Marching Ahead

This month we continue our racing focus; firstly Ignacio is taking a small crew on March 6th to the MBAA race in Lake Havasu and then on March 12-14, The Cactus Cup. We are excited that so many team members (25!!) have signed up for this classic Arizona mountain bike race.  We will continue to bring fun, challenging, and team oriented practices this week in preparation.

We have more fun programming in the works for April and May so stay tuned for those developments.  Here are this week’s practices;

Don’t forget also that Colter and Nathaniel need your help with Bike Club.  Here’s the sign up for this rewarding experience.



We had a wonderful camping trip to the magical Chiricahua Mountains last weekend.  I happily borrowed some gear from our BikePacking program to comfortably negotiate the sub freezing night temperatures. Saturday we rode gravel bikes out and back over Pinery Canyon road to the town of Portal, AZ.  The climbs were tough but the scenery unsurpassed.  Most rode the climb up to the National Monument on Sunday, while a few of us ventured further south to tackle Turkey Creek Canyon.

Balance was the theme of the weekend and we hope many riders had a chance to press the reset button.  After so many race cancellations lately, it was imperative that the team revert to a system that has worked so well in the past; camping and bonding in a beautiful backdrop and pushing our limits on the bike.  It was my first time experiencing classic El Grupo programming and I’m hooked.

Thanks to Coach Ignacio and Daniela for sharing this place with us newbies.  Thanks also to Mary Bell Cruz, Shannon Scott, and David Walker for their tireless support and a big thank you to Rosanne (Nona) and Michael (Tatone) for engineering superb meals for the entire entourage.  We rode to new places, ate like royalty and enjoyed each others company for a memorable weekend.

Next up are some mountain bike races with the MBAA race in Lake Havasu on March 6 while a large contingent is heading up for another epic camping and race weekend on March 12-14 for the Cactus Cup in Phoenix.  We have 25 riders registered and we look forward to this event!

Our practices will thus focus on the preparation for Cactus cup the next few weeks with a good attention paid to the mountain bike. Here is the practice schedule for the next two weeks;

Team members also don’t forget about the opportunity and expectation to give back with helping out Colter, Nathaniel and the Bike Club.  Here is their sign up to volunteer;




New buildup

New kits that have been earned by the team members have been circulating in public last week to favourable reviews.  I think they really look sharp and there’s pride in wearing it.

Practice attendance has been really stellar the past week, and the infusion of our newest members have given everyone a boost.  Here are a couple reminders to the new and old members alike.  Please remember to bring front and rear lights that are fully charged.  Remember to bring a spare tube.  If you don’t have one, we can sell you one at our cost which is $3.  Please ensure you have a spare jacket vest, or outer layer.  The temperatures can drop quickly once the sun sets so don’t be caught without adequate clothing.  Speaking of adequate clothing, it’s also imperative that your base layer is NOT cotton.  As Ignacio quite rightly points out; ‘cotton kills’ especially in cold weather.

We are coming out of a rest week for many of us, so be prepared to work hard.  We are building up for the Cactus Cup on March 12-14.  Please let either Ignacio or myself know if you would like to attend this mountain bike stage race as we would like to register the team ASAP.

Lastly, this is another reminder that Bike Club is well underway with the kids from Manzo Elementary School.  We need team members to volunteer a minimum of 3 times.  Here is the schedule for Bike Club.

Here is our practice schedule this week;


Racing, New Jersey and some gravel

We had a busy weekend with athletes competing in a couple of events.  White Tanks Park in Phoenix saw more MBAA mountain bike action on Saturday, while closer to home the FlapJack Time Trial was held on Sunday at Picacho Peak.  It certainly was nice to have a small sense of normalcy with racing available…. Read more »

Practice Resumption

We will resume practice as per the schedule starting tomorrow Saturday, February 6th.  Our most recent exposure with covid saw our team member ultimately testing negative.  I look forward to seeing you bright and early for the Shootout and Cara’s ride.  Coach .Allison will be on hand too.  Those racing up in Phoenix we wish… Read more »

Thursday Feb. 4th practice canceled

Dear Team, We are still awaiting test results from a recently exposed team member, so unfortunately nothing has changed and will force the cancelation of practice today February 4th.  We will continue to be cautious and report again tomorrow about the status of Saturday’s practice.  Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Team El Grupo practice canceled Feb. 3

We will have to cancel practice today due to a recent revelation of a team member’s immediate exposure to a positive covid case.  We will assess whether Thursday will be canceled upon test result information, hopefully by this time (2:30pm) tomorrow.  We want to make sure that practice is the safest possible environment in these… Read more »

Bike Club!!

Practices last week were some of the best attended yet!  It’s amazing the energy and support each member brings; especially to the numerous new recruits that have just started with us.  Here is our practice schedule for this week;   Bike Club coordinator Colter Thomas is thrilled to announce that the Manzo Bike Club… Read more »

MBAA races, FlapJacks, New Jersey (not the state) and no practice Jan 26

Firstly, looking at the forecast for tomorrow looks pretty certain for inclement weather so we won’t have practice for Tuesday Jan 26th.  We will resume on Wednesday with an endurance road ride.  Check the practice schedule linked at the bottom of this post. Mountain bike racing resumed this past weekend up in Phoenix at the… Read more »

Thursday Jan 21 Practice cancelled

Due to rain, we will cancel tonight’s practice.  Good luck to all racing this weekend at the MBAA and hopefully see the rest of you Saturday for Cara’s Ride,  Allison leading the Old Man Shootout group and Gord for the Big Boy Shootout.