EL GRUPO Changing Lives on Wheels USA Cycling honors youth programs 22 BikeLife Tucson F or most kids in America riding bikes is a part of growing up. Unfortunate- ly not every child is lucky enough to have access to a bicycle. El GrupoTuc- sons unique nonprofit supporting cycling health and youth empowermentis look- ing to change that. El Grupo is a youth cycling organization that provides children with experiences that are fun skill building and bike cen- tered aiming to build the self-confidence and leadership skills to be active and healthy members of the community. Our mission is to empower youth through bicycles says director Daniela Diamente who started El Grupo in 2007 with her husband head coach Ignacio Ri- vera de Rosales. We aim to instill life-long healthy habits and build character and ca- maraderie through bicycle riding racing and outreach. Through our programs we are getting female and male youth on bikes and they in turn are teaching inspiring and empowering other youth to ride enjoy and love bikes. Today El Grupo reaches over 1200 youth annually that are underserved or simply uninspired and gives them something positive to be excited about. The skills taught on the bike carry over fostering the next generation of active healthy and com- munity-minded cycling leaders in Tucson. This unique organization has not only im- pressed Tucson but received national rec- ognition from USA Cycling when awarded Junior Club of the Year in December.