Don’t believe the hype

As-salamu alaykum Tash Appreciators!

There’s only one place to start this week and that’s in the wilds of Caledonia. I’m sure I speak for the four of us when I thank everyone for their donations and messages of support over the weekend. 

At the risk of boring those who have been already regaled with our tale, I can confirm the following: the team’s best time was 6 hours 14 minutes; the weather was atrocious; the climbs were high; the straights were long and windswept; there were times when I wanted to be anywhere other than on a bike in the middle of nowhere; and upon crossing the finishing line I was too tired to do anything than slouch over the handlebars. 

That being said, it was one of the best things I have ever done and have pre-registered for next year’s event. After taking a couple of weeks off, I’ll start working toward a sub 5.30 time. 

You’ll be pleased to hear that’s the end of cycling chat for a while and a normal Tash Friday service will return next week. 

As a reminder of the kind of insightful social commentary usually associated with Tash Friday, this week’s Tash is someone who didnt have much to be proud about last Sunday – Joey Barton. That’s right, the man who assaulted or attempted to assault three Manchester City players at exactly the moment when he was needed by his team mates. He’s unfortunately been known to rock a Tash:


Mr Barton can’t pull off a Tash and this is because he is, in fact, a bampot. He pretends to be reasonably erudite in his twittering but, let’s face it, anyone can string 140 characters together. The lesson of Joey Barton is that you can try to hide behind the prima facie respectability of a Tash but it all comes back to haunt you if you can’t back up the Tash with genuine class.

Unfortunately, Mr Barton is not the only one who failed to live up to his own hype. The offender? My pal Leitchy – the man who talked a HUGE game ahead of the race last week.

For those who don’t know, Leitchy talked of battering me on the course as he was allegedly in better shape than me and, to put it more politely than he did, I had a stone or two on him. In reality, I horsed him by 38 minutes. That’s literally miles. I wish I could have seen his face as I pulled away from him on the banks of Loch Rannoch and he realised that he couldn’t keep up with me. 

So, Leitchy, you now have two choices. You can write a 500 word essay on your woeful performance headed “The Etape: why I performed so badly”; post something on Facebook apologising to everyone who had to spend 38 minutes waiting for you at the finish line; and erect a statute of me in your room so you never forget who the better man is. Or, you can give me the crisp £10 note that I am due. Your choice. If you do neither then I will never let this rest.

To conclude this week, let’s take the comparison between Joey Barton’s Sunday afternoon and Leitchy’s to its logical conclusion. Both were humiliated in defeat and neither could back up their bold claims. As I see it, if Leitchy is Barton, then that makes me:
Vincent Kompany. Just like Barton and Kompany, Leitchy and I were competing in the same game but we were never in the same class. 
Have a great weekend folks!
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