Sam Shivers will be riding 32 miles in Saturday’s El Tour de Tucson. He’ll be…
It started with one, then another, and then, well, another. It’s now at 15 members. Like spokes in a wheel, the Las Adelas cycling group is strong, together and holding together a great group.
Las Adelas is a powerhouse group of mothers, originally from Mexico, who now reside in Tucson.
It all started with Veronica Paredes who rode with her son in the 2015 El Tour.
“After she posted some pictures of her and her son from the El Tour,” said Lori Garcia, “we thought that is so cool we should try it.”
The members range from ages 39 to 52.
A small group started training, some having never ridden a bike since middle school.
“It was a little bit scary,” she said. “You learn how to ride but since I hadn’t done it in so many years it was tough to get my balance back. But it was fun.”
They started with five here, five miles there. It later increased with training.
Then El Tour came in 2016 and they did the 54-mile event.
“She (brought together) a few friends and did it,” Garcia said “Now we are all really good friends and we share the joy or riding. It’s been really fun.”
Now El Tour has become “a goal that we have,” Garcia said. “We only do the 54 miles, but we try to improve our times. We work as a team (now). The first year was nerve-wracking but we did have fun but at the same time we learned a lot.”
In their initial El Tour rides, some of the faster ones left the slower ones behind, but now they all seem to be about the same ability.
“We stay together and know where our stops are going to be,” she said. “We eat healthy and save it for energy. We’ve been learning along the way. We’re not professionals but we enjoy and it and try to improve it.”
They’ll start training in September for this November’s ride.
“Training helped us the last tour because we had the same times,” she said. “It made a huge difference.”
So much so some participate in other cycling events around the country. Some have also taken up running with one qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
Here are the team members:
Verónica Paredes, Barbara Tapia, Zita Brakey, Carolina Solorzano, Cecilia Durazo, Dinorah Lemmenmeyer, Erika Gamas, Gricelda Elias, Irma Mendoza, Marines Barraza, Martha Pérez-Pliego, Michelle Dabdoub, Teresa Morales, Verónica Sandoval and Lori Cueva -García
The name Las Adelas originates from the group of women during the Mexican Revolution. These women decided to defy stereotypes, that a woman’s job was to stay home, and joined the fight with the revolutionary army.
All we can say is WOW!
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Photo creds: @andreslobatoes@enriquenoriega & Lori Garcia