Chapter *8.16*


Could I? Well I know that I'm not interested in boys so that should be easy enough to comply with.

“I guess so Mum.”

“And don't think I've gone soft, I haven't forgotten that €650 dress.”

How much?”

“You heard me; no daughter of mine is going to the wedding of the year in a frock from Kaufhof or C&A.”

“Um thanks.”

“Thank your father; just don't make a habit of it.”

So that was last night, this morning has been weird too with Mum around, generally it's just me and Dad as Jules stays with a friend in Bonn most of the week.

“You not having breakfast kiddo?”

“I have it at Thesings with the gang.”

“What about your Dad?”

“I think he gets something later.”

“I might come down with you then.”

“'Kay.” Just what I need. “Um, you won't mention the wedding will you?”

“Why not?”

“Like the girls don't know about me going.”

“Why ever not?”

“I'd never hear the last of it, especially going with Max.”

“Don't you think they might work it out when you're both off school tomorrow?”

“Probably.” I admitted.

Mum wasn't too embarrassing at the bakery, we left her chatting to Con's rents, and with another fine day the ride down to school was quite pleasant. Mum's on about joining me on my circuit tonight so I need to get home fairly sharp again.

“So like where is this do you're going to?” Brid enquired.

“Some place down south, dunno why it couldn't have been closer.” I demurred.

“Pity you'll miss the big wedding in Munich, its gonna be on the telly.” Anna mentioned.

“As if I'd be watching!”

“I was only saying.”

The conversation degenerated into a discussion of wedding dresses, awful bridesmaid outfits and widened to other familial gatherings. I didn't really have anything to contribute and fairly much switched to automatic mode.

“Psst, Gab?”

“I wish you'd stop doing that.”

“I didn't think you wanted anyone to see us talking?”

“I think the fact I'm talking to the bike shed is a bit of a give away.”

“So anyway, Mum'll pick you up about eight, you'll be going down with her and Gran in the Cayenne, Dad and me'll be coming with Uncle Frank in his car.”

“I thought we'd be in one car.”

“Not with the amount of stuff Gran's taking, oh and Dad asked if there was any chance you could drop your bags at ours tonight.”

“I guess so, I'll see if Mum'll bring them up after training.”

“See you later then.”


“Secret liaison with Max?” Steff teased when I caught up with her in class.

“He's getting to be a right pain.”

“If you say so.”

“He wanted me to get him notes for the rest of the week like duh!”

I think it put her off the trail although I couldn't say for sure.

“So how's the riding going?” Mum asked as we headed down towards Singen.

“Ok I guess.”


“Nothing really.”

“Tell me.”

“Well the races are pretty intense.”

“Welcome to my world! Yup it's a big step up kiddo but you've been getting the results, that's really impressive.”

“Well it's not like I do it on my own.”

“That's what the team is all about, your Dad told me what happened on Sunday, you had to think on the go and it took grit to get back up after your puncture.”

“Yeah well.”

“Look kiddo, if this is what you want to do you know you have me and your Dad's support, it's hard getting up to go training, fitting your life around the bike, around a sometimes full race calendar. If I could do the racing without all the travelling, all the training I'd still want to be there. If you decide you don't want to keep doing it we won't hold it against you but you've got real talent kiddo and that's not just your mother talking.”

“I guess.”

We swung onto the Rhein road for the ride down to the Brohltal.

“Seriously Drew, British Cycling are only taking six riders on for this summer team thing and they keep checking with your father that you're going, by the sounds of it you'll be team captain.”

“There must be better riders for that.”

“They don't seem to think so; you've won what, six times this year?”

“Bout that.”

“There's no one else at home with that kind of record, heck I've only won three races this year.”

“Plus some stages.” I pointed out.

“I was talking single day races. Anyway you've got some influential fans in Manchester so if this is what you want you know the score.”


