DES MOINES, Iowa — There is a huge passion for sports in Hispanic cultures.
A local group brought their passion for one of their country's most popular sports along with them to the United States.
Soccer and baseball are two sports that are extremely popular in Latin America, but cycling is also very popular, especially in Colombia.
A group of cyclists here in Iowa has formed a small community based on their shared culture and love for the sport.
From recreational group rides, to training for competitions — the Iowa Latino Cycling Club has been riding together since 2017.
"We noticed that there wasn't a club to support the Latino community and invite people to participate in this sport," Juan Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez is from Colombia, where cycling is considered a cultural tradition. It's been that way since cycling became a national sport back in the 1960s.
Since then, Colombia has produced some of the world's best cyclists.
"Luis Alberto Hererra is the first one to win on stages like the grand tours like Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, La Vuelta. So, it's been popular in our country," Juan said.
In fact, it's who one of the club's other co-founders Luis Rodriguez is named after.
So, it's no surprise that he took to cycling from a pretty early age.
"I started racing when I was like 12-years-old. So, I started back in Colombia racing juniors," he said.
For Luis, competing pushes him to be the best cyclists he can be.
"You need to love the sport because it takes a lot of your time. Every time you want to get more and more and every time you want to go faster," Luis Alberto said.
Iowa members of the club compete in races across the Midwest, but they also have club members back in Colombia as well.
"We also support other young racers in our country, and they race in Panama, Guatemala," Juan said.
Whether it's here in the states or back in their home country, the club's mission is to continue to grow the sport in the Latino community.
"We are trying to do our best to motivate people and help them to get knowledge about the bicycles and the sport," Juan said.
Because, in the words of JFK, nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.