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Discovery Classic rides into San Benito County

First-year event draws 75 cyclists from the region.
Brian Lucas owner of Off the Chain Bike shop in Hollister and one of the Discovery Classic organizers.  (Photo by Leslie David)
Brian Lucas owner of Off the Chain Bike shop in Hollister and one of the Discovery Classic organizers. (Photo by Leslie David)
Event volunteers were able to see the sunrise at Browns Valley Road. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Ron Ross (far left) was the Communication Chief for the ride's Command Post. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Riders hydrated and refueled at the Paicines Ranch stop. Photo by Blaire Strohn.
Nick Madronio (center) said, "We'll be back." Photo by Blaire Strohn.
According to Steph Matson (left) and Theodore Rialson who met the day of the event, "You bond over it (riding)." Photo by Becky Bonner.
Miguel Alvarez (second from right) and his family particited in the Family Fun Ride that went along Southside Road. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Riders gather after completing the race at Veterans' Memorial Hall. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Upon returning from the ride, bikers could check out vendor booths, have lunch, and listen to music while in the Veterans' Memorial Hall. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Hondo Hernandez (left) of Showoff BBQ and David Arias of Big Bro BBQ both donated the food and their time to the event. As Hernandez said on the reason they got involved, "It's the community for us and wanting to give back." Photo by Becky Bonner.

As the sun rose over San Benito County on Oct. 20, bicyclists from inside and outside the county prepared to set off of the first-ever Discovery Classic Bike Ride.

With two rides to choose from, event coordinator Heatherly Takeuchi said 55 riders participated in the Gravel Grinder, and 20 took part in the Family Fun Ride.

Miguel Alvarez of Santa Clara came for the Family Fun Ride with four of his siblings and three of their spouses. The family, which used to do 5K runs, switched to biking as a way to indulge in a passion from their childhoods.

“We are doing all the things we didn’t do as kids,” said Becky Cortez, Alvarez’s sister. “It’s our time.”

Nick Madronio of Prunedale said he enjoyed the ability to participate in a race close to home and enjoy the views of the county roads.

“It is beautiful,” Madronio stated. “I also felt safe. The search and rescue didn’t seem to be far away.”

Ron Ross of Hollister helped lead the command post for the race as communications chief. Located outside of the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Hollister, the search and rescue team worked available if needed.

“We make sure the event runs smoothly and direct resources to ensure rider safety,” Ross said. “For a large part of the ride there is no cell coverage, so using amatuer radio keeps everyone on course and connected.”

That support was felt by cyclists, who also interacted with volunteers along the route running hydration and rest stations.

“Support was great,” said Steph Matson of Corralitos. “[I enjoyed] talking to the ranchers on Browns Valley Road.”

For Hollister resident Theodore Rialson, the challenge of the hills on the Gravel Grinder was his favorite part of the race. Calling the race a “great experience,” Rialson, 16, hopes more young people will join the event next year.

“I would love to have more people my age come out,” Rialson stated.

As participants made it safely back to Veterans’ Memorial Building in Hollister, riders were heard talking about the beautiful views of the county and their hopes to return next year.

“One couple said ‘We are definitely bringing the grandkids next year,’” Takeuchi said.



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bjbonner22's picture
Becky Bonner (bjbonner22)

Becky Bonner is a local teacher at San Benito High School who is passionate about sharing things to do in San Benito County.


Submitted by (Paulus Weemaes) on


Thank you for the article. Me and my friends were one of the 55. Had a great time. And great food afterwards! Thank you to all volunteers. Would love to know if there is a link with more pictures because quite a few of the people helping made some. 

Thank you


Leslie David's picture

Paulus and other readers-

We added more photos in the "slideshow" at the top of the story. You have to click on them to open up the whole series of them. We may run another story after everyone reviews the ride and goes over the feedback, then maybe we can use some of the photos we did not have time to run for this story. 

Leslie David

Discovery Bike Ride Volunteer and BenitoLink Executive Director 


Thank you Chamber of Commerce for spearheading this event and all the special events that you so graciously bring us throughout the year. 

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