Brain power at work

‘The Brain Guy’ cycles through South Metro on a 16,000-mile tour

Posted 8/10/10

For “The Brain Guy,” it’s not about the miles but the connections along the way. Cycling 3,000 miles so far, with potential for setting a …

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Brain power at work

‘The Brain Guy’ cycles through South Metro on a 16,000-mile tour

Posted

For “The Brain Guy,” it’s not about the miles but the connections along the way.

Cycling 3,000 miles so far, with potential for setting a Guinness World Record and living primarily off the kindness of strangers, one might be surprised to learn that Jerry Christensen mostly uses his 16,500-mile, one-man cycling tour as a conversation starter.

Jerry “The Brain Guy” Christensen, 27, of Rocksprings, Wyo., made his way through Castle Rock on Aug. 4 before taking shelter with volunteers who provided him with room and board in Castle Pines. In May, Christensen, a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado, with a degree in psychology, ventured out on his tour from Utah and so far has hit pavement in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and Canada. From Douglas County, he was headed east to Chicago. His tour and story could be spotlighted with an invitation to Hollywood for the Primetime Emmy Awards and a possible spot on TV’s “Oprah.” His future tour plans take him to Australia and back for more of the United States.

Since starting his effort, Christensen has developed a virtual network of supporters with a variety of contacts which help him further his message and awareness efforts. Using “The Brain Guy” as his nickname, he rides to raise awareness for The Brain Shift Foundation and The Recovery Meditation Method, which he developed.

His journey began long before May of this year. When Christensen was 15 years old, he wrecked during a mountain bike race. He ended up with a two-inch crack in his helmet and slid 140 feet down rocks and sage brush. He was still conscious when he finally stopped, meaning he was awake for every boulder he struck along the way.

A helicopter rescue effort transported Christensen. The teenager died twice while in the air after the shock set in. After being revived, experts said he would never recover. It was determined he would never go to college and never work longer than six weeks.

“I knew at that point the power to heal was within myself,” Christensen said. “It was in me, and I had to help other people.”

Fully recovered, Christensen developed The Recovery Meditation Method as his way to help others. It is for people who have perceived imperfections, such as addictions, brain injury, stroke, post-traumatic stress disorder, to help them make their own recovery, he said. Christensen also performs the method over the phone, so that he is never the focus during sessions. Personal and social problems can also be helped with the method, he said.

“It stokes the power to believe they can do it,” Christensen said. “I haven’t taken a single pill since 2001 because of the process. Not even vitamins.”

More information about The Brain Shift Foundation and The Recovery Meditation Method are available at www.2010RINT.org.

Before May, Christensen started his awareness effort with a 47-mile ride and decided he enjoyed it. He presented his tour ideas to the Brain Shift Foundation board, and now he is on what is to become the world’s longest single-person cycling tour specifically to benefit a nonprofit organization.

In addition, by the end of his life, he should have broken the Guinness World Record, which approved him for every mile he is on the bike, for the longest tour by one person. The record is more than 400,000 miles; however, Christensen doesn’t care much about breaking records with his tour.

“I’m not doing this to be in my biker bubble,” he said. “I’m doing it to connect with people.”

On any given day, Christensen pedals 40-60 miles a day. His longest day was 83.5 miles, and sometimes it was to areas that didn’t have electricity. His communication with people is through his Blackberry, to keep the tour green. He also takes cash donations when offered along the way, but he rarely has to spend it. In fact, the mission of the tour is to make sure it provides for itself.

“I’m always in the right place at the right time to get what I need to do this tour,” Christensen said.

Christensen began his tour on a 1994 GT All-Terra Trail, a hard tail with no suspension. It was nothing special, he said. After 1,700 miles on the GT, a volunteer whose couch Christensen was sleeping on in Fort Brag, Calif., decided Christensen needed a better bike. The volunteer offered his father’s 1983 Raleigh Triple 5 SL Super Course cycle, on the condition that Christensen would ship it back to him when he was able to replace it with a more suitable bike.

“It’s more designed for racing, not touring,” Christensen said.

The Brain Guy’s network of couch surfers, many of which he found with the aid of www.couchsurfing.com, has kept him from spending money on hotel rooms. In fact, since May, Christensen has spent a total of $71 for a room on one occasion.

“’The tour will provide’ is a focus,” he said. “If we take action, life will provide.”

Christensen, who also completed the process of becoming a reverend, said with the “take action” mentality, he hopes to help build a foundation for people to use to strengthen their lives, their country and ultimately the world on ecological, economical and social levels.

“I’m excited for the future of our country after the next 10, 18 years,” The Brain Guy said.

In the meantime, Christensen wants to use his bike as a banner for American businesses, providing unique sponsorship and publicity opportunities. He also looks to schedule one free recovery session in each city of the tour and is now training others to use the method. Being a reverend, Christensen can work under the umbrella of the clergy in states where a masters degree is needed to perform any kind of counseling.

“I don’t really flash my clergy card very much,” he said. “It just helps to keep everything legal.”

When asked what would actually make him stop riding to help people and connect with others when he stops, he said it would be a family, to be the best father and husband he can be, if he finds a gal who can keep up with him.

“Then I may put the bike away and travel as a family,” Christensen said.

Until then, Christensen said he listens to the wind during his mileage and spends time in his head.

“I get thoughts that are profound when I do that,” he said. “I spend time appreciating, the experiences and the people I’ve met. … Even the flat tires, just appreciating everything.”

Christensen’s daily blog can be seen at www.2010RINT.org. More information on him can be found at www.brainguyjerry.com.

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