book 3 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 100

Gab's Is Back

Can you believe that Walters girl? She must have found every bit of 'my' Gaby wardrobe and brought it with her! Why couldn't she just have brought a pair of jeans instead of all this other stuff? So here I am, sat in a hotel room in Germany wondering what I should wear today. Jeans? Shorts? Oh no, I've got a choice of a denim mini skirt and one of Brits sun tops or a sundress! Why me?

I settled on the skirt again and the top that I 'borrowed' at the festival, at least I haven't got braids today! By the time I arrived in the breakfast room everyone else was tucking into their bread and cheese.

"Hi sleepy"

"Morning Mum" I mumbled in reply

"Cute look Gab" Brit mentioned, "You just need some shades"

"I've got some you can borrow" Kat offered

"Er thanks"

"So Gaby, are you helping your mother today?" Maria asked


"With the show?"

"What show? Mum?"

"Oh it's just an idea that one of sponsors had, I was going to tell them no"

"Jenny!" Maria admonished

"Well you do it then" Mum told her friend

"I would but they didn't ask me, they want the Maillot Jaune"

"Will someone tell me what's going on?" I asked

Kat giggled

"Your mother has been asked to do the fashion show," Gran advised

"The one we saw yesterday? Cool! Mum you've got to do it"

"Not you too kiddo!" Mum sounded exasperated

"Aaw go on Mum it'll be fun"

I know why Mum wasn't keen, she's never been into the fame business and here in Germany they treat her like a national hero, even though she's English!

"We'll see, I need to go see them this morning anyway"

For a second morning we headed out to the bus stands and caught the free Messe bus. The traffic was even worse today as today and tomorrow are open to the general public unlike yesterdays trade only access. Still, the bus once again was able to speed us past the queuing cars to deposit us at the main entrance.

Once again Mum was recognised as well as Maria and the pair of them did the picture / autograph thing while we waited to get in. the six of us headed for the B halls, we were going to start at the opposite end to yesterday. Going around with Mum and Maria was a real eye opener, a lot of people recognised them and visa versa. We looked at bikes, we looked at tyres, we looked at helmets and more bikes, well you get the idea.

"I'll speak to Marcus as we're here," Mum informed me

"Who's Marcus?"

"He looks after sponsorship for this lot, we get our kit from them" we were on the Gore stand.

"Oh right"

"I see you have the whole team today" the voice greeted us as we turned a corner.

"Morning Marcus"

"Hi Jenny, Maria, so these are your daughters eh?"

"Kat's mine" Maria indicated my pal.

"Britney here is visiting from America, this one is mine" Mum gave me a squeeze.

"Beautiful like her mother" Marcus went on, "so you've come to tell me this afternoon is on? Please, I'll owe you"

"Against my better judgement"

I saw a twinkle in his eye

"What about you girls, fancy being models for us?"

"Marcus!" Mum snapped

"Sorry Jen, well?"

The guy was actually serious! Half an hour later we departed after some serious negotiations. Just Mum and Maria would be appearing much to Kat and Britney's disappointment and my relief. We broke out of the halls for a break and found some seats in the relative calm and quiet of the outdoor area.

"What's that buzzing?" Gran asked

It sounded like distant lawnmowers.

"Up there!" Kat pointed up above the surrounding roofs.

"Hey cool" Brit exclaimed

I followed their gaze to where an airship was passing overhead, a real live Zeppelin!


"I think there is a museum in the town." Maria mentioned, "This is where the famous Zeppelin airships come from"

"I think the girls were planning on going in the morning before coming here" Gran put in.

We finished our drinks and returned to the halls; Mum and Maria had another meeting so that left Kat with me, Gran and Brit. There was a mini stage at the back of one hall; intrigued we joined the small audience. It was some sort of competition. People were having a go on a turbo trainer hooked up to a video screen.

"It's for, what is the word, charity?" Kat supplied

The crowd cheered as a bloke of about fifty had a go.

"You should have a go Gab" Brit suggested

"For sure" Kat agreed

"Go on Drew" Gran encouraged

Well it looked like fun. I joined the queue and watched what was really going on and decided that it wasn't too difficult.


"Er hi I'd like a go please, bitter"



"Okay you know what we are doing?"

"Yes, Kat explained it, she's German" I qualified

"Okay, name please?" he prepared to type the info into a laptop, the information would then appear on the screen.

"Er Bond, Dr.. Gaby"

"Geburtstag? Sorry your day of birth?"

