A Bike Named Caterina Sforza

cycling, triathlon

My great-grandma’s name was Bernadette. She passed away the summer before I started college, but I had the pleasure of growing up close to her. We used to pick her up and take her to a restaurant she liked. The restaurant was more like a diner known for its pies. It looked like nothing special, but had a beautiful view of a lake.

While Bruno and I were home in Ohio, I took him there to get some pie. As we got out of his truck, I noticed a bike shop across the street. I did not know the bike shop existed. We debated on whether we should check it out. I was inclined no, Bruno was inclined yes. You see, I needed a bike, but was trying to put it off until stipend checks were issued in August. I did not want to see a bike I liked and be heartbroken because we could not buy it yet, trying to be responsible and all.

We ended up popping in. I didn’t see anything I liked, but then I turned around and there it was: a red and black used Trek Alpha. It was the brand I wanted and the colors I wanted. The store owner fitted me. It was my size. It was also the price I wanted at around $400. He said it was older, but the owner hardly ever rode it and switched to a different style of bike. I couldn’t believe it. There it was. There was my bike.

We did not buy the bike. We went to the restaurant and the next day left for Nashville for three days. I could not stop thinking about the bike, but I kept telling Bruno it was not the time. But he said if it was there when we returned from Nashville, I should at least go and ride it. So on Thursday, June 28 (also Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s birthday), I tried the bike out.

And I loved it. I’ve never ridden a road bike before and it was a whole new experience. It felt easy compared to the rickety mountain bike I had been using. So. We bought her. She is considered Bruno’s first anniversary present, Christmas, and birthday present all rolled into one.


I named her Caterina Sforza, who makes a fairly notorious appearance in history and in Machiavelli. I love her. I never thought I would be a bike person, but I guess here I am.

xo, Ali