I called the ride, which focused on raising money for their climate change work, the “Ride for Change.” Simple, snappy, and a clear message. Unfortunately, I had already used it, and it would be confusing considering that the Climate Ride already has its own name. The idea of riding for change towards a more sustainable future still seemed like a good thing to highlight, but “Riding for change” sounded a little too serious and stiff. I’m idealistic, but like to have fun too.

Frustratingly, I also knew that my diverse array of interests and limited attention span wouldn’t allow me to write only about biking. Thinking over my other passions, I realized that sustainable food and cycling have a lot of overlap, especially when it comes to climate change. But how to fit that into a name? Immediately, I thought of my mom’s oft-stated idea that she would like to start a project to “Ride for Pie.” She’s stated that once she’s retired, she would like to ride around the country, eat pie, and write about the different pies. Unfortunately for her, there already is a Pie Ride in Wisconsin. Nonetheless, the idea of “Will Ride for Pie” stuck with me.

Putting the two together, I hit upon “Will Ride for Change (or Pie!)” Activist, but still a little goofy. Plus, who doesn’t like pie?

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