Saturday, October 31, 2009

3rd Giro 'd Barkada in Stockton hosted by Luzvimin Racing Team

What an adventure that was! One hundred kilometers of pancake flat back roads, 3rd Giro ‘d Barkada hosted by the cast Luzvimin Racing Team of Stockton CA. The cast of ADOBO Velo were Deo Asuncion, El Lardizabal, Rosalie Kneebone, Francis Ignacio, Jonas Mas, and myself. We were surprised when Francis showed up and was confirmed that he participated in the previous day’s Bass Lake Double Century from Fresno. Early that Sunday morning, Mr. Picachu still looked fresh and the first one from us to be ready for the festivities. Here’s a pic of the ADOBO Velo contingent before the start.

Frank Gatdula and the staff of GdB got us started with excitement with Pinoy Pride Maui Reynante policing us off Micke Grove Park. My reality set in about NorCal’s Fil-Am clubs that morning and amazed by the numbers once they are all gathered. Off to the start, we were escorted and led by their assigned riders. El unfortunately had a flat in the first mile of the ride but was immediately helped by the support and was able to catch up with the group with no problem.

The picture above shows the large number of participants. The pace was at a constant 20mph throughout the ride except for the last 20 miles after the 2nd SAG stop for the first group. The last few miles to the 2nd SAG stop quickly picked up even if the side wind was breaking the peloton into pieces.
Overall, besides the pic above, it was a talking pace and everyone was having fun. Smiles were everywhere befriending was a free for all. There were rolling SAGs and photographers as you have probably seen by the sheer numbers of photos posted on-line. Here’s a cool pic of Rosalie.
When the first group went, Rosalie and El also went and mentioned that it was a fast paced. Here’s El’s post: Those guys were pushing to 33-34mph... With just 7 of us in the front but in one corner we made a right turn & I happened to be in the back & they started jumping & I got dropped... he heeh can't make it, was a head wind... kasalanan ‘yan ni Rozel at Ron, walang patawad! Anyway, I enjoyed the ride. We'll do it again next year.

Deo and Jonas were ready to go with this group but they waited for Francis and me as we were the last ones from the only restroom of the gas station SAG stop. We rolled with the next group and it was at a constant 21 mph.

When we returned to the park, tons of delicious Pinoy food and dessert were ready to be devoured. The place was set up already and thank to the wives, the staff and volunteers for their work. Time of salu-salo was not wasted by the calorie-burnt riders, giveaways raffled off afterwards.
We also had the chance to officially announce our Tour de Francis in Castaic. Frank even saved Vellum water bottles for us. Everything seemed to be seamless throughout the day. It was a great weekend overall! Here’s what I was able to post at Luzvimin’s Yahoo Group:

Frank and all the cast who made the event fun, organized, and like a fiesta! When I heard that it was 97 registrants total, my first thought was how can Tour de Francis this coming December beat that. But it was quickly forgotten with all the smiling faces and people that's there to be befriended. From registration time to the post meal, time flew pretty fast and this meant we were having too much fun. I can see why the peloton was controlled and timed to finish for a great party. I was impressed when El had a flat right after the start and that there's a replacement wheel ready for him. Deo and I dropped off to escort him back after the repair, but we were told by the SAG support to continue on with the ride and not to worry about it. El will make it back to the group. Rest assured he was! Even if the ride was strictly controlled, you can hear almost all of the participants chatting around; I guess part of that is making new friends. It was a fun ride anyway and not a competitive race. My itchy legs was wanting some fast pace riding later that morning but it didn't matter, we were all enjoying the moment. Too many Pinoys taking the whole lane was just amazing! Great route! I wish we have something like that in Los Angeles! Its just what I need. Great rolling SAGS and stops. Maybe the complaint you had was just because the rider came in to the SAG stops very late and had nothing left for him. Maybe he didn't know what to expect or maybe was just didn't had breakfast. Well, hopefully he can get stronger and faster next time where he can enjoy peloton bennies to enjoy some food and drinks. But maybe I'm wrong and just don't know all the facts.Back at the park, it was just great food, a lot, but just enough to please everyone! The giveaways and donations hit the spot. It was hard to leave even if we had about 350 miles to tackle to get home. It was fun trekking back south; it was fun driving up north too! It seemed like a weekend escapade with friends.Anyway, thank you for the great dinner that Saturday night! Thank you to Maui, Sally, and to you for the wonderful food and entertaining stories. We knew you all were busy preparing for the event that night but you all were still very welcoming and so hospitable to us. Thanks!Hopefully we can see you all, the cast of Luzvimin and all other cycling clubs of NorCal this December. Now it’s time for us to create the fun and hope we can beat 97 registrants. Let's target 100 riders!

And here’s Mang El’s feedback:

To Frank & wife Sally, Maui, Rozel, Ron, George & the whole Luzvimin racing team & also to the rest of people who help the ride to be a successful one. Your Giro de Barkada "09 was one of the best organized ride I've been for the past few years.
1. No riders got dropped far enough due to the constant pace that was set by the leaders for the first two sags stop. The pace was set to 18-21mph I believed.
2. Good sag support... got spare wheels from the rolling SAG when I got my flat tire (saved my time).
3. The sag stops were nice & big enough to accommodate the group.
4. Enough food for the riders on sag stops even you didn't expect that many riders to join the ride.
5. The last 20 miles was where the fun started for the fast riders (front group), going 23-25mph against the wind & top speed to 33-34mph with the tail wind.
6. Give-away gifts, water bottles, inner tubes & the donated mountain bike as the main price.
7. The lunch....... super good for the hungry stomach and lastly the friendship that you all showed to us.
Thanks a million Frank for the job well done & extend this to your crew. For sure I'll try to be with you guys next year, hopefully you'll make it on Sunday again. See you on Tour de Francis?

To close, this ride was also organized to collect donations for those affected by Typhoon Ondoy.

Here’s Frank’s posts: I am happy to inform you that the relief goods we received at the Giro d' Barkada was sent to the Philippines handled by the Filipino-American Catholic Charities of Stockton who have made arrangements with Star Cargo. Bike related donations will be personally ship to Cebu Recycle Bicycle Club. In behalf of LUZVIMIN RACING and from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for all your generosity. Frank Gatdula.

And here’s his reply to our posts: Thanks for the nice and kind words. Yes we tried our best to make everyone happy. We will be discussing about your ride this coming October 24 and try to send a contingent to represent LUZVIMIN. Rest assured we will be flying our colors once again since we missed last year's. Since it's all climb, we will be sending our best climbers only, hahahaha! Rozel, Rick, Rannie, Ron, Winston, Mike M., Maui, Jonas, Justin, Romeo, Roberto Sto. Domingo, Tom Alves, Jim Elam, Billy Huyn, Jeff Lancero... And maybe we can import Leian once again. Leian sound off ka diyan! Wala ka bang seminar dito sa California next month? The Adobo Velo ride is a true epic ride guys, it's 100 miles wth 75% climb and about 15,000 ft of climbing. Frank Gatdula. Let’s all go on the next GdB ride!

And for the departing pic:
Thanks to Jeremiah Nueve: and
Mike Mercado: for a job well done on the photography department!

Arden Arindaeng