Scanning the crowd, I saw one guy who appeared to be over the age of 30 and so I befriended "Bill". A nice guy who proved to be very helpful. He told me the speeds were, "fast hills or fast flat and that's it". What to do, what to do????? Bill told me when the group got to Hancock, the fast hills group would turn right and the others would stay straight. We rolled out, picking up others along the way and I have no idea how many were eventually in the group other than rounding turns, I needed glasses to make out the front of this enormous peloton. Cars in the rear just stacked up and made no attempt to pass us. We owned the road.
One way to measure the health of an area for cycling is the quantity of bike shops (lots and lots around here) and the quantity of bannana peels on the road (lots and lots of those too) so this area is the real deal.