On Saturday, the roads of west Marin and southern Sonoma counties were rife with those two-wheel vermin known as cyclists. Nearly 2500 of them. No, Critical Mass didn't make a drunken wrong turn on Friday night. This was an impressive gathering of the tribes known as the Marin Century.
Organized by the Marin Cyclists Road Club, the Marin Century is actually six different marked courses, including 50k, Metric Century, Mt. Tam Century, Marin Century, 200k Double Century, Mt. Tam Double Century options.
Always popular in the Bay Area, the profile for this year's event was even higher due to promotional commercials for it that appeared on Versus during its coverage of the Tour de France. In fact, by Wednesday, the Marin had already reached its rider limit of 2500 cyclists and online registration was closed. But Event Director Michael Sexton, showing his dedication to grass roots cycling rather than the almighty dollar, wisely held back some of the 2500 rider slots for walk-up same-day registration. Brilliant idea. More event organizers need to realize that they should never, ever, under any circumstances turn away somebody who has made the effort to physically show up to their event. Despite warnings to the contrary on the event website, nobody who wanted to ride was turned away from Saturday's fun because of event size restrictions.