Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bryan, The Elliptical Cyclist

I have to admit that we did not meet Bryan on the train - or any other type of public transportation. We were walking near Addison when we saw a guy zoom past on a yellow contraption that looked like an elliptical bicycle. We were across the street at an intersection and I think we were just too flabbergasted as Bryan wizzed by to say anything...

There is something elegant about the standing human form. It's some strange abstract amalgamation of strength, determination, and focus all compiled into one singular motion forward. And that elegant form was what we saw standing on a yellow elliptical bike racing toward us a second time as we rounded a different street. This time, Mariam and I were committed to stop him. We waved him down, (sorry, we probably looked crazy doing this) and Mariam asked him if we could interview him. It turned out that this guy racing around Lake View was not only cool, but humble - and that's where we started talking. 
Bryan pulled out of the bike lane, and we shook hands and introduced ourselves while half-ogling at his bike. Of course, we started the interview by asking about it. The bike was something Bryan saw a few years ago in a SkyMall catalog (those things are so tempting!). He thought it was cool, but didn't purchase it right away. 
Almost 2 years later, Bryan saw the bike in another SkyMall catalog... and decided to buy it mid-flight. But this was not his first unorthodox bike! Bryan used to ride a trike about for 5 years before that! Unlike the trike however, the elliptical bike is a lot more strenuous than a normal bike. On his first time riding it, Bryan found himself winded after only two blocks of trying to stay upright and avoid potholes. 
Though Bryan lived most of his life in Chicago, he spent a few years working in California. While he was in California, Bryan worked in the medicinal marijuana business. He compared it to the wild west. Because of the really high costs of the product and the attraction to illegal dealers, the legal vendors felt the need to be armed in order to protect their businesses. Around harvest time, most farms would hire ex-military guys to guard the farms and help with security!
It was easy to tell from Bryan's soft-spoken kindness and wisdom that he'd seen a lot in his life. Bryan is inspired by his his brother who recently passed away from lung cancer (our prayers are with you). In his brother's memory, Bryan realized "how fast the lights can go off," how temporary we are, and how mortal we all are. In his own words, "You get lessons until you're not here to get any more lessons."  
Although Bryan recently faced this difficult time in his life, he feels like he's on the brink of a new chapter. He's thinking about starting a new business, and continuing his lifelong entrepreneurial streak with a new business that would produce  non-processed, healthy foods and juices.
Thank you for talking to us Bryan! We really appreciated the frank and open discussion and wish you all the best. Take care.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...