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The Life and Times | Axel's Army
I'm excited to see where this story goes. Grin nice work so far. Smile

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
Uh oh...Something bad sounds like it is going to happen.
DiCyc - Thanks, good to have you here!
trek - Again thanks, I can't either, so I better get writing Grin
Jakstar22 - Find out.....
ALL - Shorter post but crucial both over the story in some points and for the end of the season in others.


S1/E7 | Misadventures

"Lost, lost in the thrill of it all..."

What happened next was some of the best and worst moments of my life so far. We had a free roam around the countryside and town, beating Strava segments, signpost racing, racing from one point to a cafe by the quickest route (maybe not dad's wish) and generally having amazing fun.

But at this point where we grew up had some dodgy people. Let me just say, it wasn't safe for young kids carrying an albeit crappy phone and riding a road bike to be out without an adult after dusk. Many a young adult was let down astray paths in this generally nice place.

One day after a tangle with a kerb in which Hayden came off second-best, we spent a lot of time on our first inner tube replacement. It took a while but we were pretty proud of ourselves. I called dad quickly to explain why we were out after sunset and we were on our way. Riding flat out to the edge of town and beyond, or so we thought...

Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:42
Another nice post Grin, sounds like something bad happening in the next one? Wink

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
trek - Thanks again and you're gonna find out now...
ALL - Sorry for the break


S1/E8 | Misadventures II

"No Hayden! Hayden what's wrong? Where does it hurt? Hayden?"

The first thing we knew something was wrong was when one of my spokes broke and Hayden flipped over his handlebars. Such coincidences tend to arouse suspicion.

I jumped off and lay my bike on the side of the road. I walked over to Hayden, scared of what I was going to see.

'Hayden - Hayden are you OK? Hayden can you hear me? Hayden are you alright?' I said quietly. No response.

'Hayden please answer me. Please, please Hayden, can you hear me. Hayden? HAYDEN?' I was shouting now, desperate for an answer. I grabbed the phone out of his pocket and dialed home, but the damn thing wouldn't work. I glanced at his bike. His handlebars were misshapen and one of his spokes dented. Then I got up and went over to my bike, so I could keep an eye on it whilst I tried to get Hayden up. I was too late.

A trio of teenagers stood with my most prized possession, sneering at me.

'Oooooh, Hayden wake up Hayden? Oh no Hayden, Hayden Haaaaayyyden!' The biggest and ugliest whined in a mocking baby voice. I hated that. I had a childish voice, which isn't great when your friends are getting deeper. After what they had obviously done, their mocking, grabbing my bike, hurting Hayden, I snapped. I threw a wild punch at them, my limbs flailing but struggling to reach the mark. Then, once of them swung back. Agony, that's all I can say. A backhand to the face and harder than I had ever been punched before.

Then came a few stones flung hard at my back on the floor. I closed my eyes and tried to endure the pain. Then, quite suddenly, it stopped.

'Hey dicks, pick on someone your own size!'

Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:43
That's a bit low, breaking someone's bike then stealing it. Frown People do take the bikes of crash victims though...

Nice to see this going again. Grin

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
Stupid bullies Angry
trek - Yup Frown But they'll learn a lesson, however big or small, no matter if they get away with it or not Smile
DiCyc - Uh huh Angry


S1/E9 | Misadventures III

"Hey bozos, pick on someone your own size!"

I risked kneeling to see who it was. There wasn't any response from the skinheads, they were too busy staring in shock. It was, of course, Hayden, who had kicked one of them where it hurt from behind and scampered back, fists raised.

I was a bit amazed myself. But Hayden always had a confident, defiant air about him when he was down. He's such a fighter, no wonder his assailants had such blank looks on their faces. He'd just been out on the ground and now there he was, standing up to them like I never could. After 10 seconds pause, Hayden continued.

'What the hell do you think you're doing? You want me to call the police? 'he said, with equal measure of quiet anger and coolness. I'd never seen him use that language, but I'd never seen him so wound up since I took the last cookie six years ago.

