Been cranking up the imagination again, hope it's Ok.
It's a week later, I'm on the train, in my "new" standard cycling kit after old one burned (I still miss my hoody) t-shirt, lined football shorts, white socks and some old astro-turf trainers that someone had left at my place ages ago.
It was hot when I left Lincoln – and it still looked bright and sunny as the train arrived in Skegness, although I obviously expected it to be freezing (it is always cold in Skegness, even on the hottest day of the year, it will be cold in Skegness!). I didn't mind, today was the day I was to pick up my wetsuit, I had paid Ash the sum of a Big Mac and Large Fries for it after he erm, reclaimed it due to an unpaid debt.
I got off the train and I was amazed at the heat – it was actually hot, I had a great ride to the beach, hardly any wind and a easy ride, I arrived quite sweaty and quite happy.
I had expected at least a couple of cars in the car park, but as per usual, all I saw was Jack's van, I leant my bike against the “Pay & Display” ticket machine and thought the first thing I would do would be to get my lock back and secure the bike.
I climbed to the top of the dunes separating the car park from the beach and saw Jack about fifty yards away, I shouted to him
"Can I have my bike lock back!"
He turned around, I could tell he was grinning even from that distance, as he ran towards me, I noticed my chain around his neck still.
“Colm locked me in my suit this morning, he thought you could unlock me” Jack said, before continuing in an almost whisper “if you wanted to”
I laughed “Dude, you lot are so fucked up” and asked “Where's the key?”
Jack removed his right shoe and removed the key, it didn't look anything like the key Colm had swallowed; that was a shiny chrome like key, now it looked more dull and galvanised
"Colm really cleaned it. Before he allowed me to put it in the lock!" Jack laughed
"How long until the key, erm, emerged?" I asked
“I went round to his next morning, and there was a massive bucket full of shit, it was in that" Jack answered before adding "bastard wouldn't even lend me a pair of gloves. Fuck knows what he had been eating"
I laughed “Maccies! Full of grease”
I did unlock Jack – I needed my lock to secure my bike!
We went over to his van and he pulled out my wetsuit
“Here you go Dude, cleaned, washed, disinfected and dis-infested” Jack grinned
I wasted no time in shedding my clothes, and pulled the wettie on, I think this was the first time I had actually put on a completely dry wetsuit, although a bit of a task to get my legs and arms through the neoprene, this time it seemed a lot easier.
I slid my trainers back on to my feet as it makes it easier to walk across the car park and we headed for the beach.
“Are Colly and Ashie here?” I ask
“You may just get away with Ashie, I probably wouldn't risk Colly!” Jack laughed before indicating that they had set up camp further up the beach.
As we approached Colm and Ash, I shouted out
“Hi Colly, Ash”
Colm ran at me like a rhino protecting its young. He stopped just inches away from me, slammed both of his hands onto my shoulders and laughed
“Dude, this is why we love you, you're funny” then continued “but Colly is reserved for my two year old niece.”
I laughed “Fair enough Dude”
We walked up to Ash, who was just building a fire out of old drift wood,
“I'd have so kneed you just then” he grinned
“Yea, he would” Jack said as Colm nodded.
“Nah, I've only had this on a couple of minutes” I said pinching my wetsuit, “my nuts aren't hanging much yet”
“Yep, he likes them when they have a good dangle on” Colm laughed
“To right, they pick up more speed before being slammed and crushed into your body” Ash grinned.
I thought it may be safer to change the subject before someone got their nuts rattled, more than likely me as I figured it was probably my turn by now.
“Are you sure you don't want any more for this?” I asked Ash while smoothing my wettie against my chest.
“No dude, I'm OK, it looks great on you by the way” he smiled and continued “really clearly shows your balls” by now the smile was a huge grin.
“He's got you in his sights” Jack laughed
“He should have charged me a kick for the wettie then!” I joked
Ash looked upset that he didn't think of the idea, I am sure it would be something he would remember for the future as an excuse to kick or knee someone.
