Meet Trudy

by Liz Jansen


Photo: Lorraine Sommerfeld

In all my years of riding, through a litany of motorcycles, I’ve never named one. My Triumph Tiger is different. She needed a name. Even then, it’s taken almost a year to find the right one.

After deliberating and trying on appellations for months, none of them befitting, Trudy popped into my head, coincidentally right around the time of my birthday.

Before committing to it however, I had to research its meaning. Consider the following:

  • Some sources cite the name as having Germanic roots and others tie it being British in origin. It’s likely a short form of ‘Gertrude’.[1] It’s a perfect reflection of me and my motorcycle; I have Germanic roots; The Triumph is British.
  • Another resource quoted the meaning of Trudy as ‘spear of strength’ or sometimes ‘universal strength’.[2] Variations include Trudi and Trudie and is seen as innocent, sincere, and bright-eyed if not a bit outdated. I’d like to replace “innocent” with “curious”, a quality I admire. As far as the rest, she does have bright lights but is very much current.
  • Adored warrior.[3] I like that!
  • “People with this name have a deep inner desire to create and express themselves, often in public speaking, acting, writing or singing. They also yearn to have beauty around them in their home and work environment.”[4] Sounds like a perfect match!
  • “People with this name are excellent at analyzing, understanding, and learning. They tend to be mystics, philosophers, scholars, and teachers. Because they live so much in the mind, they tend to be quiet and introspective, and are usually introverts. When presented with issues, they will see the larger picture. Their solitary thoughtfulness and analysis of people and world events may make them seem aloof, and sometimes even melancholy.”[5] Well, the first half fits. From an inner knowing corroborated by Myers Briggs, I’m balanced between introversion and extroversion. I excel at seeing the larger picture and patterns, but I can’t ever recall being melancholy.
  • Saint Gertrude the Great was a 13th-century nun and mystic writer.[6] I’m no nun but my work draws heavily on the spirituality of motorcycling.

Meet Trudy!

It’s occurred to me I’m drawn to names beginning with ‘Tr’—Trillium, Triumph, Trudy. That’s a mystery I’ll accept without questioning. Trudy and I have many miles of open road ahead of us. There’s no point in getting bogged down in trivia.

Have you named your motorcycle?  If so, what’s the story behind the name?

(Note: I adore my Aunt Gertie, but that I’ve named my motorcycle Trudy is pure fate.)


Healer, author, and motorcycle aficionado Liz Jansen combines her artistic mediums to create stories that inspire readers to embark on their own journey of self-discovery. No helmet or jacket required.

6 Comments on “Meet Trudy

  1. Hi Liz, I hope you are well and fully recovered.
    I knew a girl who called herself Trudy. She said it was short for her real name, which she was not fond of … Gertrude.
    Trudy is nice, your Trudy that is, although for some reason I think of ADV bikes as masculine. LOL

    • Thanks Norm. It used to be that motorcycle riders were thought of as masculine too. Times have changed. 🙂


  2. Great research, Liz! You’ve inspired me to look up my bike’s name. She’s Millie. After the William Garrett rockabilly song ‘motorcycle Millie’.

    • Great name Jennifer! Love the inspiration for it. Will be interesting to see what else you learn about the origin of the name! Happy trails to you and Millie! 🙂 Liz

  3. Hi Liz.
    I named my Triumph Tiger “Jack”. Based on “Jack of all trades”, “Jack be nimble” and of course “Union Jack”.
    My heritage is all English so it made sense.
    Glad you’re liking the bike!

    • Very good George!! Great connections. Last summer when I was at Fort St. Joseph (on the tip of St. Joseph Island near Sault Ste. Marie) I rode it up to the old ruins to get a photo with the Union Jack!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.