Lecture over we concentrated on the job in hand, another good hours ride all the way up through Engeln then back over the top to Adenau and down the valley home. I felt a bit like a donkey on the long climb, Mum was just sat there spinning away while I nearly lost contact a couple of times. I guess I've still got a way to go.

We did a few sprints then after we cleared the traffic in Adenau some through and off down to Altenahr. I tried my best to lose Mum on the last big drop but I guess I got my terrier spirit from her as she doggedly hung on to my wheel all the way to our road where she pushed me all the way in a sprint for the town board.

“You have got everything in here?” Dad pointedly asked hefting my suitcase.”

“Of course.”

“I checked it Dave.” Mum agreed.

“One case, one hat box and this.” He lifted the bag my dress was filling.

“That's the lot.” I offered.

“I'll be about half an hour then, you sure you don't want to come?”

“What for?”

“Just asking.”

I did help put it all in the car but there's stuff I need to do tonight that doesn't involve weddings and boys.


“Uh huh?”

“If I do a letter to Bern could you send it for me?”

“You got the address then?”

“Dad has.”

“Okay, you got some jewellery for Thursday?”

“I'm taking Gran's earrings and I think Frau Strechau has some sort of necklace she wants me to wear.”

“Make sure you take care of anything you borrow.”

“Yes Mum.”

“I mean it young lady.”

“Sorry Mum, I'll write that letter for Bernie.”

Hi Bern,

Hope you are well and that the foods okay. Dad says you're somewhere near Scunny so its not too far from home eh – well like for your rents to visit I meant.

Thought I'd bring you up to date on what's happening here. We were racing up north, at Bremen on Sunday (Roni and the girls say hi), it was a fairly boring course, the highlight was riding through this great long tunnel under the river. I had a puncture near the end but it all turned out well, I got first, Ron second and Josh beat that Hans kid (you remember, blonde bog brush on his head at Celle.) for third. Afterwards we had a big blowout at the real Becks brewery restaurant; Dad wouldn't let me have a beer though!

Mum's back home for a couple of weeks so that's pretty cool, we went training together tonight (Tuesday) but I beat her in the final sprint.

I told you about the wedding in the first letter I think, well anyway I'm going to this really posh wedding with Max and his family so mum organised for me to get this like ball gown for the evening do. Its nice I guess, I have to wear a corset with it and these like humongous heels, I think you'd laugh at it. Anyhow mum told me it cost 600 Euros! No kidding, I could get some half decent wheels for that!

So tomorrow I'm off to Munich, it's a long drive and where we are staying is near some place called Augsburg – I'll have to look for it on a map.

I'll write again when I get back,



I checked it over and sealed it into an envelope which I marked ‘2' in the top left corner. Well she needs to read them in order.

I went to bed early but sleep was not easy coming. I kept going over what Mum said earlier about racing and like not having to. There are certainly days when I could happily stay in bed, hang up my wheels and stick the silverware in a box under the stairs. But I get antsy if I don't ride for more than a couple of days, I could never stop riding. And the other thing is the winning business, how cool is it to get to the finish first, like the adrenalin rush is phenomenal.

I can't imagine what I'd do without racing, gardtanz? Nah, that can get a bit boring. I could become a full time model maker, he he, I'd end up with a huge arse sat down all day. I suppose the question is whether I want to do pro racing when I've finished school, right now I'd say yes but is it what I really want to do for a living?

Sleep eventually took me and I woke to Mum shaking me.

“Come on Kiddo, the von Strechau's are waiting, I thought you were up.”


What a day to sleep through my alarm. I could live without a shower this morning so I was dressed and putting on some slap in five minutes flat.

“You ready?”

“Just about.”

“Let's do something with that hair.”

My mop was soon in a much neater ponytail and I was ready for the off.

“Don't forget to ring me later.”

“I won't.”

I gave her a kiss, picked up my bag and headed out to the waiting Porsche.

to be continued....

Maddy Bell 18.05.11 © 2011

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