Gaby Book 17 ~ Seasons ~ Chapter *11* Sunday

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*Chapter 11*

With Mum away in Spain, Mand a terrible cook and Dad, well best kept out of the kitchen, guess who got lamped with dinner?

“So what’re we having?” Dad enquired looking up from his copy of ‘Popular Archaeology’.
“No idea,” I admitted, “spag bol?”
“Just don’t make it too spicy,” he suggested.
“’Kay,” I guess that was a hint for me to get on with dinner.

So of course when I checked for ingredients we didn’t have any mince and the only pasta in the cupboard was fusilli – there goes the spag bol. What I did find was a piece of lamb neck, hmm, maybe not a full roast like last Sunday but a proper dinner nevertheless. Now then, let’s find the rest of the stuff.

“Hmm, what’s cooking?” Mand enquired from the kitchen door a while later.
“I know that, what is it though? Roast something? Smells good whatever it is.”
“You’ll find out in a bit, can you lay the table, I’ll be dishing in about five minutes.”
“Rightyo, red or white?”
“Red or white what?”
“Dur, wine?”
“We’re not having wine.”
“Your dad might want some,” she pointed out.
“White then,” I suggested.

“Food coming!” I called out as I manoeuvred two hot plates onto a tray before adding a cover to one so I could put the third on top.
It really did smell good; the mix of mint and rosemary complimenting the aroma of slow cooked lamb.
“Lamb,” Dad, stated when I reached the table.
“Lamb Yorkshire to be precise,” I told the other diners.
“Can you fetch the gravy, Mand?”
“Coming up!”

The plates were loaded – not like Christmas dinner loaded but there wasn’t much plate left on view. Most of each plate was covered by a large slice of Yorkshire pud, not a boring traditional pud but more like a Toad in’t Hole but instead of sausages the meat was a nice chunk of the lamb. Of course you need veggies and I’d had to do what I could with the poor choice in the larder, roast taters, carrots and some white cabbage – I’m gonna have words with Mum for not getting the shopping in.

“Hmm, you could get a job cooking,” Dad stated as he mopped the last of his gravy up with a last morsel of the minted Yorkshire pud.
“I’ve got one,” I pointed out.
“I meant as a career.”
“In case the racing doesn’t pan out?”
“I didn’t say that, but you should have something to fall back on.”
“I’m going to do sports science,” Mand volunteered.
“I was thinking of hotel management,” I mentioned, “if I get my certificate I can do a course at the college in Koblenz.”

I sipped at my glass; yeah Dad seemed to be promoting wine drinking for some reason.

“Well sounds like you’ve got it all planned.”
“Not all.”
“More than your sister, she still wants to do some art thing at university, no job prospects afterwards,” Dad sighed.
“If it’s what she wants,” I observed.
“Ice cream?” Pater suggested.
Well at least I don’t have to cook that!

“So what’re we doing tomorrow?” I queried, channel hopping to find something at least part way decent on the telly.
“A crit session wouldn’t go amiss,” Dad told us, “we could go up to Roni’s, get you all up to speed for next week.”
“’Kay,” I allowed, visions of Angela’s delectable baking passing across my mind.
“I’ll give her a bell to confirm then.”

He’d had it planned all along of course.

To be honest, a round trip of three hours for about an hour’s riding is a bit disproportionate but Angela will feed us afterwards and I’m sure Dad will have stuff to sort out with Angela and Marcus so it’s not as bad as it seems.

“You girls ready?” called up from the garage.
“Coming!” I shouted down in reply.
“Don’t you think you’re going a bit overboard?” Mand mentioned as she followed me down.
“It’s only training, with Roni.”
“Your point?”
“You are such a girl!”
“Am not!” I retorted.

Apparently my neatly braided locks upset Miss de Vreen, dunno why. Outside Dad had the car running, our best race bikes on the roof, yes; we finally get to ride them! After chucking our bags in the boot Mand took her usual seat in the back, I claimed shotgun, I might not have to navigate but I like riding up front. The forecast was at least dry – mind you it could be completely different up at Mettmann, once we were buckled up Dad set us in motion.

“Coffee?” Angela enquired.
“Get yourselves ready first,” Dad suggested.
“Whatever,” I sighed.
“Come on, Gab,” Ron encouraged leading the way up to her room.