"February twenty fifth, nineteen eighty-nine"

"Dreizehn. Bond, you are relation, relative of Jenny?"

"My Mum" I sighed

Five minutes later I was sat on the bike ready to go. The format was simple, a standing start kilometre time trial on a track simulator. I watched the clock tick down to zero and then it was go, go, go! I went into race mode, assumed a tuck and pedalled like fury, steering around the computer-generated track. The crowd started cheering, I could hear Miss Walters clearly!

It was clear at the halfway point that something had changed, the crowd quieted as they watched, the girls were still shouting encouragement and as I finished the third lap the audience became louder than ever. My legs were starting to go and I could feel my skirt gradually riding up to expose a bit more leg than I'd like! There was a loud beep as I finished the distance and sat up, just gradually slowing my legs so I didn't cramp.

The crowd were clapping and cheering

"Und Gaby Bond aus England fährt eine fantastiche Zeit von einer Minute fünfundvierzig komma zwolf!" the crowd cheered some more. I didn't hear the rest of what the guy said.

I got off the bike, readjusted my skirt and with wobbly legs rejoined the others

"Wow Gaby, you have the fastest time by five seconds" Kat exclaimed

"That's my boy" Gran gave my shoulder a squeeze.

The guy running the event came over, catching us, as we were about to leave.

"That was a tremendous ride Gaby, I think you might win for today, you race?"

"She's the British champion!" Brit advised him

"That explains it, and the daughter of Jenny Bond! How do you say, a dark horse eh?" his grin was infectious and we moved on in high spirits.

"Come on D.. Gaby, lets get you cleaned up a bit" Gran suggested, "young er ladies don't go round smelling all sweaty. Wait here girls"

Gran dragged me into the ladies and then into the disabled cubicle. Five minutes later I knew why her bag was so big! I had to agree that I felt a lot more comfortable washed, powdered and perfumed, well the latter I could have passed up! While I had my 'dry' shower Gran started to ask a few questions.

"You're going to tell me what all this is about young man, your Mum has told me about Paris but I know there's something more going on.

"It's a long story Gran."

"Just the highlights now then"

"Well Brit and her sister thought I was a girl, I don't know why. Anyway even after Dad told them I wasn't they kept on with it. Then I sort of had to borrow a skirt when we went skating 'cos I split my jeans."

"Had to?"

"Well it was that or nothing and it was only at the rink. Anyway after I crashed at Newark I couldn't wear trousers so Brit got me a long skirt and, well Gran it just seemed easier to stop trying to prove I'm a boy."

"So they think you're a girl"

"Yes Gran, it's only for another week then they go home. I'll be back to Drew fulltime and for ever then"

"There's those girls again," Brit mentioned as we walked around another hall of cycleania.

"Which?" Kat asked

"Oh there were some girls doing promotions yesterday," I told her

"Oh I see. Those shorts are tight!"

I have to say, the teenage boy in me was right there! Those outfits are somewhat revealing huh? The two girls passed us distributing some sort of flyer, they took no notice, no that would be a lie, they gave us a bored look as they suffered the attentions of the male show goers.

"Huh you wouldn't get me doing that," Kat advised us

"They probably do it for a living" Gran pointed out

Well I guess that made sense.

You're getting bored of the show aren't you? Hmmm, okay then I'll skip telling you about all the bikes and stuff, suffice to say my pack was filling with brochures again, the guy on the SKS stand gave us all baseball caps, we got some energy bars from another stand and slushies from the Schwalbe tyre people!

"That must be it" Gran mentioned

"I can't see them" I commented

"There on the top. Hi Mum!" Kat called out waving

I have to say it was the last thing I expected to see, an old English bus at a bike show, a German bike show at that!

"Come on up" Mum called down to us

We made our way round to the stairs and we joined our parents on the top deck.

"Bo, this is my mother, the tall girl is Brit who is staying with us in England, that's Kat and the other young lady is Gaby, my youngest" Mum started the introductions, "guys, Mum, this is Bo Hamburger"

Brit stifled a chuckle.

"Hello ladies, we are just about finished with business, then we can eat"

"Burgers I guess" Brit whispered in my ear. I slapped at her to shush her as we found seats.

I know what you are thinking, if I was making names up Bo Hamburger would be ridiculous right? Well that really is his name, he's ridden the Tour and stuff, he was a top Danish pro rider a few years ago. He still looked pretty fit, no not in that way! I suppose he's not ugly, no I mean he looks like he still rides. I've seen pictures of the famous Eddy Merckx after he retired, he was a right bloater!

