“Lets have your control cards kids, I'll get your certificates.” Dad proposed as we sorted through the pile of team jackets and tights.
“Cor! A Gurken and a certificate too!” I announced ironically.
“Ignore him, thanks Herr Bond.” Gret told him after collecting everyone's cards and passing them over.
The finish area was at one end of a small sort of amphitheatre with event tents and stuff around the edges. We were at one end, not far from where we started this morning; at the other were benches and food and beer stalls. Between the milling riders and the seating there was a sort of cleared area where, according to the PA system, we were to be entertained by various local groups – I guess everyone wanted to get in on the days activities!
“Bernie has been gone a while.” Roni noted.
“You think she is ok?” Thalia voiced the question going round my head.
“Well I need to go myself,” Gret mentioned, “I'll check, anyone fancy a würst?”
“You could twist my arm, Dad'll go for one I'm sure.”
“I'll come too.” Roni offered.
“Okay, won't be long.” Gret advised.
“You think she's ok?” Tali asked as the others headed off.
“She wasn't too good yesterday.” I supplied.
“Maybe she's car sick?”
“Where are the others?” Dad enquired.
“Lav's and looking for Bern.”
“And hopefully fetching some food.” Tali added.
“Best wait here then.” Dad stated easing himself to the grass.
I guess we were sat there, each in their own thoughts for about ten minutes before I spotted some Apollinaris jackets heading our way.
“There they are, looks like Herr Luchow is with them .”
“And Gret's mum.” Tali supplied waving to the new arrivals.
“Found these three at the sausage stall Dave.”
“Hi Dieter, Sonja, I think my son might be responsible for that.” Dad chuckled.
“We got some for everyone.” Roni put in.
“You okay Bern?”
“Yeah, I got lost, came out of the wrong door at the toilets and ended up in the crazy golf!”
“We wondered where you had got to.”
“Less chat, get these sausages before they go cold.” Frau Luchow suggested.
It was a good feeling, sitting there munching Bratwürst with the guys and watching the arrival of more riders from the various events.
The crackly PA burst into life again as the local dog obedience group exited the little arena; we'd all had a chuckle, as one of the dogs really wasn't very obedient!
“ Please welcome the Spree All Stars Cheerleaders .”
A dozen, maybe fourteen young girls in mauve and white outfits ran onto the field waving their poms. I sort of regretted dropping out of the Foresters last year, it was kind of fun even if I did have to do it as Gaby. The All Stars I have to say weren't in our league, not helped by the failure of the PA just after they started!
Their routine was pretty lame for the most part, more a dance with poms than actual cheering. A couple of them obviously took it very seriously, I got the impression the others were less enthusiastic! They ended with a bit of tumbling and a two high pyramid then left the field to some muted applause – mostly I think from parents and supporters.
“Brings it back huh?” Bern suggested.
“I know I miss it.” She sighed.
“I do sometimes.” I admitted.
“We'll follow you down then.” Herr Luchow mentioned.
“Okay Dieter, I'll wait at car park entrance.”
“Come on you two, shake a leg.” Dad suggested.
“Back to the hotel, shower, change and eat.”
“What about Tali and Gret?”
“Sometimes Drew Bond, sometimes! They're following us to the Knidle and they'll use our room after you're done.”
Well it made sense I guess, not that I could see the rush of it, we're not heading back home till tomorrow.
“Drew?” Roni called up the stairs after me.
“Could I like get my trackie top back when you've changed.”
“And my tights.” Gret added coming through the door behind her.
“Why would I have… oh shitza!”
A quick glance at my left breast confirmed I had Roni's top on and I wondered why Gret hadn't put anything on her legs, she's bigger than me so mine wouldn't fit her. I blushed to my roots, talk about embarrassing!
“Sorry guys, I'll be as quick as I can Gret.”
Dad settled for a quick wash and change while I was in the shower, whilst I could've stood under the restful torrent a good deal longer a verbal nudge from Dad cut my relaxation short.
