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Local cycling group aims to create community and spread safety tips

El Grupo youth cycling
Posted at 12:35 AM, Jun 01, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Nearly every day, Mia Hudson makes sure her bike is ready to ride as she checks the tires and chain. She said she couldn't imagine her life without cycling.

"I've grown up with it, my dad was a coach so I've been riding since I was about 2 years old," Hudson said.

She's one of the over 100 cyclists in the local group El Grupo Youth Cycling. It's a cycling team for kids in elementary, middle and high school. They learn everything from bike maintenance, fitness and road safety.

"We do mountain bike series, road bike series and a mountain bike series, which I'm really fond of," she said.

But she said it's more than just a place to race bikes and ride through town.

"It's a giant community," she said. "I've grown up with everyone here."

Her teammate Kaiden Kiracofe said he's been cycling for eight or nine years, and learned to push himself. He's created friendships as well as strong friendships.

"I spent thirteen hours on a bike from here to Bisbee on a ride that none of us were in shape for," he said. "You grow that bond where rides like that are fun."

As he heads off to college, he said he's prepared because of everything he learned in the group.

"You get put into situations that are difficult," he said. "And so you learn to overcome those difficulties."

Cycling safety is one of the key parts of the team. One of the founders Ignacio Rivera De Rosales said they even have a three week camp that is all about safety.

"We teach them how to use the bike boulevards and the wonderful side streets that we have here," he said. "If they can confidently ride in their neighborhood but maybe they want to ride into the next neighborhood, we teach them that."

The three week camp begins next week and they have 50 campers ready to ride.