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Black Dad Knows A Lot But Papa Knows Everything Shirt, hoodie, tank top
Brian’s way into mainstream road cycling, he doesn’t want to be known only for blazing down Strava segments.
Again, however, it’s the visuals that matter. Sport is, after all, entertainment, and while Brian’s isn’t done live in front of fans or sanctioned by any league, the overall effect is no less mesmerizing than the feats performed by professional athletes earning millions of dollars. “All right, fasten your seat belts,” he tells YouTube viewers as he enters the lower half of Tuna, golden light shooting through the green canopy of trees, the picture darkening the deeper he drops into the canyon. Brian bunny hops over a wide crack in the road at nearly 45 mph. He lifts his chest out of the super tuck, “air braking” through a series of corners while knocking overgrown roadside weeds out of the way with his shoulder, deft as a downhill ski racer brushing a gate. He surges through a straightaway, as if propelled by a motor, almost dropping Bucky, and in this moment one can see Brian stretching himself, stretching the sport, stretching our own narrow conception of what constitutes professional cycling and leading us—if we’ll only let him—to where it might go.
Brian admits that Tuna represents the apotheosis in terms of his descents. It’s a ride that rendered him right on the edge, and a risk—at least on camera—that he’s not too keen to take again. “I don’t want to put people in that position…” he says, voice trailing off as he considers the most extreme consequences of attempting anything crazier than Tuna. “I wouldn’t want Bucky to have to sit there with me while I die.”
“Zero! Zero!” Rafael da Silva says, laughing, when I ask if there’s a chance he’ll try to take his Tuna KOM back. Sometimes he worries about his friend, knowing how much he rides and how he lives life with a day-by-day mentality. But mostly Brian’s cycling fills Rafael with FOMO. Says David Trimble: “Watching his videos makes me want to do what he’s doing. For me they promote cycling in a way that makes me want to go ride and want to ride road bikes.”
Brian’s mother Sue shares this enthusiasm, telling me that she is astonished by her son’s skills and his ability to concentrate, how he seems to anticipate everything ahead while remaining completely in control of his body and his bike. Though, she adds: “I don’t think I could watch in real time.”
More films are in the works, continental road trips, perhaps a European tour. Brian promises neither, but hints that the vibe in whatever he does will be mellower. Speed, however, will still make some appearances.