A New Year, A New Year!!!
Of course the flipping of a calander page does not change the world we live in, but it is progress and movement towards better times.
With that flipping of the page comes new opportunities and I want to take this time to look ahead at some of them.
Calendar of Events:
MBAA- Mountain  Bike Association of Arizona
This is the organization that puts on the local, or Arizona wide, mountain bike races.  The first race was this past weekend and you saw in Gord’s post 4 or your teammates went.
My impression was that it felt as safe as going to Target. I was impressed with the event and how people conducted themselves. Mask usage was about 100%, the amount of people felt safe, and there were enough racers that there was a true event. I never felt, in any way, that I was in a conjested space, or that people were being careless with masks. The event of course was outside in the desert and there was ample space to sread out.
With that information I feel safe encouraging kids to go and race, and Damiano will continue to attend, if subsequent races feel as safe.
This has been discussed with Sean, who raced along with his wife, and Gord, and we have agreed that we feel they have created a safe environment for us to enjoy.
The next two races are as follows:  All information can be found at www.mbaa.net 
January 23rd and 24th– MBAA Mountain Bike Race #2 in Phoenix at Estrella Park
February 6th and 7th — MBAA Mountain Bike Race #3  in Phoenix at White Tanks
These can be done in one day. You can drive up race and come home in the same day.
 Intermediate and Expert race on Saturday and Beginners on Sunday 
Categories are self selected and we can help 
Races cost $25– Grupo will reimburse you if you attend and race the event. We ask that you register yourself. 
The full spectrum of riders were at the last event, from wicked fast kids, to kids who had to walk sections. I feel confident that there is a category for everyone to enjoy competing in. Please feel free and encouraged to ask if you have questions.
If racing is not what motivates you and you want a different option then I have proposed a campout over the weekend of February 13th and 14th. 
This is the weekend that was to be the 24 Hour race and Valley of the Sun. Both of those events had to be canceled for their own reasons, but that gives us a chance to go camping.
I have proposed a Gravel Road Trip to the Chiricahua Mountains. This will be a two night adventure. We can help transport bikes, but unfortunately not people. The Chiricahua Mountains are South East of Wilcox. There is primitive camping on Pinery Canyon Road that is very adequate for our size of group. There is ample camping for families to enjoy the nature, however no facilities.
The riding is best for gravel bikes, however if you want to come out with your Mountain bike, you are welcome. There is no single track, just dirt roads up and over the mountains. The routes are very tough, to  be honest and clear.
We would follow the same protocalls that we did for the Winter Break Bike Tour. All rides would need to show a negative covid tests that’s within three days of us leaving. You will then be asked to quarentine post test to ensure results. Then at camp we would continue to follow best practices.
We would need to have family vehicular support, as we are still not using the vans.
Families there is a ton of space to camp in the primitive area, or you can camp down the street at the structured area at the National Park. There is also excellent hiking at the park, if you want to drop your kid off and enjoy the weekend for yourself or with your family.
 
After the Camp Out weekend: More www.Mbaa.net racing 
March 6th– MBAA Mountain Bike Race #4– Lake Havasu
All races are on Saturday
The Race/ Event for those not sure about racing:  https://thecactuscup.com/
March 12th- 14th– Cactus Cup Mountain Bike Stage Race
                                McDowell Mountain Park– Fountain Hills, Arizona
This event has been taking place for a few years now, and we have participated in the past. It is a very unique race in that there are three events over three days that ultimately make up your time. We have really enjoyed it in the past as it gives us a chance to camp together over two nights in the beautiful park and enjoy some great racing. This would be a great first event/ race experience for many of you. So if you are not sure about the MBAA events, then I encourage you to put this on your calander as a goal, as long as things conitue to improve and the situation is safe.
We would really like to encourage everyone to do this event and to have fun testing themselves.
This is the team event that we would like to have well attended.
Again we would follow the same protocalls of having everyone take a test and then quarentine.
The team will take care of camping and food.
I don’t want to look too much farther ahead than that, as we might be in a different world come late March. However this gives us a course of action. It also gives us races to shoot for, and a fun camp out for those that don’t want to race. So trying to meet everyone’s desires.
I will be traveling to all the MBAA races listed. At this point I will be heading up on Friday night, as Damiano will now be racing on Saturday.
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