"So you are all enjoying Friedrichshafen?" Bo asked a few minutes later

"It's not what I expected," Brit told him

"How so?"

"Brit isn't really into bikes," I offered

"Ah!" Bo replied as though that was the answer to everything

"Well anyway there's so much to see and do, Gab did a race thing just now and the fashion show"

"So Gaby, you ride the challenge?" he asked

"She posted the fastest time, einer Minute fünfundvierzig komma zwolf für das kilometre" Kat slipped into German

"I'm impressed" Bo smiled at me

"So am I Gaby" Mum mentioned, "dressed like that too"

I turned beet red. I was saved from further embarrassment by the arrival of the caterers with our 'lunch', platters with salad stuff, ham, pepperoni, potato salad and warm red cabbage! The conversation was light, Bo told us what he did for a living these days and why Mum and Maria were talking to him. Oh you want to know, well he's a rider's agent and he wanted to represent them. I've no idea what that means, I'll ask Mum later.

"Thanks Bo, we'll speak again soon" Mum shook his hand

"I hope so Jenny, Maria"

We left Bo and headed for our next stop, Mum and Maria's PA at the fashion show.

"Lets get some seats" Gran suggested

"Lets go and find Marcus Maria, you coming Gaby?" Mum asked

"Er, okay" we left the others to find some decent seats

"You did a good job of charming Bo" Mum stated


"Well you did and that one forty five kilo is pretty good you know"


"Maria! Jenny! And the lovely Gaby too" Marcus called out, beckoning us into the backstage area.

"I'm not sure about this Marcus" Mum dissembled

"Come on Jenny, it'll all be over in five minutes." Maria chivvied


"I'll go back to the others Mum"

"Okay kiddo"

"Where are you going Gaby?" Marcus asked

"Outside to watch"

"I've got an idea. How do you fancy being a model?"

"Marcus! We went through this earlier" Mum's ire was rising!

"Oh come on, it's only for a couple of minutes. How about this, you get to keep what you wear Gaby?" he was making an offer any teenage girl would go for - free clothes! And a chance to be a model, Kat and Brit would die for this offer. Only problem being I'm not a teenage girl. Oh boy, quandary time! If I say no it'll look odd and get grief from the girls, if I say yes, I really don't want to say yes!

The same thoughts must have been going through Mums head, when I looked to her for direction it was clear it was now my decision to make. Sugar! Would it be so bad? I guess not.

"Okay" I whispered.

Over the next fifteen minutes, Marcus introduced the three of us to the dancers and organised what we would be wearing. There was a change in running order and we weren't the only 'extras' involved, the other clothing companies had their troops lined up too.

"Do you dance?"


"Do you dance? You are English aren't you?" it was the girl with the braids, her flat accent identifying her as from London

"Um yes, I mean yes I'm English"

"I'm Kitty"

"Er Gaby Bond"

"One of them your Mum then?"

"Yeah, the blonde one, er Jenny"

"So d'ya dance at all?"

"Only parties and stuff"

"Oh" she sounded disappointed, "gymnastics or anything like that?"

"Well we've been learning cheering, we've got American exchange students staying" I felt I had to explain.

"Oh brill!" she enthused, "if you can do that, you can join the routine while your out"

What am I landed in now?

Mum and Maria got a little cameo role at the end of each section; she had to ride around the stage on an appropriate bike. So there was one of those roadster things, a mountain bike and a road bike, obviously they had three outfits representing the different ranges finishing with Mum in her Tour Feminin yellow skinsuit and Maria in the team strip. Pretty cool.

I ended up with two outfits at Kitty's insistence and my hair in two 'cute' bunches, urgh! I still wasn't too keen but when the music started and my nemesis pulled me onto the stage I forgot about my reluctance and determined to make the best of it. I just about remembered what I was supposed to do, I don't think that I was too out of sync and I was concentrating so hard I forgot about the audience.

After the first session I found a quiet corner to get changed so I missed Mums first appearance. The second presentation was a bit more active being the 'sports' kit. I joined Kitty for my appearance and followed what Kit and the others were doing, I thought pretty well. I was panting as though I'd just done a race by the time I left the stage; the dancers however were changed and back on the stage while I was still recovering. Mum did her little ride round then it was time for the acrobatic session.