“Like your nose stud.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled, catching sight of the sparkly chip I’ve been ignoring for a week.
“I nearly got mine done once,” she told us, “I bought some jewels and stuff but when Frannie got hers done it looked daft so I didn’t do it.”
“Jules did it last Sunday, oh you missed Goth Gab!” Mand enthused.
“Goth Gab?” Ron queried.
“I lost a bet,” I allowed.
“Then she went to school looking a total Goth on Monday, I’ve got pics on my phone.”
“How’d you get pics?”
“I have my sources.”
“Bridg,” I surmised.
“Might be,” she allowed.
“When we get back,” Ron suggested, “best get the bike bit out of the way.”

It’s not the first time Ron and me have done this but it is Mand’s, well here in Germany. You might remember when I joined Mum and the seniors in that car park up at the ‘Ring, well this is the same sort of thing but around the Aldi car park just up the road from the Grönberg’s place. The three of us slowly rode up whilst Dad and Angela made the journey by Mercedes to join us.

Back in the UK there are lots of crits, it’s the mainstay of junior racing, over here we get more ‘proper’, on road racing which need different skills. The course next weekend in Brohl is really short and tight and Dad devised a circuit around the empty car park that incorporated similar twists and turns.

“I guess so,” I allowed when he’d finished outlining the session. High speed, sprint every ten laps, take it in turns to go for a lap – you get the idea then a free for all ten laps to finish the session.
“Okay then ten minutes warm up, session starts on my whistle.”

We might’ve been riding our new training bikes for a few weeks now but these beasts, our carbon fibre race bikes feel completely different. Not in riding position, Dad’s got all our bikes dialled in the same for fit, no it’s how they ride. They accelerate quicker, react quicker and, well they’re lighter too so they are bound to feel different.

I delighted in the ride; using the warm up to get the feel of the brakes, check out the gears and how it corners. The others were maybe a little less thorough but hey, that’s what today’s session is about.

Peeeeeep! We’re on.

This type of racing is faster than longer circuits or road events and Ron turned up the juice almost immediately. We were soon strung behind her, sprint, brake, sprint, barely a hundred metres the longest straight on our improvised circuit. Dad’s whistle sounded for a sprint next lap, nine laps already?

I lost count of the laps and sprints, it turned into a blur of attacks and chases, in a real race we’ll ride as a team but today it’s every girl for herself.

“Last ten!” Dad shouted as I eased past the others to take another, the sixth I think, sprint.
Thank the Gods, the others were looking ragged, I felt ragged but it’s nearly over.
“No easing off,” Dad yelled across the lot, “it’ll be full gas to the line next week.”

Yeah, but I’m knackered now. Sugar!

Ron sliced past, out braking me and gaining five metres in the process, bum. I chased after her; Mand’s ragged breathing matching my effort to close the gap. Ron really was giving it everything, her winter of regular track sessions having clearly given her some extra zip. It’s not been practical for Mand and me to join her – even if I hadn’t been out of action for eight weeks.

Every time I thought I’d made contact she yo-yoed away again, eventually though she started to tire, well tire more and we were all three together before Dad blew the whistle for last lap. Mand tried her luck out of turn two but at the hairpin overshot allowing me and Ron through. We matched each other, pedal stroke for pedal stroke, my foe had the inside line leaving me everything to do.

I was out of the saddle halfway through the last turn, deliberately going wide to make it harder for her to take my wheel. There was a video that I saw last year, some Russian with an unpronounceable name, Abiporov or something, well he did it once, it worked for him and it’s gonna work for me. I clicked up a sprocket and let rip.

“Yesss!” I crowed as I passed Dad and Angela, job done.

“So what’re we doing next week?” Ron enquired.
I finished my mouthful of strudel before replying; see I am trying to be more ladylike, “doing?”
“Well, team look, helpless,” she suggested.
“You think we can get away with that stuff now?” I mentioned, “Our pictures have been in the press a bit.”
“What’re you on about?” Mand asked.
“Well we er used our feminine wiles a bit last year, you know.”
“Er no,” Mand admitted.
“Well Gab does quite a good vapid blonde, oh remember when you had your ‘period,’ Gabs?”
Vapid! Cheeky moo.
“It worked then but I doubt it would again,” I pointed out.
“Isn’t that cheating?” Mand proposed.
“I like to call it gamesmanship.” I supplied before digging back into my strudel.
“We should do the twins thing,” Ron suggested.
“There’s three of us,” Mand interjected.
“Okay, clever, triplets.”
“We could just race,” I put in.
“Naaah!” We all three chorused before collapsing in hysterics.

Maddy Bell 13.08.16

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