Friday, November 10, 2006

Brian Kullman 1967 - 2006

Brian Wayne Kullman
The King of the Mountains

My first memory of BK dates back to the Pigeon Lake road race in 2003. It was a cold and rainy day that didn’t exactly have me jumping for joy. I had warmed up with some other Synergists by doing laps up and down the highway but this didn’t prove to be enough as the race started fast and I got dropped on the first hill. I rode on alone for awhile before BK caught up to me. He slowed down and picked me up and we rode the rest of the race together. He could have easily dropped me and ridden on with faster groups that caught up to us but he didn’t. No matter how I was riding, he stayed with me until the end of the race.

This selfless nature has continued over the years as BK and I became better friends and trained and rode together more frequently. Whether we were going for a training ride, cross-country skiing or even racing, BK was always there to make sure his friends and team mates were taken care of. If you needed anything, he would do his best to help you out. Got a flat tire right before a race? No problem, here’s my bike. Hands cold on a winter ride? No problem, here are my gloves. Cracking after a long ride? No problem, here is my energy bar. BK never let you suffer if he could help you out.

BK was one of those weird guys (weird to a heavy track guy like me) who loved to climb. At training camp in Tucson, Brian was always happiest on days when there would be a few hours of climbing to be had. I’m pretty sure that if he lived in Tucson, he’d climb Mt. Lemmon on a weekly basis. His favourite race has always been the Mount Norquay Hill Climb and this year he put in a great time and claimed second place. I think that some of the credit for that can go to Brian’s rigorous training regime that included numerous rides in his Birkenstock sandals. Nothing toughens you up quite like a long, hard ride while wearing sandals, with black socks of course, atop your clipless pedals.

Brian’s passion for climbing was fuelled by his undying love of all things bike tech. If there was something new or cool to be seen or had, I could count on him to know all about it and likely have it on his bike already. Saves you 5g? I’ll take it! Won’t be available in North American until next year? I’ll take it! Looks so cool? I’ll take it. As a fellow bike geek trapped in the cold of Calgary, news of cool new gear always cheered me up.

Brian took this same all in approach to everything he did. If there was an inside scoop or trick to it, he would figure it out. What was really great about him is that he would then share this information with you. As a result of all this, Brian pulled the second best espresso shot in town, not bad for a guy does it for a hobby. I was fortunate enough to enjoy plenty of fine espressos in BK’s kitchen over the years and always looked forward to them.

Brian was a great man, loving friend and avid cyclist. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him. Brian always had a great big smile on his face and did his best to make sure you left with one too, even if that took chasing you down and hugging you. He offered never ending support and encouragement to everyone in the cycling scene and helped me out on many occasions. I will miss our weekly roller training sessions, espresso shots, and bike geekery but most of all I will miss one of my closest and best friends. I hope that wherever Brian is, he is enjoying long climbs over perfect roads with a never ending tail wind. We’ll miss you Brian.

Jon Keech
Synergy Racing Cycle Club

1 comment:

Grace said...

On behalf of the Velocity Cycling Club in Edmonton, our deepest sympathies to Brian's family and friends.

Geoff Rackette
President, Velocity Cycling Club