I’m Back

That’s right I am back and very excited to get back to it.

Practice Schedule this week:

Tuesday: MTB skills.

Wednesday: Points Race

Thursday: Trails End Repeats

Saturday: Shoot Out

Sunday: MTB 24 Hour course

I hope to see you all this week and that attendance is great!

24 Hour Race Alert:

I must have all individual rider waiver forms in to the good folks at Epic Rides no later than Thursday morning. So please everyone turn them in.

Happy New Year

2011 is around the corner and another exciting year for EL Grupo is on tap.  I am very excited to get rolling with it, but before we do I want to try and thank everyone that made this last year so exciting and great.

First the Riders: All of you are the life force that make this team work and move. Without you there is no team, no group of exceptional young people that work together, encourage each other, cry, sleep, eat, train with each other. I am amazed often at how fortunate this team is to have such a fantastic collection of young riders. Thank you all. — you know who you are.

Coaches:

Hunter: You found this team as a group of young people who road bikes fast and made us into cyclists. Your skills training made us ligit racers and riders and we can’t thank you enough. Your words and acknowledgement of the greatness of this team have had helped me dream even bigger.

Colin: With one L. You have returned to this team with more energy than the first time and have often done a lot of the “dirty” work. You make this blog work, the web site function, the B team fly, and ride a rigid fork and make it look good. We are lucky to have you. Thank You.

Richard: Well as you can all see of late, you have been super stepping up. You as well have come and gone and the come back means a lot to me. It tells me that you believe in the progress of the team and want to see it grow and move forward. Thank you and soon enough I hope to have to present your USA cycling mechanics card to confirm that we as a team have one on board.

Alex S.: You are an original. You know this team from it’s orgins and roots. You know me and Daniela from the beginning and have always believed in us. I can’t be prouder of you as a young man and we have really enjoyed watching you grow up. I am exited to continue to be your friend and look forward to the years to come.

Christian: You are always there. Have always been there. You are always ready to do behind the scenes dirty work, but some how always make it look good. I really value our friendship and the time we have spent together with this team and also look forward to years to come with you.

Kate: I hope to have more of you because you are great.

It was scary

El Grupo Parents:

Kathleen: You are one of the hardest working persons I have ever met in my life. Your dedication to the team and your son is infectious and your support is like a brick wall behind my back. I could not fall over if I tried. I hope Logan never graduates High school and is around for many years. We are amazingly fortunate to have your support.

Mark and Cathy: First you help build a trailor for the team, then lend us your car at every turn, then you join us on every camping trip and make everything work, you then go and take in a rider who needs a home. I want to thank you for all your support and encouragement of this team. I also want to thank you for all the times you have helped talk me through situations and ordeals with a cool head and strong logic.

Jim, Rane, Miguel, Micheal, : I have enjoyed having you all on bike rides and I have seen the El Grupo bug infecting you all. I hope you all catch it bad.

Gene, Mary Beth, Jennifer, Sams Dad (Ha), Kira: All of your kids hardly ever miss practice which tells me you are all commited. Thank you.

El Grupo Super Supporters:

Mike McKisson: We made you cry which makes us all believe. Thanks and hope to be seeing you quite a bit more.

Ralph Philips, Bruce, Steve, Dave Tang, Milenkovitch,

All our Sponsors of 2010:

Carmicheal Training Systems, GABA, Erik Ryberg, Technicians for Sustainability, Cafe Zope, Fairwheel Bike Shop, Zuckerman Community Foundation. Of course without you non of this would have happen. Thank you!!!!

The Most Important People:

My Wife and Best Friend: Daniela- I am the most fortunate man in the world. You not only let me spend all my free time working on this team you jump right in and help.  You are the Director of this team because you do the most dirty work and let me play. If there is any one reason that this team is what it is, it is because you never called me crazy, pushed me, and made sure that my dream came true. I am truly living out my dream right now and I have you to thank —Number one. I love you.

Damiano: My number 1.1 all you do is bring me smiles.