“Anyone got any burgers then?” I asked nodding at the fire
“Dude, fuckin' great idea” Colm said
“Yea, I could do a burger” Jack added
I turned out that no one had thought to bring any food or drink, although Colm had brought his latest batch of home made synthetic cannabis.
“Dare you to go to the shop and get food and drink, in just your wettie” Ash grinned in my direction
I had been to the shop on a previous visit, it was about an hour down the beach
“How can I get there on the bike, it will faster” I asked
I was given directions and the most vague shopping list ever “food and drink” was about the sum of it.
I pedalled off towards the shop, Colm had loaned me his rucksack for the stuff. The ride was nothing special or particularly taxing or anything worth noting, except I was sweating like I had run a marathon, when I got off my bike at the shops, I swear I felt a tidal wave of sweat run down my legs and into my Nikes.
I did get quite a few odd looks while walking around the little supermarket, obviously not many people did their shopping in their wetsuit. The checkout operator did ask if I had been scuba diving, I just replied that I would be later in the afternoon.
I did discover Colm's pile of synthetic cannabis in the bottom of the rucksack – I felt so nervous, I felt like a drug dealer or something, what if the Police stopped me?
I pedalled back to the beach as fast I as could, weighed down by a twelve pack of beer, sausages, pre-cut hot dog rolls (who knew there was such a thing as pre-cut hot dog rolls!) and a big bottle of Sprite (as Jack was driving).
A two hour walk along the beach was less than half an hour by bike, when I got back to the guys, Ash had successfully managed to make a huge fire, someone had even found an old sheet of metal (looked like a tea tray) to put into the fire to use a bit like a frying pan.
“You look well hot” Colm laughed
“You didn't tell me I was carrying enough drugs to keep a secondary school happy!” I half shouted
“Don't worry, they are completely legal, I made them myself” Colm assured me
“They maybe legal, but how long would I have to spend at the police station until they managed to work that out?” I pointed out.
The others thought this was a fair point, but since it made me rush back as fast as possible, Colm was forgiven by them as they were hungry!
There was a bit of moaning about the lack of burgers, until I mentioned that the hot dog rolls were already sliced when they agreed, it would be easier to have hot dogs.
I was well knackered, I was sure my shoes had been flooded by the stream of sweat that had emerged from my legs, so much so I pulled one of them off and checked. I was right, they were soaked.
“Soggy trainers!” Jack announced
“He's almost one of us now” Ash said while prodding a sausage that was cooking in an attempt to roll it over.
“I am just so hot” I said as I reached for the wettie zip.
Colm soon told me off “NO unzipping, just chill out and don't move for a few minutes, you'll soon cool down a bit” he laughed before continuing “you'll be all right, you'll soon get used to the heat”
The others confirmed what Colm had said, I just flopped on the beach like a lazy seal in the sun and after a few minutes felt much better.
Ash was cooking, Colm was busy testing his latest pharmaceutical endeavours, Jack was handing out stubbies from the twelve pack I had just bought, and I was doing nothing.
“Why do you bike everywhere – no driving licence?” Jack asked
“Just to keep fit, I do have a driving licence, for both cars and bikes” I said
“You got a bike licence? Like a proper one?” Ash asked
“Yep, but I did it the wrong way around, passed car test first, then did my bike one a couple of years later” I replied.
“So you have a FULL bike licence” Ash asked again
“Yes. Full car, full bike, I can drive lorries up to seven and a half ton, I can drive minibuses up to 16 seats, and probably a few more things as well” I replied.
Ash, Colm and Jack all looked at each other, looking as if they wanted to ask something....
“Go on then – ask” I said
“Well, we bought a motorbike, it is fully road legal, but it is in Cornwall” Colm said
There then followed a long and unnecessarily drawn out briefing, essentially they bought it off a mate when they were down there surfing and could not get it back to Lincolnshire. It is a trials bike and when they get it up to Lincolnshire, they have a load of fields they are going to ride it on. Apparently their mate can not deliver it as he doesn't have a licence and only uses it off-road.
