Collin, 15

Collin, 15, with El Grupo since 2012

 

If I had a superpower, it would be: To Fly

Hidden Talent: Track Standing

Favorite Style of Riding: Road

Favorite Trip: Durango Trip 2 years ago

Favorite Bike Ride in Tucson: Shoot-Out and Saguaro East

Quotable Quote by Ignacio: Do the little things, which add up to the bigger things and the bigger thing is what you want to accomplish.

Favorite Dessert: Flan

 

Why do you like to ride your bike?

I like the environment it’s in: the people I’ve met and get to ride with, it’s a nice rider experience, you know- Getting to ride with your friends and do what you love is really nice. I did the summer bike camp with Ignacio, and then I’d ridden my bike before, and then after that is what really started it.

 

Tell me about when you first started a few years ago, and where you are now.

When you first start, you don’t know what to expect- you’re a newbie. Over these two and a half years, your bike skills get better and also your personality. You change so much as a person because you have the responsibility to do what you do with practice and training that will help you. It’s helped me change as a person with eating healthier, and not staying out too late because I know I’ll have to get up early the next day and ride.

 

How does El Grupo challenge you?

El Grupo challenges me fitness-wise. The stuff we do, like the Shoot-Outs and the training rides and the races, it’s really nice competitively and for your body. Mentally, sometimes I’m challenged when I have to balance school and life and training. On a hard ride, I try to block everything out, and focus on one single thing and make small goals. If I think about a bunch of stuff, I can’t focus and ride well.

 

What are your goals with El Grupo?

This season, I do want to do well. I want to focus more on my crit and road racing and for the future, l’Abitibi sounds cool just for the experience. That’s my long-term goal.

 

What are three things you’ve gained from your experience with El Grupo?

Fitness, Responsibility (El Grupo and my personal life), and Maturity. Cycling does help you mature, everything you do Ignacio holds you to high expectations, which rolls over to personal life.

 

What is your biggest highlight with El Grupo?

Probably the first El Tour I ever did. We were a rag tag team of kids and we finished the 60-mile in 3 hours exactly- that was a big accomplishment.

 

Sam, 15

Sam, 15, with El Grupo since 2012

 

If I had a superpower, I would: Be able to pass through things (like walls)

Hidden Talent: Playing music (play piano and choir)

Favorite Style of Music: Anything from Classical to Movie Soundtracks to Disney

Favorite Style of Riding: Road and Mountain

Favorite Trip: Durango Trip, it’s fun and develops a bond between us

Favorite Rides: A mountain, 24-hour course

Quotable Quote by Ignacio: The bigger you smile, the faster you go.

Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu

 

Why do you like riding your bike?

It’s a good way to commute and being on Team El Grupo I have all my friends here that I enjoy coming to see.

 

Can you tell me about the first time you rode with El Grupo and contrast that with where you are now on the bike?

Starting with El Grupo, especially on that first ride I wasn’t with the big kids, but just looking around I saw a bunch of kids who liked to ride their bikes. Then I got to ride with the big boys, I was like ‘Oh my goodness, these kids are super fast on bikes and do things like the Shootout!’ And now I am doing the Shootout and going on big rides- I used to think I would never go on a 60-mile ride! Looking back I was totally one of the kids who just joined, but now I can take my hands off the handlebars and do skills I didn’t think was possible.

 

How does El Grupo challenge you?

It’s challenging in the fact that I come here for practice and it’s physically invigorating and I have to do a hard workouts, and VO2 maxes that pushes me to my limits. It also challenges me at school, because having to go home and finish my homework when it’s 6 o’clock, I really have to work in a time limit.

 

What are your goals with El Grupo?

There’s so much that I want to do! I eventually want to be able to make it everyday to practice, and have all my stuff done. I want to do well in all my races and do well as an athlete.

 

In your time with El Grupo, what are three things you’ve gotten out of it?

One is having the extra family and all my friends that I know here and can tell them anything, it’s a nice community. Second, is riding a bike- it’s fun, and of course we practice riding and skills. The last things are skills, not just on the bike but social skills and other skills like when we clean up the clubhouse or work on our bikes. We develop a multitude of skills.

 

 

 

 

Cole, 15

Cole, 15, with El Grupo since 2012

 

If I had a superpower, it would be: Obviously telekinesis.

Hidden Talent: Geniusness

Favorite Pandora Station: Riff Raff or Dub Step

Favorite Style of Riding: Both

Favorite Trip: Durango, Mt Graham

Favorite Hobby: Anything Innovation or Entrepreneurship Related

Favorite Ride: Shootout

Quotable Quote by Ignacio: Do or do not. There is no try. –Yoda

Favorite Dessert: Rhubarb Pie

 

Why do you like riding your bike?

It’s pretty fun and relaxing, but mainly because it’s a challenge. I personally think that this is one of the harder sports, because you know in football each play is like 13 seconds but cycling is 4 hours. I think it gives me more of a challenge!

 

How does El Grupo challenge you?

I feel like El Grupo is pretty challenging because Ignacio is telling you to harder and faster- to suck it up pretty much. I like that a fair amount.

 

How do you face those challenges?

Will Smith puts it great by saying “You’re not going to die on a treadmill.” Never be afraid to go too hard, because the worst that could happen is that you start breathing hard. I never see it being a problem going harder, just a little more pain.

 

Can you compare your skills and character from when you first started riding until now?

I was extremely scared when I first came. I was looking at everybody like almost gods. I thought I was the coolest thing with a giant jersey on, totally dirty and everything with flats. I look back and think how far I’ve come. Now, I don’t even worry much. I feel so much more confident.

 

What are your goals with El Grupo?

I want to win the high school mountain bike race. I want to do my best and kill it in the race- that’s my main focus.

 

What are three things you’ve gained in El Grupo?

Community

Confidence on the bike

A bunch of friends

 

What does El Grupo mean to you?

It’s such an under appreciated sport but I’d say it’s the hardest, most fun loving community you can find in a sport. We practice a lot of hours throughout the week and we talk on the bikes and become much closer in a community like this.

Tyler, 16

I just like riding my bike a lot. If there’s ever a day that I wake up and don’t want to ride, then I wouldn’t ride. But I always want to ride and that helps looking forward to the day.

Madison, 14

I like riding my bike because it’s a mental and physical fitness for me. I feel really strong and it makes me feel good.

Ana, 13

El Grupo definitely pushes me to do stuff I didn’t know I could do before and just pushing myself when I need to. If I have a certain goal and see it, El Grupo pushes me to go towards it.

Genea, 17

I love biking because I get to see so much of Tucson. My entire perspective of this city has changed and I think it is so beautiful.

Leila, 17

I’ve gained confidence and the ability to talk to other people a little better than better. There’s always a lot of people around and it’s easier to talk to people.

Isabel, 14

During the Whiskey Off-road, it rained and snowed and we had to out there anyways. I only got 5 miles but it was a really good experience even though I was scared.