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.


We had great participation in our latest Team and BikePacking tryouts this past weekend with 14 motivated athletes attending.  There’s always a wide range of experience and ability levels but with all coaches on deck, we managed things very well.  Friday night was our meet and greet along with PowerPoint overview of both programs.

Many athletes had never ridden a road bike so we spent a good portion of Saturday demonstrating the mechanics like braking and shifting.  After matching athletes with suitable bikes from our bike library (thanks again all donors for their continued generosity) we took them to a nearby grassy park for extensive bike handling drills.

Sunday we applied all lessons together and enjoyed a 15 mile group ride.   We communicated very well and enjoyed riding safely until our favourite climb where we took the governor off and let them hammer to the top.

Very pleased to hear that perhaps there’s about an even split in interest in the BikePacking and Team programs.

The coaching staff will be reaching out to families as early as tomorrow to go over what next steps need to be taken.  Again we want to thank all who showed up and pushed their limitations!

For existing team members, note that this weekend is the next MBAA race at Estrella Park up in Phoenix.  Team members look to take on the challenging course which draws favourable comparisons to our ‘homecourt’ trails at Starr Pass.  Ignacio will be captaining this project so please contact him for more details.

For those not traveling to race, we still are leading various rides this Saturday.  Coaches will cover the popular Cara’s ride, Old Man Shootout and the Big Boy Shootout.  Attendance has been waning Saturday a bit so we’d like to encourage everyone to try and come out.  It’s rewarding to have such a great ride over with before noon and you can spend the rest of the day with family.    Here are this week’s practices;



Upcoming Events

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 
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 racing 
March 6th– MBAA Mountain Bike Race #4– Lake Havasu
All races are on Saturday
The Race/ Event for those not sure about racing:
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.

MBAA action!

Reports from the Phoenix MBAA this past weekend were very positive, with great, safe racing and encouraging signs that more races are scheduled to take place.  This comes as great news as another recent casualty of the covid crisis is the beloved 24 Hours of Old Pueblo.  Results include both Taryn and Damiano winning their… Read more »

Hindsight is 2020

Happy New Year everyone!  Like my household, most of you are back at school so this week’s practice schedule is lighter to allow all of you to get back in the swing of scholastic endeavours.  I’m hoping this new year will bring with it new challenges and we hope that you incorporate as much practice… Read more »


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 »

Holiday practices

I trust that everyone is enjoying the holiday season.  We will continue with morning programming this week and have some different options available so check with the signup Genius for the new schedule at the bottom of this post. Firstly, another reminder that the weather is wide varying in winter so being prepared with adequate… 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 »


It was fun hearing the preliminary war stories from the gravel grinder trip this weekend.  Sounds like fun and challenging times were had by all.  Thanks to the Cross, Diamente and Lewis family for all their hard work to help make it a success.  Congrats everyone.   Gravel bikes have evolved from the cyclo-cross world. … Read more »

School Holidays Approaching!

Apologies for the late Monday night post. We had a safe and successful Swap Meet on Sunday that raised the organization close to three thousand dollars.  Plans are afoot to possibly have another one in the spring if the traditional GABA event isn’t happening. El Grupo wishes the team the best of luck with your… Read more »