Ooh, let me tell you, it was ugly, even in the fat-tire division. I had to start pretending that "on your left" was a cheer that spectators used rather than the call of frequent passers. Then my legs were like rubberbands for the run - and then after it was all over, I had to lift the heavy thing into the car!
I got a Fuji Roubaix, and my LBS guy said that eggbeaters would be the best pedals for a beginner, with having four sides. Having watched a friend with speedplays clip in and out (and fall just as much as I did), I'm glad I got the eggbeaters. They aren't as difficult as I had thought they would be, but I still love to whine about the adjustment to clipless. I was lurking on this board earlier and got some great advice about clipping in and out.