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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