I had a chance to meet and photograph Brian for the cover of Endurance Magazine’s March issue and learn more about why he cycles with such passion.
Brian’s older brother, Aaron, had been diagnosed with a brain tumor when they were both young boys. He was told that with is particular type of tumor, he would only have up to seven years of life left.
Aaron lived another seven years after that diagnosis.
He died in 2005.
Soon afterwards, their mother, Karen, joined the board of 24 Hours of Booty, an extraordinary 24-hour cycling event in Charlotte, North Carolina whose mission is to increase public awareness, funds and support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and local cancer organizations.
Brian has fond memories of riding training-wheeled bikes with his big brothers as kids and got inspired to ride in honor of Aaron in his first 24 Hours of Booty event back in 2005. He has continued the 24-hour ride every year since, and as grueling as the riding can be, Brian demurs, “You can’t compare cycling to what my brother went through. Aaron never gave up. A few months before he died, his health was really deteriorating and he couldn’t really hear anymore so we started writing messages to him, but even then, he never lost faith and was still making plans to go to college.
Aaron never gave up believing he would make it through. He’s tougher than I will ever be.”
A couple of other photographs from the inside spread…
I’ll be thinking of you out there on your ride this year, Brian. I’m sure you’ll ride strong!