One, two three seconds pause. I still remember waiting with baited breath, waiting for them to laugh, run, punch. They went for the latter. As he resisted and dodged their swings, one of them grabbed his bike. Now they had both. I jumped with a wild roar at the theif, but too late. The terrible trio were off, and we had a long walk home.


'Don't worry Jay, we can fix this. We should be more worried about what Mum says.'

'Yeah I guess. But it's too far to walk and my legs hurt!'

'I'll call Dad. Concrete pill Jay, concrete pill.'

Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:43
Ian Butler
NEVER, NEVER take the last cookie Grin
Ian - Learnt through experience Grin
All - Sorry sorry sorry for the long break, short episode today so I can get back on track and finish this season!


S1/E10 | Fix This

"Don't worry J, we can fix this."

Waiting for Dad and then the ride back was the worst feeling I'd had up until then in life. My ass was sore, but most of all my heart was sore. My one and only beloved Avanti was gone into the Manawatu night and still 5km to walk. I thought a lot on the way back, about how long it would take to buy another. But when we got home, it turned out Hayden had been thinking too, but I liked his idea more.

Once we endured the wrath of our mother for not being home early, and then explained to her we went to our room. Before I could fall asleep after the long day, Hayden explained his plan. And I liked it.

We were going to get our bikes back. Obviously. We were going to get our own back. Obviously. We would only tell Mum about the former. Obviously. We needed to find out who these guys are, find out where they live, and nail their balls to their front door. Hayden said no to the last bit which I added. He said it should be "report them to the police." or something sensible like that.

Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:43
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Some Very specific ideas. Pfft Nice to see more updates for this though. Smile

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
My internet is all strange at the moment. Pfft Extra full stop was a typo. Wink

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
trek - Yes Pfft It's great to be back on track, have motivation and ideas, just no time to churn out more than one a week atm. Hope Scandinavian internet is better then Pfft


S1/E11 | Fix That

We set off the next day we had school in hope of finding out about the thugs easily. It didn't happen, some people evidently recognized who we were talking about but had no idea where they resided. Our bikes weren't on trademe, ebay, whatever. It was as if we dreamed about it and then our bikes coincidentally vanished into thin air. Only the cuts and bruises, and the pain of not having our prized possessions at hand, told us to keep going, keep searching, that there was a purpose.

On the way to the bus we saw two friends from the group rides. They told us about the new city crit, how it would be finishing on a hill (yay) and we were entered for our respective age groups. Before we could get a word in they were off again. Already entered, two days to go? This would be harder than we first thought.

When we got back home, Dad showed us something. A trademe page popped up with two practically new Avanti bikes, one missing a spoke but otherwise almost new condition. They were even blatant enough to leave their address.

We turned up, and knocked on the door. Somehow I knew, I knew then that this was real, this was my chance to stand up for myself, not be Hayden Vaillenos' brother, not be that kid with the bike, be me. I am Joseph Vaillenos. So don't mess with me.
Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:44
This is going to end really well or really badly. Pfft Hopefully they get their bikes back. Grin

Also looking forward to the race of the city crit, racing should be exciting. Pfft Wink Grin

Btw did we just find out Joseph's name or is that me being completely unable to remember important details and not realising you had said it? Pfft

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
trek - In this story "canon" I have only ever called him J from Hayden, or "Me" or "I" from Joseph's narration
Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 06:35

S1/E12 | Return Policy

"Somehow I knew, I knew that this was real, this was my chance to stand up for myself, not be Hayden Vaillenos' brother, not be that kid with the bike, be me. I am Joseph Vaillenos. So don't mess with me."

Unfortunately, my father took the lead, so there would be no testicularly focused assaults on the boy who stole the bikes. But still, I felt strong.

"What are you here for?" a tall, tired-looking woman opened the door. She didn't look surprised to see us.

"We heard someone was selling a bike and we just wanted to have a look." My father said warmly. She led us through to the garage and there they were. With our bikes. Ready for shipping.

"Patrick, there are some boys here to see you about the bikes you found." she shouted back into the house. "I'll leave you to it." she said cautiously. I wanted to scream at here, get back here, don't you understand your son is a thug?

