Ch-ch-ch- changes…

Change is good.  It’s an old adage that can blanket many aspects of life. We’re seemingly in a world of perpetual change.  Perhaps the only certainty is the notion that further future change is inevitable.  It can be nerve wracking and stressful but adapting to change is often very rewarding and fulfilling.


It certainly applies to fitness, training, and cycling.  A recent example was our aborted Thursday mountain bike ride due to lightning and hazardous weather.  We made the most of the situation by staying indoors and breaking out all the clubhouse’s rollers.  Many of the team had never used rollers and it was awesome to see everyone support each attempt and succeed in balancing on them.


Our training has changed focus too.  By doing so we are forcing positive reactions in the body.   A well deserved rest is approaching next week as we look forward to the first NICA series race.  Not everyone has chosen to compete in these races but we appreciate everyone’s support to those that are.


It looks like there could be some welcome change in weather and temperatures out there.  Coach Ignacio and I have appreciated everyone’s efforts to come to practice well hydrated and ready to go.  We still need to keep vigilant on our fluid intake as cooler 90 degree weather can still drain us.


Covid 19 has certainly made adapting to change compulsory.   The NICA series has had to change to a time trial format understandably and we support this organization in what surely has been a very difficult and situation for them.  Hopefully next year will return to normal NICA racing with groups competing and camping together.


It’s hard to believe that the Tour de France is back on!  Already there has been dramatic racing and worthy winners.  To see them mask-clad on the podium certainly is a change in decorum.  The teams are doing their best just as we are here in Tucson.  Vive le Tour and El Grupo!

Practice schedule remains;

Raise the ceiling

Afternoon practices have meant soaring temperatures that the team has navigated quite well.  We pre-soak riders before heading out from the clubhouse and have taken precautions to provide extra water once we are out riding.  We’ve talked a lot about pre-hydration and a reminder to try to drink 4 liters of water per day.  Coach Ignacio has used the sponge analogy and it really does work and make sense.  We leave for rides promptly, so another reminder to team members to continue to allow the necessary lead time to tweak their bikes accordingly.


The team has come through two weeks of VO2max or ‘attic’ work quite strongly.  Sometimes it’s difficult to see the progression from the roadside.  It was however, evident that progression was made after our Grupo rides this past Saturday.


For the next two weeks we will slide back the intensity slightly to undertake some LT work.  I liken this to working just below or right at your ceiling of fitness.  The goal is to raise the ceiling so that trips into the attic are less frequent.  The practices have been tough and will continue to challenge.  It’s ok to be nervous but the coaches are here to help encourage you through it.  The rewards will be telling.


Ignacio and I would like to give thanks to all the volunteer coaches that provide invaluable assistance.  We can’t run effective practices without you!  Also special thanks to senior riders like Ben and Kaileen for encouraging and mentoring their younger team members.


Here’s the practice schedule for the next few weeks;

To the Max!

Last week we dove into our initial round of VO2max work.  Working in the ‘attic’ of our house of fitness is always tough, especially under first exposure but all the kids responded to the challenge really well.   We will continue to load this intensity level to get the best benefits.


I appreciate the improvement in showing up early and ready to go, especially if you know of mechanical needs to your bike and the extra time it requires.


It’s been a hot summer.  We have been hosing down our clothing prior to riding the afternoon practices and ensuring ample water while on the road or trails.  Make sure you have those two full bottles and correct tube and inflation capability in case of punctures.


NICA sign ups have been encouraging and custom name plate deadline is Wednesday.  If you haven’t used PitZone to sign up, please do so but refrain from completing the payment section as the Team will blanket the fees.


Here’s the week ahead for practices.



Zoom ahead

Not all of you returned to school today, but if you did as was the case in my household, then hats off for surviving a very unique day.   It won’t be the usual ‘first day of school’ photo, that’s for certain.   Cycling has also altered normalcy with this weekend holding Milan-San Remo.  This classic… Read more »


It’s hard to believe August is already here.  Hopefully we will see more monsoon rains and someday soon a return to school.  Whether you’re in classroom or taking courses remotely, getting back into studies remains a top priority and thus our midweek practices will return to late afternoon at 4:30pm.   There are many light… Read more »

Add Box to the Bucket

Box Canyon proved to be a worthy bucket list challenge.  Us old timers think of this route as Greaterville but whichever guise it’s referred to, it gave us another memorable day in the saddle.  The recently flooded dirt road gave us fits and flats a plenty. We did however, profit from overcast weather which cooled… Read more »

This week.

We had a great turnout today.  I greatly enjoyed the Robles mountain bike trails. We will continue cross training maintenance after some of the rides that will compose of simple balance, core, and stretching.   Saturday will be our first bucket list ride.  This will be a full century with the gravel section of Box… Read more »

Heating up.

Tucson is surely testing our capacity to endure summer’s heat and we’ve done a great job continuing practices on mtb, road, and in the shade of a very generous eucalyptus tree for our cross training at the Oury St. park.  Coach Ignacio has created a very effective resistance training circuit that is both challenging and… Read more »

Practices cancelled this week.

With statewide Covid-19 cases continuing to climb and coinciding with Governor Ducey’s most recent decisions to roll back closures, team El Grupo has decided to close the clubhouse and postpone practices this week and will assess resuming normal hours and programming on a week to week basis.