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Brad Fitzpatrick

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"bike" ambiguity [Mar. 9th, 2007|11:02 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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I love both my bicycle and my motorcycle, but I hate both those nouns.

Yet the better noun for both, "bike", is now ambiguous.

The verbs "ride" and "bike" are a little better, as "ride" leans a little bit towards motorcycle, but not really. Not enough to be clear.

In any case, I rode my motorcycle to work today for the first time. I'm not sure it was any faster than bicycling to work (because I can go faster than traffic and break rules on my bicycle), but it sure was fun. I'm sure going home (which is 400 ft or so higher in elevation than work) will be faster by motorcycle, not having to pedal uphill in low gear.

Help me with wording! Qualifying each of these terms will drive me crazy.

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[User Picture]From: henrylyne
2007-03-09 07:15 pm (UTC)
Use the nouns bicycle and motorcycle. Cycle to work or ride your motorcycle.

I avoid using the work bike and always qualify the verb ride.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-03-09 07:22 pm (UTC)
+1 on verb "cycle".

Yeah, guess I'll have to ditch the word "bike", as much as I love it.
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[User Picture]From: mart
2007-03-09 07:24 pm (UTC)

Here in England, “motorbike” is reasonably common when there is potential confusion.

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[User Picture]From: scosol
2007-03-11 06:15 am (UTC)
also as a verb- motor.
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[User Picture]From: bandicoot
2007-03-09 07:24 pm (UTC)
The real old-timers from the 40's and 50's who rode Harleys on and off road call motorcycles "motors" and look at you with a jaundiced eye if you call them "bikes".
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[User Picture]From: ghewgill
2007-03-09 07:25 pm (UTC)
There's also "motorbike" and "pushbike". Of course, you'd probably sound funny saying "pushbike" in the US but here in NZ it's used as a convenient disambiguator.

On that note, I pushbiked to work from our new place yesterday for the first time. Now there's a whole new dimension: hills.
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[User Picture]From: octal
2007-03-09 07:34 pm (UTC)
Just call the motorcycle "the bmw" and the bike "the canondale" (or whatever).

As in, I rode my BMW to work today.

Even if you get an M5 sedan, "ride" makes it pretty clearly the bmw bike.

Might get tricky if the bicycle is mainly built from parts.
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[User Picture]From: dina
2007-03-09 07:36 pm (UTC)
Name them! Well, at least maybe name the motorcycle. "Sofast" is one idea....
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[User Picture]From: kunzite1
2007-03-09 07:42 pm (UTC)
i associate the word "bike" with "bicycle" before i associate it with "motorcycle."

since the motorcycle is a bmw f650gs, i'd go with something like "f650."
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[User Picture]From: robbat2
2007-03-09 07:44 pm (UTC)
How about the verb "pedal" to describe transit by bicycle?
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[User Picture]From: jope
2007-03-09 07:54 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: graceadieu
2007-03-09 08:02 pm (UTC)

Works for us

Give your bicycle and your motorcycle their own names. My Camaro's name is Cameron, the Scion's name is Satchel and Larry's Miata's name is Mischa. I'd tell you the names of all our household appliances, but I don't want to bore you further. :)
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[User Picture]From: satiredun
2007-03-09 08:18 pm (UTC)
i agree with 'pedal' for your bike and 'ride' for your motorclickee.
though, frankly, i say 'bike' and 'ride' for both, and let the presence or absence of a leather jacket and helmet provide the context.
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[User Picture]From: iamjosh
2007-03-09 08:26 pm (UTC)
you can lane split on the motorcycle.. you should be going faster then traffic.. or rather after a year of the motorcycling you'll be rocketing past traffic :-D
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[User Picture]From: brad
2007-03-09 09:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, maybe in a year. For now, not so much with the confidence.
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From: djwatson
2007-03-09 09:26 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. How about beemer? I don't think beemered over works though. I tend to call mine my 'moto'. I motored over works alright, although just saying 'rode' works fine if you're wearing a biker jacket ;)
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[User Picture]From: mendel
2007-03-09 09:33 pm (UTC)
One of the reasons to buy a BMW is that you get to refer to it as such whenever you mention it! But remember, a "bimmer" is a car -- the bike's a "beemer".
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[User Picture]From: calliste
2007-03-09 09:53 pm (UTC)
I'd have suggested "cycling", "pedaling" and "motorbiking", but it seems that other people were faster. ;)
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