I knew what was coming
“Do you want to come to Cornwall with us surfing?” Ash asked with a grin
“Let me guess – a one way trip in the van?” I quipped
“Well, yea, that's about the sum of it. You could ride the bike back.” Jack said before grinning and asking “You got any leathers?”
“Where in Cornwall?” I asked
“Oh, near Newquay” Colm answered
A quick prod about at Jack's phone revealed it was a mere 380 miles, which is only sightly better than Ash's “it's about 400 miles”
“Dude, that would be one boring journey on a bike” I said
There was a bit of moaning and pleading, and I was in a bit of a devilish mood so said
“How about you provide the entertainment?”
They all more or less asked “what?”
“Well, firstly, the whole trip you have to wear your wetties” I started to say before being interrupted by a grinning Colm
“We do that anyway”
I quickly thought and said
“and every motorway services with a Starbucks, you two let Ash kick you in the nuts”
Ash's face lit up like a five year old kid on Christmas day. It really was the only time he seemed really alive and alert was when there was the chance of nutting someone.
That was met with “what?”, “no” and “I'm going to wear footy boots”
“Why us?” Jack asked
“Simple, me and Ash are the brave brothers – we fought for you two, the coward brothers. We need to toughen you up a bit” I grinned and continued “we even shared the same crabs”
“To fuckin' right bro” Ash shouted whilst giving himself a small scratch
I never thought that they would actually go for the idea, it was said as more of a laugh than anything else, but what started was about half an hour of negotiation, they were more or less prepared to do it, just to get their motorbike back to Skegness. Ash really liked the idea and did not want any changes to it, when Jack suggested instead of every Starbucks, may be just every time we stopped, Ash readily took up that idea until I pointed out that me or Ash would then make a point of stopping at every motorway services.
The negotiations had gone a bit too far for me to suddenly shout out “I was only joking”, I think that would have broken Ash's heart! It had been a while since our hot dogs, so we decided to have a kick around of the football and resume the talks later.
After a while we had exhausted ourselves and returned to “camp”, I loved they way all of our wetsuits had darker areas around our ankles and wrists, where the sweat had soaked the inside and then seeped round and started creeping up the outside. Ash used his left hand to grab his right wrist and literally squeezed a couple of drops of sweat from the suit onto Jack's head.
“Some people would get really pissed at that” Jack laughed as he rubbed the sweat into this hair.
Before long, talk resumed on the subject of the motorbike, when I pointed out that I may not be able to get time off work, Colm said
“Take it off as unpaid, I'll make up your wages”
I was somewhat taken aback by this statement, I know Colm worked in the chemical industry as a chemist and as well as making himself legal highs, was also quite good with hair removing anti-crab cream, but surely he didn't have that much cash considering he seemed to spend most of his time on the beach.
“What you loaded or something?” I asked
“Yep” was all he replied
“So why not get a carrier to bring the bike back?” I asked
Ash answered “Because while he may be wealthy, he doesn't like to be ripped off. The quotes to get it here were just stupid”
When pushed, it turned out that Colm did indeed work in the chemical industry, as a chemist. He also developed a highly popular cannabis substitute that sold very well all over Europe, until it was banned, he had earned fifty pence from every sachet sold – and apparently many millions were sold. It was Colm who owned the garage that Jack worked for and if Jack needed or wanted time off, they just employ another mechanic to cover while Jack is off.
“wow.” was about all I said, until I asked Ash “so, what do you do?”
Ash worked for a shop which was owned by Colm's father, although he did not like giving Ash loads of time off (because that would be unfair on the other employees), Ash was officially classed as a part time employee, so he could work a full time week and then have two weeks off. He also worked quite a lot during the winter, allowing him to have as much time as he wanted off in the summer. “Not really ideal for a seasonal summer business” as Colm's father had repeatedly pointed out.
I suppose that explained why the lads always seemed to be at the beach, but why Skegness, that was simple, they had always lived there and did not want to move away from their families. I did feel somewhat sorry for them, this place was quite bleak in the summer, I wouldn't want to be here in winter!
