Can you believe this is Orange County?
I was riding strongly, passing people on the climbs (I have a compact road crank, 50/34 and a mtb cassette that is 12-32) and getting passed on the descents. Cross-levers made the technical downhills much easier; which I learned the day before when Jack and I rode El Prieto in the San Gabriels. You can lean way back and still have access to the brakes. About 15 miles in I guess I was leaning too far back and pinch-flatted on a technical downhill. Probably for the best as it made me take it a little slower. Jack caught up while I was attending the flat and we rode together long enough to run into the guy from Planet Ultra who then told all his buddies about us at the HooDoo 500 earlier this year. With me on Cross and Jack on fixed the 'look at us!' factor was high.
The terrain was varied with fire roads, double-track, some fast, packed sections, technical single-track with stream crossings and steep, long climbs. I even passed some jumps that took all of my discipline to not go off of. Finished in about 5 hours, in time to hang out with Megan and Sufiya who had volunteered. They even had veggie burgers at the BBQ! I heard the fat, leather-wearing guy running the grill say, 'We should of known all these healthy cyclists would want veggie burgers.' Also, during the raffle the woman running it (also from Cook's Corner) kept making reference to cyclists shaving their legs. How many mountain bikers do you think worry about healthy food and shave their legs? I don't think very many.
My only complaint (even the t-shirt is dope!) about the ride was the presence of god. At least two of the organizers are into god and insisted on talking about it and even had the audacity to have a prayer before the ride. They are not working directly for Project Rwanda, but I still think it reflects poorly on the project to have Christianity involved. The last thing Africa needs is more Christianity. Like the earlier statement about the bike as a freedom tool that is probably true for the whole world.