El Grupo Tucson Sends Adventuresome Bicylists on a Scavenger Hunt

April 7, 2014

The hunt for untold treasures begins right here at the El Grupo Tucson HQ, at 600 N. 9th Avenue.

This secret reconnaissance photo shows El Grupo Tucson’s clubhouse, at 600 N. 9th Avenue. Shhhhh.

by James J. Jefferies

For many people, the very first inkling of freedom during childhood, as in a genuine ability to roam where you want without your parents immediately determining where you’re going, occurs after you learn to ride a bike. It’s not only a solid physical activity, but the kind of thing that builds character. For Daniela Diamente, and her husband Ignacio, this was a core idea behind the founding of their bike-and-youth-centric organization, El Grupo Tucson.

“We both grew up playing sports, and knew what that meant, not just being physical, but also being part of a team,” said Diamente. “We were both working at BICAS, and we were thinking about what to do next.”

Last year's event drew many two-wheeled urban adventurers, who sailed the asphalt seas of Downtown Tucson in the name of Fortune and Glory. (And a wicked cache of great prizes from local partners.)

Last year’s event drew many two-wheeled urban adventurers, who sailed the asphalt seas of Downtown Tucson in the name of Fortune and Glory. (And a wicked cache of great prizes from local partners.)

It was then that the idea of doing rides with groups of youngsters was born, and the response generated confirmed that they were indeed on the right track. “We began doing rides out of City High School, and it was so popular, we had kids from other high schools coming down and asking us if they could join,” said Diamente. Thus began their stated mission of empowering youth through bicycles.

This leads to their biggest fundraising event of the year, the 11th Annual Bicycle Scavenger Hunt, which is sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company. It’s a fun outing for what is sure to be a beautiful April morning on Saturday, April 12th at 9am. There will be a raffle festooned with prizes from a slew of awesome local businesses, and among them is a custom ‘Fat Tire’ bike from New Belgium.

“I think what’s cool about (the Scavenger Hunt) is, seeing different things from a bike that you may never see from a car,” said Diamente. The event is expressly designed to get you off the beaten paths and into the nooks and crannies of the neighborhood.

This lovely roundabout at 9th Avenue and University may be one of the secret locations. Or not. Daniela and Ignacio take pride in the fact that despite this being the 11th year of the Scavenger Hunt, they've never put an item in the same place twice. Clever folks.

This lovely roundabout at 9th Avenue and University may be one of the secret locations. Or not. Organizers take pride in the fact that  they’ve never put an item in the same place twice. Clever folks.

There are two hunts scheduled: a regular hunt, which will involve 10 riddles to solve, which will lead to ten objects to be found within a 3mi radius of the start point, and a ‘family-distance’ hunt within half the distance with just five items to be found. The hunt must be tackled within groups of two or three.

There is an adventurous spirit behind the entire event, as the tagline for the promo flyer insists that ‘All Will Engage In Feats Of Strength And Stupidity’. It all jumps off at El Grupo’s headquarters at 600 N. 9th Ave, located just northwest of 6th Avenue and Stone. For more information on signing up for this excellent outing, check out El Grupo Tucson on the web here.

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