book 2 Gaby Title.jpg
Part 71

Is That You Gaby?

"So what are you two up to today?" Aunt Carol asked

"Not really sure?" Mad answered

"I've got to go out in a while, just into the village so I shan't be long, you two going to be okay? Drew?"

"I guess"

"I'll have my mobile if you need me"

"Okay Mum" Mad confirmed, "can we go online please?"

"Yes but don't spend all day on there" Mrs P agreed

"Come on Gab" Mad was in control, I am but a puppet!

I wanted to send a mail to Britney so it wasn't such a hardship. No the hardship was the wince inducing pain of having anything touch me, particularly on my arms and legs.

We surfed for a while before Maddy handed the controls over to me while she went to organise some drinks.

'From Drew Bond


Subject latest news

Hi Britney,

Sorry it's been so long since I wrote to you last. I hope you are well. So much has happened at this end, I don't know where to begin.

Mum is famous now - she won the Ladies Tour De France three weeks ago, Jules and me went to Paris to see the finish, we even got to go to a fancy reception afterwards.

I nearly forgot, we finished school for the summer!

The week after, she came home for a break, she's been picked to go to the World Championships and she's got a new contract! Cool. I hadn't realised how much I missed her being around. We went to the track at Manchester on Tuesday and I had a go - scary! On Thursday we went to my Gran's and then shopping in Chester, which is near Wales. I got Maddy, you'll meet her when you come, I got her birthday present there, a new dress and matching undies!

On Friday, we had a guy from the cycling magazine come to interview Mum, that was fun, it should be in this weeks magazine!

We took Mum to the airport on Saturday; her team is racing in New England this week. On Sunday I raced and did a personal best, then we went to the coast for the afternoon, Maddy and Bernie were with us, it was great fun.

On Monday it was Mad's 13th Birthday, she had a barbecue, I was a bit off colour but we had a good time!

I ended up in hospital on Tuesday; some idiot wasn't looking and pulled out in front of me! I spent Tuesday night in the hospital, luckily I didn't break anything but I'm covered in bruises and I'm too sore to wear trousers, my arms and legs are a bit swollen still. I should be okay by the time you get here.

That's about it - I'll write again next week.

Bye for now


I hit the send button as Maddy came back in with some crisps and two glasses of dandelion and burdock *.

"What are you up to?" Mad asked

"I thought I'd email Britney, I haven't done it in a couple of weeks"

"Oh I nearly forgot, you are still coming to Obicon next week?"

"Unless you don't want me to"

"No nothing like that, I just wanted to make sure"

"Hi kid's!" Aunt Carol called, "you all right?"

"Fine Mum" Maddy answered


"Yes thanks Aunt"

"I picked this up at the Newsagents" she brandished a copy of this weeks Cycling, "I know you probably get one but your Mum is on the cover so I thought I'd get one"

"Cool" Mad mentioned

"I've not seen it yet" I told them

"Let's see then" Mad demanded

Mrs P flicked through to page twenty-one and laid it on the dining table for us to see. The banner headline was suitably tabloid, 'England's own Longo', I had to explain to the Peters who Jeannie Longo is (if you need to know, do a search!). I skimmed the text and checked out the pictures, Mum on the great mountain stage, on the podium in Paris, then, oh no he used that one from Manchester! The other pictures were from Friday's ride, Mum signing the picture at Beckingham and another one with me and Mum riding along.

"Is that you Gaby?" Mad asked pointing to the Manchester shot.

I didn't get a chance to answer as she read the caption out,

'We caught Jenny at BC HQ where daughter Gaby was having her first track session'.

Anyone looking at the picture would think I was a girl!

"Gaby? Drew?" Mad insisted, "you okay?"

"Er yeah, I didn't think they'd use that one"

"So it is you" she stated

"Who else would it be, I thought I said"

"No you only told us that you went, not that Gaby went too"

Mrs P just shook her head and left us to it.

I took a pull on my drink.

"It was John's fault, he suggested I have a go on the track"

"So how's it his fault that you look like your twin sister?"

"Well I didn't have any kit so I borrowed some off Mum, she thought it would be fun to keep the Gaby thing going."

"Well it's hardly John's fault then is it"

"I guess not, it was Mum this time I suppose"

When I thought about it, Mum had now got most of the cycling community convinced she had a daughter named Gaby and son Drew, both of whom rode. Someone was bound to put two and two together! It made me more determined than ever to end this masquerade, well it was ended wasn't it? Wearing a skirt today is a medical emergency so it doesn't count!

