Time for some updates. I'll post them in installments so that the excitement isn't too much for you.
Due to an imminently approaching departure date (watch this space) my search for sponsorship and funding has begun again in earnest. I've said it many times before on this site, and it's true that whatever happens, this expedition WILL happen, and soon. However, a little money and supplies can make a huge difference. For instance, the better my bike and camping equipment, the less chance there is that I'll freeze to death or get eaten by a bear. Actually that's exaggerating a little, but the premise is true. Higher quality gear (and the correct gear for the task) will vastly improve my chances of my safety and success. Company sponsors are keys to this - and I can offer them a lot in terms of publicity and profile in return for the goods they supply me with (see the sponsorship proposal pack for more info.)
So here it is - I will be spending the coming months with a bike named...Lola! Quite the turn around after it looked like it was definitely going to be a Billy - but there you go. Obviously the Lola fans came out en force right at the end. As entertaining as Billy is, I think I probably prefer Lola - it seems like less of a joke name! Plus, as I said before, when I'm in that delirious, half crazed, just-cycled-hundreds-of-miles-on-my-own kind of state that I'll inevitably reach, it'll be nice to have a song to sing to my bike. You all know the song, right? If not check it out here. (I never thought I'd be posted links to songs by the Kinks on my website, but here we are...another positive to come out of the naming competition!)
Anyway, thanks so much to everyone who suggested names and took part in the poll - I'm kind of astounded that over 300 people voted on it! That really makes me happy, so thanks guys.
Three people suggested Lola originally - Vanessa, an anonymous submission from this website, and my Mum! So a special thanks to you three, good choice.
Keep an eye on the site over the next couple of days, there's definitely some fairly big news coming. Until then here's a couple more photos from New York.
I was totally ready to make the announcement of my bike name today, which for the last few days has seemed certain to be Billy. Yesterday morning Billy was a good 8% ahead - but Lola is definitely making a last minute comeback! This is probably about as exciting as naming a bike via an online poll can get. I think it's maybe to do with the fact that I finally hassled some of my new acquaintance in New York enough to make cast a vote - and in general they seem to be much more of a Lola fan! Perhaps Billy isn't as popular a name here as it obviously is back home...
Anyway, at the strong risk of unforgivably dragging this out, I'm going to give it 24 more hours. No more, no less! To fill you in - Billy is on 43%, Lola on 41% at this stage. I'm going to hide the results from you all for the last few hours to add a bit of excitement, if you can muster any more! One thing I gotta say now though, there's been 287 votes cast so far - how cool is that! I'm very chuffed that so many people have taken an interest.
So - thanks for voting, and if you haven't, please do so now!
The first stage is over! Thanks to everyone who suggested potential names - I lost count somewhere after around 50 different names.
Some were clever, some were funny, some were...interesting. But I appreciate the effort. So the final thing I'll ask of you now is to vote on your favourite out of the final 5. These 5 got chosen by a very complicated selection process. Obviously that's a lie. These are the names that either got suggested multiple times, or that I thought were particularly good.
I'll give you the quick run down:
Lola - 4 different people offered this as a potential name - that makes it a popular choice already, and I do like the idea of being able to sing a song about my bike.
Sam - Suggested twice, plus it's kind of androgynous - Suzanne pointed out it could be Samwise Gamgee, or equally Samantha, both of which I like!
Odetta - Based I guess on the singer, it's a pretty cool connection
Mathilda - Watch the film 'Leon'
Billy - C'mon now, who doesn't love Billy the Bike?
So please vote below!
Okay, so here's the game. I have a shiny new Santos TravelMaster (as seen above in the ever-so-sligtly embarrassing publicity photo) which I plan to ride a minimum of 10,000 miles across North America, NZ, Australian and SE Asia. This much you know (or at least you do now). What you probably don't know is that as yet I haven't named my bike. Now this is a pretty big deal. Me and this bike are gonna get to know each other very well. We're really, really gonna have to become best buds. We're gonna spend a LOT of time together - enough to put any relationship under strain, especially one where I'm the only human being involved. Inevitably we're going to fall out every so often, but in general this bike will be the only company I have for long stretches of time whether I like it or not, so I better get used to the idea. Simply...we've got to get on well. And, central to this, is giving my bike a good name. Maybe I'm going a bit far, it is after all still an inanimate object, but I'm not going to lie to you, i WILL talk to this bike.