I get 'cross

My journal of cyclocross
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There is a little known unsporting trick that riders of the X68 bus use, it's called Bus Stop Guarding.
Typically people who do it, have not been waiting the longest.

Bus Stop guarding is the art of turning up to the bus stop and hanging around the actual stopping sign to ensure they are first on, in disregard for others who have been waiting longer on the bench or the wall.
If you played football as a kid, it is like 'goal hanging'. Unsporting and frowned upon.

It matters only for the X68, as the bus is an express and doesn't stop until Waterloo. If you are the first on you get your pick of the best seat, in some cases, the only seat. Guaranteeing comfort for the next 40mins, rather than having to apply a bare knuckle grip on any bits of bus you can find as it swings around cyclists on the Kennington Rd.

Most other usual sporting x68-bus-ers who get on, like the lady with the silver pearl earrings stay back (Yolande). And get on in the order they arrive, same with a lady I call 'Betsy' who is a professional older lady, and the small man who sits on the wall near the bus stop in the order he arrived, eg before or after Betsy.

Then there's WET HEAD. Very thin lady who always turns up with her long brown hair wet, in winter she wears this stupid hat with a bear thing on the front, with her wet hair sloshing underneath. She is queen of the guarding the bus stop. She'll stroll up at 2mins before the bus is due to arrive and practically hug the sign. In blatant knowledge that Betsy, small Indian Chap, Yolande and the girl with gold hoops have been waiting there for ten minutes.

The most cleverest trick with bus stop guarding is if bus comes along that you don't want. One momentarily steps away, allowing school kids to flag it down if they need it, then two steps back and they are right up close.
It's annoying because I've seen other people think that the 'guards' want the bus and delay flagging it down. the guards then step away and the bus doesn't stop.
Equally they can stand right in the way of other people trying to get on their bus. Or queue behind them thinking they are getting on.

Only once have I successfully foiled Wet Heads plan, it happened by chance. A bus came along, it wasn't the right one, she stepped to the side. I saw on the horizon the x68 and shuffled along the pavement towards the back of the waiting bus. Wet Head was too busy guarding and when she realised she had to leave her perch as the bus had pulled up behind, she was last on.
Betsy made eye contact with me that day, it was basically a high five.

Note my example today of blonde with brown jacket (a new character at the Beulah Spa, stop). 4 buses came and went before our actual X68 arrived on time. I watched her guard, then step away, then step back, she's got her technique down, because she steps back even before the bus has pulled away, but not so the driver thinks she's trying to get on.
And Yes, when the 07.44 - X68 bus did arrive, she did get on first and yep got a good spot by the window.
"I’ve enjoyed the Tour de France but, so far, I think the highlights DVD won’t be a blockbuster because Wiggins and his team have controlled the race. For me a good race sees the yellow jersey flutter from shoulder to shoulder like a butterfly on a summer breeze. But this year Cancellara netted the yellow butterfly in the prologue. A week later Wiggins and Sky team have caught it and look to set to mount it in a glass case for display in a London museum."

"We’ll have to see what the Pyrenees bring. There’s a risk the race for yellow falls flat. Blondin described a stage of the 1972 Tour where the “Aubisque and Tourmalet had become boulevards” and we could see Wiggins taking his Froome-dog for a stroll."

From The INRNG

I certainly agree. Total dominance lead us to finally dislike Armstrong and cheer for the underdog.

Leather note book
Cooler bag
Mavic cap
Mavic service car
Chocolate biscuits
Route 'booklet' (268 pages)
Special edition newspaper
Sick bag for day in the team car

I downloaded the Tour de France app, its quite good although you have to pay 69p for it. It has photos and live updates and if you are going to France to watch a stage it will tell you when the riders and caravan are due to come through certain sections.

I noticed at the bottom there was an Official Game - it cost £1.99 to buy the app.
You load a game, choose a team (1 of the present Pro Tour teams in this years Tour) and it selects 5 riders for you to manage.
I chose Liquidgas and entered my name Peirrer Pan Aux Oeuf.
Then you play the stage - it takes  2-3 minutes to play a stage through and you select your riders to attack, team sprint, sprint, stop pedalling. Other riders will attack and you can decide to go with them or hang back. Chasing everything will decrease your riders energy, if you don't use them strategical, you'll be out of luck and off the back by the middle of Le Tour.

The game presents you with various challenges for each stage e.g.
'create a breakaway group', 'finish in the top 30 for a stage' 'win a stage with the fighter'.

It is good to begin with, sometimes my fingers wouldn't select the right buttons and didn't realise the final sprint was coming up and missed it on the opening stages.

After several stages your riders become tired and their energy bars drop. So they can't keep up so well on the climbs as their manager you'll need to strategically increase their energy using recovery points you've earnt over the stages by completing the challenges.

After a while it all gets rather boring and not very true to life. On one of the mountain stages Mark Cavendish attacked and on another day Vinokorov went after about 25k on a long flat stage.

on my first trial play, I end up winning the Yellow and the Green jerseys. Nibali taking the Mallot Jaune by over 25 minutes from my team leader Ivan Basso who was a further 5 minutes ahead of the next GC rider.

Its fun, you don't need any 3G or Wifi connection to play. But it also isn't very hard or realistic.
I think it is suitable for kids rather than seasoned followers of Le Tour.

Condor & IG Markets Nocturne Bike Race 2012 from Crispin Deverill / Taiko 太鼓 on Vimeo.

Note my new role: Camera Assistant. That's right, move over Scorsese
I once bet on the 2006 World Cup and won £90 from a £2 or maybe £1.50 bet. It was quite a slim chance of getting it right. I bet 0-0 by full time with Zidane to score in extra time for France.

Betting is tiresome and pointless, you'll always loose in the end, with Bradley Wiggins odd on favourite for yellow it would be no use betting on him to win, it as you'd get pennies back the odds are so strong in his favour and betting against him wouldn't be fair or supportive.
So I'm going to take Ben's Mums daily predictions and bet £1 and guess the winner of the stage.

Sky Bet are currently offering a free £10 when you open your account and put £10 into it.
That's £20 to bet with and there are 23 Tour stages.

I'll take it as each stages comes.
1-2 hours ahead of the race starting each day.

Stage 2 - Vise - Tournai, flat stage
Ben's Mum said Cav to win

I wasn't so sure as he only has Bernie Eisel as a leadout and I thought the bigger wider sprinters with full leadout trains would fair better.
Cav odds were even - stake £1, get £1 back.

So, after everything I said I bet against Ben's mum and went with Andrei Greipel who had odds of 5/1 (still a big favourite)

£1 stake gets me a £6 return, £5 profit

Updated result:
Greipel pipped to the line by Cavendish. Ben's Mum picked the winner, I picked 2nd. 
£1 to Sky. Damn.