I didn't watch the race so I don't know what happened, but I'm assuming Blondie was decapitated by a front wheel with bladed spokes.
By the way, if you want to know how to tell a full-on Classic from a semi-classic, the answer is that if George Hincapie has ever won it, it's a semi-classic:
Say what you will about Hincapie, but at least he ended his career with a semi under his belt:
(Hincapie totally has a semi under his belt, and if you point out that this photo is not from his 2001 Gent-Wevelgem win then you are a gigantic nerd.)
By the way, Eddy Merckx won Gent-Wevelgem a whopping 47 times, though all of those victories have been subsequently nullified after the revelation that he wore his sunglasses under his helment straps:
(Via a reader.)
Still, it's good to see they finally got him out of that carbonite:
(Or is it crabonite? Whatever. If you quibble over the accuracy of a "Star Wars" reference then you are a gigantic nerd, even more so than the nerd who made it.)
So what else is a harbinger of spring? Oh yeah, books about people who somehow manage to ride bikes and wear clothes at the same time!
I guess it's called "New York Bike Style," but I'd have called it "Tramps, Ramps, and Gramps." See, you got your tramps:
("Take us back to Portland!")
And your gramps:
I only wish they'd asked me to write a forward, because I could have banged that out in six words:
"Fuck it, I'm leasing a Hyundai."
--Wildcat Rock Machine
Yeah, see, you can't just get on a bike and ride it. First, you need an image, and second you need lots and lots of supplies, as in this "bullshit-free guide" to bike commuting, linked to by a commenter recently:
There's certainly some decent advice in here, do you really need to carry a toothbrush with you when you ride?
The only reason I can come up with is that you're getting a lot of bugs in your teeth, in which case I'd skip the toothbrush altogether and just ride in one of these:
But the most springiest springy thing of all is Cat 6 racing, and here's how it goes down. First, someone's Cat 6-dar locks onto you in the park:
Then, when you slow down for some pedestrians, the opponent you don't know you have suddenly announces "Passing!"
"Not caring!," you don't care enough to reply.
Then, when you start up again, you pass your opponent without trying, at which point they give you a look of utter incredulity:
Finally, they put their head down and give it everything they've got to close the gap:
None of which you are aware of until much later, because you've got a camera on your seatpost.
Incidentally, on this very ride I was meeting someone in Central Park (I have a lucrative sideline selling doping agents to local club riders, don't tell the CRCA), and because it was raining I stood under this thing to wait:
As I loitered, a group of fixie riders assembled, and I suddenly realized I was bearing witness to real-life Red Hook Crit riders, in town for the "big race:"
Have you ever seen actual professional amateur fixie-bike racers in the flesh before? I can assure you it's quite exhilarating:
So much so that I took this incredibly "meta" team photo:
(A photo of someone taking a team photo.)
Then I had each one of them autograph my chest with a Sharpie, and I promise you I'll never wash my torso again--at least until the tattoo is applied. It'll look great with this one:
Which, come to think of it, I really should get updated:
Can you believe I didn't go to art school?