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"Cycling along a trail/country road late into the night with only your bright lights to guide you is an incredible feeling. When you're riding with the cold breeze on your face, nothing else matters. It's almost like time stands still. "

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?

I am Vedangi, originally from India, currently living in the Scottish Highlands. I am a writer, project/expedition manager and an adventure-loving human with a soft spot for mountains, snow and bikes. Sometimes, I jump into the deep end with crazy ideas and learn as I go.

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

My first big expedition was a solo ride, back in July 2016, from Manali to Leh to Drass (pretty much across the Indian Himalayas) when I was 17. My parents met me every night where we camped and I crossed several huge mountain passes along the way. That was the ride where I realised how much fun riding a bike over longer distances is.

Before this expedition, when I was out on a training ride up a smaller pass in the mountains close to home, I learnt how to push myself a little further every time I go out, and how to reduce the stopping time along the way. When I moved to UK aged 18, in September 2016, cycling became the only thing that kept me sane. I found it incredibly difficult to create genuine connections and fit into the "western" concept of what life in university entails.

A few months into my life in the UK, I was inspired to sign up for London Edinburgh London. A 400km training ride that I had planned to prepare myself for the big audax event soon turned into a 1600km ride from Bournemouth to John O'Groats.

Along the way, I slept under bus shelters, knocked on people's doors (being welcomed to stay with them on numerous occasions), ended up accidentally riding on questionable roads (motorways, dual carriageways, etc), navigated using road signs (and sometimes Google Maps) and crashed a million times (having never used clipless pedals before this journey).

I fell in love with the UK during this ride. I was reading Juliana Buhring's "This Road, I Ride" during this ride which inspired me to take on my biggest expedition yet- a bike ride around the world. In 2018, whilst aiming to (and failing to) become the fastest woman to cycle around the world, I rode 18,000 miles in 160 days.

Although not officially ratified, I was the youngest woman to do so (aged 19/20). Endurance cycling has been a huge part of my life ever since. Given my lifelong obsession with snowy places, especially polar regions, I also got into cross country skiing.

After dabbling with some shorter cross country ski adventures, in 2022, I cross Svalbard on skis. This was an organised expedition (by Newland Expeditions) and I learnt a great deal about all things winter survival, polar bear protection and, of course, skiing with a huge pulk. It was, hands down, the best experience ever and I didn't want the expedition to end. I'm now plotting some long-distance Arctic adventures (possibly even races).

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

I raced Strathpuffer this January and absolutely LOVED the experience. I went into it so nervous that I was worried I wouldn't be able to even show up at the start line. What made it even worse was the fact that I had cracked my ribs in a bike crash a couple weeks before the event. I was incredibly surprised that I wasn't just able to finish the event but also enjoy it along the way. I stood 6th in my category. Less than 16 hours after the race, I was off for some technical training (as well as getting some CX ski miles in) in Norway. It was good to refresh my winter skills as I prepare for my upcoming Arctic Ultra.

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

I'm a writer, a project/expedition/event manager and a public speaker. I run a business called The Adventure Shed to help folks plan and manage their adventures/expeditions. I also organise mountain bike races. My aim is to make downhill racing a bit more inclusive. In 2021, I organised UK's first race for adapted mountain bikers. It took place at Gawton Gravity Hub and out of the 170 people that race, nearly 24% were women. Both two wheeled mountain bikers and adapted mountain bikers raced the same track. The next one of these races is on the 25th and 26th March at Nevis Range in Fort William. I also make a banging curry. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Notable Achievements

  • 50km PB of 3 hours 29 minutes

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

  • Bennachie Ultra 3rd place