I found a corner at the side of the stage and settled down to watch the performance. From the floor yesterday it looked pretty slick and impressive, on the stage today it still looked great but I could see the effort, hear the grunts, smell the sweat! Finally it was time for Mum's yellow jersey ride and the finale. Marcus hadn't mentioned this but when Mum and Maria pulled to a halt mid stage, I found Kitty dragging me back on stage.

"Come on Gaby, time for a bow"

I wasn't the only one dragged back on, the other dancers had their 'charges' too so that there were about a dozen of us on the stage. What came next was worse than one of Mr Woods assemblies. The guy doing the PA worked his way along the line introducing the guest models, well I guess that was what he was doing, and my German isn't very good. Each time the crowd cheered and clapped

"Gaby Bond, die Englishe Meisterin der unter-Dreizehnjährigen in einem 'Gore Leisure' modell!"

There was the usual cheering; Brit's voice came clearly across "Go Gaby!" I waved and the PA moved on finishing with Mum. He did an impromptu interview in German; I didn't really follow what was being said, just odd words.

"Gaby Bond, you come please" the PA's voice broke into my thoughts

"I think he wants you to go over," Kitty mentioned

Now I felt uncomfortable. I walked across to join Mum, Maria and the PA, conscious now of what I was wearing. I didn't say, did I, well I now had a pale yellow sleeveless top and a matching skort on. Oh right, a skort is like shorts with a skirt bit or is it a skirt with shorts, well whatever, the idea is that it looks like you are wearing a skirt but with the practicality of shorts. Anyway I joined Mum and the conversation went on, clearly I was the subject. He said something I didn't understand then there was a round of applause, some camera flashes and it was all over.

"What's in the bag Gab?" Brit asked

"The stuff I wore for the show"

"Cool, that yellow top was nice" Kat mentioned

"I thought it was only supposed to be your Mum's doing it" Brit probed

"It was but Marcus is very persuasive"

"You dance very well Gaby" Gran put in

"And she says she doesn't want to be a cheerleader" Brit supplied

"You are a cheerleader Gaby?" Maria queried

"Erm not really"

"After that you are definitely so in" Brit stated

I saw Mum's eyebrows go up. More explanations.

The show was winding down for the day but as 'trade' visitors we had an invite to the show party starting at six. We wandered around as the public departed, we got a coffee invite on the Cannondale stand, they sponsor Mum and Maria, so we had a chance to collect our thoughts. Apparently this party thing is pretty cool, live music and free food and drink all night.

Well it lived up to the hype, the music was supplied by a German band that Kat knew, Spee-gall or something like that. Anyway it was pretty good. Considering it was free the food was great, the usual sausage and stuff of course but there was chilli, pasta, salad and stuff too. I even managed to sneak a beer! Mum and Maria were still networking, we saw Marcus and Bo getting on down and Kitty was doing some rather raunchier dancing than she did at the fashion show. She gave me a wink when she saw me watching, that girl is weird!

There was other entertainment too, floodlit BMX racing and an impromptu track stand challenge. I don't know where the time went, it was after eleven when we piled into a taxi to go back to the hotel.

Finally I got into bed, back as me at last, that's Drew me. Some day eh? If someone had told me what I'd be doing today, even this morning, I wouldn't have believed it. I mean, doing that Kilo ride was pretty neat but how I got talked into the fashion show, well all I can say is that Marcus is very persuasive! And that party! Even Gran was having a boogie! My eyes finally closed, tomorrow is another day.

"So we'll see you at the show about twelve"

"Okay Jen, see you later" Gran confirmed

Mum and Maria drove off, our bags ready for the off in the back.

"Come on girls, let's get going" Gran chivvied

Brit insisted that I couldn't wear the denim skirt again so here I am in that damned sundress! The lighter material flapped around my legs as we walked through the park to the town and our destination, the Zeppelin Museum.

Apparently the building it's in used to be the terminal where the huge airships used to depart from. Inside we went through reconstructions of cabins, model galleries, well all sorts of stuff about the airships, the Von Zeppelin family, Friedrichshafen, there was even an old Zeppelin car! It took us about an hour and a half to go round and a further fifteen in the gift shop.

"Lets get a drink before we go to the show" Gran suggested

"There're a couple of bars over there" Kat suggested

"Okay" Gran agreed

We claimed some seats under the umbrellas and watched some little kids playing on a stainless steel Zeppelin as we sipped our cokes. I was pretty relaxed and happy, the show has been brilliant, spending time with Mum and Gran has been so neat. If only life was always like this, tomorrow it's back to school; Mum'll still be here in Germany, Gran will be going home, ah well.

We got to the exhibition halls just after twelve and found Mum and Maria waiting for us.