“Make sure you put everything away before the girls come up.” Dad hinted as I pulled out a fresh bra to put on.
It must be ‘make Drew blush day' or something. I know he was only trying to protect me, we haven't said anything to the girls about, you know, me kinda being erm ‘equipped'. He's not really said much to me about that stuff, it never seems to be the right time but it must be kinda awkward for him too, you know like this weekend sharing a room with his daughter-son. When I think about it he has been sorta leaving me alone to change and stuff, I haven't really given it much thought though.
“So we eating here Dave?” Gret's dad enquired a few minutes later when we joined the Luchow's on the terrace, “The Mexican Bratkartoffeln sounds good.”
My heart sank.
“But everything on the menu is potatoes!” I didn't mean it to but it came out as a whine.
“Well it is called the potato hotel, Knidle is the local slang for taters.”
“Just my luck.” I sighed.
Dad chuckled, “its unlike you to pass up chips, I guess we could go into the old town, get something less potato based.”
“You can have too much of a good thing you know.”
“What's he moaning about now?” Bern enquired brightly.
“The menu.” Dad informed her and Roni as they joined us.
“It is a bit tuber heavy Herr Bond.”
“Thank you Roni.”
“Okay, you've made your point, we'll go into the town.”
In the end we drove down to ‘Alt Lübbenau', it was quite a trot and four of us had ridden 200 kilometres today! After a bit of a trawl we settled on the grandly named ‘Zur alten Mühle' just about opposite the last checkpoint from today's ride.
As it was reasonably warm – and dry, we took a couple of tables in the little courtyard, there was an awning which would keep any precipitation off of us while still giving the illusion of dining al fresco.
“This is nice.” Bern observed.
“A bit twee.” Gret suggested.
“Hopefully there's less tater on the menu.” I opined.
“Talk about a stuck needle!” Tali giggled.
“I was just saying.”
I needn't have worried, when the waitress brought us the menu's it was clear that they offered a much more varied range of meals. I'm not going to bore you with a blow-by-blow account of the evening except to say that I had a nice steak with mushrooms, salad and, okay, chips. It was well into the evening before our two parties bade each other goodnight and went our separate ways.
“What's up?” Roni enquired from across the breakfast table.
I frantically dabbed at my t-shirt and jeans, the glass of juice had been full and now its contents were decorating my last clean clothing.
“Go and get changed kiddo.” Dad ordered.
“Into what? I only brought one pair of jeans and this was my last clean shirt.”
“Don't look at me,” Bern stated, “my jeans won't fit you.”
“I might have something.” Roni offered.
“Jeans?” I queried.
“Dunno, mum packed for me.”
“Thanks Roni, finish your breakfasts then.” Dad suggested.
“You sure there's no trousers?”
“Only these.” Ron held up the bright pink leggings again, “I usually wear them with a Minirock.”
“Ooh you'd look cute in those.” Bern giggled.
“Well your options are a bit restricted and its not like you've never worn a skirt before.”
“Bern!” I tried to shut her up with eye signals.
“You've worn skirts Drew?” Roni asked.
“Loadsa times, we couldn't keep him out of them back home.” Bern told my teammate; obviously my psi powers aren't working.
“Bern.” I sighed.
“Oops, my bad. Soz Drew.”
“So why did you wear the Rock?” Roni enquired.
The discussion was interrupted by Dad rapping on the door.
“Come on kids, we need to get off.”
“Five minutes.” I offered.
“I've checked us out so bring the bags straight out to the car.”
“Yeah.” I agreed.
“So?” Bern enquired.
“I don't have much choice do I?”
“Not really.” Roni grinned.
Dave wasn't exactly surprised when the three girls trotted across to the car.
“Not your usual style Gaby.”
“Beggars can't be choosers.” I shrugged.
“I think she looks cute.” Roni giggled which set Bernie off – again!
“Well get in then, we still have to drop Greta and Thalia's bikes off in Cottbus.”
to be continued....
Maddy Bell 12.05.09 © 2009