Unstoppable Kiwi slows in Steamboat
Jup Brown is planning to ride from one end of the continent to the other. Follow his journey on his blog at https://jupbrown.wordpress.com/ or on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jupbrown?fref=ts.
He is raising money on his website for the 100 Mile Club, which encourages school children to run or walk 100 miles in a school year. He collected $6,800 in his run across the United States and already has $5,000 pledged for his bike ride.
Steamboat Springs — Jup Brown often found himself flooded with questions this spring as he ran from one end of the United States to the other, from Los Angeles to Boston.
The ones that most baffled him weren’t about his sanity, his motivation or his well being, however.
“People would always ask me, ‘Aren’t you worried?’” he said. “’Aren’t you scared?’”
No, to be clear: He was not scared.
Brown, a native of New Zealand who spent many years living in Japan, has racked up more “crazy” adventures than one could ever dream. The run across the United States was the most recent, and on Thursday, he was back on the East Coast setting off on the next amazing trip, a 4,700-mile cycling tour from the Stratford, Connecticut, north through Canada, west toward the Pacific and down back to Los Angeles, making a gigantic circular trip around North America.
He stopped in Steamboat Springs to visit friends and sponsors — Big Agnes and Point6 — and hopes to return to the city afterward, chasing powder and potentially helping coach young moguls skiers with the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
Even days before departing for the bike trip, he was still anything but scared.
“Why would I be scared?” he said last week.
“People ask me if I’m scared, scared of what could happen to me,” he said. “No, I’m not, because I’m meeting so many cool people. Once you get past that 5 or 10 seconds of initial unknown, when I”m just that scary person running down the road, then people want to get to know me, want to help me.”
Those people Brown randomly meets are the fuel that keeps his amazing expeditions moving forward.
He first decided to try such a trip in his home country. He’d been living in Japan and had often struggled to explain to friends there what New Zealand was like. So, he decided he’d find out.
He ran 1,824 miles — from one end of the nation to the other. Then, he made a similar trek from one end of Japan to the other, 2,646 miles.
That led him to the trek across the United States, 3,423 miles.
He said in each nation, his overriding goal wasn’t simply to make it 25 or 50 miles in any particular day. It was to meet people and make friends.
“Even when I had sore feet, I was never sad because I knew someone would show up soon, I’d have someone to talk to. That’d make me happy, and I would get through the next couple of hours,” he said.
He said he found very helpful people in the United States, especially once they got over that initial fear. They ended up helping him with everything he needed, and helped him get from one end of the continent to the other.
“People come out, and they say, ‘That’s a really cool thing you’re doing,’” he said. “I say, ‘You made this. I just started it.’”
He spent a short stint in Steamboat, making connections, exploring the area and working on some final details.
Those connections included coaches with the Winter Sports Club. Brown worked with a ski area in Japan on a moguls course and is eager to help out in Steamboat this winter.
Exploring the area included participating in the Moots Ranch Rally bicycle tour last month.
Final details, meanwhile, included buying a bicycle for the nearly 5,000-mile bike ride he was within days of setting out on.
Brown’s not much for planning ahead. He never knows who he’s going to meet in a day or where he’s going to end up. Still, no matter the day and no matter the destination, he’s pretty sure he’s going to enjoy it.
“What I want to show people is that you can do it,” he said. “You don’t have to have a lot of money. You just have to have the want to try it. I like the unknown, going down the road not having any idea where I am, but knowing something very positive is going to happen.”
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