Talented Boys with Really Big Hearts

Colsen Hofert and his brother Keane are no strangers to Booty. Colsen is the founder of the only teen-led Booty team. The boys have both led the team as captain. They are friendly, wise, creative, musical, empathetic, and benevolent — way beyond their young years. Since 2019, they have ridden under the team names SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT and, new in 2022, PEDAL TO THE METAL.

Don’t let the black skull and crossbones on the PEDAL TO THE METAL fool (or scare) you. The team jersey may connote the ghoulishness of Halloween, but the spooky stops there. Beneath the metal facade is a much, much softer story.

Meet the Hoferts and be inspired:

Colsen, 18, is a senior at Myers Park High School. His younger brother, Keane, is in ninth grade at J.T. Williams Secondary Montessori School. Keane is 15. Their parents Taryn and Scott describe them best, “Talented boys with really big hearts.”

In 2019, a curious Colsen asked former Park Road Montessori teacher, Bethanie Johnson, how to join a 24 Hours of Booty team. He was familiar with the event and knew that she had been involved with Booty in the past. Not only did she explain, but she committed to join his team if he started one.

Why not? he thought.

Soon thereafter, the Hofert family learned that a close friend, Susan Audino (Miss Sue), had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Sue was Colsen’s classmate’s mom and a beloved Park Road Montessori teacher to both Hofert boys, “We already knew that we wanted to ride in Booty that year…

…but now we knew our WHY,” Colsen explained.

2019 – Catchy and Memorable

Armed with more motivation than ever, they formed an impressive team of nine (eight boys plus Bethanie). Next up, they needed a powerful team name before they set up their fundraising campaign. The creative musicians sought something catchy and memorable and landed on SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT. (They knew their donor base was mostly their parents’ vinyl-savvy friends who would connect with the “spin” theme.)

July arrived. The team rode Friday night into Saturday afternoon. Atop a mountain bike (great for trails, not easy for numerous Booty loop miles), Colsen had almost 100 daunting miles under his belt; he was fatigued. As he approached his goal, though, he spotted Miss Sue on the loop. She was his reason — and the team’s reason — for riding. “Miss Sue hadn’t been out much and we had not seen her in a while,” he said. “Her presence was just the push we needed to finish the day strong. Our whole team rode the final loop together. I crossed the finish line doing a wheelie which was pretty sick.”

That first year, SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT raised $8,807.

In 2020, our world, and the Hofert’s, would change.

2020 – Miss Sue, a Family Displaced, a Global Pandemic, and Booty Unlooped
Miss Sue, the team’s inspiration, died in early 2020. The SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT team attended her funeral uptown in unison. They were heartbroken.

Soon thereafter, in March, Covid locked our world down. Everything changed. No one knew if there would even be a Booty that July.

And on May 22, a severe and sudden storm brought down multiple large trees in the Elizabeth neighborhood, three of them crushing the Hofert’s home and destroying almost everything within. Their world turned upside down, and for months, their family lived in hotels or Airbnbs. The news that Booty would happen — and instead be “Unlooped” — was just what they needed, and the team was revitalized. “With Miss Sue’s death, and being locked down for so long, we had more people wanting to be on the team than the year before. Many who hadn’t ridden with us before joined the team, too,” said captain Colsen. Keane decided to ride that year as well.

With only weeks to plan, they established their own loop — aptly in Miss Sue’s neighborhood and in her honor. As they do on the Myers Park loop, countless enthusiastic neighbors participated and pitched in — cheering and providing food, yards, and spaces for the boys to camp and rest between loops. They rode all Friday night into Saturday just like Booty. And the grand finale in the last hour of the ride was a live concert by local musician, Josh Daniel, and his wife.

After observing the Booty team in 2019, and losing both Miss Sue and their great-grandmother to cancer, Keane joined his brother’s team in the 2020 Unlooped version. “I misunderstood the distance of one loop in the Audino’s neighborhood and thought a loop was one mile but one loop was a mile and a half,” said Keane. “So when I told my parents, ‘I did it. 100 loops!’, my brother said, ‘You rode 150 miles if you did 100 laps!’ So I rode a lot that Unlooped year and I was really tired.” Unlooped was a huge success for SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT and a much-needed respite for many.

“Booty got our family through such loss and a really difficult personal time in 2020,” said Taryn.

That second year, SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT raised an incredible $11,520, with 14 members on the team. They took 12th place overall as a team for fundraising.

2021 – Booty is Back
Back in Myers Park and back in person (!), 2021 was a somewhat sparse year for the team. The world was just becoming comfortable with being together again. The boys and their dad, Scott, made up the SPINS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT team. The Hofert family parked their camper, the spunky BohoBullet, near the loop and savored time in Bootyville together. Taryn even walked their dog, Lincoln, around the loop and cheered them on. Despite a small team, super high temperatures, a late start fundraising, and that many of their friends were out of town, they still managed to raise $3,051.

2022 – Enter Pedal to the Metal
“While I was riding that summer, I decided that I might start my own team that was less Nirvana-sounding and more metal,” Keane continued. He came up with PEDAL TO THE METAL, with the perfect Booty-tuned tagline “Rock Ride Raise.” The 2022 team had six members — none of whom had ever ridden in Booty — most were friends from school. Keane cleverly promoted the team on YouTube with a character he created named Bob Rocks (the artist Bob Ross meets metal guitarist).

And to top it off, “My friend’s dad has a t-shirt printing business and printed us SICK team jerseys for free (shout out to 5 By Design in Belmont),” he added.

TEAM PEDAL TO THE METAL raised $3,302 this summer.

To use their parents’ words, Colsen and Keane truly are talented boys with really big hearts. They are an inspiration. To use their word, in my opinion, they are pretty SICK. 😉 Inspired to ride as teens by an elementary school teacher who clearly had an impact on their lives, they are touching others’ lives and making a difference through their spunk, determination, and goodwill. In only a few short years, this spirited, musical, teen-led team has raised almost $27,000 for the 24 Foundation. 27,000 important dollars to help cancer patients in Charlotte navigate and survive.
Music, with a touch of humor, is at the root of much of what they do, as is evident in Keane’s Booty description on their 2022 fundraising page, “24 Hours of Booty is a 24-hour non-competitive cycling and walking event that raises funds to support patient navigation and wellness programs including art therapy, healing touch…
…and music therapy (surely they need more metal, right?)…
Talented Hofert boys, we can’t wait to see how you and your really big hearts rock, ride, and raise in 2023.

Check out their cool videos HERE!