Pedalling dopes show rivals clean pair of heels

IT was one of those indistinct hours between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Participants in the 24-hour pedal kart race were in need of a break.

Two young ladies from Island School had been told that the nearby hotel was offering a free room for the use of competitors. Hooray.

They memorised the room number and trotted off to the Park Lane hotel. They asked for the keys to the room in question, and dragged their weary bones upstairs.

There were bags lying around the room, so they assumed fellow participants had already been there.

The girls ate a pizza, and then went to take showers.

At this point their evening turned into a classic Brian Rix-style West End farce of the 1960s.

They were in the correct room - but in the wrong hotel. It was the Excelsior, around the corner, which had been offering free facilities.

The guests whose room it really was then arrived, to find strange young women in the shower.

There was an interesting confrontation, and both sides sternly accused the other of trespass.

Once the mistake was unravelled, the squeaky-clean but red-faced girls nipped back to the race.

Their adrenalin-stirring experience seemed to have helped, anyway, as the Island School team tore ahead and won the race.

Ladies man WHY are people tiptoeing gingerly around the floors of the eighth floor of the Murray Road Car Park Building, where the ICAC and Warwick Reid are headquartered? Because the ninth floor is being renovated, and a sign has been erected which says, in Chinese: ''Toilets closed. Please use the floor below.'' Talking of toilets, women have been most unamused to find a picture of Mike Tyson in the toilets at LA Cafe.

Are convicted rapists normally considered suitable adornments for ladies' rooms? Foot sore OLIVER Foot, president of Project Orbis, was trying to sort out some mixed feelings during the few hours he was in Hongkong yesterday.

He spends half his life flying around the world, trying to raise US$6 million for a new flying eye hospital.

But when he is not in Hongkong or New York, he retreats to Drake House, Dolphin Square, a block of flats in London which is quiet, inconspicuous and low-profile - until now.

This is the precise block into which Princess Anne has decided to move.

As a result, the tabloid press in London are hot on his heels, trying to get colourful comments from him.

''Obviously it's a great honour to be living in the same house as a member of the Royal family,'' he told us. ''But I can't help wondering if it will still be a secluded and anonymous place.'' It is hard to relax with a 600 mm lens waiting for you to go topless and security forces taping your calls and posting them to The Sunday People.

Sub-standard BUSINESS people have been roaring with laughter over a fascinating International Property Review about UK property included in a Hongkong English-language newspaper (not this one) on Sunday.

''The New Year saw a rise in the value of sterling which climbed to its highest level against the German mark since October 1992. Pound also gained ground in New York as American investors bought sterling,'' it said.

''Reports of switching out of gold into sterling by Middle East investors,'' it continued. ''Brisk buying in the Far East. At the Japanese securities house of DKB a spokesman said: 'Sterling is the star performer'.'' We can't help but wonder what planet these people are on.

Woolly response PATRICK McLoughlin of ATV was interested to learn there was a ''lamb tasting'' at the Marriott hotel last night.

The press release came from Newscan public relations firm's Daisy Lam.

''She, presumably, was not on the menu,'' Patrick said.

Credit due PAT on the head to Hongkong Bank, who immediately traced Scotswoman Alison Dewar yesterday morning and credited her account with the money she lost when putting Scottish pound notes into a sterling bank account.

This is even more commendable in the light of what we heard from Hongkong accountant Joel Harrison. ''Bank of Scotland banknotes are not actually legal tender in the technical sense,'' he said.

Mr Harrison, who has studied monetary history, says several large-denomination English banknotes are also not legal tender.

If anyone, after reading this, decides they don't want their GBP100 notes, just send them to us.

Food of love WE dearly hope someone will send us one of the $680 live ''love doves'' described in Keeping Posted for Valentine's Day on Sunday.

It will save us trekking all the way to that wonderful pigeon restaurant in Sha Tin.