EL GRUPO SUPPORTER NEWSLETTER
SPRING 2013
SMILES FOR MILES - THANKS TO YOU! 
Did you know that El Grupo has helped over 500 kids get excited about bikes already this year? And did you know that our 25 youth on Team El Grupo have collectively logged well over 20,000 miles since January 1st?! We could not have done any of this without the amazing, generous support we receive from you and others. You are helping us bring smiles to hundreds of faces - young and old and all the rest of us - for miles and miles. THANK YOU!
 
OH YEAH, YOU WANT TO RACE? 
How one El Grupo youth used his bike (confidence) to combat a bully, and make a new friend...
 
Collin maybe doesn’t look like your average cyclist. You might peg him as a football player. This was the poor assumption that one of his classmates made.  Not knowing that Collin is one of the hardest working young men on Team El Grupo, the classmate began to bully him about how he could easily beat him on a bike. Daily. Collin took it and would invite and ask for a race. He even brought him multiple fliers for local races, and yet the bully would never show. This went on for months. A bully rarely backs down…
 

Until a race location and time was agreed upon. After school. They were to meet and have it out. Old School style: two boys on bikes on the river path from point to point.  The day came. They both showed. The race was on. Collin on his El Grupo road bike. The bully on his BMX.  They were dead even, at least for the start.
 
Then, the greatest moment in a kids’ life would happen:  The bully dropped back.  And in an instant the world of this El Grupo youth changed. All the pent up anger with being bullied became elation. All his fears evaporated. Victory was sweet.  This is the greatest moment in the history of adolescence: when great fears are destroyed and worlds change forever. 
 
The best part of the story, though? For two weeks following the race, the bully said nothing, not even a look. Can you see Collin sitting taller in his seat? But then they started to talk.  Now, they actually ride bikes home from school together.
 
What are you doing this summer? 
Summer Bike Camps empower kids for their future...

How long do you think it takes to teach a kid to love bikes for a lifetime? Give El Grupo one week - seriously. Half days, at that.  In its third year, Summer Bike Camp is set to sell out again - reaching over 100 kids - with at least 1/3 from low-income families receiving financial assistance. 
 
 

Why is it so successful? It is about youth empowering youth. Team El Grupo youth serve as camp counselors. Riding bikes is instantly cool. (They are teenagers, you know?!). And they gain job experience.  You can help sponsor a youth (aged 7-13) through your donation. Simply specify "bike camp." The cost of camp is $150/week.  More info on camp & registration here!
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Books before bikes! 
El Grupo now offers more educational opportunities for youth
 
With help from a new grant and from supporters like you, El Grupo can now offer a full week of after school development opportunities, including Academic Support and Structured Mechanics workshops.
 
We have always said school comes before riding your bike - and reviewed report cards to assess that each rider was meeting agreed upon expectations. Thanks to a grant from Stone Canyon Community Foundation we are now able to hold Academic Support Hours on Mondays to back that up. Also, we can now employ and re-engage El Grupo alumni!
 
Soon we begin Bike Lovin' & Learnin' workshops on Fridays to help all youth learn and develop mechanical skills to maintain their own bikes and teach one another. We are developing a three-tier program to engage youth and give them real practical job skills.
 

El Grupo holds practices Tuesday through Thursday, plus weekends. Youth can now benefit from 7 days/week of educational and development opportunities through El Grupo! You can get involved by volunteering any day of the week!
The past & present - what is El Grupo up to now? 
 
 
       2007: First race ever                    2013: Ever growing and expanding

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