News and notes.

We had a wonderful weekend of tryouts for potential new members of team El Grupo.  Friday night was an initial meet and greet with a PowerPoint overview on all things El Grupo.  Saturday was a road bike orientation; how to size to the right frame and how the gears and brakes function.  Once done we did some bike handling and balancing drills in the safety of the grassy park near the clubhouse.  Sunday it was time to put the lessons to the test with an endurance road ride.  We navigated the streetcar tracks, campus distractions and ended with a foray into the lower foothills.   I think we will be adding some enthusiastic new members to the team.  If you or someone you know missed the tryouts, we will have our next one in springtime.

Our Fall Bike Camp is fast approaching on Oct 12-16 and we need 4-5 team El Grupo members to help staff the camp.  There is a nice stipend to help so please reserve your spot on the Fall Camp staff with Sean ASAP!

Fall Fondo is also coming into focus on Oct 18.  I’ve created a cool little route and we’d love to show our supporters how much we appreciate them.  More info here;


Did you see the dramatic conclusions of the racing this weekend?  Check out the hightlights here;


It’s been fun welcoming back to practices some longtime volunteers. Thank you Jim, Rene, David, Jeff, Chuck, Natalie and Ken among others for your crucial assistance.   We can certainly use more help for our Tuesday mountain bike ride and Wednesday road ride.  Please check the sign up Genius here to notify us your interest!



Mount Graham and new Team El Grupo staff member; Allison Arensman

Tucson has a wonderful sense of community.   Since moving here now some decades ago, I’m always reminded of what a special place this is.  It also has a very strong cycling community and that was certainly evident at Sunday’s Mt Graham Hill Climb.  The event surely pushed everyone’s comfort level and I want to congratulate the riders for their efforts and thanks to Ignacio for his amazing coaching, guidance and experience.  “We as coaches totally understand that many of you could not come or did not want to and we absolutely agree with your decisions and really want to honor all of you for making the decisions that were best for you. They were the right ones if they were the ones that were best for you.” notes Coach Ignacio.


Team El Grupo also thanks Nippy Feldhake and his organization team for pulling off a great event despite the difficult circumstances. “Last year there were 67 racers.  I hoped to get 30 this year to make it work and we had 125 sign up.” said Nippy. “The event has been continuous for 41 years so that keeps me enthusiastic about making sure it is held every year.”


We are thrilled to add Coach Allison Arensman to our staff.  Allison will bring years of racing experience but also a strong coaching and organizational background to El Grupo.  I’m sure the Tucson cycling community will be greatly enhanced by Allison’s relocation here. You can read a little more about her here;


Afternoon practices now are running out of daylight hours, so it’s imperative that everyone has lights attached to their bikes going forward.  We have distributed numerous sets so if you still have yours from last year please use them.  If you’ve returned them we will get them back to you.  If you are newer to the team and need a set please let us know.


Besides our beloved State Hill climb championships at Mount Graham yesterday, the road cycling world was focused on the World Championships in Imola, Italy.  Some incredible racing and deserved winners of cycling’s famous rainbow jersey.


Women’s race highlights;

Men’s race highlights;


Lastly, here are the next few weeks for practices for both team and volunteer sign ups.  Tuesdays continue to be mountain bike endurance rides with routes determined by each group’s interest.  Road on Wednesday likewise with a variety of options to be discussed before the ride starts.  Himmel cross Thursdays and Shoutout route and Coach Cara ride for Saturdays.  Also note that we would love Team El Grupo members to staff our Fall Bike Camp Oct 12-15.   We will prepare the clubhouse on the 9th and walk through our the camp plans with this orientation.



Youth Representative

I’m looking forward to another wonderful week of riding bikes.   Once again, there are plenty of events upcoming;  Mt Graham Hill Climb, Team El Grupo tryouts, Fall Bike Camp and the Fall Fondo.  Other events happening around the state and close by that could be of interest include the  or the


Practices remain listed here for both riders and volunteers;


Lastly, I’d like to thank Nathaniel for his service on the El Grupo board of Directors.  Attached below is a fantastic opportunity for one of our team to gain an incredible experience to see what important work goes on behind the scenes of this amazing organization.




Hello everyone! This is Nathaniel.


As you all probably know, El Grupo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Because of this, we are required to have a Board of Directors. This board provides invaluable insight and direction when it comes to leading the future of the team. At the current moment, there are about 10-ish board members, each of them providing different perspectives on matters of the team. Some members help with the finances, others with special events, but there is another role played by a current rider on the team. This role is the Youth Representative, which I have had the honor to fulfill these past two ish years.


The Youth Rep is responsible for connecting with every rider on the team, and giving feedback to the board as to how the riders feel about different changes. You have to be committed to the team and have good outstanding relationships with all of the riders on the team. You need to be able to communicate with fellow riders, and because of this, you ideally should have at least one year of experience with the team, and regularly attend practices. Additionally, there are responsibilities associated with this role, such as attending most monthly meetings.


I have loved my time on the board. It has been an amazing learning and developmental experience for me. Please reach out to me at 520-425-0256 if you have any questions. I look forward to connecting with the next youth rep.

Many thanks,

Nathaniel Cross



It’s nice to feel some cooler morning temps, albeit with smoke induced skies.  Our Fall season is filling up with some awesome programming.   First up this coming weekend is Sunday’s traditional Mount Graham Hill Climb Time Trial.  We have 2 riders signed up currently.  We will take care of your entry fee if you… Read more »

Happy Labor Day

There was another example of change this week with the cancellation of the much adored and anticipated NICA mountain bike series.  The race organization did their very best to make the races happen, but there were just too many hurdles to overcome.   Team El Grupo had 15 athletes signed up to compete and the… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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 »