Week of July 19th

8 Weeks till the first NICA race in Flagstaff.


I hope that is exciting news for everyone.


I know that Gord has sent you all emails in regards to signing up. Please follow the steps and get yourselves signed up in the Pit Zone web site.


As well please feel encouraged to speak with me, Ignacio, in regards to what category you are excited to race in. We have 2 more weeks to petition for a category change if you feel you would like to. I certainly have ideas for what categories I believe are best for most of you, so please ask.


The next month I want everyone to focus on CONSISTENCY. This is the start of new season right now and we want to establish good habits right now. We want to create a team through shared experiences, so please we really want to see everyone coming as much as they can. The more we ride together and hang out together the stronger our commraderie is.


Over the next month the training plan calls for consistent endurance riding. We are going to focus on building endurance through commitment and discipline.


Wednesday of this week, TOMORROW, we are going to go Mountain Biking. We will leave the clubhouse at 6:30 am for a two hour ride. Upon return we are going to head to Catalina Park, the splash pad park, and we are going to do a 20 min cross training work out. So practice will be 3 hours long.


Thursday we will head out for another road ride also starting at 6:30am.


Saturday we are back out with the group rides.

Old Man Starts at 5:45am

Big Kid starts at 6 am.

Valentine B ride start at 6:30 am.

How we camp and Cactus Cup Information

I want to thank everyone who has approached the coaching staff with their insightful questions about the Cactus Cup Mountain bike race and about how we camp.




When we travel to races, we do so together and we camp together. In normal times we would all travel in the vans together, with coaches or parents driving the team vans, and all the youth together. This is another opportunity for the kids to bond and to have shared experiences. We very much encourage and ask for kids to travel with the team.


However in these times we are not packing the vans to 12. We are only putting 8 total people in vans, everyone has to wear a mask the whole time, and we mandate a negative test that is not older than 72 hours.


We will have 14 possible spots for youth to ride up in the vans with the team.


Event dates are Friday March 12th to Sunday the 14th.


One van will leave at 9:30 am. TUSD does not have school on that particular Friday.

and a second at Noon, to accomodate the kids who are not in a TUSD school.




So at the McDowell Mountain Park I have reserved one of the group camp spots for us. There is space for 50 people and 6 rv’s I am told, so there should be ample room for us all.


In normal times we would use the team tents that we have, which are huge 12 person tents that you can stand up in. We have always camped in this group style as we believe it helps to build comraderie, friendships and a true team by sharing the experience.


In these Covid Times we are mandating that only siblings can share tents, and that all others must sleep in their own tents, solo.




We eat and cook together. In normal times we would have youth placed in shifts and they would help coaches and parents with the prep and clean up of every meal. Its a chance for youth to learn to cook and to be involved. Its also a time for the coaches to talk about proper nutrition and how to properly fuel for a race.


At Cactus cup we will continue to eat together and cook for the team however we will not have kids involved. We will only have adults involved so as to minimize that particular level of contact.



Preparing for the Race

I, Ignacio,  will be the coach at the race and will ensure that every rider properly warms up, gets to the start line and understands what to expect. The youth will be guided through the whole process from start line to finish line, except of course for the part where they are actually racing.


We are very aware of the different levels of comfort and factors that each of you as a family are contending with in these incredibly difficult times. We want to create as safe an environment as we can, while also allowing the youth to express themselves physically and to have a  chance to bond in that special team atmosphere. We are well aware that not everyone will be able to attend and we fully respect the decisions made by each family.


Please feel encouraged to ask any questions you might have, and you may email me directly if you like.




Team Presentation and New Opportunities

This SUNDAY February 7th from 1pm to 3 pm.


Team Presentation


All Senior Programming Youth are expected to attend and arrive at 12:30 pm at the latest. Please dress in your “Sunday School Best”.


In normal times this would be our sponsor appreciation event. This would be a chance for us an organization to thank the wonderful folks who support us and to give them the first look at our new kits. This would be the time for many of the community members who support us at the next level to get to meet some of the riders and here directly from them. It is also a time for parents to enjoy watching their kids be wonderfully acknowledged.


Of course this years event will feel and be diffirent but we still want to honor the moment and thank our sponsors.


We would like to have all riders and families present and we will do our very best to create a safe environment.


The event will be outside and everyone will be mandated to have proper face coverings.


All members of Bike Packing and Race team are being asked to attend.


