One would think that this ride is small, given that it isn’t organized nor is there a planned start time. There isn’t even a designated route. However, it’s really quite the opposite. Not hundreds, but thousands of people show up for the event and it seems as if every rider in Marin is out on the trail. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a trail so full of bikes before. More amazing than the amount of riders that show up, is the variety of the riders. At any given time you might see a serious road racer that’s flying up a hill, or you might see a 70-year-old on a single speed that’s going even faster. On your left could be a soccer mom that only rides three times a year, and on your right could be a 10-year-old kid. Some people are on 29 inch wheels, while others are on cyclecross bikes. There was even a guy dressed in a turkey costume!
My favorite aspect of the ride is the comradeship that all the riders and volunteers share. No one dares to poach on this ride, and sheriffs help pass out food and water to the riders. There are also volunteers that stand at the top of the hills to cheer people on and pass out food. Since there are so many people that come out, there is almost a 100% chance that you will run into some one that you know. For the most part, everybody gets along.
For me, the Turkey Day ride was more then I had hoped. I rode for half the day with Tyler Brandt, a cyclist I’ve known for years. After riding through Fairfax, we rode all the way to the top of Mt. Tam, then down to my house in Mill Valley where Thanksgiving dinner awaited me.