Tucsonan to take on El Tour de Tucson in honor of late father

Published: Nov. 14, 2021 at 2:06 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - We are just a week away from El Tour de Tucson. Some people ride for fun, some for bets, and some ride for charities. But one local man is riding in honor of his father who he lost nearly a year ago.

And he tells us this ride means a lot more to him, especially now.

“Échale ganas.”

That’s what Jose Ortiz’s father Ruben used to tell him.

It means, keep going.

And that’s what he plans to do as he takes on his first ever El tour de Tucson, riding in honor of his late father.

“My father was my hero, my best friend without a doubt. Unfortunately he battled diabetes for over 20 years and last year he had some issues and then with COVID he had heart failure and unfortunately he passed due to that,” says Ortiz.

Next weekend Jose will be riding the 57 miles, with his father in mind every inch of the way.

He tells us he turned to biking as an outlet because it offered a way to clear his mind with everything going on..

“That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through but he always taught us to keep going, to keep pushing and as I mentioned, echale ganas which means don’t stop. So he inspired me to do this for him and to also do it for myself because I went through a very difficult 3-4 years personally and I was dwelling in a lot of that pain but instead of that I thought to myself...what would my dad do? And he said echale ganas...keep going.”

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