AND since I've been waiting to BLOG about this for about two months I will draw it out in sections.
My first entry is the pre-race.
I spent all day Saturday adjusting my gears and brakes. With the expectation of at least a little precipitation (hasn't rained in a month but of course it did on race day) I was nervous about my Power Grip "cleat" system. I've always liked them but it has proven somewhat unreliable in the wet. I finally decided not to switch it out with another system and that proved a very good decision for a variety of reasons.
I did switch to a racing saddle from my usual gel-filled commuting one. I dropped the seat height and changed the handlebar angle to that things were altogether more aggressive.
Over 2000 racers. I thought there was a cap at 1500.
Most people were very snobby pre-race. They were acting like Lance, and I was just "puhleeeeezzze."
A couple more shots ...
My friend did very well. He's in the black, below. He hasn't ridden a bike in 20 years but over the winter I got him hyped about the Tour Divide and he's been training like a crazy man. He'll be in it this year.
And finally, me at the starting chute. Bring on the pain!