to a good ride home and the beauty of names

20 Aug

I just rode home from school, a binder full of cell biology notes strapped to my back, a bag of Trader Joe’s groceries shoved into my front basket, and I felt a bit like Anne of Green Gables peddling down the tree-covered Pine Street in my long burgundy and blue dress (careful to not get it caught in the spokes, as Marilla might say).  I simply love my commute now that I have Caro, my beautiful Raleigh Detour 3.5, a great deal from Cambridge Bicycle shortly before moving to Philly (that story is for another day).  It’s my first bike in 15 years!

You might be wondering about the name…okay, I don’t compulsively name inanimate objects but, for a few, I make exceptions, like my former car (Carmela, after my mother, but also a cute pun, don’t you think?) and my cello (Luciano, because he’s Italian and sings like Pavarotti).  Today’s ride was just so pleasant, and I’m planning on having a pretty committed relationship with this bike, it would be a shame to just think of her as “bike.”

So, I guess it’s already obvious that I always thought of her as a woman…I mean, come on, do you think John would be at all okay with me straddling another man for six+ miles a day?  The first name that came to mind was Charlotte…I was thinking of the brand Raleigh, which led me to another North Carolina city name.  It seemed nice given the number of years John and I spent in Charlottesville, VA.  But it’s too sweet.

Oddly enough, I didn’t initially get Caro from Carolina, but rather from the Ya-Ya Sisterhood:

I was trying to think of strong, Southern (in keeping with the Raleigh theme) females in fiction–and yes I did think of Ainsley, Sookie, and Vivi–but Caro resonated.  She’s described as tall, strong, thoughtful (oh please oh please help me stay out of oncoming traffic!), reliable, and loyal (oh please oh please don’t let any part of you get stolen).

And another plus to living further away from school in order to afford living alone, it’s perfectly acceptable to strip down to my delicates when I come home dripping in sweat after my oh-so-pleasant ride home and the strength-training exercise that is maneuvering the overweight Caro up and around the 27 steps to my apartment.  Love that fat chick.


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