"Good time?" Mum asked

"The museum was pretty good," I told her

"So, anything you want to have a look at, you need to leave here about one thirty"

"Erm, the Campag stand"

"Well I think I'm going to get some lunch," Gran mentioned

To cut the junk out, Mum and I went to find the Campagnolo stand while the others went out to the food tents where we met them half an hour later. We got some food and before I realised it was after one. We collected our cases from the cloakroom and said our goodbyes. Mum was going home with the Pingers later after a mid afternoon official autograph session. With a final hug Mum waved us off.

"See you soon and have a good flight back home Britney"

"Thanks Mrs B"

"Bye Mum"

The bus direct to the airport turned up and we started the ten-minute ride to the terminal.

"So how come we didn't fly direct here?" Brit asked

"The times of the flights" Gran advised us, "Drew's Dad couldn't get the time off work so we had to catch the earliest flight we could get to come out"

"So we fly back to the same place, where was it, Lupin?"

"Luton. No we go back to Stansted"

"We passed there last weekend Brit," I added

"We need to ring your Dad when we get there, he might be waiting or we might have to get the train." Gran went on.

The terminal reminded me of when we went to Paris, it's pretty small, no fancy big halls or anything, more like a bus station really! We went straight to check-in; the girl only gave us a quick look when she checked our passports. We had thirty minutes before the flight was due so we went straight to immigration. There was a short queue and it was only as I stood in line that it hit me; I'm wearing a dress!

"Gran!" I tugged at her arm


"I'm wearing a dress!" I hissed

"Oh! I forgot, you should have got changed"

"What's up?" Brit asked

"This!" I plucked at 'my' dress

"What's the problem?"

"Never mind Brit" I deflated in surrender

"Leave it to your Gran, wait here"

Gran left the queue and went to speak to an official. I watched, as there was some arm waving and head shaking. Gran came back so I didn't see the official as he went off.

"All sorted Drew"

"What did you do?" I asked

"Well in the circumstances, I told him the truth, he's letting his colleague know so you shouldn't have a problem."

"Thanks Gran"

True to Gran's word the official at passport control gave me no more attention than anyone else, in fact Brit's American passport caused more interest. We waited in the boarding lounge until our transport taxied onto the apron. No big orange thing this time, going back we're using Ryanair with their much smaller planes.

The flight home took a bit longer, almost two hours, we watched through the tiny window as we climbed over the Bodensee and headed over the Black Forest. I could get used to this flying lark! No sooner had we crossed the Channel than it seemed we were heading in to land and with a squeal of rubber and a fast deceleration we were down on terra firma.

We made our way through the corridors and up and down escalators to the main terminal building where we joined countless other travellers waiting for their bags. Surely they couldn't lose another bag! We waited and waited. Then we waited some more! Finally Brit and Gran's bags emerged and we moved to join the exit queue, Brit to the non-EU gate and me and Gran to the other, the last hurdle before home.

I passed my passport over and the woman looked at me, the passport and back again.

"Is this your passport miss?"

"Yes, I can explain though"

"Is there a problem?" Gran asked

"No ma'am, nothing for you to concern yourself with"

"It is if it concerns my Grandson"


"Yes, Drew here is my Grandson"

"One of us needs glasses, you are trying to tell me that this pretty young thing in a sundress is your Grandson?" she didn't sound anywhere near convinced.

"That's right"

"I'm afraid I need more than that"

"Well okay, he, I mean she is in transition, sex change" she whispered

"Ah! I see, go on then, sorry to have delayed you"

I gratefully retrieved my passport and with an embarrassing flush walked out into the main concourse.

"What was all that sex change thing Gran?" I stammered

"It was all I could think of Drew, she was convinced you are a girl"

"I guess, what's transition?"

"I'll tell you later, there's Britney"

Not only Britney, Dad too!

"Hi Mum, Dr... Gaby, Brit here says you had a good trip" he took in my attire

"Yep, I thought you were working Dad."

"We got finished early so I thought I'd meet you"

We made our way out to the short stay car park; I couldn't see our car though.

"Where's the car Dad?"



"Cool" Brit exclaimed

"I've only borrowed it, what do you think?"


Well it wasn't what I would have expected. It was a sort of burgundy colour and looked nothing like a Dadmobile! Oh right, it was a PT Cruiser; you know one of those sort of retro American things. Was Dad seriously contemplating buying one of these? I hope so.

Maddy Bell 29.05.04 Secret © 2004

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