Throughout the Spring I was unfortunate in that I had to miss all of the El Grupo Bikepacking overnight trips except our final one, the big end of season trip. Colin had devised a modified Craters and Cinder Cones loop so that we could do a half loop as an overnighter. Now, most of our trips are totally self-supported, but as Colin was still recovering from his Achilles injury, he planned to drive the van and meetup to camp with us. Nonetheless, the kids still carried all of their gear, but we were lucky to have a little water and snack angel along the way.
The Kids are Alright Y’all – Spencer Harding
Words and Photos by Spencer Harding
The Grupetto is a group of riders that have formed at the rear of the race, having either been dropped or having done their job for the team that day.
About a year ago, I was picking Colin Holmes’ brain about what he had in store for El Grupo in the future and he mentioned a youth bikepacking program. He needed not to say more, I was in. This was even before my partner and I decided to move to Tucson. Once we moved down to the desert one of my first orders of business was to sign up to volunteer with El Grupo!
The kids we have in the El Grupo program, they ride their bikes every day, across town, into the mountains, and now even on bikepacking trips. I can’t imagine where I’d be if I had known such a world of possibility in middle school instead of my late 20s. Well, I now have the privilege to pass such knowledge and power onto the next generation of bikepackers.