Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Victoroire

So, I got a great new bike last weekend.  I'll be honest, I really don't know that much about bikes.  I know if I like the way a bike feels.  I know if it shifts well.  I know, for sure, if the SEAT doesn't fit well! 

Anyway, I bought a used Bianchi for $750 dollars in 2003.  It's a great bike.  I love it.  I love it because it got me through my first real triathlon.  It's made of steal.  It's never let me down (with the exception of the 2012 HyVee Triathlon, when the chain came off twice... which MAY have been operator error).

However, everyone has been telling me, and frankly, I've been feeling it too - I need a new bike.  A lighter, faster, more aerodynamic bike.  So, last weekend, I took the plunge.

I rode for 30 miles the first day I hit the pavement.  I love it.  And I'm so grateful to have it.  I don't want a scratch on it, or a ding.  I polish it.  I vow to do whatever I can to preserve it, nurture it.

So, when people started telling me I had to NAME it, I really struggled to come up with the perfect expression of my love for it.  It turns out, Cervelo is a combination of Italian and French.  In Italian, Cerello is brain.  In French, velo is bike.  Combined, it means bike with a brain, which I need more than you know!

So.. the name is.... Wait... Wait...

It's a French name - Victoire.  It's a female name, pronounced "Vic-Twah."  It means victory, but that's not why I chose it.  Victoire, in English is Victoria, which is my mother's middle name.  She says she always wished it would have been her first name.

This is my mother, in the Swiss Alps.  We didn't think she would make it to this altitude... thought she would stay in the train... and then she suddenly she emerged into the slimly, oxygenated air of the Jungfraujoch.  They call it the top of Europe.  And who can blame her for wanting to see it?  Spectacular. 

My mother, to me, is the embodiment of both bikes - my old Bianchi and my new Victoire.  She is made of steel.  I have leaned on her on the steepest hills, wondering if I would ever get to the top.  She's maneuvered me around obstacles and bumps in the road.  She has gotten me to the finish line on multiple occasions.  She has also taught me I can always be Victoire (victorious).  That doesn't mean finishing first.  It means being the best I can be.  And as I progress, it means feeling lighter on every pedal stroke through life.

That Bianchi (which I should have named Flora), is made of steel.  Thank God I had it, because that's what allows me to fly on my Victoire (remember, pronounced Vic-Twah).

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