"Drew you've made Chad too!" Aunt Carol called from the kitchen

"What's it say Mum" Mad called back

Aunt C came back to the dining room with the paper

"It's just a short bit about your accident Drew, lets see, yeah here we are 'a young cyclist was taken to Bassetlaw General Infirmary after an incident involving a car at Cuckney crossroads. The driver of the yellow Citroen Saxo, Mark James, 23, of Langwith Jct. was taken into custody at the scene but has since been released on Police bail. The victim, thought to be the daughter of local international cyclist Jenny Bond, is understood to be doing well and is expected to make a full recovery.' It then goes on about it being an accident blackspot and so on." Aunt Carol concluded.

"Where do they get their information from?" I exclaimed

"They probably talked to the police and maybe the hospital" Mrs P suggested

"So why do they think I'm a girl?" I insisted

She shrugged her shoulders, "no idea"

"Oh come on Drew, let's listen to some music upstairs" Mad suggested

My mind was pre occupied for the rest of the day. What if people realised it was me and not this 'daughter' who had the accident, or more to the point asked who it was? What if - Mum was right, you can't live you're life based on what if?

"Come in number one, your time is up!" Mad intoned, "the purple gibbon is eating custard with the queen."

"Eh? What? Oh sorry, I was day dreaming"

"You don't say" Mad stated, "you've not heard a word have you?"

"Something about tomorrow?" I guessed

She rolled her eyes theatrically.

"Mrs Rose is going to pick you up from here in the morning, we're not going until ten"


"You okay Gab, you look a bit out of it"

"I still hurt everywhere"

"Are you going to be okay for tomorrow then?"

"Yeah fine, hopefully most of the swelling will be gone in the morning"

"Come on you two, time to take Drew home" Aunt C hollered up the stairs.

When I got home, our copy of the Comic was waiting for me so I made myself comfortable on the sofa and started to read the article.

'Taking a well-deserved break back home, I managed to catch up with UK cycling's new darling of the bunches, Tour Feminin winner Jenny Bond. I joined Jenny and her thirteen-year-old son, Drew, for one of their favourite training rides around their north Nottinghamshire home.

Our route took us from their home in Warsop, through the Dukeries to Worksop. Then north to Bawtry before heading east to that regular stop for north Midlands cyclists, Beckingham café.

On the Podium in Paris.

PE so Jenny do you do this ride very often?

JB when I'm home, I like to do it about once a week

PE So you have several circuits you train on?

JB Yes I tailor my ride to my programme, if I'm racing locally I'll use my Peak District circuit, after all everyone else will be.

Just then, Drew, Jenny's keen young son spots a picture of his Mother on the wall of the Café. This prompts an impromptu picture signing much to the amusement of the lorry drivers sharing the cuisine.

PE so does that sort of thing happen a lot now.

JB That's the second time this week actually, we went to an Italian restaurant in Worksop last weekend and the waiters were race fans. So I ended up doing the autograph bit then too.

PE What about where you are based in Germany, rumour has it you are quite a celebrity.

JB I don't know about that, since I won the regional championship back in May, I do get recognised quite a bit. The event was televised and having a local sponsor means we are always in the local press too.

(Jenny was the first foreign national to win a German regional title back in May this year)

PE so how are you coping with the European scene, it's a lot different to the UK.

JB Well, the team is great, and the management and sponsors have been really supportive. Of course there was a bit of a leap from the domestic ladies programme to World Cup events, but I've settled in now.

PE The word is that your ride in the Wight Circuit at Easter was what got Apollinaris interested in you?

JB I don't know about that, but it was certainly a turning point in my form.

The three of us left the café and took the east bank of the Trent south as we headed back to complete the circuit. Back over the Trent and then a series of B roads brought us back to the Bond residence.

PE I suppose you miss this sort of ride in Germany?

JB Well a couple of us, myself, Maria (Pinger, the team leader) and Tina (Porsche) usually go for a hundred K once a week around the Eifel mountains. And twice a week the whole team go for a couple of hours, practising tactics and stuff, just like the big men's squads do.

PE So with the training and racing they keep you busy?

JB Well we do a lot of PR stuff too, so there's no time to get homesick!

PE What do your family feel about your career?

JB They are really supportive, I seem to have become a combination of 'cool' Mum and embarrassment!

PE What do you think of your kids racing? I saw Gaby on the track at Manchester and Drew has already won a couple of races.

We caught Jenny at BC HQ where daughter Gaby was having her first track session.

JB I'm really proud of them, I didn't push them to race, they wanted to. Dave (Mr Bond) and I support them and advise them, but whether they do the training is up to them. So their results are down to their efforts. They both do other things besides cycling; Gaby won the School badminton championships last week. My eldest, Juliette is not sporty at all!

PE I saw you at Manchester a few days ago, can you tell us what that was about?

JB I was over for a testing session, I've been put into the worlds squad, they think I might do well in the road race!

