book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 61

Summer Lovin'

When I got home, the house was in turmoil. Dad was hoovering like crazy and Jules was busy dusting.

"You're back then" Jules stated flatly

"Yeah, what's going on?"

"Mum's back tomorrow?" she told me

"I know"

"The place is a mess so we're cleaning"

Now don't get me wrong here, our house is not exactly a palace, nor is it a pig sty - and Mum is hardly the house-proud type either! In fact since she's been in Germany the place has been tidier than usual, we've had a cleaning rota and apart from a bit of surface mess, magazines and stuff, it's looking pretty good.

"Drew?" Dad stopped the vacuum

"Yes Dad"

"Can you have a go 'round the kitchen"

"I spose" I replied unenthusiastically

So I finished the day in rubber gloves wiping down the (already) clean kitchen.

Dad was loading my bike onto the car when Maddy arrived.

"Morning Mr Bond, morning Drew"

"Hi Mad" I replied

"Hi" Dad mentioned

"I'll just get my bag and I'm ready" I informed Dad trotting back inside.

"Lock the door on the way out then, we'll get straight off" Dad replied

Five minutes later and we were on our way.

"When's your Mum get back?" Mad asked

"She gets into Manchester just after five" I told her

"Are you all going to fetch her?"

"No, Dad's going on his own after he drops us off this afternoon"

"You want to come to mine for tea then?" she queried


"What?" he was humming along to the radio

"Can I have tea at Mad's?"

"Don't see why not, me and your Mum will eat on the way back. I can ring your mobile to let you know when we'll be back"

"Great" Mad enthused

I just had a sneaky suspicion there was more to the invite than just feeding me but what I had no idea.

The day was turning out nice, blue skies, sun shining but with a stiff breeze which when we got to the airfield, was sweeping across the circuit mercilessly. I recognised several of my soon to be adversaries, the big lad I beat last time was riding again - he'd be out for blood!

I was already in my kit so getting ready was a quick job. Maddy insisted on doing the masseuse bit much to Dad's amusement and my delight. I mean, you can get used to this leg rub business especially when it's a girl doing said rubbing. There was a slight stirring in my loins that brought me back to the here and now, I don't think Mad noticed anything.

I set off to warm up before my forty-lap event; the wind was going to be a fair nuisance today. All too soon I was lining up with another couple of dozen riders and we were waved off on the warm up lap, I looked for Dad and Maddy but couldn't spot them.

It was clear pretty quickly that no one really wanted to leave the comfort of the bunch willingly with this wind. The wide concrete roadways allowed the formation of one long echelon, get on the wrong wheel and you could lose metres easily. I spotted Dad second time around at the start of the finish straight, he gave me a cheer as we passed, but where's Mad?

A couple of the younger kids dropped off the back on the wind assisted leg but I was quite comfortable. I heard Mad before I saw her

"Come on Drew we want you!"

Maddy decides to go cheerleader
Maddy was dressed in her tennis kit and was brandishing some streamers

She was jigging up and down and instead of the jeans she was wearing earlier it looked like she was wearing her tennis skirt and was waving a load of streamers. I mentally shook my head; she's finally flipped!

I wasn't the only one to see her

"That your sister?" one of the older riders asked as we plodded along

"Girlfriend" I wheezed back

"Cute" and he moved ahead

Ten laps gone and the field was down to fifteen, the wind seemed to be picking up and I was looking out for Mad each lap. Of course no one would admit it afterwards but Mad caused the crash. She picked the moment of our passing to try a back flip; fifteen sets of eyes followed her movements and then Crash! There was a touch of wheels and the fifteen were reduced to five and a pile of bikes! Luck was with me and after taking avoiding action I joined the remaining upright riders as the rest started to pick themselves up.

I found myself in the company of four of the oldest riders, all were a lot bigger than me so I was getting plenty of shelter but offering very little. As is often the way in schoolboy events, the remounted riders behind had essentially given up and left our little group to get on with things. The laps dragged by, Maddy was a bit more restrained waving her streamers and cheering away.

I couldn't think of any way to get away from the group before the finish, after last time they would watching for me making a move. My tactic settled on 'wait and see'.

"Come on Drew, one lap to go" Dad shouted

"Go Drew Go!" Maddy yelled as we passed

I found myself at the back of the echelon; the others seemed to have just about forgotten about me as they started preparing for the fast approaching finish line. All I could really do was have a go, and then an idea struck me. With about five hundred metres to go I struck out across the circuit putting me parallel to the others but about ten metres away. When they looked for me I wasn't in sight, I obviously hadn't passed them so I was gone heh! Heh! It was tough with the wind but I managed to hold position and watched as they started to jockey for position. One of them decided to make his move with two fifty to go and as soon as they were committed I went too. I was out of their minds so I just went with it.

The small crowd was cheering for their favourites and then too late my rivals spotted me. At the line I was clear by a wheel! Woo, woo, woo!

"No doubts this time son" Dad enthused

"You were brill!" Mad gave me a hug

"Cool" I managed to gasp.

"What's with the getup?" I asked as we sat eating sandwiches half an hour later.

"Well you keep referring to us as your cheerleaders so I thought I'd dress like one" Mad told me

"Where did you get the streamers?" I was curious, as they were clearly not home made.