The others wanted to go to Cornwall for a week or more to surf, and soon. I said I probably would not be able to get time off for a good few weeks. In the end it was decided that they would drive down in the van, I would get the train and join them for the holiday weekend.
“Cool, I'll get you a travel warrant” Colm announced
“eh?” I replied
“Just accept, it will be easier, essentially it is a ticket” Jack replied
“I can pay for my own ticket” I said to Colm
“Don't worry, the company I work for gives me loads of free trips per year, and I hardly ever use them. I think I could go from here, across Europe and probably end up near Japan, I have so many miles accumulated” Colm replied.
Time was getting on, I said to the guys that I would have to be making tracks.
Next thing I know I saw Ash grin a huge grin, I also saw an evil glint in his eye as his right foot made a solid connection with my balls. Well, I may have seen it coming, not that it helped any!
Before I knew what had hit me, I was in a heap, coughing and half crying, Jack and Colm grabbed an arm each and stretched them out. “Fuck” I thought, “they are going to let him really kick them this time.” I was feeling most vulnerable. Ash approached with a bag that had been next to the fire since I had arrived. He pulled out the chromed balls that I had seen him wearing, which the others had made him wear to stop scratching himself.
The shiny balls were quickly locked onto each wrist. Jack and Colm helped me back to my feet and I asked
“What the hell?”
“Well, you are 99% one of us now, now just a little initiation” Ash grinned
“I haven't got time for this, my train leaves in an hour” I replied
Jack laughed “You've no choice, you may as well just go with it dude”
He was right. The guys packed up all their stuff and we made our way back to the car park.
Colm went straight to my bike and started routing around in the little saddle bag slung under the seat.
“Found them” He announced as he held up the little bag of emergency cash I carry, my train ticket and my bike lock key (I know, not a good idea, leaving the key to the lock actually on the bike)
“Dude, now what?” I asked
“You'll love this – really!” Ash said
Colm unlocked my bike and placed the lock around my neck, locking the wetsuit zip as high as it would go.
I had a nasty feeling I was going to have to travel back home in a locked on wetsuit, I hoped they would give me my t-shirt and shorts back!
As Jack unlocked his van, Colm held his little Clipper lighter under my train ticket.
“Dude!” I shouted as I saw it burst into flames, powerless to do anything with these things on my hands.
The guys then made me sit while they pulled the legs of my wetsuit up (not an easy task!) and pulled on my white socks. I didn't understand, but never mind.
“Have you got a spare key at home?” Ash asked, to which I confirmed that I had.
Colm put half of my money in Jack's glovebox along with the key to the bike lock and locked it.
“Here's the deal” Jack said as he unlocked the big metal balls from my wrists, “you're riding home, in your wettie, with your t-shirt and shorts on top”
“It's forty odd miles!” I screeched
He ignored my protest and continued “You've got enough money to stop a few times for drinks, but not for a train ticket. You also have to wear those socks until we hook up again.”
“That's it” Ash said grinning “wettie home, white socks for a few weeks. Simple initiation”
“Dudes, you bastards” I laughed at them – there was no point in being grumpy about it.
“Anyone got a map?” I asked
I was told that Lincoln was signposted from Skegness, I would just have to follow the signs.
Next thing I know, the guys are heading for the van.
“See ya” Colm shouted from the window as it drove off.
There I was in Skegness, hardly any money, dressed in a wetsuit with socks. I put on my t-shirt and shorts and started to pedal out of the car park. I hoped it was all a joke and their van was just down the lane.
It wasn't – I had to bike for about four hours, all the way back to Lincoln. I was thankful for the little money I had, I stopped a couple of times in little villages and bought drinks. When I got home I was exhausted, I didn't immediately realise, until after I had heaped-out on the sofa for a number of minutes, but my socks were soaking with sweat, I think that they must have absorbed all of it as it run down my legs and out the bottom of the wettie.
I found my spare key, unlocked and removed the wettie – I don't think it could have got any wetter if I had been in the sea. I was a little pissed, but had to chuckle, Ash was right, I loved how the wettie had felt.
Have a good story about Lycra and/or wetsuits, then post them here!
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