He looked surprised to see us, I was about to start doing... something but my dad laid a hand on my shoulder. He looked up at my father nervously.

"Hey give us the bikes, and this never happened. We're not paying, if anyone should it should be you for what you did to them. Give them back, and the police don't get involved." Hayden said firmly.

"I don't know what you're talking about." he said stiffly, feigning confusion rather poorly. I started to walk over to what I knew was my bike, the boy moved in front of me.

"Of course you don't." my father said to Patrick, changing tack momentarily. "Don't worry about Joseph, he's just having a look." Meanwhile I was inspecting our bikes and confirming they were, without a doubt, ours. I looked at my Dad and nodded.

"Alright then. Why don't you let us take these bikes with us and I won't need to call the police or tell your mother." Dad continued. Patrick nodded with a sour look, and we left. I was overjoyed as I wheeled my bike back to the car.

"Thanks Dad!" Hayden said when we were in the car.

"No worries." he smiled, before looking back at me in the rear-view mirror. "And don't worry about that kid. I already spoke to his mother before we came and she knows what happened."
Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:44
Wait, did they get the bikes? Pfft This probably won't end well, but they'll get the bikes Wink

I thought they were just going to back-off and call the police, this is interesting though. Smile

Again a nice post jandal, nice to see this having some quick updates. Smile

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
trek - Yes they took their bikes and got them fixed up in the time between these two episodes Wink Thanks!
All - the title/banner thing is 100% stolen from Mre, just PM me if you mind Wink


"A race. Up one hill, and down. Some flat corners and back up to an uphill drag to the line. 5km, five laps. No pressure."

There wasn't enough people for seperate races for U-12s and U-14s so Hayden and I were in the same race. The U-12s were given fluro vests to identify us to each other and it would help me know who to mark. I honestly had no idea where I was in this field, my tactic was to accelerate faster than the other guy up the finish hill.

The race was on, I found myself up the front on the first hill. I thought briefly about going solo but thought better of it. No wind eating just yet, despite the temptation. It was the same deal for the next three passages, not making a move, not doing work. Mostly we went slow but not slow enough for an attack to have the win on a platter.

Right before the final passage of the main hill Hayden had some words for me. I was watching the guy in front's dodgy wheel but managed a nod as he wished me luck, to race for the U-12s and that he was going to attack now. He was as good as his word, accelerating like nobody's business up the steep section. One rider from my age group tried to follow.

I didn't react, no relaying, no nothing. Hayden was there and some well-known U-14s were still back here. Eventually the boy from my age group fell back and right through the main bunch.

On the descent I flew through the toughest corner, not something I meant but I got a gap with one other, we kept going and stretched our lead. We had about 30 meters at the base of the climb.

As we went up we had to keep working, I stayed on the wheel with 200 to go. I could feel the breath of the pack, hear the rush of wheels coming from behind. As I launched my acceleration for the line I put everything into my legs, the pack were on either side I knew, but I couldn't see anyone, I was too focused on swinging my handlebars madly from side to side, stamping on the pedals in a mad rush.

And then it happened...
Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:44
Crash or Victory (or just someone coming pst)? Pfft Shock

Also does that mean Hayden won?! Grin

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
trek - Hehe my loyal follower, you must wait for the answers. Joseph never saw Hayden's group or anyone in it until he finished though....
ALL - I present Season 2 entitled Will to Win

Will To Win

'Hayden, what did happen in your teenage years that out you on your path to pro cycling?' the interviewer asked. I grimaced. New Zealand Champion in my hometown and even the local media thought I was Hayden.

'I don't know what out my brother on the road to cycling in his teenage years, to be honest he spent half his time sleeping, I'm not sure when he got on his bike.' I tried to break the ice and tell him I'm Joseph, not my brother. This does bring back memories though, when I was a kid at cycling events nobody knew who was Joseph either.

'Uh- Oh sorry Joseph. So what put you on your path to pro cycling during your youth?'

'Well, now you ask, it's a funny story...'
Edited by jandal7 on 17-04-2020 07:45
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