Toby and the bike

The practice run is in five minutes.

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Copyright © 2008, Michael M Wayman

Somehow I had lost Julie. I drove for an hour and got lost. I came to a seaside town.

I did not know where I was, I couldn't read the signs and the people spoke in a language I don't know. I sat on a bench and looked at the sea, very pleasant.

Suddenly someone grabbed my shoulder, “There you are! Come on, the practice run is in five minutes.” The man pulled me across the road and into a hotel. He threw some clothes at me and screamed “Oh, I don't know. Soon I will have to dress you. You are just a big baby sometimes.”

The clothes were a horrible colour, I'm sure most men are colour blind. Purple coloured shorts! I put them on and was pulled again out into the backyard of the hotel. And someone put a bike in my hands. I say “put” because it was so light – it was really a very nice bike.

I got on it and followed the others. This was fun. I kept up with the rest, I'm reasonably fit.

We rode up into mountains for a few hours. When we got back I fell asleep and so did the others.

The next morning I was woken early – there were many silly things to do, eat a big bowl of pasta, piss in a little bottle, give blood, have a massage. And the important stuff was on the wall, a nice presentation of what we were doing that day – too bad that I couldn't understand any of it. But I did not have enough time to think – what was I doing – I didn't know.

There were lots of riders and I got a different bike, it was not so light as the day before. Why? I soon found out. After we had got out of town we left the road – it was cross-country. This was different, sometimes you have to carry the bike, sometimes you go through water. I just followed the bunch at the front, there were about twenty of us.

We got back on the road, people were cheering us as we flew past. And there was the finishing line – it was a race. I was in the middle of the small bunch at the front, the second big bunch came in five minutes later.

My nursemaid, as he called himself, was very pleased with me. Most days we did this racing business, sometimes cross-country, sometimes just roads, but every time the bike was different somehow. What did I care!

I got the hang of it, I even discovered where the race was going, there were flags and things, so I no longer followed, I moved up to the front. I kept company with the guy at the front. I think he was from my team.

Now that was not good, or so I was told, I was not supposed to be at the front. What did I care!

Anyway one day there were more people watching us than usual and more TV men. It seemed to be even more fun than usual. That night we all celebrated – we were allowed to drink alcohol – party time.

The next day I looked out of the hotel room and saw two people sitting on a bench; they were arguing. I knew them both – one was Julie, my minder and driver, and the other was me.

If Julie is there then the car won't be far away. I still had the key. I pressed a button on the key and the car blinked at me. I grabbed a few things and walked out of the hotel to the car. It was locked. I pressed another button on the key and in I got and drove away.

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with the title Toby can't read