Saturday, August 30, 2008

rottnest romance #19

Time for another thrilling episode in the only Bills and Moon romance set on the beautiful island. You'll recall our blonde heroine, Larissa Kidd, was setting off on a bike ride to the West End. No Troy Buswell jokes about bicycle seats or anything else, please. She's got her lunch and a water bottle with her. Who knows - perhaps there'll be some nude sunbathing very soon. In a week she'll be voting in the 2008 WA state election. Are the Greens green enough for our feisty young conservationist? Read on...

It was still completely trustworthy, though, Larissa assured herself. She jumped on, and slowly threaded her way around the numerous pedestrians as she cycled through the winding historic Thomson Bay area. After a few minutes she reached the open road which stretched out between the large salt lakes. She began to pedal energetically, and was soon making good progress.

Gradually the island lighthouse, a brilliant white in the sunlight, slipped by on her right-hand side. At times she free-wheeled down hills, but also had to stand on the pedals to force her way up steep inclines. She had promised herself she wouldn’t get off the bike and walk up the hard stretches.

As Larissa sped through narrow Neck – so named because only a thin strip of land separated the waters on either side – she could hear the surf rolling onto the beaches.

Breathing deeply from her efforts, she resolved to finish it in one final big push. All went well until she had just passed the turnoff for Radar Reef. The, when she had less than a kilometre to go, disaster struck. Something went wrong with the pedals and the bike swerved dangerously. She braked, and managed to come to a halt without crashing.

What was going on? Kneeling down to inspect the pedals, she saw at once what was wrong, and let out a groan.

The cotter pin in the left pedal had snapped. She couldn’t believe it. Of all the times it had to happen, it happened way out here. Murphy’s Law strikes again, she thought sourly.

And of course it was typical her bike repair kit wasn’t strapped on to the back of her bike. She prided herself on being mechanically competent, and if she had bought her tool kit with her she might have been able to do some sort of repair job until she returned to Thomson Bay.

Look on the bright side, she told herself, as she surveyed the final hill that led to the cape. At least she hadn’t been travelling at speed when the pin broke. There might have been a nasty tumble if she had. And it wasn’t too far a walk, anyway.

Before she began to trudge up the hill she had a look around. There was no-one else to be seen: she might as well get going…

Then, in the distance, she saw a lone cyclist appear away on the track that led back from Radar Reef. Was he or she coming this way, or heading back in the other direction? There was a chance the cyclist might have a tool kit with them.

She hopped up and down on the spot, yelling out “Hello! Hello! Over here!” as loud as she could, while waving her arms about. It worked: the cyclist turned left, and rode in her direction.

Pleased, she watched the4 cyclist – it seemed to be a man – come towards her. With any luck she could…

Her positive attitude swiftly evaporated as the cyclist neared her, and she recognised who it was.

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