Brendan Leonard Stops Biking Across America To Eat Pizza
A few months ago Russell told me that his friend Brendan was biking across the country to raise money for Big City Mountaineers, a cool organization in Denver dedicated to “enhancing the lives of under-resourced teens through transformative outdoor experiences”. Brendan finally made it to town Friday and I took him to Homeslice to hear his story. Russell came along and he saw his friend Bo there, so Bo joined us as well.
Simply put, Brendan is awesome. He used to work in community journalism, and turned down a well-paying job with his previous boss to accept a low-paying gig with Big City Mountaineers. He volunteered to take an unpaid leave biking across the country to raise money for BCM to fund future efforts to take kids from the ‘hoods to the woods.
Being around disadvantaged kids has given him a very healthy outlook on life. The trivial annoyances of life don’t bug him. We both share an intense love and agreement with the sentiments expressed by Louis C.K. in this video:
Biking 80 or so miles a day makes Brendan insatiably hungry. He needs to put away 6000 calories a day just to break even. So I was a little disappointed that he didn’t tear through the pizza with aplomb. In his defense, he had eaten a meal only two or so hours before. He let me order the toppings even though I tried to defer to him. Russell and Bo ordered other stuff to not rain on Brendan’s parade. I ordered a mess of veggies, since I didn’t know how much nutrition the road provided. He seemed to enjoy the pizza, but only hate about half of it. The rest he took home, and I assume it will fuel the next leg of his journey.
Erin and I once biked from Seattle to the middle of the Oregon coast. It was a great trip, but we were both taken aback at our never-ending hunger. One of the greatest meals of my life was lunch one day along some dunes on the Oregonian coast. Most of our lunches consisted of bread and dips (hummus, pesto, etc). One fine day we splurged and got a garlic chicken pizza and devoured it on the dunes before taking a sun-drenched nap. The last 20 miles of the day seemed like a breeze.
Brendan has it made. His definition of wealth is being rich enough to pay someone else to make your coffee, a level he has achieved. He’s biking across the country to help kids experience a new world that will help them conquer their treacherous neighborhoods. Follow his blog and donate heavily. If you are rich enough to buy coffee made by someone else, you are rich enough to help Big City Mountaineers change lives.
Total this year: $446.50