Etxeondo and my ride in Basque Country

1 September 2016

In my last post I wrote about how to prepare for a big ride. My brief research into the subject led to 6 tips to get your mental situation in the right state for a physical challenge like the one I had coming. I followed up on 6 of the 7 tips. I rode the distance (a challenging 138 k’s a week before my trip), I didn’t panic train, I laid out all my gear on my hotel room floor the night before the ride, and even tried it all on just in case. I stuck to my own pace while I was riding, and lastly focussed on the road in front of me, not the alarming amount of kilometres I still had to go. And all this time I remembered that it was just a bike ride, not a make or break situation.

Six out of seven, not bad. But it was the one tip that I skipped that got me down. Or rather, that took me off my bike. Tip number 1: stick to what you know.

Here’s how it (I) went down.

Etxeondo -11 CIMAS

Etxeondo -11 CIMAS

I got given an amazing bike for the day. A super light perfectly sized Giant road bike with electronic shifters and disc brakes. It felt smooth and fast and I could have ridden it all day long, if only I had brought my own saddle. After about 40k into the ride, before the first food stop, my ass was aflame. So even though my mental condition was in perfect state, my saddle pain stopped me from riding the full 200 kilometres.

It was an awesome experience nonetheless. Here’s my report of the trip to Basque Country and the extraordinary Etxeondo family as featured on www.soigneur.nl.

Etxeondo -11 CIMAS

Etxeondo -11 CIMAS


It’s a hot and sticky Friday afternoon in Villabona, where we meet at Etxeondo’s headquarters. Pedro Delgado enters the room all smiles and hugs, and I realise this is not a press junket but a family affair. An Etxeondo family affair.

To kick off the company’s 40th anniversary celebrations, we take a tour of the company’s premises. As we’re led through the different spaces that make up Etxeondo’s head office and main production area, we meet the members of the extended family. Starting at the beginning of the production process, there’s Amparo, sitting behind her sewing machine. She’s a little nervous and doesn’t speak a word of English but clearly enjoys the attention her work is getting. Next to her stands Amaia, daughter of the company’s founder Paco Rodrigo and head of design at Etxeondo. She says she gets her inspiration for new designs from fashion shows, design magazines, and vintage cycling apparel. In this room, her ideas are made into the first set of samples. I try to take her picture while she’s talking, but she’s so animated that it’s impossible to get a good shot. Watching Amaia as she tells us about her work, I become aware of the passion the people at Exteondo have for their products. . .

. . .Continue reading on Soigneur’s website.


Here’s a video of our super scenic ride through the hills of Basque:

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