PE A little bird told us that you did a twenty minute ten the other evening.

JB Well only just, 20.58 on the Cuckney course.

PE That's not far off the national record.

JB I thought Beryl (Burton) did a fairly short twenty.

PE No you are only a handful of seconds off the record. Any other news for our readers?

JB Well it looks certain that I will be riding the full World Cup series next year, my contract is being extended for next season with a further option for 2004.

PE That's good news Jenny, thanks for talking with me. Phil Eaton'

The rest of the article consisted of the highlights of Mums racing career and this years main results. There was a map of our circuit so people could follow it if they wished and it finished with the main highlights left in Mum's season.

If you ignored the bits about 'Gaby', it was, I thought a nice article. Mum will be pleased anyway. The bad news really was the report in CHAD. It's a fairly small community, a lot of people 'know' me and Mum by sight at least. The paper just about declared me to be Mum's daughter, just the other week, I was in the paper as Gaby with Mum and Jules. If I appear as myself, injured, people might put two and two together and I am in deep doo-doo! Let's just hope I'm all right by tomorrow.

"Hey Drew, you made the paper" Jules mentioned when she came in.

"I know, now everyone thinks I'm a girl"

"How do you figure that?"

"Well the paper says it was what was it now? Oh yeah 'the daughter of local cyclist Jenny Bond'."

"So. It could be me"

"What? When everyone's seen you since and I bet someone saw me today!"

"I'm sure there's not that many people read those bits in the paper."

"You did, so did Mrs P. I bet a lot of people read them"

"You worry too much"

That helped a lot. Not!

"Anyway, how are you now?"

"Better generally but my arms and legs are still very sensitive"

"Those bruises are corkers!"

"Don't remind me"

"Hi kids" Dad called

"Hi Dad" we chorused in reply.

"How are you Drew?" he asked coming into the lounge.

"Better thanks, but I still hurt like hell"

He spotted what I was wearing; I could see he was about to say something but thought otherwise doing a goldfish instead.

"What?" I asked

"Doesn't matter" he replied

"It was my idea Dad" Jules supplied

"I don't want to know"

"Drew's legs were too swollen to wear his jeans, so I lent him a skirt so he could go to the Peters today"

"More than I need to know" Dad protested

"The interview is in the Comic " I mentioned

I passed him the magazine.

"I'll make some tea" Jules volunteered.

"Aargh!" I exclaimed as the water hit me. It felt like needles hitting my still swollen and tender body. I finished my shower rather quicker than usual, it was just too uncomfortable to stay in. I didn't sleep well either and it looks like today is going to be a wash out too!

"You okay Drew?" Jules asked through the door, "I heard you yell"

"Yeah I'm fine"

I determined to make the best of the situation so I dressed in my baggies and went to get breakfast.

"You sure you're okay?" Jules queried

"I'm still pretty sore," I said wincing

"What are you doing today?"

"Pictures, Bernie's Mum is taking us"

"She collecting you?"

"From Mad's"

"How are you getting there?"

"Walking, why?"

"I'd best come with you, make sure you get there okay"

"I don't need baby sitting"

"Let's just say, after Anna's I don't want anything happening to you"


"What time you got to be there?" she asked

"Ten I think" I mentioned around my Cornflakes.

"We'd best leave soon then"

"Why? It's not even nine yet"

"The way you're shuffling it's gonna take ages to get there"

"I guess it might take a bit longer" I allowed

Jules was right. It took a lot longer than usual and every step was painful as my baggies moved over my tender legs, it was pain but not like stabbing pain, it just built into extraordinary levels of Aargh! By the time we got to Mad's I was ready to rip my trousers off there and then!

"You can't go out like that Drew" Maddy observed

"I'll be okay, really"

"Come off it Drew, I can see how much pain you're in"

"Yeah okay I admit it, I hurt like hell, it's my legs still"

"Well" Mad started

"No!" I stated

"You don't know what I was going to say"

"I am not wearing a skirt!"

"Why not? it worked yesterday"

"Okay I admit it worked yesterday, but I was only here and at home. Not at the cinema"

"You've done it before" Mad mentioned

"Yeah well I'm not doing it now"

"Oh come on Drew, you can't go to the pictures like that"

"I won't go then"

"Now you're being daft, it's not like the guy's don't know or anything"

"What about Mrs Rose?"

"Tell you what, you wear a skirt and I'll sort out Bernie's Mum" she offered

Okay, I know what I said a few days ago. But this is different. It is!

*: America has root beer, in England we have dandelion and burdock, I've no idea exactly what's in it but I guess the name is a clue!Back to text

Maddy Bell 11.12.03 Secret © 2003

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