some people just run the course(s) and don't race to win. the reason is that the race happens mid-afternoon in city traffic. the winner usually circumvents a few laws (runnign red lights, wrong ways down one way streets, etc). people have gotten tickts, or even crashed (nothing really major ever, thank god).
so a lot of people just run the course, knowing they're probably not going to place, but wanting to at least do better than average (top 12-15 or so). in terms of the race ... the "big names" have traditionally been:
bill babbitt (puch)
dave brzezicki (minarelli)
xbrandonx (vespa/puch) -- from janus
tom (tomos) -- from blue shirt holiday
other potential contenders this time around (and previously) are:
getting in the top 5 is a big deal. the race is a bit stacked against the out-of-towners, but we usually try to show people around the route before the race. and some out-of-towners have placed before (tom has taken third twice).
dave brzezicki has won the last two times in a row, upholding the winning team minarelli tradition. he's hoping for a three-peat.
there will also be a drag race later for bikes that have speed kits. that's just on a straightaway .... so any moped w/ more than 50cc has a good chance.