If I missed anybody I am sorry. There are so many people that make this team tick. And really that’s what I hope it to be. I want this to be a living breathing community organization that Tucson is proud of and knows of. Every time we ride as a team and I hear a random person yell El Grupo it re-ignites me. I want everyone in town to know how great these kids are and to cheer us at every turn.

I can’t be prouder of everyone and am so excited for next year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Yes this is all real, and so are your dreams

Thailand Greetings

 

Merry Christmas team and Happy New Year!!

I hope and presume that you are all having a great time in our lovely desert, have had a great Christmas, are enjoying your families, and riding your bikes.

Daniela, Damiano, and I are having a fantastic time. We are in Pattaya, Thailand. About 2 hours south east of Bankok, the capitol, right on the Bay of Thailand. The balcony of Daniela’s parents condo over looks the water and everyday we watch the sun melt into the water and the moon rise from it. We are part of a clan of 13 that has descended on this town. So in total in the house there are 15 of us. Damiano absolutely loves having his cousins around and they are helping him learn to do all sorts of things. He is going to seem “old” when he comes back for sure.

I have been lucky enough to do a few very fun non desert activities while here. I along with Daniela’s three siblings and husbands went deep sea fishing. We caught two large fish, a sun burn, and too many laughs. Then I went golfing at a club of unimagingable wealth. Heck I took pictures of the bathroom it was so nice and my name was on the locker that they had prepared for me before my arrival.

This country is an amazing place. For sure a developing country. Not the third world at all. All is here and readily attainable, if you have the money of course. This town Pattaya is the Las Vegas of Thailand and of South East Asia. It is heavily touristed by Russians, Japanese, and Koreans. We as American tourists are in the minority, however this is a playland of sorts. So it is quite akward, not the typical traveling that Daniela and I are used to, where we try and isoloate ourselves in places in an attempt to better understand them. Here we are in “Vegas” but yet not partaking in any of it and just enjoying family. A strange collision of place and time.

Have a great holiday break, ride your bikes a lot, relax a ton, and get ready for another fantastic El Grupo year. This year is going to be special and I am thrilled that you all want to join us for the ride.

Daniela in one of the pools at the condo. We get to swim everyday.

balcony shot looking north

Balcony shot looking south

Fishing

Neil's big catch

Not as a big a catch

Not our fishing boat

Damiano is staying in shape too

Wings not needed for much longer

Daniela likes to bowl

Merry Christams

Thank you, PBAA!

El Grupo attended a portion of the PBAA (Perimeter Bicycling Association of America) meeting 12/14/10 to present to them a gift of a hand-made award created from recycled bicycle parts and a poster of numerous El Grupo images. We wanted to show our gratitude for the tremendous help and generosity the Tucson PBAA has extended… Read more »

Thank You’s and Tuesday

Thank you first to everyone for coming out and helping with the street fair valet. It was a very successful event, I believe, with our most bicycles parked ever. Congratulations to all for making it happen. I very much enjoyed the energy everyone brought to the event and seeing so many of the new faces… Read more »

This weekend: 4th Ave & more

Thanks to everyone who commented and signed up for times this weekend. You are expected during those times, so you know. I still have a few gaps and there are plenty of you to help fill them. Saturday 4-6pm needs covered. (Matt, I have you done for at least 3-4pm) Sunday 2pm-6pm still needs lots … Read more »

4th Ave Street Fair – Bike Valet

It is coming. The 4th Ave Street Fair will be bringing in thousands and thousands of people for holiday shopping…and we only hope that a few of them decide to ride their bikes instead of looking for parking. That is because El Grupo will be providing FREE bike valet parking for all three days out… Read more »

O2 Modern Fitness spin class album!

Thank you, O2, Modern Fitness for the fantastic class on Saturday! That was exhausting and fun! As I was too busy spinning, there are only about a dozen images (I had to show Richard and Alex in front of me who was dominating the field….lol). Check out the photos HERE.

THANKS O2 & GABA!

We had an awesomely busy day today, but lots of fun. I hope to get some great photos up soon from the GABA Toys for Tots ride this morning at the zoo, where El Grupo youth rocked the bike valet parking. And I’m sure Kathleen will be posting photos from our killer workout at O2… Read more »