I had the very same discussion about cleats along the way - a lot of people who are not used to riding them wobbling around, especially near the start.
The other blight is mobile 'phones. We saw one very bad crash caused by a rider answering a phone when coming down off the beacon, just after the left hander onto the final descent to the main road. Rider 1 answers 'phone, yanks front brake, goes down taking rider 2 with her. It looked very messy, probably not helped by the freezing rain that had decided to greet us.
I'm not against "novice" riders enjoying the day out. I think it's great for cycling but most of the problems are caused by selfish attitudes
not to mention the riders that treat it like Tour De France - sprinting and cutting in very closely to otherwise very novice riders. especially on the decents.
those people need to set off earlier in my opinion - to avoid all the novice late comers (or at least the majority of them).
all in all, to have 31,000+ people riding, and only have a handful of accidents that required immediate medical assistance is quite a miracle!
i'm up for doing it again but with a more appropriate bike setup - although i think i'll resist the urge to don the skin-tight outfits. i still cant get my head round the people that wear these with their gut suspended above the top tube.....
>Specialized FSR Elite '99: viewtopic.php?t=173952&highlight=
>Diamondback Apex build: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=320993
>FSR frame bearing upgrade project: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=288979
"Happy is my last goal"