"Dad got them in America a while a go, don't know why. They're real cheerleader ones"

"You ready kids?" Dad asked

"We can finish eating on the way" I informed him.

He was a bit agitated, I suppose he was worried about getting to Manchester on time.

"You fancy going to Obicon in a couple of weeks?" Mad asked as we walked over to her house.

"What's that?"

"Only the biggest anime and cosplay fair this summer!"

How should I know?

"Mum and Dad are going and Mum suggested I ask you"

"What about the others?"

"Bernie's away in Scotland, Rhod's staying with his Dad and Ally doesn't fancy it"

"So I'm last choice then?"

"Don't be daft, we both knew about Rhod and Bernie being away and I rang Ally this morning, Mum only came up with the invite this morning"

"I'll need to check with the olds"

"Please, please, please come. It'll be brill!"

"I'll check ok!"

After another one of Mrs P's meals, special omelette and salad followed by cherry pie with cream. Hmmm.

"Did she ask you Drew?" Aunt C asked

"Yes I did" Mad interrupted

"The fair thing?"

"Obicon, yes"

"I'll need to ask Mum and Dad but it sounds okay, what's it going to cost?"

"We've got an accommodation deal so you just need the entry which is 20 for the weekend and some spending money"

"Is that your phone Drew?" Mad queried

I grabbed my phone and answered it

"Hi, Dad?"

"Hi Drew"


"We're just leaving Glossop so we'll be home about eight"


"Bye Drew see you shortly"

"Bye Mum" I finished the call

"Your Mum?" Mad enquired

"Yeah, they'll be home at eight" I told my audience

"I'll drop you home in about half an hour then" Mrs P offered

"Thanks" I replied

Jules and I sat watching telly while we waited. Just after eight we heard the car pull onto the drive, we were out of the door before the handbrake was on.

"Mum!" I just beat Jules to the car

"Hi kids"

We both hugged Mum

"Come on you two, let your Mum get indoors, Drew get a couple of these bags" Dad instructed.

Mum and Jules went inside while I got lumbered with the luggage.

"Right kids, there's some stuff we need to sort out then the rest of the week we can enjoy ourselves" Mum started

This sounded ominous.

"Things have been moving quickly since last weekend, I'm not sure I really believe it all." She went on

"Believe what?" Jules asked

"Firstly the federation have offered me a place on the World's team"

"The Comic* said they should" I put in

"That's great Mum" Jules added

"Well they have offered me one of the road race places and I've accepted"

"Cool" I stated

"What else then?" Jules prompted

"Well the team have offered me a new contract for next season"

"Brill!" I mentioned

"It's not that simple Drew. It means I'll be away most of the time again in Germany. I've talked to your Dad about this and I have his blessing but I want you kids to be okay with it too"

"We're not little anymore" Jules stated

"You still get into trouble" Dad mentioned

"You won't be away all the time?" I queried

"No I'll be here from mid October until the New Year, then we have a month long training camp in Australia before we start the early season events. I missed all that this year. Apollinaris are upping their sponsorship so that everyone is full time and we'll be doing a fair bit of promotional work between races. Think about it, can you be without me for that long"

"You should go for it Mum" Jules advised

"Jules is right, we'll be okay and you'll be home for Christmas and stuff" I finished

"Okay then, me and your Dad will talk some more about that. Now then, we didn't get a chance to really talk last Sunday, what's your news"

"No one guessed it was me in the photo, it was in Chad and they called me Gabrielle!"

"The look on his face Mum" Jules mentioned

"Most of the team still think you're a girl from Whitsun, they think you're a tomboy" Mum advised

Jules cracked up

"Muuum! I thought we sorted that?"

"Well I did too until you turned up in a dress last week" Mum stated

"But Maria and Kat, they know I'm a boy" I pleaded

"I've even shown them photo's Drew, they think I've got two daughters and a son, they've just never seen my son!" Mum finished

The conversation turned to other things before it took another turn my way.

"Drew's got a girlfriend!" Jules announced

"Have not!" I snapped

"Have so, everyone's seen you two playing tonsil hockey" she went on

"Lay off your brother Juliette" Dad suggested

"Who is she Drew?" Mum asked

"Maddy" I mumbled

"Maddy Peters!" Jules exclaimed, "she even goes to watch him race"

"She's not my girlfriend!" I stated

"Sounds like it to me" Mum mentioned

"Muuum!" I whined


"Oh I need to ask you and Dad something"

"He's creeping again" Jules put in

"What Drew?"

"I've been invited to go to some fair thing with the Peters, it's the week before the Americans come. I said I'd ask"

"You'd best ask your Dad, I'll be in Italy then." Mum advised

"Dad? It's only twenty pounds"

"I don't see why not"

"How come he gets to do stuff?" Jules moaned

"Because his friends ask him" Dad retorted.

Jules sulked

"Your Dad said you won again today" Mum picked up the conversation

So I told Mum about today's race, by the time I finished, Mum was yawning and it was time to hit the sack.

*: The Comic - otherwise known as Cycling Weekly, the bible of UK racing cyclists. Back to text

Maddy Bell 16.11.03 Secret © 2003

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