I’ve never thought of myself as the kind of guy that would name things. As I look around here I guess I do. I have names for a lot of my stuff. For example, my guitars have names. Named mostly after the people influlenc-ing me at the time I acquired them.
Over the years, I’ve named my motorcycles. They are usually named based on the feel or pur-pose of the bike.
My BMW R1200GS is named ‘Rocinante’. I used this name based on the classic novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. Rocinante was Don Quixote’s horse. He was an old, unattractive horse that got him around. My GS is very unattractive, not old but not as fast as I would like and it gets me around. Don Quixote’s Rocinante took him on some real and some imaginary adventures. My GS takes me on my adventures. Some are the kind of trips that most people would not take a bike on. All bikes take us on adventures in one way or the other.
Like Don Quixote I have an active imagination. When I’m not playing in the real world of riding I am dreaming about riding. I think about the back trails of the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains to the floral canopies of South America to the Alps and to the North Pole. Up and down and all around this place we call Earth.
For years I have tried to come up with a decent name for my GPS. I feel like my GPS deserves its own name. It has its own character and I rely on it so much I feel lonely when I ride without it.
My GPS is about 98 percent correct and the other percent is just wrong. When I hear “Recalculating, make a U-turn” or any other nonsense on a road to nowhere it drives me crazy. Like life, many of my adventures have started down the wrong road. In those moments of let down I start telling it what to do. I come up with clever phrases like “No, you turn here, I’ll wait” or “I think my GPS needs its own GPS.”
I think my GPS has character. It has a voice. The voice is called Jill. The truth is all electronics have their own behavior and they are based on the behaviors their programmers. We live in such an automated and electronic world that we never think about that stuff. We take it for granted that all devices work perfectly and we never think past the screen of a device. If you are riding and your GPS sends you down the wrong road it is because the information is either calculated wrong or entered incorrectly. The map data and calculations are all based on mathematical formulas.
For years I’ve been trying to come up with a name to condemn the 2 percent of errors. I could never find a name that properly fit this device until a few weeks ago.
While driving my friends Joel and Brandi to lunch, I was a little unfa-miliar with the area and Brandi spoke up and said “turn left here.” I joked about how she was like my backseat GPS. She said it was the quickest way to where we were going. I had been that way a few times before and remem-bered my GPS had me taking a different route.
As we traveled down the little country road, I realized that Brandi was correct about the route. At that point I realized I was looking for a name to make fun of the the incorrect data of my GPS and not the correct data. At that point I decided I would find a name for the 98 percent good of my GPS. Thus my GPS now has a name, ‘Brandi’!
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Photo: My BMW R1200GS is named ‘Rocinante’. I used this name based on the classic novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha. Rocinante was Don Quixote’s horse.