This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt was an assignment.
You are an eleven year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed, bicycle-racing cherub. Your yellow locks curl down to your shoulders. Like Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you’re making mischief on the centre of the track, as the grown-ups speed around you in a blur round the velodrome. It’s Saturday race night – no brakes! no gears! – and a fifty degree slope at either end. And you are never bored as you await your time to shine. You pull your older sister’s hair and run away. You lie on your back on the mat and pretend to turn pedals in the air. You giggle and squirm. You high-five the adults when they finally slow down and upclip their feet after a race. There you are, walking like a chimpanzee, trying to get the attention of the racers who have no time for you. Now it is time for you to don your yellow helmet, #2 and slow pedal your way around the centre until it’s your turn to sprint. Now you’re on the track doing your warm-up laps, gaining momentum. The whistle blows and when you cross the start line you move down to the shortest circle at the bottom of the slope, up off your seat on the straightaways and fearless on the turns. Your bike wobbles with the effort and your legs are running away from you with the pedals. The crowd is cheering you, partly as a mascot, partly as a wonder-boy, partly as the future of bicycle racing. You flash past us across the finish line and the clock stops on a very respectable 11.91 seconds. We’re not trying to rush you, but we can’t wait to see what you will be like in five years.