I’m planning to start an electric bike club with some friends in Ithaca and we don’t yet have a name. Can you help us think of one? Finding a name is an important first step for any organization. It will force us to think about the goals of our group. This grueling process may release our hidden differences, but the fires of our disagreement will forge in us a new a sense of unity! Right. We invite you to participate.
Ithaca is especially suitable for ebikes. The largest part of our community is students. A very visible part of our community is environmentalists. Both of these groups would benefit from biking: students need an inexpensive mode of transportation and environmentalists want transportation that better fits with their values. But both groups are held back by (among other things) the incredibly hilly terrain here. An ebike erases that impediment. For a variety of reasons the bike stores here are unable to step up to the plate to promote ebikes. That’s where a club comes in. Our club is all ready to go except for one thing: we lack a name. Here’s some thoughts that may guide your club naming.
The goal of the club is to encourage people in Ithaca to drive ebikes. The activities of the club may include ebike conversion workshops (basically how to install a hub motor); Xtracycle conversion workshops (how to convert your bike into a cargo bike); repair clinics, weird vehicle projects; group rides; an online forum for giving advice about ebikes and for buying and selling ebikes; a way to buy parts as a group to get a discount; advocacy of some kind. There are other bike clubs in Ithaca that do some of these activities already (most notably the Finger Lakes Cycling Club) but I think these goals are different enough to require a separate group.
Some of the ways our name will focus us:
- Should we focus only on Ithaca or will the club someday have national stature? If we aspire to go national, we can use a name like “Ebike People of Ithaca” for now but it can be shortened to “Ebike People” later.
- Should we focus on the environmental side of this venture? The practical side? Or the fun side?
- How much should we emphasize the cargo biking aspect?
- Should we focus on the advocacy side? Personally I will be disappointed if I don’t leave club meetings with bike grease on my hands.
- Should we get into the buying and selling side? Could this group eventually be a store? I think my favorite Canadian bike store ebikes.ca began as a club.
- Should we stick with bikes or could we include Electric Vehicles in general?
Another consideration: will people know what the word “ebike” means? I asked a few people that were easy to ask and none of them knew what it meant. However, I think within a year the phrase “electric bike” will sound as quaint as “electronic mail”. Until then we can define ebike in the tag line, such as “Ebike People: Ithaca’s Electric Bike Club”.It’s easy to change the tag line later.
Here’s some names we’ve come up with so far.
The obvious: Ithaca Ebike Club
Names about groups of people: Ebike Alliance, Ebike League, Ebike Fellowship, Ebike Cooperative, Ebike Guild, Ebike Advocates
Place names: Ebike Village, Electrithaca
Wacky names: The Spinners, Responsible Vehicle Alliance, The Sparks
Do you like any of these names? Can you think of a good name? Do you know of similar clubs? Would you join a club like this? Leave a comment!