As well all Senior youth are being required to write a one paragraph statement about: How EL Grupo has impacted you during Covid times?


We are asking that these essays be delivered to Ignacio or Gord no later than Thursday afternoon, so that we can have time to compile them for the event.


New Opportunities 

Chiracahua Camp Out 


This trip will be a team trip, in that all race team members will be invited.
The trip will be FROM Friday 19th – Sunday 21st.. This is a change from what I posted on the blog, as I have heard this works better for some.
The Team camp area will be on Pinary Canyon Road at a dispersed site. This means that no facilities are available, no water or bathrooms. We will camp in the same spot the two nights.
Youth will be encouraged to arrive on Friday night to enjoy the beautiful camp area.
Depart from camp will be late afternoon, approx. 3-4 pm which would have us back in town at approx. 6:30 –7pm to Tucson.
Food will be provided for Friday Dinner, Saturday 3 meals and snacks, and Sunday 2 meals and snacks.
My proposed camp spot is roughly here:
The drive to camp takes approx 2.5 hours, but that is at my speed, so likely shorter for most folks.
Health Protocols
Covid Test that shows negative results within 72 hours of the trip
         Please post test do your best to quarantine to ensure results
If you have been vaccinated that will suffice as long as you can show proof
No sharing of tents- unless from the same household
All participants will bring their own eating supplies, bowl, plate and utensil
Since we are outside we can do a very mindful job of giving each other space, but masks will be at the ready.
Food will served and prepared by only two people per meal
Family Planning 
The Chiracahua National Monument is just down the street from where we will be camping and has structured camp spots and excellent hiking.
This could be a great option for families who want to drop off their kids and enjoy the weekend at the park.
Information for the park can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm
This trip is best suited for those that have a gravel bike, but of course it can be ridden on a mountain bike as well. 
The intent of this trip is to enjoy another beautiful corner of our state while wonderfully challenging ourselves.
El Grupo will be providing food for the trip, so there is no extra cost for this.
I have been allowed the use of a van and trailer. I would be comfortable with 7 kids in a van. This would allow for only 2 kids per bench seat, plus one in the front seat. Masks would be absolutely mandatory in the van, as is a negative test. Please be very clear if you will need a ride. Also since I will have the trailer I can help transport bikes for those families that need that help.
Ride Distances
We will ride both Saturday and Sunday.
Each day is an out and back type ride.
The rides are very demanding and difficult and are best suited to gravel bikes.
What that means is that you do not have to do the 80 miles on each day. You can turn around and make it as long as you like.
I want to make that clear so that riders know they have options and can choose distances that work for them.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions especially about how to make this a safe trip.
I would like to have confirmation  by February 15th so that I may start to plan meals and logistics.



Cactus Cup Mountain Bike Stage Race 



We are wanting to make this a great team trip. Please acknowledge the dates and put it in your calanders. More information to come next week, however wanted to get this out.


March 12-14th

Phoenix, Arizona

McDowell Mountain Park

Upcoming Events

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I apologize for this late notice.   I do not have access to my car tomorrow, so I am unable to get out there.   If you already planned on heading out there, I very much encourage you to do so. It is a great network of trails. They are fast and flowy and lack… Read more »

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays. I hope this finds everyone enjoying time with their family while staying healthy and safe.   I want to thank everyone for my present of being able to do what I love with the group of young people that I admire so much. It has been a joy to be able to come… Read more »

Nacho’s Notes

Race Team members thank you for the hippie circle on Thursday.   We took time as a team to understand and discuss the value of Perseverance. We talked about how it is a virtue that is not given, or asked for, but earned. It is earned when we meet a difficult moment in life and… Read more »

Nacho’s Notes week of October 26th

I want to thank everyone first for your understanding and patience last week.   Thank you for your flexibility with the current situation. We are certainly trying our best to provide safe and healthy programming and your support makes it so much easier to make the tough calls.   Expectations for Riders moving forward during… Read more »

Nacho’s Notes

I imagine that I feel like the rest of you right now in that I sure am missing being around the clubhouse and all the wonderful energy, but yet totally understand that the right decisions were made.   These are crazy times, and like I used to say, Life is like a river, we have… Read more »

Schedule Change For this week!!

I am going to take time tomorrow to thank everyone who came up to Prescott and made the weekend so much fun. However for now I want to make sure to get this information out.   Hopeful plan Tuesday— All kids go on a road recovery ride. This will help the Gila kids prepare. They… Read more »