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Keenan, 17, with El Grupo since 2010

 

Superpower: Definitely Teleportation

Favorite Hobby: Working on Bikes and Reading

Favorite Class: Welding

Favorite Bike Ride: Mt Hopkins

 

What are your hopes for l’Abitibi?

I don’t want to get dropped! I hope to do okay. I’m not looking to get top ten, but I’d like to get top half. That’s my goal. If we could race for a teammate, I’d really like that.

 

How do you feel like El Grupo has prepared you for this race?

Being consistent on a bike is important. I realized it when David Glick started riding with us, his mentality was “of course you ride every day”. Once you do that, you see results and it makes you want to ride more. Especially the last few weeks and months, we’ve been riding a lot.

 

Tell me about yourself when you started with El Grupo.

When I started, I had long hair. I’ve always liked tinkering with bikes. I was playing traditional team sports and they kinda sucked, like the attitude of competitiveness. El Grupo acknowledges every kid really well and focuses on personal goals. If I could tell myself something three years ago when I just started, I would say to stick with out. I figured out what it felt like to really like to do something- it was really clear that I like to ride bikes with friends and get faster.

 

How has El Grupo shaped your identity?

Everything I do and all my friends now, my whole life is formed by riding bikes- identified with El Grupo. Every decision I make depends on when I’m riding and what’s going on with El Grupo that day.

 

What’s been a highlight of your El Grupo experience?

This past season was awesome. We started, 7 of the guys who have been on the team the longest, working really well together. All the victories we got were team wins. We hadn’t really done that before. It’s physically painful, but I love riding for a teammate.

 

How do you handle challenges in cycling?

Mentally, I think a huge part of getting faster is to train a lot, which is hard a lot of the time. During races, I like to not think that much and just do it. Same with the physical challenges, I just do it and I like the way it feels after.

 

What do you think you will do with bikes after El Grupo?

I’m going to keep riding and racing bikes after El Grupo. Riding with the younger kids is really cool because they’re really excited to ride their bikes with their friends. It reminds me of when I started riding.

 

What personal growth have you gained from El Grupo?

I’ve become more social. A lot of the kids that I go to school with haven’t been exposed to the things we are with El Grupo. I’ve matured a lot from El Grupo. I think it’s easier to mature if you’re not treated as a kid. Ignacio tries to treat everyone as an adult.  He treats you older than you are and holds you accountable for stuff.  He has high expectations for us, which is good and has helped us learn a lot of stuff.