Sport Six Nations

Friday 28 April 2017

Let's break the cycle and drive Lycra Gaels indoors

Jonathan Sexton will be crucial to Ireland's hopes in Wales Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Jonathan Sexton will be crucial to Ireland's hopes in Wales Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

It will be Friday before we know it, goes the oft-spoken Monday morning consolation. And as you chip away at the quarry-face, remember it's only five days to go to Friday, as it always is on Mondays, Five days too is the journey time to Ireland versus Wales in the Six Nations.

There will be no going home from work next Friday night. Dishevelled men in suits will have more buttons open than a Dancing with the Stars competitor. There was a time in this country when it was only the women who displayed cleavage.

The male menopause is an awful dose. I saw a retired Kerry footballer of the middle range with an earring in his nose. It was bad enough when the cyclists started squeezing into lycra like they were packing too many tax-free cigarettes on to a Ryanair flight.

Rant

I was detailed to write about the rugby for this morning but I feel a rant coming on. Back in the saddle again.

Time was too, when men only went out for a cycle when they were actually going somewhere or delivering letters. Now the cyclists cycle around in circles or loops. They circle the potholes too. And soon enough it will be an offence to drive within a breath of the Lycra Gaels on narrow country roads. It's the end of the tractor for sure.

And if we're stuck behind the Lycra Gaels on an uphill bohereen, will we have to be looking at their shiny arses bobbing up and down, tax free? There's a tax break for buying bikes and I'm sure in some instances the Lycra is included in the price.

Sometimes there's a bubble the size of a golf ball trapped in the seat of the lycra. There's no escape hatch. Never light a match near a saddle.

The doctors say, though, that lying on the couch is the new smoking and the cycling is very good cardio. Like mechanics, I work on the flat of my back.

For years I had to smoke 40 a day as bar man even though I never smoked. Now the sofa is killing me. I had to cut back on the watching of matches. Unfortunately I'm paid here by the piece, not by the hour.

Then I'm pulling pints in the bar on Saturday night. Right now I am writing away on a pre-dawn Sunday morning when the rest of ye are making love or snoring, and my tax goes off to buy bikes.

Before you go off visiting the comments page, there's no writers' tax exemption for writing for newspapers. It seems there's not enough fiction in the newspapers.

Maybe the dirty dancing will kill off the cycling. It could be the dirty dancing will kill off Kerry football.

Last Sunday morning I met a middle-aged man with an exposed stubbly chest, and the wind was blowing so hard in from Ballybunion, the street signs were genuflecting.

Do you know what he said to me and he coming out of last Mass?

"If Aidan O' Mahony wins Dancing with the Stars, it will be better than an All-Ireland."

There are good cycling causes too.

The Ring of Kerry Cycle raises millions for charity. I'm never prouder to be a Kerryman. Don't forget to support the Kerry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre if you're registering up for the cycle. Their work saves lives and makes new lives.

Roll on Friday night. There was a time in this country when the weekend started on a Thursday and finished on Monday night. The world has changed irreparably. There is no such thing as a cushy number any more. Irish people have work too hard to get by.

Friday night out is a treat now and soon Prohibition is on the way. I bought shares in MiWadi.

The Irish rugby team went back to work on Saturday night. The players were given a few days off this week. And the break was well deserved.

Playing France is worse than going for a wash in a tumble drier full of boulders. The players ache for days afterwards.

Shambles

As usual, no action was taken against the late tacklers. The rugby laws are a shambles. Rugby should be ashamed. The refs and touch judges don't know where to look or when to look.

The boys were delighted with the break. They are well up for this one.

Jonathan Sexton is in good form. He trained hard with Leinster during his few days off. The whole country is monitoring his well-being and wishing him well. He needs a little bit of luck.

Friday night is my delight and Wales is very much a home away from home. They really do love the Irish.

I have always felt an emotional bond with the Welsh. Rugby is their football in Kerry and hurling in Kilkenny. It is the Welsh national sport and in my opinion was an expression of independence from England.

Rugby makes Wales Welsh. We will have almighty battle in the thatched stadium by the banks of the Taff.

Most of the Welsh men, women and children know the words of the anthems of Harlech by heart, and in their native tongue too.

Singing is taken seriously. The chapel tradition of the singing lifting the miners to heaven from the depths of the black pits is sustained and nurtured. Every pit had a choir. Every shift was a choir within a choir.

The Welsh sing of love of country and the exultation of the glory of being Welsh. They sing of the Bread of Heaven and we will share in that Celtic communion with our Welsh brothers and sisters.

But we have to beat our own to keep our championship hopes alive in the Celtic twilight of glory be to God Cardiff next Friday night.

This cycling thing is an obsession now and I admit to needing help. Here's a memo to Danny Healy Rae, TD, who is a great friend of the internal and external engine.

Danny, do not fix any more pot holes. The pot holes are the only chance we have of curtailing the cycling.

It could be Danny might hold the balance of power at the next election. Here's my plan for him. Force the cyclist indoors. It's called spinning and there are no potholes or cars.

Irish Independent

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