They wanted to ask Fort Lewis College — which has one of the highest-ranked college mountain biking teams in the country — to host a camp for El Grupo, but didn’t think the college would be interested.
“We called them anyway and son of a gun they were totally excited,” Rivera de Rosales said.
The camp — which includes mountain bike lessons, rides and tours of the area— is scheduled for the last week of July, but the team needs to raise $4,000 to send the kids to the camp.
“That covers everything,” Rivera de Rosales said. “It is tax, tag and title.”
In order to raise the money, El Grupo is going to have a garage sale at their clubhouse, at the corner of 6th Avenue and 6th Street, the weekend of June 19-20. They are also planning to sell baked goods at the end of The Shootout at University Boulevard and Euclid Avenue every Saturday.
“Maybe you don’t buy your scone from Starbucks, maybe you buy it from us and maybe you give us $5 rather than the dollar we are asking,” Rivera de Rosales said.
El Grupo rider Donovan Caputo said he is excited about riding somewhere other than Tucson.
“All my mountain biking has been done in Tucson and it is the only style of mountain biking I know,” Caputo said. “If I am ever going to go somewhere and be like, ‘yeah I can mountain bike.’ I want to be able to know about other stuff and how to get around it and over it.”
Nathan Franklin was excited about learning more about mountain biking.
“There is going to be someone there talking to us about it and because I am not that great at mountain biking I think it would be cool to have an experienced person helping us out and talking to us about mountain biking,” Franklin said.
Rivera de Rosales said the trip is more than just riding bikes.
“Some of these kids just left the state of Arizona for the first time this weekend and went into New Mexico for a bike ride,” Rivera de Rosales said. “As much as it is about getting to ride mountain bikes, some of these kids have hardly been out of the state of Arizona. Just the experience for them to travel and be in different places is completely mind opening for them and I really hope that they get the opportunity.”
El Grupo also accepts donations on their website.