June 12th, 2011 (Pennisula)
2011 Basque Bikers (left to right above): Erik Kvarna, Dominique Berterretche (Sag Crew), Joe Choperena, Jean-Marc Sorhondo, Leon Sorhondo, Matthew Etchepare, Michael Zamattia, Joe Goyhenetche, Xabi Berrueta (Sag Crew), Gerald Hirigoyen, Jon Oliden, Yvette Fantham (Sag Crew), Mayie Sampior, Dean Fantham, Dan Sampior, Michel Tristant, Angel Legarrea, Joan Legarrea, Jeanine Sallaberry, and Nicole Cabalette.
Another terrific ride was had by all given that we had to cancel the week earlier due to torrential rains. The weather gods were with us this time as it was just cool enough to start and didn't get hot until we finished our ride back at Chez Yvette and Dean's place in Burlingame about 12:30PM.
As you all know we start with two groups, one was the challenge ride (aka: hill riders) and the other was the joy-ride (aka: fun riders).
We all started a bit late at about 8:30AM from Burlingame (Trousdale / Castenada) along California Rd. south to Crystal Springs Road and headed west to Canada Road and from there continued south to Woodside (a round trip here took the joy-riders 37 total miles). The Challenge riders continued a bit further and then commenced a 4.4 mile climb up Kings Mountain Road to Skyline Road and then returned (the round trip here took the hill riders a total of 47 miles) back home.
The leaders of each group (Dean for hill-riders and Joe Goyhenetche for the joy-riders) kept the pace challenging and at the same time kept everyone close to each other thus keeping the distances in each group relatively close and not too tiring. Great job to the both of you.
The following riders were represented in Sundays ride:
The joy-riders were (alphabetically in order): Joe Goyhenetche, Joan Legarrea, Jon Oliden, Jeanine Sallaberry, Dan Sampior, Mayie Sampior, Jean-Marc Sorhondo, Michel Tristant, and Michael Zamattia.
The hill-riders were (alphabetically in order): Nicole Cabalette, Joe Choperena, Dean Fantham, Gerald Hirigoyen, Erik Kvarna, Angel Legarrea, Leon Sorhondo.
Matthew Etchepare started with the hill riders but upon getting to Woodside found that he wouldn't be able to take the extra hour up the hill and had other commitments to attend to and returned by himself to the starting point. Sorry he missed out on the award ceremonies and great luncheon.
Needless to say, the sag crew has to be mentioned because without them all of this would be potentially hazardous. They provide equipment for anything that happens to the bikes, they provide food and drinks, they provide direction and keep everyone from getting lost and they provide a ride for anyone that may need it due to exhaustion, cramps etc. All the while they also keep encouraging the riders to keep up the good work. They also take pictures that will be remembered in future years. They make the ride look so easy.
This sag crew comprised of one individual in each of three vehicles: Xabie Berrueta, Dominique Berterretche, and Yvette Fantham-Gorostiague.
As you can see from the list above, we had one woman, Nicole Cabalette, in the hill-riders group. She did an outstanding job going up the hill (Yvette, you would be proud that she took your place) as she was right in the middle of the pack. Yvette sacrificed herself and rode the sag as we lost 4 other sag personnel that couldn't make this date. Nicole also got a flat tire toward the last mile of the road and kept on riding until she got back without fixing the flat. That's determination. She did say that she had alligator tires that are supposed to be indestructible (where have I heard that before). Dean, of course, could ride up, down, and back up if he wanted while we were still going up. Erik Kvarna (our 17 year old youth) and Joe Choperena were the front riders up the hill. The rest of the crowd was actually pretty close to each other and we didn't wait very long before heading back down. Then to our surprise, we saw Angel Legarrea (65 years and previous tenant of Obrero Hotel) whom we thought might be waiting for us came up riding his mountain bike with some of the knobbiest tires I've seen also come up the hill with a giant smile on his face and some sweat as well. This of course generated the "motivational award" that he later received at the luncheon.
I was not with the joy-riders so I don't know what special notices to remark on but that Joe and Jon were apparently in front keeping the group together. So far all I've heard was Jean Marc's ego got hurt when Joan (Angel's wife) asked him if I was his older brother. Everyone seemed joyous, however, when they arrived, at just about the same time as all of the others.
We then proceeded to have lunch and found that Jean Gorostiague was barbecuing ribs and chicken for us. He told us that he had seen our picture at the BCC membership election/meeting that morning as most of us were wearing the BCC bike jerseys. A note on that, many people on the ride commented on the jerseys and thought they were beautiful and amazing how many told us that they had eaten there and love it.
In addition to the barbecue, Gerald Hirigoyen (Chef/Owner of Piperade and Bocadillo's) had also brought along some "melts in you mouth" braised rabbit (with mushroom etc) as well as porrusalda black cod (how wonderful!). Others brought in desserts, chili, bread, wine, beer, and salads. We then gave out our traditional "Xabie Award" presented by non other then Xabie himself and the receiver of this ride's award went to Joe Goyhenetche. This is an award that only members at the ride know why it was given and only if Joe wishes to tell you about it can you find out why he was so deserving of it. There is a select committee (not known who they are) that pick the award winner (for any apparent reason). Only Xabie will tell you how the award got started in the first place.
Nadine Goyhenetche has made a beautiful award with Xabie's picture in it and it is accompanied by a letter award made up by Marielle Sorhondo.
As mentioned earlier, Angel Legarrea was the motivational award winner and he got a yellow Euskatel water bottle.
The next ride was decided during the luncheon to be held in San Francisco and it will be on one of the Saturdays' in October. You will all have time to train and we will work on another couple of routes for that ride as well. This will be another treat, you won't want to miss that ride. We are always seeing new riders and they seem to have a great time as they tell me, "I'll be back".
A special thanks are also in order for Yvette and Dean Fantham as well as for Philippe Acheritogaray who was unable to make the ride as he had obligations to the BCC for the election/general meeting on Sunday. Yvette and Dean not only allowed us the use of their home for this event but they also spent hours riding the different routes that made this all look easy. Without people who volunteer their sites these rides would not be the kind of pleasant experiences that we have become accustomed and treated to enjoy. They also worked with Philippe who came up with the idea of the BCC bike jersey for us and worked on design, color etc as well as ordering and getting us great prices for the jerseys. Also a thank you to Breala (Yvette & Dean's daughter) for guiding us to their home as she waved a flag to those of us coming up the street and welcomed us and again waved us out at the start of the ride.