Okay, forgive me for being so democratic. This is my first time as Race Director, and like most governments it would run better as a dictatorship than a democracy, but I'm a man of the people...
I have gotten a lot of requests from two populi for a field at the all-new Cherry Pie, and I'm just going to leave it to the masses. Assuming we ditch the traditional recumbent race and allot that time slot to an all-new field, which should it be ...
Womens' 4's, Womens' 4's mentored, or Women's 4's + master 3's
Open (Mens') 35+ cat.4
If the majority selects a women's race, I'll decide based on numerous factors (eg which cat's will be presented at Martinez & Apple Pie the preceding day)which of the three formats it will be, but you get the idea.
Believe me, there are at least as many master 4's out there who have complained it's unfair for them to have to race the ubers in an open category as there are womens' 4's with the same complaint.
And remember, since this is the first year of the new Cherry Pie, we are likely to keep the category choices in the coming years IF THE ENROLLMENT SUPPORTS DOING SO. So I'll expect whichever category predominates to be well-populated come race day. If it's not, rest assured we'll go with the alternative next year.
If this democracy thing doesn't work, next year I'm putting on the leather boots and the battle gear and you can call me General Zebraman, 'cause I won't listen to old guys, semi-old guys or gals next year, no matter how damned good-looking you are. (Just as an aside ... Ron, my humble vote goes to the Palo Alto gals.)
Warren, I hope you've got my back on this one, 'cause pure democracy is only a small stumble away from complete chaos or bloody rebellion.