We got up mostly on time, but missed the start by about 5 minutes, which was fine as we were on a quiet road aiming south of Okotoks to start, with a gentle climb. Clear and just the right temperature for armwarmers off the start. I climbed that at a moderate pace, then could see down from the hill the first groups. Spent the next half hour TT'ing on to the front 3. Turns out they weren't ridng fast, they just left early. We rode to Turner Valley together, where they stopped for a washroom break and pretty full breakfast. I stood at the entrance to the aid stop waiting for a group to come by as solo is a bit pointless on a ride like this, I'm not that determined to go fast to go alone and be antisocial, I just want to balance between Mongolia training and socializing with others that are out for this good cause. Hitched on to a group of 5 that stayed together until "lunch" stop at like 9:15 at the bottom of the Leighton arts center climb. The volunteers pointed us only that way, not giving an option up the climb. I went down, got a bottle, made some chit chat, and was confused, as I thought up the climb was the route. It was, and later people were going straight, but they wanted us to go to lunch when we came through there (even though it wasn't ready yet - funny). I went back up to the intersection and got to the guys at the new front on the climb. 3 of us grouped up and rode in the rest of the way together. We all had stories from people we each knew who knew each other, so nice to string it together. Made it through Glenmore park paths, man there's going to be a lot of congestion and unhappy people from 1,700 riders being jammed through there. Three of us finished together - then Cindy was only about 10 minutes back (she didn't stop at all). Very impressive. She has fun as she knows she can draft, or work up to a group alone instead of having to stay in a group, as she knows she has the energy to not fade in that distance.
Great event, great weather! Not so sure what happened with last year's venue (Spruce Meadows), but running people through the city on the way out, Glenmore park on the way back seemed suboptimal.