“If I could share one thing about my story, it is never give up, never quit. There are things we can all do to empower ourselves to change. Empower our lives to be better, more productive, and happier. That is everything.”
Brian Hall is many things—a published author, public speaker, loving partner, friend, community caretaker, and a devoted cyclist. He has dedicated his life to sharing his story with the intention of removing stigmas, transforming being the “other,” and bringing people close for intimate conversations and connection.
Brian's symptoms of Parkinson's disease started at age 14. His high school basketball coach noticed his movement was being hampered by intermittent foot cramps, as he ran the length of the basketball court.
This was the beginning of a very long and frustrating medical journey. For years, the uncertainty of Brian’s condition left him with a great deal of fear and doubt about his physical future.
Then, in 2013 almost 20 years later he got a bicycle, and his entire world changed.
“Mountain biking is the antibiotic that keeps my soul healthy.”
GIVE WAY TO FLIGHT
Each year, Brian Hall makes a choice. He chooses to get on his bike and do what so many would see as the impossible. He cycles up the auto road, racing against time, and the disease. The disease that makes it nearly impossible for him to walk distances without losing his balance.
Here, on two wheels, falling gives way to flight.
For years, neurologists have shared research around the benefits of the mind-body connection that only cycling can bring. And as we look deeper, there is an unspoken transformation that happens for so many, all from the seat of a bike.
For we all have our own mountains to ride, trials that can seem terrifying or transformative.
"I got into the woods, and I just felt that feeling. You know that feeling when you are a kid, the first time ever on a bike. And it all came back to me then. That is what having a mountain bike means to me. Freedom. Physical freedom."
CLIMBING THE WALL
In 2018, only five years later, Brian found his way to the base of Mount Washington—the true test of the cycling will—and entered a race that is 7.6 miles up one of the steepest hill climbs in North America–and possibly the world.
Each year elite athletes travel from around the globe for the Mount Washington Auto Road Hillclimb to face off against “The Wall,” a 22% grade with average winds at a minimum of 35 miles per hour.
“The sense of being physically free in a way I can't be on anything else in this world right now. The way I am physically today.
The bike is a miracle.”
PEDALING THROUGH THE PAIN
Brian goes on to say that he’d be doing the world a disservice if he did not share how he is able to do what he does—to share the choices he has made all along the way.
Parkinson’s does not allow Brian — or anyone – to choose what it will take from them, how it will alter their life.
But Brian has channeled his struggle into service. He has dedicated himself to the understanding that it is up to him how this pain runs through his life.
And he makes that choice over and over, every morning of every day.
“While it can take everything it wants physically, I refuse to let it touch my spirit. It won’t get inside me that way. I won’t allow it.
This epiphany has gifted me peace of mind, and hope. That is very healing. That is what a bike means to me.”
THE ROAD AHEAD
Symptomatic with Parkinson’s for 46 years, Brian Hall’s goal is to bring support, hope and empowerment to all those living with this challenging disease.
Today, Brian is working as a public speaker and a lead collaborator on a feature film that is an autobiography of his life.
The film is slated to be released Summer of 2023.
In celebration of Brian’s 60th birthday, Giant Bicycles USA is proud to provide technical race support for Brian’s return to Mount Washington on Saturday, August 20, 2022.