We sort of fell into a bit of a routine, on Thursday I was recovered enough to resume training and we even used the bikes to go to school. (Bernie borrowed Goth Girls.)
“So you coming tonight?” I enquired as the two of us rode the last bit from the bakery home.
“I'm racing thicko.”
“I resemble that remark! I'll have to consult my busy diary.”
I rolled my eyes.
“There you are. Hurry up and get ready, we're leaving straight after tea.” Dad encouraged.
“So where are we going?” Bern enquired as we headed for the autobahn.
“That's one of those indoor places right?”
“In this case not entirely, I'm glad its warmer than last time, the middle of the track is open like a footy pitch.”
“That's why I said to bring a big coat.”
It was gonna be close, Dad was far too close to the line for my liking. (See 6.06) I gritted my teeth and tried to up the pace but there didn't seem to be anything left in the tank.
“Come on Drewbie!”
I'd forgotten Bern was here, her shout of encouragement seemed to have more effect than any amount of tooth gritting. I was still only a couple of metres up but I'd halted the rot.
“DING, DING, DING, DING.”
A moment's loss of concentration and the result would go against me.
“Come on Drew, up, up, up!”
Cheers Bern. I held my concentration and Dad was still the right side of the line when I completed the lap.
“Huh, huh, huh,”
“You okay kiddo?”
“Huh, huh, yeah, I think so.”
I concentrated on getting my breathing back to normal.
“Well it wasn't a stunning time but you won, you've got enough points that you don't need to do the points and devil if you want to give one a miss?”
Give one a miss? You've got to be kidding!
“You okay Drew? That looked like hard work.”
“It wasn't much fun.”
“The after affects of your cold I expect.”
“Maybe.” I allowed.
“This is more fun than those time trial thingies we used to go to.”
“There's loads to watch and there's a sausage stand!”
“You didn't know? The other end of the stand.”
“Might have to pay a visit later.”
“So like do you do this track racing a lot now?”
“Not really, the BC coaches want me to concentrate on the road. They seem to think I could be the next Robert Millar or something.”
“Who's he when he's at home?”
“Only the best climber the UK's ever had!”
“So what's he got to do with cycling?”
“Not rock climbing, riding up mountains on a bike, he even got the Polka Dot in the Tour.” I spouted.
“And you are gonna be the next one? Pull the other one.”
“Looks like your Dad wants you.”
“Ok, see you in a bit Bern.”
“I'd suggest sitting a bit nearer the front.”
“I guess.” I wasn't convinced but I could see the logic and it might throw some of the field who were used to my usual tactic.
“Have a good ride.”
To be honest my legs felt like lead, I negotiated my way to the front of the bunch over the first three laps but there wasn't sprint in me. Somehow I raised my pace to remain in contention but when it came to the last dash for the line there was nothing more to give. There was nothing I could do as everyone swept around me leaving me to trail in last.
“I'm scratching you from the points.” Dad told me as I rolled to a halt.
“I thought you'd argue?”
“I'm not a quitter but even I know when to call it a day.”
“Well you've got enough points that no one can catch you for the series.”
“Another pot to clean.” I sighed, and this one is huge too!
“Go get yourself changed, you want to hang on for the presentation?”
“Well duh! It'd be a bit arrogant not to, Mum says its important to do, it gets the public behind you.”
“And it's not bad for your ego either.” Dad chuckled.
“I thought you had another race?” Bern queried.
“I've scratched, I'm really off form tonight.”
“Told you it was that cold.”
“You're prob'ly right. You wanna get a Bratwurst?”
If there's one thing I like in Germany it's the sausage stalls, for a few Euros you get a huge sausage in a bun, not a hotdog but like a proper 100% bad for you sausage. I love ‘em!
For me, being a spectator for the rest of the programme didn't sit well but it did mean I could explain stuff to Bern like how you score points. The last event of the night as usual was the point's race and I spent fifteen minutes riding it by proxy!
“Junge Manner ersten platz, Drew Bond auf JT Apollinaris.”
I stepped onto the dais and received the huge and ornate trophy. There was a bit of polite cheering, not as much as for the locals who filled 2 nd and 3 rd spots but I guess that's to be expected. All thoughts of tonight's lack lustre performance were pushed away by the contents of the envelope that came with the trophy, €250!
“So what do you guys normally do on Saturdays?” Bern enquired as we made our way out of Köln.
“Depends, shopping, swimming we've even been to a con, normal type stuff.”
“Nothing special, is there something you wanna do?”
“Well Martin has invited me out, I said I'd let him know in the morning.”
“Jeez you don't hang around much Bern.”
“He asked me .”
“Mart's pretty cool, did I tell you about his anti Valentines dance?”
“You said you went.”
“It was well kewl, it was in a barn on his parents farm and it was decorated all Gothicky.”
“I think you mentioned that bit.”
“So like we all had to dress up Gothic, it was really something.”
“Well we're only going for coffee in town.”
“So we get back a week on Wednesday.” Mum told the gathered throng, that's me Bern and Goth Gurl. “I don't want to come back to any incidents.”
“No Auntie Jen.”
“Why you looking at me?” Jules put in.
“I wasn't looking at anyone in particular.”
Mum gave everyone a hug then she was off, Dad was helping the taxi arrangements down to Frankfurt so those farewells would be later.
“So Martin asked her out?” Anna asked as we waited for the Express just over an hour later.
“There will be some jealous girls when they find out.” Con mentioned.
Our transport hove into view and we soon joined the others on board.
“Where's Bernie?” Steff enquired.
“On a date.” Anna gleefully advised.
“Whoa mama! She doesn't hang about!” Pia stated.
“Mart asked her.” I pointed out.
“Still…” Brid giggled.
“You lot are incorrigible!”
“So where're we going then?” Nena asked.
“Koblenz?” I offered hopefully, €250 were burning a hole in my pocket and I had an idea where I wanted to spend some of it.
“We can catch a movie I guess.” Anna agreed.
“Koblenz it is then.” Con confirmed.
Yes! Even the film bit isn't so bad now my German has improved some although I don't think I'll ever get used to Tom Hanks with a deep German voice!
“Did you buy anything then?” Bernie asked as I collapsed on the sofa.
“Not much, a couple of models.” That was a fib, I spent nearly €100 in the model shop so I had slightly more than a couple of cars! “What about you? Good afternoon?”
“Okay I guess.”
“You don't sound convinced.”
“Well we did go for coffee.”
“And nothing, nada, zilch. I didn't even get to look in the shops.”
“So not exactly a hot date then?”
“Lets just say that he needs to improve his technique.”
“I'll be sure to tell him.”
“Don't you dare Drew Bond!”
Maddy Bell 24.01.09 © 2009
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