Hello reader! Your Marin Cyclist secretary and social media coordinator here.
I’ve been with the Marin Cyclists for 12 years—pretty much from the time I arrived in Marin from Washington, D.C. I can honestly say that virtually every friend I have out here in California is a cyclist—and I met all of them as a Marin Century volunteer.
How did my “career” with the Marin Century begin? Well, in a word, love. I quickly learned that my significant other was a dedicated Marin Century volunteer. If I wanted to spend time with him, I’d have to roll up my sleeves and pitch in. So I did.
The next thing I learned: the folks who put together the event have a pretty impressive skill set. Making maps, securing permits, signing up CHP assistance, dealing with venue and caterer contracts, creating Google spreadsheets that reflect exactly how many jars of peanut butter will be needed, responding to hundreds of participant queries and requests. The list goes on. As our ride director can tell you, it’s like a military operation. Lots of moving parts requiring lots of hands and a can-do attitude.
One the biggest tasks every year is contacting and organizing our many veteran volunteers for the week of the event—and identifying new ones and bringing them into our Marin Century family. I venture to say that our volunteer coordinator has perhaps one of the more nail-biter jobs keeping track of all these folks and where they are supposed to be to put on our shindig. Fortunately, we've got a spreadsheet for that.
Over the years, as the number of needed volunteers has grown, a dozen or more Marin Cyclist club members who serve as chairs for one or more aspects of the ride have trained crackerjack volunteer crews. But folks move away, decide to ride the ride rather than work it, or find themselves unable to help out. Filling their shoes is hard—and yet I know from personal experience that the folks who step up to the plate invariably find it a fun and worthwhile endeavor.
Our volunteers make new friends and enjoy the gratitude of thousands of riders who are on their own personal quests to conquer a tough course or just make it to the finish before dark. I can’t tell you how many times a rider has told me how a volunteer made their day by helping them with a mechanical, a tummy ache, a lost water bottle, or some other setback.
As my spouse likes to say, the Marin Century is like a party for 3,000 of your closest friends. Most of those folks are having the time of their life, and their joy is infectious. The ones who aren’t? They are the ones who will remember you—the kind person who helped them through a tough spot.
Did I mention the FREE workers’ ride? That’s the week after the Marin Century. It’s the best day of the year for a lot of folks I know. Me included. There are other perks, too.
Want to help out? Check out our Opportunity Listings page.