Gaby Title.jpg
Part 1
Gaby's Entrance

"Come on, if you don't hurry up we won't get there in time"

My mom was chomping at the bit and I was dragging my heels. I had ridden this charity Christmas event the last two years; both in my normal race kit but this year Mum insisted I ride on the tandem with her and in fancy dress! Well I'm not exactly a big dress up fan but Mum was emphatic and said she knew just the outfits we would wear.

"I look plain stupid in this"

"No you don't, come here let me fix your lipstick"

I submitted to her ministrations and caught a glance of myself in the mirror. Cringe. At least, I thought, I wasn't too obviously myself, and once we got going no one would really be able to tell who was in the costume. Oh the costume, well Mum had come up with a corker, she was decked out as Xena and I got the role of blonde sidekick, Gabrielle!

I decided that I had to bite the bullet so I followed Mom out of the camper and we mounted up and headed for the start area. It felt really weird with 'my' skirt flapping around, 'my' boobs bobbing around and the blonde tresses of 'my' hair swirling behind my head. Although underneath I wore my regular lycra(r) shorts under the skirt I still felt exposed.

We passed assorted Batmen, doctors, nurses, cowboys, policemen etc, everyone had made an effort to look good. The more serious, un-costumed, competitors would start after us on two laps of a ten mile circuit so that we would just start the second lap as the first serious rider started. We were number seven and we got to the line just in time due to my tardiness. So far no one had got a good look at me.

"Ok miss?" the starter asked

"Er yes thanks"

"Ready Gaby?"

"Yes mum"

I didn't really listen to what either had said and until we were on our way I didn't realise that they both referred to me in a female form. I guessed the starter wouldn't know different as we were entered as Xena and Gaby, but mum!

Well I started to concentrate on my riding a bit more and soon we were dashing around the Cheshire countryside at a slick twenty-five mph, mum's no slouch and despite my slight build I was quite accomplished myself. We caught the couple who started a minute before us, Mickey and Minnie, then just before we finished lap one we passed the Keystone Cops!

By now I had forgotten about what I was wearing, we were getting cheered by spectators and I was too engrossed in what I was doing to listen to what they called out. We were about a mile into our second lap when the first of the serious teams passed us, I couldn't help but hear the 'keep it up ladies' from their pilot as they slowly drew past.

Although not really a race, the fancy dress competitors still had that urge to go as quick as possible. Some were encumbered by their costumes, Tower Bridge was one example, but our closer fitting costumes allowed us to race along almost unhindered. So it was that by the time we reached the finish, we had caught another three teams and we finished to a great cheer from the gallery of cyclists and locals that lined the finish area.

Mum steered us back to the village hall and our camper but before we reached it one of the officials flagged us down.

"Great ride ladies, I know you will want to shower and change but could you stay in costume until after the presentations?"

Mum answered straight away

"Sure, that's no problem"

"Thanks a lot, great costumes by the way"

We pedalled off to the van.

"Muuum that means I will have to walk round like this for an hour" I whined.

"There are lots of people in costume"

"Yeah but I'm dressed as a girl"

"So, lots of people do that for charity events, look how many guys dress in girls stuff for fun runs and marathons"

"Yeah but..."

"No buts, and anyway you don't look like a boy in girls clothes, you actually look quite cute"


"You do, everyone round the course thought so, they probably think you're my daughter"

I helped mum stow the tandem and got inside to warm up a bit. Despite the time of year the weather was really mild but an hour racing about the countryside still left your extremities cold. Mum insisted I had a quick wash as we had to delay our showers, we did pong a bit from our efforts! Mum put a pair of high sandals on and donned her track top, then presented me with another lower heeled pair and a fleece, I didn't realise it at first but it was moms own pink one.

"Lets touch your face up before we go in"


"Well you don't want anyone to recognise you do you?"

"Guess not"

"Well give over complaining then"

She fussed with my eyes, redid my lippy then before I could argue spritzed me with her atomiser.

"At least you don't smell quite so sweaty now"

I knew arguing would do no good so I donned the sandals and followed mum into the hall. If we had been at home I would have died of embarrassment but fortunately we were only here for the holidays so I didn't really know anyone here although I had ridden in this area a couple of times in the summer.

Keeping close to mum we exchanged our race number for welcome cups of tea and a slice of stollen each. We went over to the result board and to both of our surprise we had been quickest in the costume category, our fifty eight minute ride was close to most of the 'serious' teams that had by now finished. My hopes of anonymity quickly disappeared as other riders came to congratulate us on our ride. Mum, well mum was just herself quickly getting into conversation with several other women competitors; I stood at her shoulder trying to be invisible.

Problem was that dressed as Gaby I was hard to miss, particularly next to mum in her Xena garb. Mum had found our costumes during one of her and dads fair trips, mum had the full Xena with imitation metal bra, the lot, she had donned a nude body stocking for a bit of warmth under the fairly brief dress. I also got a body stocking with a suede look minidress and a curly blonde wig clipped to my fairly short dark blonde hair. With the sandals, makeup and a sock stuffed bra; I felt more than a bit self-conscious!  Gaby's first appearance

"Thank you ladies and gentlemen for coming and supporting us again this year. We've raised almost 600 for this years charity which is The Children's Society"

The crowd of which I was one clapped and whooped a bit.

"As you know we don't run to a prize list as such, that all goes in the charity pot but our sponsors have put up a restricted prize list just to encourage you back"

More chuckles and applause.

"Well we are doubly honoured today, Chris Jones from the CS will present the prizes and the Argos (the local rag) will take pictures and will be doing a spread in their Christmas issue."

Another round of applause.

Then they started the presentation, fastest three, fastest over forty, fastest under sixteen, lady and fastest three teams on tandem. Each winners name and time was announced and each received a round of cheering, most of the crowd knew each other after all.

"Now we come to the fun bit, our fancy dress competitors. I have to say that without your efforts this event would be the sadder and donations around the course today have boosted the total considerably due to your great costumes. The costume prizes have been voted on by our spectators both within the sport and general public, so you should all feel proud of yourselves."

Loud cheering. I was getting a bit antsy now.

"As we were looking for costumes rather than speed the prizes reflect that so in reverse order..."

He worked his way through the solo riders, best three costumes, best in each category and just one prize for the quickest. It was obvious that mum and I would have to go up on the platform as quickest but when we were both surprised when,

"Best tandem costume and fastest costume pair goes to Xena and her sidekick Gaby. Come on up ladies"

Well you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Mum had to almost drag me to the stage, we took off our jackets and then we were there in front of the crowd, press and fellow competitors. We accepted our prizes, I was now so embarrassed I didn't even attempt to correct the mc's assumption of my gender. We had the photos done then the photographer wanted a few group pictures outside and then finally we were free to get changed.

Mum decided that we would shower at grandma's so we bade our farewells and left to meet the rest of the family who had gone to Chester for the day it being the last Sunday before Christmas.

Maddy Bell 15.01.03 (revised 13.02.03)
Copyright 2003

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The images used above have been selected from various sources. If you hold the copyright to any image and wish it removed contact me. Thanks to everyone involved in Cosplay, particularly Anime Turnpike.