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CATCH US IF YOU CAN

"Last one up the Hill pays for the teas" Totter yelled at the top of his voice.

"You can't afford it Totter" someone in the first rank yelled back.

The lights changed and they roared off. The heavy traffic slowed down progress but, even so, Totter was soon left behind by the others. The second set of lights were already red and the lads had to weave and wriggle to get to the front of the stationary cars. Suddenly a flat exhaust note caught the lads' ears and they turned to see Totter riding along the pavement.

"Morning lads. See you up the Hill" Totter dropped the bike down the curb the other side of the lights and rode off.

The lights changed and the lads dragged off in an attempt to frustrate the cars who were making a determined effort to exterminate anyone who was a bit slow off the mark. The bikes soon caught sight of Totter and pounded past. Once they had passed he turned his old machine down a side road.

They were having no luck with the lights today and took the opportunity of the next enforced halt to moan about it. Totter appeared from the road on the right and swung in front of them, throwing his bike side to side just to show off.

Once they got onto the faster roads they started to get split up. Megga, Chris and the other big bikes had long passed out of sight when the four Arrows of Gra, Cyril, Doug, and Big Ray reached The Ace of Spades underpass. They screamed down the underpass, the high pitched whine from their unsilenced expansion boxes echoing and re-echoing off the walls. They emerged the other end four abreast streaming thick smoke. The cars following closed their windows and turned on their headlights. L.T.2 and the slower bikes turned off before the underpass and took the less popular, but shorter route. The roads on this route were too tortuous for high speed, but they hadn't got that anyway.

Megga and Chris easily held the lead at first but the deceptive bends on the Dorking Bypass allowed the better handling lightweights to catch up with the pack. The leader braked hard to turn off up the narrow twisting road to the top of Box Hill. Gurn had ridden hard, and it was him, Chris, and Megga who led the lads as they all swooped round the tight bends, hoping that nothing was coming the other way. Just as they entered the last bend Gurn hit they gravel on the side of the road, the back end broke away and tried to kiss the front wheel. Gurn stepped off the sliding machine, his only view being that of sparks being flung at him by the errant motorcycle. Chris and Megga didn't stop, the slower machine would soon be up, and they could see to the fallen rider. The race was nearing its climax and it didn't do to be too sentimental.

The kaff at the top of the Hill was in sight. Chris managed to pull a bit more from his bike and nosed ahead to be first across the line. He sat up his face a picture of happiness, flushed with victory, then he saw Totter sitting on a fallen tree in the car park drinking a cup of tea.

"About time you lot got here. This is my second cup!"

The shock of seeing that fair headed bean pole was too much for the two lads and they rode through the car park in silence to park their expensive racers next to Totter's oil dripping Bantam. Manufacturers may argue about revs versus c.c., but there was obviously no substitute for insanity. Gurn on his now bent Triumph limped in accompanied by the rest of the pack.

"How's the bike Gurn?"

Gurn took off his Buddy Holly glasses and wiped them clean "Rideable" the shock of the crash made him lapse into a heavier than usual Cornish accent. "Don't ask I how I be though."

"You'll heal, the bike won't."

The truth, or the near truth, of the statement prevented Gurn from replying so he fell into looking at the damage he had sustained on the heavy PVC jacket he habitually wore instead of the more traditional leathers.

Gra took a couple of strands of baccy and rolled a fag the tickness of a matchstick "I wonder where L.T.2 and the other lads are?"

*

The bikes cruised along the smooth road at a steady, unhurried gait. The pillion riders were playing cowboys and Indians with the passengers of L.T.2 . GR had just shot two of them when Mick, who was in the lead gave the signal to slow down. They bunched up.

"Wots up?"

Mick leaned back and yelled as loud as he could so that the lads could hear through their crash helmets "Mods.'undreds of 'em."

The lads caught the glitter through the trees of the multitude of scooters parked by the Wimpey Bar around the bend. Mick dropped back to warn Foxy.

The Wimpey was packed and hundreds milled about on both sides of the narrow road. As the lads rode past someone threw a hamburger at Jesus. Jesus and GR ducked and the missile flew overhead into the crowd on the other side of the road. Jesus took his hands off of the handlebars, put them to his helmet and pulled a funny face. Several more objects followed, fortunately most missed the riders who were now hugging the tanks of their bikes and going flat out. A plastic cup half full of tea hit the windscreen of L.T.2 which had dropped a couple of hundred yards or so behind the fleeing bikes. The dense liquid spread over the screen blinding the driver. Foxy slammed on the brakes and glided gently to a halt.

CRUNCH

Foxy hit a be-chromed scooter full in the bubble and had half mounted it before L.T.2 came to rest.

"Blimey."

"Get the hell out of here before these Kokenuts kill us!"

Foxy took his passenger's advice and jammed the car into reverse and then first. L.T.2 went faster than she had gone for years, only just missing the members of the large crowd that was attempting to surround it.

A parka clad Mod contemplated the short figure in front of him resplendent in crewcut, tennis shoes, bell bottom jeans, and a T-shirt with "Mini Power" emblazoned on it "That was one of your car blokes, that was."

"Nah, they was Rockers. I saw 'em."

"Rockers only ride bikes. You're only trying to put me on. It was one of you car Mods."

They started pushing each other about, soon the whole crowd was fighting.

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