Brian Robinson–Advice for Mountain Bikers

What is your name? Brian Robinson aka BaldPastorGuy. Often called Bald Dude.

What is your occupation? Wrangling Kittens on Crack. (I’m a pastor). Or, more seriously, setting before people Jesus as beautiful, pointing them to Him and saying, “Let’s walk this road together.”

How old are you? 53. It’s an adventure. I wake up every morning not knowing what will hurt. Sometimes, it’s something new that hurts. Which is like a reverse serendipity. I’m in a race to not have a total mechanical body failure before I live at the beach so I can still enjoy it.

Where do you live? Wherever I am, usually. In other news, people who answer these things aren’t alive? I’m in Roanoke, Virginia, praying for a move one day to the beach. Because I want a beach body. And it makes sense, right? If I put my body on the beach, I have a beach body. The six-pack, though, may have to be Cokes or something.

Do you have a website or a blog or a Twitter account or anything where people can learn more about you?
@Baldpastorguy (settings are open to everyone)

Most interesting place you’ve visited? The top of a water tower while police below swarmed to the school to find out who might have broken in. There may be a story behind this. It could go like this (hypothetically, of course!)… my buddy Bruce and I were in our late teens. We were out jogging at night. We came to an elementary school and, just for fun, I checked the side door. It was unlocked. We went in, walked around, then heard sirens. We left quickly, but the lights were flashing nearby. We had nowhere to go (flat Texas land). So we climbed up the ladder to a water tower. Laid on the inclined roof, hoping no one would look up. They didn’t. But it was cold on that metal for 45 minutes or so. I mean, if something like that were to have happened. And I’m not saying it did. Or that it didn’t.

Your favorite meal? Homemade manicotti. With ground beef, ragu sauce and plenty of cheese. My mom made it for us as kids.

Pet peeve? If he’s OK with it. Or…discourteous people in traffic. On cell phones, endangering lives. Driving slow in the left lane. Pulling out in front of me so that I have to hit my brakes. I think I prefer petting Peeve.

Wait, what? Oh, I get it. You’re talking about petting an animal named “Peeve.” You ain’t right.

Favorite book? Two books: “The Summons” by Dennis McCallum. It’s not particularly well-written, but the Biblical teaching in it challenged so much of what I believed at the time. And set me free in so many ways. Always, “Wisdom Hunter” by Randall Arthur.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for….? The empty nest years that begin just months from now. That my wife and I will grow into those in a way that brings more closeness and deepens our love for one another.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Pets? Married with seven kids. One of them is human. The rest are cats. Now if my son would stop using the litter box…

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it? Spend it on mountain biking trails for days on end. Coming home to my wonderful wife at the end of the day energized, recharged and ready to spend time simply being with my wife and my son.

Great! Can you offer us some advice for mountain bikers? Choose your line and stick to it. There are tree roots, rocks, rivulets and such, just looking to lay waste to your precious bike and the body you happen to be using at the moment (and will probably need for quite some time). Look ahead, plan, choose where you need to be. Then head that way. And never ride past your ability and the quality of the bike you own. Otherwise, you may just find that there be monsters in those woods. As I did last summer. First with a flip over the handlebars that nearly took my head off, messed up my leg and took me out for a couple of months. And then with a tree that moved right into my path for no good reason at all. And broke two of my much-needed and irreplaceable ribs. But…get back on the bike. The peace and the exercise and the fresh air are worth it. Even if you’re not the fastest anymore…for fear of serious injury and/or death.

Sounds like you’ve learned some things the hard way. Thanks. Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered?

I used to be a bodybuilder. (If you’ve seen me in real life, go ahead and laugh. I understand.) I took steroids and was pretty big at one point. Worked at a gym as a trainer. Then I became overweight. (Pastors eat their feelings. It’s not right, but it happens.) I became a runner and athlete in my 30’s and into my 40’s, running races, doing triathlons, etc. A hip injury stopped most of that.

I used to deliver pizza in Houston. As a believer. Our regular clients included strip clubs and “working women” at cheap hotels. I had great opportunities to talk about Jesus during those times.

For a short period, I was homeless in Austin.

I’m incredibly OCD about the chairs in the worship area of the church I pastor.

Suicide and mental illness has permeated much of my life. From my mom and her side of the family. My greatest fear for years was that I’d become mentally ill and lose touch with reality- as I saw in family I knew. Pastoring has also showed me the brevity of life. I’m committed to enjoying the moments I have and living a life of influence toward Jesus.

Thanks much for letting us get to know you a little, Brian. We appreciate your time.