“Wow Bernie, you look great.” Jules stated.
“Just wait until you see himself.”
“Talking of which, where is she?”
“‘She' is here.” I mentioned joining the girls in the lounge.
“Blimey Gabs, you got a licence for that?”
I poked my tongue out at her, “you not coming?”
“Oops, I'd best get changed hadn't I?”
“Might be an idea.” I agreed.
She scuttled off upstairs; I plonked myself onto a chair.
“You'll be fighting them off in that.” Bern suggested.
“Don't I know it, I'm not all that keen on all this being on display.” I motioned to my chest.
“Well at least you know where all the lads and a few girls will be looking!”
“Joy.” I sighed. Not only do I get to dress like a high-class tart I have to put up with an attentive audience too.
“Oh come on Gabs, it's gonna be fun and you look great.”
“If you say so, I still think a pair of flats woulda been better than these flippin' heels.”
What was more annoying than the damn frock was the fact that half the day has been wiped out getting ready. Mum paid for Bern and me to get our hair done at the village salon – that took nearly two hours! Then it was the bath and paint series – oh and joy, Bern did my nails, fingers and toes in a kinda pale cerise. By the time I got down to the living room preparations had taken five hours, five hours I ask you.
“There you are girls, where's Jules?” Mum enquired joining us.
“Putting her dress on.” Bern supplied.
“Okay, you two ready?”
“As I'll ever be.” I eyed up Mums simple but elegant dress – she wasn't showing her assets to the world.
“Your Dad'll be here in about five minutes so make sure you've got everything, what underwear are you wearing Gab?”
“Those lacy ones I got for my birthday.”
I told you about my birthday presents didn't I? Someone thought I should have some ‘sexy' underwear, I guess they do look kinda nice, and they go with the dress but comfortable they are not!
“That's your Dad, where's that sister of yours? Jules!” Mum bellowed up the stairs.
I wish someone had've gotten a photo of Dad's face when he saw what I was wearing – or not wearing if you get my drift. His eyes were on stalks and he was lost for words.
“Come on you lot, we're running late.” He eventually managed.
“Soz.” Jules offered.
Dad had been to swap the Saab for the team bus, not so elegant to arrive in but at least we each got a seat – and we need it tomorrow anyhow. We climbed on board and set off for the evening's torture session.
“…Und diese ersten Tanz ist die Weinkönigin Gaby Bond mit Maximillian von Strechau.” The MC enthused.
I never saw this one coming. As Max's dad, as the local ‘royalty', was sponsoring the festivities, the local ‘princess', me got the ‘honour' of the first dance with his offspring. Max, the letch, was grinning like a flippin Cheshire cat as he led me out onto the dance floor. I coulda swung for him.
To be fair he's a better dancer than me, at least with this formal stuff, I only trod on his toes twice! The rest of the evening wasn't too bad, I got to hand out the prizes for the Easter egg hunt, Bern and Jules spent a lot of time with their respective BF's and I got to pose with half the flippin' Ahr valley. By ten o'clock my smile was wearing out, my feet were killing me and my lacy knickers were doing a number on my nether regions.
“Enjoy yourselves girls?” Mum asked as we headed home.
“Brill!” Bern enthused.
“It coulda been worse.” I wearily agreed.
Well it could, I felt a bit overdressed to be honest, all the others were wearing less um, conspicuous outfits. Don't get me wrong, they were putting on the glitz sure enough but in contrast to my get up Steff's party dress and Pia's LBD looked pretty ordinary. As Weinkönigin it was sort of appropriate that I stood out but maybe this outfit was over egging things.
“Come on Drew, we're supposed to be picking Roni up in twenty minutes.” Dad admonished.
“I know, I couldn't find my race shoes.”
“You got them now?”
“Yeah, they were in my wardrobe.”
“Well get your bag in the back then.”
I stowed my kit bag and joined Mum and Bernie inside.
“Okay kiddo?” Mum asked.
“Yeah, my feet are a bit sore still.”
Dad climbed on board and we were soon heading down the valley towards Remagen. The traffic was thankfully pretty light and we got to the railway station only about five minutes late.
“Hi Ron, looks like the weather's gonna be okay.”
“Better than last week anyhow!”
“Yeah I've had more than enough snow this week.”
With Bern's assistance I brought Roni up to date with stuff.
“So what's with the nails?” Roni asked as joined the Frankfurt autobahn.
“Nails?” I looked at my hands, “shitza!”
“Pretty colour by the way.” She noted.
“It was for the dance last night.” Bern told her.
“Fancy dress.” I slipped in.
“Drew went as a girl.”
“As a girl eh? I guess those boys thought you were a Mädchen last week.”
“Anyone got any remover?” I enquired.
“Why would we bring acetone with us?”
Looked at like that, why would they? Bum! At least I'd remembered to take out my earrings.
The weather certainly was looking better, a bit of blue sky was peeking between the clouds as we headed south, maybe we won't need the wet gear today after all.
It wasn't a long drive to Frankfurt, well to the GP headquarters in Heddernheim in the northern suburbs and we pulled up behind the senior team bus a little after ten.
“Morning everyone.” George beamed through the side door.
“Güten tag Herr Müller .”
“Briefing in five minutes Jen, let Kat know what you want for lunch.”
“On my way Boss, have a good ride you two.” Mum was already retrieving her kit bag from the back.
“And you Mum.”
“Thanks Frau Bond.”
“Dave, girls, I've spoken to Guido from Paulaner , they'll give you what support they can and vis a vis, unless of course you are attacking one of their moves! Good job last week by the way, Dave's told me all about the kalt und schnee – lets hope the weather's more clement today. Well good luck, I'll see you later, a moment please Dave.”
George and Dad walked out of earshot and continued their conversation.
“Does he ever stop talking?” Bern enquired.
“Only long enough to eat.” I snorted.
A short way off the senior team were busy signing programmes and so on for the local Tifosi, Team Apollinaris are popular, successful and seem to appeal to a wide fan base.
“Right you two, Paulaner are doing your service, we're doing the feed for both teams, you got your runners Angela?” Dad grinned.
“Never go anywhere without them.”
“Can you give me a hand with setting up Bernie while this pair sign on.”
“Good luck you two.” Dad offered as we headed for the start area.
The senior event was already on the road, we would follow the same route for about forty K before the seniors took a long loop while we cut the corner hopefully to finish about thirty minutes before Mums event. I didn't rate our chances really, with just me and Roni we'd be outgunned by pretty much all the other teams in numbers if not in talent. The Paulaner riders might help but we couldn't bank on their support if push comes to shove. We can only do our best.
“Von Team Apollinaris, Veronike Grönberg und Drew Bond.” We waved to the crowd as we were called to the start.
“…Von Radsport Maine Spessart…” the MC droned on through the start list until we were all assembled behind the start line.
The starters gun sent a few pigeons skyward and our race started.
If you don't know the area Frankfurt sits on the southern edge of the Taunus ‘mountains' which form an impressive backdrop to the city. We had the luck to start at the bottom of the scarp and our race got under way with a long climb to the top.
The two of us stuck fairly close to each other and the blue checker strip of the Paulaner lads. The pace started pretty slow, no one wanted to spend precious energy working too hard this early on. After twenty minutes we turned onto a wide well surfaced road that climbed with more enthusiasm through Kronberg. The peleton was pretty much together as we started upwards but a phalanx of mostly local riders started to mix it up and instead of the pace dropping it actually went up!
By the time we reached the top of the town the elastic was certainly stretching and although we were both okay we were still almost fifty metres off the pace.To be continued....
Maddy Bell 05.06.09 © 2009