The Wurst Of It
“I didn't expect to see you today?”
“Well when you said you were racing today I thought I'd check it out.”
Kat coughed meaningfully.
“Oh right, Kat this is Marty Preiser.” I supplied.
“Ah host to the famous Gothic parties.” Kat noted.
“I wouldn't say famous.” the poor lad blushed.
“Oh sorry, Pinger, Kat to my friends.”
Was Kat making a play for Marty?
“I'm having another party in a couple of weeks if you'd like to come?” poor sap was falling for it. Much to a now agitated Bern's annoyance.
“Hmm, maybe I will.”
“So you want to get a wurst or something?” Bern curled her arm around Mart's arm.
“I er, sure, well nice to meet you Kat.”
“And you, Marty.” Kat almost purred.
Bern nearly dragged her catch down the street away from us.
“What was that all about?”
“Just a bit of fun, he is quite cute.”
“And kinda Bern's boyfriend.”
“He seemed to have the hots for you, coming all this way to see you race.”
“Its not that far.” I protested, blushing myself.
“So does the sausage queen fancy one?”
“Well Kristen back in England.” I admitted.
Kat slapped her forehead, “I meant wurst although that's interesting information.”
“Phone Drew!” Mum called up to my nest.
“Who is it?”
“Connie, come on.”
Geez, keep your hair on, it was only a race. Seems my puncture run has spread to Mum, she crashed out when her front tyre blew on a cobbled corner. No real damage done to anything except her pride, but you know what its like.
“I'm coming.” Why Con couldn't ring me on my Handy?
I thundered down the stairs and took the phone off of a peeved looking Mum.
“Hi Con, wassup?”
“Well number one, turn on your Handy and two, how do you fancy working this week?”
“Shitza, I wondered why you rang the house. I said I'd do the afternoons.”
“I know but Mum wants to know if you'll do full shifts, you know like seven to three instead?”
“Hannah has phoned sick and we need someone who knows the store.”
“I suppose I can go training after.”
“Brill oh and can you ask Bernie if she'd like to help out in the afternoons?”
“Sure, hang on.”
I poked my head into the lounge.
“Bern? You fancy doing a couple of shifts at the bakery?”
“I guess, when?”
“Afternoons, I'll find out exactly.”
I returned to the hallway, “she says yes.”
“Great, if she comes about twelve she can cover your shift.”
“See you on Tuesday then, good luck tomorrow.”
What have I let myself in for? Early shift, seven to three, geez!
“So we'll leave Thursday evening, pick Roni up on the way, we should get to Cottbus mid morning.” Dad advised as we crossed the Rhine.
“And we meet the others there?”
“Your father just told you that.”
Mum was still a bit snappy this morning; maybe the track meet will put her in a better mood.
“No hand slings, you just need to touch hands, ok?”
“Sure.” I agreed
“You know what you're doing,” Mum pressed the point.
“Touch hands, keep off the racing line.”
“They're good George.” Mum advised the teams supreme.
Somehow the pair of us were entered in the Madison, the high-speed melee which provides so much entertainment at the Six's. Mum was teamed with Tina, Erika and Anja made three Apollinaris pairings in the sixteen team, hour-long event.
It was a bit of a nuisance coming so near the end of the programme, my pursuit final was scheduled just thirty minutes afterwards, mind you the senior team were in the team pursuit final straight after mine – its like that at track meets sometimes I guess.
The starters pistol sounded and we set off, our partners already circling the track. To be honest I was nervous as hell, these events can get quite boisterous plus Ron and me were the only juniors included. The first lap was spent with everyone settling down then the fun started.
How can I tell you about something I barely took in. the pace soon rose and the event turned into a Pell mell pursuit of whoever was in front. At some point half the field made a lap and the regular sprints ensured there was never a dull moment. One team did manage to crash on the change over but me an' Ron managed to keep out of trouble although it kept us pretty much out of the main race too. Mum and Tina took third place, we finished eleventh at 1 lap – not bad but I don't think I'm really cut out for this style of shoulder to shoulder racing – maybe BC are right in channelling my energies to the road.
“That was fun.” Ron stated as we cooled down afterwards.
“You have a weird definition of fun.”
“Oh come on Drew, you must admit it gets the juices flowing.”
“If you say so, give me the pursuit any day.”
“Now who has a strange idea of fun?”
“Time kiddo.” Dad interrupted.
“Okay, time to watch the master at work!”
‘Five, four, three, two, one, go.' I counted the pips down in my head then pressed on the pedals to start the effort. I think I've talked you through the techy stuff before so suffice to say I was focused and up to cruising speed in half a lap.
Twelve laps, 3000 metres of sheer hell. But I love it. I was a metre down after three laps but I tend to build towards the finish so I wasn't worried. My opponent was a lanky youth from Essen, he was quick and he'd got to the final with the fastest qualifying time but I was only 0.25 of a second slower.
I lost another couple of metres by lap five but then lanky started to falter and I started to pick up. The end result was a closing of the gap to under half a metre by lap eight then with Dad now on the good side of the line I started to pour on the power. The crowd shouted and slapped the boards as I continued my charge, gaining at every crossing.
“Last effort!” Dad shouted as I went through the bell.
You betcha! The old red fog started to cloud my vision as my breathing became more laboured, come on, deep breaths. Half a lap to go, last bend, slowing, come on.
Over. I sat up and let my momentum take my legs around, they felt like jelly, the red fog quickly lifted as I gulped in air and sat up off the tri-bars. I took a look at the scoreboard, yes! 1.145 seconds the final margin - not huge but no one looks at how much you win buy, just the win. I was no sooner off the track than the senior squad started circling in a final warm up.
Mum and co were up against Bayer Leverkusen Radsport, they are local, it's an all male team but they are amateur. Apollinaris were starting with the faster qualifying time but head to head? Who knows?
From the track centre it was difficult to keep up with the changes, George was doing the line marking and after the first quarter it was looking like another close run thing. Our team, whilst not as tight as the BC team, were still doing a cracking job, their opponents were definitely more ragged on the changes. The girls seemed determined in their effort and by lap eight they were starting to pull away.
The excitement within the stadium was reaching a peak; this was after all the last event on the programme. Erika blew out with two to go but their success was pretty much assured by that stage. It was an impressive ride, worthy of a world championship, their time was a new event record, or so the PA informed us. Mum at least had a smile on her face, not before time.
“See you next week Ron.”
“Yeah, give Bern my best.”
“Will do.” Bern had stayed at home, three days of bike racing was too much for a non-enthusiast to endure!
We got home shortly after seven and I was ready to crash in front of the telly.
“Don't forget the morning.” Bern mentioned.
Morning? Oh sugar! The bakery.
“Connie rang to make sure you remembered.”
“Er thanks, seven a flippin' clock.”
“Just think of the dosh.” Bern noted.
Just think of the uniform I've got to wear.
“‘Spose I'd best get an early night then.”
“You'd best have.” Mum agreed with a shake of her head.
‘Sometimes Drew you give blondes a bad name! You mean well but you let yourself get talked into some harebrained schemes!'
“Set your alarm.” Dave called after his sons fast disappearing back.
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 18.06.09 © 2009