Thanks for all the suggestions, but the name for my new ride companion came to me organically, as I thought it would eventually.

Dana and I were sitting on our bikes at the light in Centre Hall and checking the weather radar. She was going on for more miles; I was heading back to do some work at the house. On the way home, a couple of lines from Paul Simon tunes popped into my head; songs that I taught myself on the guitar when I was still a teen and just learning how to play.

I get the news I need on the weather report. I can gather all the news I need on the weather report. Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.


Half of the time we’re gone, but we don’t know where, oh, we don’t know where.

Paul Simon, The Only Living Boy in New York, 1969

Sweep up! I’ve been sweeping up the tips I’ve made. I’ve been living on Gatorade. Planning my getaway.

Detroit, Detroit, Got a hell of a hockey team. Got a left-handed way of making a man sign up on that automotive dream. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Oh, Papa, Papa Hobo, can you slip me a ride. It’s just after breakfast, I’m in the road, and the weatherman lied.

Paul Simon, Papa Hobo, 1972

I thought, damn, those lines are so apropos to this adventure. I sang those songs over many, many solo miles on my first cross country ride. I’ll be wandering like a hobo, watching the weather like a hawk, and the icing on the cake is that my grandkids call me Papa. So, my new bike will be nicknamed Papa Hobo.