Well into its second decade the annual Fall Social at former President Phil Bokovoy’s Berkeley digs is our second longest Club tradition/ride/event. The only regular club event that is older in origin is the Club Picnic although it has changed venue multiple times whereas the Fall Social has always been at Phil’s. Long gone are the Guerneville Weekend, the Lake Tahoe Spectacular, and many others. This year the Fall Social is taking place earlier, on Sunday, October 1, rather than at the end of October. This means we will have more daylight, less likelihood of inclement riding weather, and more likelihood of being able to hang out al fresco for a relaxing afternoon feast.
The Fall Social is always a potluck afternoon lunch with at least one ride, sometimes two or three. The idea was to close the main riding season—yeah, like we have “seasons” in Northern California!—with an all-club get-together for sharing a ride, delicious food, and of course lots of idle conversation.
It’s a welcome place for members as well as “fellow travelers”, old timers and new timers alike. If you’re a club regular, you’ll see your familiar clubmates; if you’re a club irregular, here’s your chance to meet some other members that you don’t meet on the occasional club ride you do; if you’re a newcomer, it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the club and find out whether you like hanging out with a bunch of LGBT cycling nerds.
Besides opening up his house and his beautiful backyard, Phil’s tour de force contribution is his barbecued butterflied turkey. This ain’t no Thanksgiving bird, folks. It’s split in half and cooked on his Weber and always comes out juicy, flavorful, and delicious. The quality of the rest of the meal depends upon you: everyone contributes something whether it be your latest attempt at Julia Child or a big bag of chips from Costco. If you show up empty-handed, be prepared to be asked to turn right around and head to the nearest market to pick up something to share. This is strictly “pay to play”—after all, the club is what YOU make of it!
And what about the rides? Back in the day there were as many as three separate rides, usually a longer, harder route; a shorter route; and a dirt ride. But since mountain biking has become a covert activity within the club, it’s been just two road rides, with the easy route being a 24-mile flattish roll out to the Rosie the Riveter Memorial along the Bay Trail and back. The traditional longer route was over the Three Bears and back along Wildcat. But this year the closure of Alhambra Valley Road due to winter storm damage has meant that we will be trying a mysterious one-off route, which will be unveiled imminently! Alhambra Valley Road is estimated to be open in October but that’s too late for this year’s early Fall Social. No matter which route you decide to take, everyone ends up back at the manor for a fine meal. And if that isn’t enough, Phil even allows you to shower and freshen up, change into something more fashionable, and reapply that make-up and moisturizer before you make your entrance onto the patio. (Just bring your own towel and cosmetics bag!)
Be sure to watch the Different Spokes Ride Calendar for more details and if you plan to attend, please RSVP to Phil.