MBA: Who should be developing young riders?
Brian: It is kind of a shame that USA Cycling only does
that with cross-country athletes and roadies. They offer
training camps and houses over in Europe. So they put
forth some effort and money on that side of things, but not
into the gravity side of mountain biking.
Right now there are not a lot of super-young kids who
really race mountain bikes. It is becoming more popular,
but it is nowhere near the point of motorcycles with the
whole minibike scene. Those kids have been racing since
they were 4 or 5 years old. By the time they are 13, companies like Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki are snatching them
up, putting them on multi-year contracts, and they are making pretty great money for kids.
MBA: What’s your take on enduro racing?
Brian: Enduro racing is based on the type of riding and
terrain that is most like what people who own mountain
bikes do. Will it grow? It will never be a popular spectator
sport. You’re never going to see videos based around enduro
racing. How do you do that, right?
As far as rider participation goes, it could be good. It is
like a marathon. You are not going to sit in front of the TV
and watch a marathon. It’s pretty boring. But look at how
many people run the Boston Marathon. They set a goal,
train for it and go run a marathon. Enduro racing is similar
If you ride on the weekends and maybe a couple of times
during the week before or after work, an enduro is the closest competition that fits those types of riders. Those are the
people who really support the bike industry. It’s not people
buying downhill bikes or people buying jump bikes.
MBA: Are you going to be racing more enduros?
Brian: Racing the Sprint Eliminator World Cup races in
2012 took up a lot of my focus, so I didn’t race as many
enduros last year as I have in the past. Enduro racing is
something I love to do and want to do, but it all comes
down to defining the sport. What are the courses going to
be like? How are the organizers going to be running them?
It seems like every organizer has his own twist on what
enduro racing is. Is it a mass-start or timed event? Is it five
stages or a single run? Should it be gnarly downhills or
Right now it is up to each promoter to determine what
an enduro is, so I try to pick the events that are fun, fit
my style and are going in the direction I think the sport
It is just like this whole Sprint Eliminator thing. I didn’t go
to the Worlds because I’m not in agreement with how the
UCI is running these races. They got really lame, and they
weren’t mountain biking, so I wasn’t going to waste my time.
MBA: We felt that after you won the first event, the UCI
changed the format to make it Lopes-proof.
Brian: I saw your story, and I thought it was pretty funny.
It is hard to say if that was true. The first Eliminator wasn’t
perfect by any means, but at least it was 95 percent in the
dirt. The rest of them, there was hardly any dirt. You didn’t
need any mountain bike skills to get around the courses.
MBA: So what should Enduro racing be?
Brian: I like the idea of an enduro being multiple stages.
Still having fun: Brian shows no signs of burnout after 38
years of racing. He keeps the batteries recharged by sampling
new trails and riding with friends to share the experience.
Birthdate: September 6, 1971
Birthplace: Bellflower, CA
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 157 pounds
Shoe size: 9
Helmet size: Medium
Marital status: Married
Current home: Laguna Beach, California
Cars: Sprinter van, Ford Raptor, Audi TT RS
Started racing: 1975
Turned pro: 1989
Racing specialty: Races that require sprinting, jumping,
railing turns and some endurance—but not cross-coun-try-type endurance. Basically racing that has a bit of
everything thrown in. It used to be gated racing when
that was my main focus.
Favorite course (North America): Hmm, A-Line maybe
for DH and Chaquita to San Juan Trail for enduro
downhill-style trail riding.
Favorite course (Europe): Sauze d’Oulx for enduro,
Metebief for DH (back in the early ’90s it was fun) and
Livigno, Italy 4x was awesome.
Favorite food: Italian
Goals: Have fun, be happy and stay healthy
Heroes: Dang, don’t have one that comes to mind, but
there are a lot of people that I’ve met and who I hear
about that I am in awe of for what they have accomplished or have gone through in their lives. There are a
lot of unknown heroes out there aside from superstars.
Favorite recording artist: Eminem and Jay Z
Favorite movie: Hangover
Favorite hobbies: Riding moto, good dinners with
friends and family.
Jobs held (other than racer): Paper route, bike shop
employee, motocross trainer.
Most embarrassing moment: I try to forget those
moments, so they are all erased from my memory.
Always takes on a trip: Phone, ID, toothbrush, money,
fresh socks and underwear.
What you would be if you were not a racer: LOST.