Summer of 2003. Received phone call from Blandy and given direction to Amor’s house and last minute cycling tips. With ambivalence, I loaded my Trek 1000 and drove to Mission Bend. Like a kid on his first day of school, I looked to any familiar faces. And there was NONE! Fortunately Joey Se arrived late (as usual), who I introduced to Blandy a couple of weeks earlier. There were a handful of riders ( Egay, Danny, Ric, Joel, Noel and Bonnie) busy preparing their gears, some were unloading Pinoy gastronomy prepared the night earlier, a few warming their chariots. Fear prevailed upon me as I expect the worst, a newbie, entry level bike, one rookie acquaintance and a 20 or so mile ride. My heart was pounding in excitement as Coach Amor started the countdown to my doomsday.
From out of my darkness, an angel emerged! Alleluia! It was Jorge Joaquin the senior statesman. Without hesitation, he extended his hand and tools and started adjusting my bike to my specs. I guessed he realized the uneasiness and my seeming struggle. Like a foot soldier, I answered to the best of my limited cycling knowledge his litany of questions. That day he was my drill sergeant, my mentor.
First three weeks of purgatory ride transitioned to the gates of heaven. This was the Fulshear ride, a 40 mile ride from Mission Bend. As I “progressed” with my skills, the elder statesman remained to be. Jorge has a personal mission, he made sure that I and my co-newbies transform to a better and safer rider. He pointed out the peculiarities of our sport. Amazing I said.
Believe it or not, Jorge introduced me to Facebook and walked me to it the same way he unselfishly guided me, Art, Joey and a few others to cycling. He was my brother, my guru in life and still and will be my Facebook friend in the after life.
The Tour de Jorge is a tribute to the man that epitomizes the Siklista ideal of camaraderie and community. A small token that will surely bring his infectious chuckle.
Born: Nov. 2, 1945
Died: March 16, 2009
~ Written by Joey Coz