Arggggh. This was a RIDE, not even a RACE.
Why would I pay to ride? I don't need yet another cheesy shirt but I equate the $25-$35 registration fee as insurance in case I need a SAG wagon and free food at the rest stops. Instead I rode 35 miles of hills solo today and there is a ride leaving my house tomorrow that will attack a bunch of more hills. These folks will probably push me a little more that I would push myself so all will be good in the hood
On the other hand, kudos to you organizers of the Bloomin' Metric. I'm sure your ride is getting more popular than you even expected. The bad news is that the Gran Fondo NY 2012 has been scheduled for May 20, 2012 (same day as the Bloomin' typically is) instead of Mother's Day. I'm planning on crushing that Fondo next year. It is one of those revenge type of things so I really don't have a choice.