Well it was a bit different than I expected. Not too many of the people entered were of the 'non-serious' crowd. When your bike is one of the only ones with a kickstand and definitely the only one bought at CTC you know it's going to be a long day. I wasn't the oldest rider but in the neighbourhood. I got off to a decent start as our kayaker tagged me and I hopped on. After 4km I could tell I was pushing way too hard and backed off a bit, crossed the bridge to the far side and jumped on the pedals to get up the first hill. After another hill or two (about 7km into the ride) I felt something knocking in the pedals again and thought loose crank, again. But this time the pedal arm actually came right off, the nut was gone and my day was over. I found a nice big rock and pounded it back on a couple of times and then just resigned myself to a long walk back.
I rolled/walked back down the hills and most of the other riders slowed to ask if I was ok and then just smiled when I held up my pedal. I got back to the 5km point and was told someone was bringing me a bike if I wanted to finish. Tom Petrie pulled up with a Gary Fisher on the roof of his wagon. He told me I wasn't getting off that easy, we lowered the seat and away I went. Now I know the difference between a quality bike and the one I was cursing. The GF flew and took me with it. I never touched the front changer as I reclimbed the hills back to the point where I had been earlier and pushed on to the halfway-9km point, turned around and headed back. I just wish I had been able to get a real time and that Wendy's run wasn't cut short. Sorry Wendy.
As a side note: I returned the CTC bike for a full refund and am looking at a real bike. The mechanic at Petrie's is the only one who actually asked me what I weigh and told me he would build a bike with some stronger components where he knows a failure is imminent. Now I just have to get the ok for the extra $450 from Sal.