In Print: El Grupo – The “Bad News Bears of Tucson Youth Cycling”

It’s official. I have become my mother.

She claims to be “shy” (no, really, she does) but I spent my youth following her around talking to strangers. A natural reporter, she was prone to engaging people when she was curious about what they were doing or where they were going.

Contrary to most childhood lessons, my mother taught me how to talk to strangers instead of not to.

Our spontaneous conversations and interviews with people in our community made me cringe internally, though I was very good at putting up a front of interest.

But now I can’t control my Inner Mary. It was my Inner Mary Swift that led me to chase down El Grupo on the day they passed me near Gates Pass. I could have let them go and wondered forever about that funny group of kids on crazy steel bikes.

But  Mary took over and there I was, striking up a conversation with a stranger.

The conversation led to several meetings with El Grupo, a Tucson Youth Cycling Group.

Yesterday’s column in the Oregonian is a tribute to these kids. Kids who kick ass and take names. Kids who laugh and take care of each other and do good things for the world.

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  1. Hi Heidi,

    It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend at Team VBF camp. I wish you could have joined us for dinner! I look forward to reading your story about Carrie and what she’s doing. She’s definitely an awesome person. She gave me a few pushes on the final climbs of our ride Saturday. It was hour five and they had picked up the pace. My legs were cooked, but she encouraged me all the way.

    What photo program do you use to insert galleries like the one above in your posts? I like the layout and have been looking for something like that.

    Katherine Fuller

  2. Hey Katherine,
    Damn! Nice work with the team ride. It was great to meet you also – I, too, wish I could have stayed for dinner. Next time!
    The galleries came with the theme I believe. (I have a helper so I try to stay out of it as much as possible : )
    I tinker settings in something called Themesmith in the admin panel.
    Sorry I don’t have more info – can get it for your if you need a better lead, just shoot me an email!
    Talk to you soon!


  1. The High Five Project (Hit ‘em high, hit ‘em low) | Grit & Glimmer - [...] Meeting El Grupo, riding road bikes through foot deep washes (maybe we won’t try that one again), racing like ...
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