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@bikerbrayd finds that manual sweet spot.

10/31/2018, Spectral Shredder Braydon Bringhurst

Keeping it Purely Fun: Introducing Canyon USA ambassador Braydon Bringhurst

For many riders race is life. For others, forget a start and finish line; it’s all about the shred. Introducing new Canyon shred ambassador @bikerbrayd.

There will always a place in the bike world for competition. Just ask anyone from Marcel Kittel or Thomas Genon. Whether it’s a race or a contest, competition gives us mere mortals  a high water mark to measure against, a comparative that serves to motivate. When we cross a start line, a synapse pops.

But there also exists a place for riding just for the pleasure of riding. For the send. For the stoke. This is the world in which Braydon Bringhurst exclusively plays. Literally.

The 30-year-old from Boise, Idaho certainly has a race pedigree. As a youth, he raced BMX for a decade, and was one of the top amateurs in the nation. It was fulfilling… for a while. After he went on mission and competed on a top national level as a pole vaulter with Brigham Young University in Utah, Bringhurst was resolute: BMX and pole vault were fun while they lasted. He wanted more.

“With BMX, you were stuck to the track,” Bringhurst says. "You knew every rock, every berm, and each time, it was the same. It was the same with pole vaulting; it was fun, but it was repetitive. I knew neither were something I wanted to pursue.”  
Bringhurst ran into an old BMX pal, who had evolved to mountain biking. After a few rides with his buddy (and following the gift of his first real mountain bike from his father-in-law two years ago), he’d discovered the thing that lit his fire: mountain biking. The unpredictability of the trail, the style, the freedom of expression, it all attracted him.

“Those first rides, I was like ‘what the heck?!?!'. It was all so new and exciting, and I had so much fun with it.” With each ride, the stoke grew.  With no starting gate and no finish line, and certainly no repetitiveness with blind berms and big jumps on the singletrack trails around Boise, mountain biking was love at first sight. The BMX bike handling skills of his youth transferred across seamlessly, and with it, his bike control and style began to shine almost immediately. 

As a newcomer to the Boise area, he started an Instagram account (@bikerbrayd) to help find trails and ride partners. Peppering his feed with video clips of his escapades as he sent his bike over gap with ease, Bringhurst’s feed drew likes—and eyes. “Pinkbike and Loam Wolf reposted my Instagram clips, and I got a lot of cred from that,” he says. It led to his new partnership with Canyon, providing him the opportunity to carve up the trails around Boise aboard a Spectral CF SL 9.0. With its progressive, playful geometry, it's the choice toy for Bringhurst to slash turns and send gaps... and even ride across decommissioned aircraft when the opportunity arises.

The video clips are pure inspiration. With an uncanny ability to maneuver around his bike, whether in the air or on the ground, Bringhurst’s style is inspiring, the stuff many of us wish we could do if we could spend all day playing on our bikes.

Therein lies the hitch; Bringhurst may not be racing and riding solely for fun, as much or little as he likes, but  it works out perfectly; as a husband (to wife Nicole) and a father to two young daughters (Mae, 4, and Nova, 1), as well as a student chasing his masters degree, Bringhurst has been able to ride on his terms. With no training plans, (and family as his priority), the stress is low and the stoke is high.

“Y’know, I’ve raced for over 10 years, and that was great, but now it’s just different. I have a wife and two kids, and really, I just want to have fun," Bringhurst says. "It’s exciting to now be working with Canyon now, to feel like I can help with how their bikes are developed and ridden. It’s a fun opportunity and I’m putting more than 100 percent into it."

Watch his clips (which we suspect are going to be seen far and wide in the next year and beyond), and it’s quite clear; he's having fun. All the fun.

Photos: John Webster/@johnjwebster