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"Cycling means freedom. Freedom to go anywhere on my own power without using fossil fuels, all I need is strapped into my bicycle. Travelling by bike allows me to see the world in a much slower pace, to have a coffee with a complete stranger and to appreciate little moments like a warm shower and a hot meal with different eyes."

Based in Glencoe and competing in Ultra Marathon distance events across the UK, Brian has been quietly working his way into the Elite categories in his field.

He’s been on the podium at the Scottish Islands Peak Race, competed in many of the UK’s toughest mountain challenges and is gearing up for his best year yet in 2022. A keen mountain explorer and professional content creator, Brian loves to share his mountain running adventures online - @brianpetersharp

We take a pause to learn a little more about Brian.

Tell us about yourself, and where you are from?

My name is Leonardo and I'm from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I grew up playing tennis, and living a city life without much opportunities for adventure. It wasn't until I moved to Denver in 2015 for college that I discovered the outdoor lifestyle and its byproducts such as backpacking, cycling and trail running, which turned my life upside down (in a good way).

I hold a marketing degree from CU Denver but chose to follow my passion and pursed photography as a career.

What's your back story, and how did you get into the outdoors and your particular discipline?

Cycling has always been a part of my life but mostly as means of transportation (which remains true to this date).

I don't own a car, as a matter of fact I never did. I don't like driving and I do my best to avoid it at all costs, so bikes not only represent adventure, but they are massively utilitarian for my lifestyle. Bikepacking came after.

I went on my first solo trip in 2019 using mostly backpacking equipment + a few second hand bike bags. I had a cheap aluminum gravel bike with old components and improper gear ratios, but I wanted to test the waters and my capability on the bike. I got hooked to say the least. “It’s just like backpacking but you get to go much faster and see a lot more without anything on your back!”

Racing came last. Just like many people, I began riding long distances in 2020, when the pandemic started. I lost my job, school became online and I suddenly saw myself with a crazy amount of free time on my hands, so I decided to fill the space with cycling.

I never followed a proper program (still don’t), my main motivation to ride was to do simple tasks such as "go grab coffee in Manitou Springs by bike" (I live in Denver). So in 2021 I entered my first ever race: Unbound XL in Kansas (350+ miles). A lot has happened since then.

Which trips, expeditions, or achievements are you most proud of? 

“Achievements” usually implies winning something, well, I’m quite new in the racing scene, I’ve always been more active in the exploration side of cycling than in competition itself, but for the sake of personal achievements I have:

  • Developed two long distances bikepacking routes in Colorado
  • Raced Unbound XL twice (and rode from Denver to Emporia in 2022 prior to the race)
  • Finished in 5th on North South Colorado race in 2022 (600 mi)

Tell us a little bit about your life outside of mountain running? 

Outside of riding bikes, I enjoy coffee, trail running, backpacking, and brainstorming photography stories (which also happens to be my full time job. I'm a professional photographer and storyteller who uses bikes as an excuse to travel, experience other cultures and fulfill my deep curiosity about the world we live in.

Notable Achievements

  • 50km PB of 3 hours 29 minutes

  • Competed in the Elite category at the 2021 Golden Trail Series

  • Bennachie Ultra 3rd place