Bryan Carbone grew up playing team sports like hockey and soccer and the bike was a simple mode of transportation. After school, he’d ride to the deli for a soda and some Honey Buns, or to meet his buddies to go skateboarding. Occasionally, he’d tag along with his brother and his friends to build jumps and trails in the woods by his house. Once he got his license, though, that bike started collecting dust in the basement.
After a horrific motorcycle accident in 2006, riding bikes was the only exercise he could do pain-free. And it didn’t take long until he bought his first road bike. In the beginning, the rides were very sporadic and unregimented, strictly riding for cardio on nice days. After graduating college in the winter of ‘09, he made the decision to ride across the country.
After crossing the country, and a second trip that led him down the west coast, he was off to Drexel University to work on his master’s. He joined the cycling club, did some collegiate road races that spring, and fell in love with the sport.
Bryan currently races for Elite Endurance Training Systems and focuses more on MTB and CX racing.
December Weight: 168 lbs.
Race Weight: 158. May experiment a bit lower this year.
Birthdate: October 1, 1984
Childhood Heroes: “Rodney Mullen(Skateboarder), Martin Brodeur.”
Hobbies and Interests: “Hockey, bicycle-touring, math.”
Favorite Movies: “Good Will Hunting, Mallrats, Rad, Youngblood, tons more.”
Musical Tastes: “Grew up on punk/pop-punk/ska, stuff like NOFX, MxPx, Less Than Jake. Nowadays, I add more rock, metal, even country and Christian rock.”
Favorite TV Shows: “Numb3rs, Psych, Breaking Bad, Chuck”
Favorite Meal: “Breakfast Sampler, every diner has one. They just call it something different. Pancakes, eggs over easy, bacon or sausage – like to change it up – toast or home-fries, and coffee. Don’t get to eat this much anymore, but ate it just about every morning on my cycle tours.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Can’t remember the last time I’ve had cereal. Honey-Nut Cheerios?”
Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Don’t really have a meal, per se, try to keep it light pre-race. Definitely a large coffee in the morning, and a few gels leading up to the start, these are guarantees.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “How can you pick a favorite? Recently had home-made Pumpkin Spice, that’ll be my favorite until fall is over. Then I’ll have a new one.”
Childhood Dream: “I can’t really remember any childhood dreams. =/”
First Car: “1993 Honda Civic Hatchback. Got my license a little while after The Fast and The Furious came out, and I have an older brother who was really into cars. Needless to say, I totally ‘tricked’ it out. Got runner-up for Best Car Senior Year.”
First Job: “Delivered newspapers in my neighborhood. Still have the snowboard I bought with some of my earnings.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Haven’t been anywhere too crazy, YET, but I really enjoyed the west coast. And I always love spending time down in LBI with my family.”
Pre-Race Feeling: “I always feel like I’m forgetting to do something. Like warm-up properly, drink enough, when to eat, when my race starts.”
Early Racing Memory: “Winning Grant’s Tomb Criterium. My first legitimate race and the first race my parents came to watch.”
Funny Racing Memory: “During the second lap of the Black Mo’ Road Race at Penn State, which winds through a state forest, climbs some mountains, and passes by a few farms, a chicken on the right side of the road catches my eye. Then from the left, out of nowhere, a rooster comes tearing across the road. Definitely thought I was going to take it out.”
Funny NON-Racing Memory: “When I was 19 or 20, a friend and I had this brilliant idea to ride from West Milford to the Garden State Plaza, on BMX bikes. We left nice and early. Our plan was to jump on 208, which would lead us pretty much right to the mall. All was going great. We got into Oakland, jumped on 287 for a short stretch and made it onto 208 [which are two HIGHWAYS!]. A few miles down the road, we hear sirens. I look back to see a cop with cherries flashing. We pull over. When we say we’re 19, he just looks at us dumbfounded. “Why are you riding bikes to the mall?” he says. Long story short, our bikes end up in his trunk, and he’s taking us down the first exit ramp we get to. He drops us off in the middle of Hawthorne, and we proceed to take back-roads that we’ve never been on before. We made it to the mall, got some Sbarros, and started heading home.”
Greatest Racing Moment: “When I finally got to put on the MAC series leader jersey. That was definitely a cool moment. Also, in 2013, getting to share the podium with teammate Sean Pasieka a few times. ”
Most Painful Moment In Life: “In 2006, I was riding my motorcycle to work one morning, and someone pulled out from a side street right in front of me. I didn’t have enough time to stop, and when the driver saw me, he just 3 stopped in the middle of my lane. Ended up slamming into his rear quarter-panel. Broke my femur and had a rod put in. Broke my jaw, which wasn’t diagnosed until it had started healing, so I had to have it re-broken and wired shut. The most painful part of the whole thing was waking up in the middle of the road with EMTs around. I immediately regretted telling them that my leg hurt when I saw a guy come from the ambulance with a brace that looked like a torture device. They strapped it around my knee and upper thigh and started cranking the handle, stretching my thigh to separate the two parts of my femur. I got morphine a few minutes later.”
Worst Injury from Racing: “I’m crossing my fingers that the above injury, being it happened on two wheels, will be my worst injury on a bike. So far racing, only a few scrapes and bruises when a guy went down in front of me in a corner the first day of the SJ Omnium. I was a little hesitant in the corners the rest of the weekend.”
Closest Racing Friends: “Ken Lundgren, Sean Pasieka and the EE team”
Funniest Racer: “Sean Runnette.”
Favorite Race: “I think I have to say Whirlybird. Have had great experiences here. In 2013, I went off the front sometime in the first lap and took the win out of almost 100 racers. In 2014, I crushed the holeshot, gapping the field before we even got off the prologue. It was wet and muddy and brutal.”
Embarrassing Racing Memory: “At the SOS MTB Challenge in 2013, I led down the dirt fire-road, opening up a gap as we hit the woods. Was riding nice and steady, totally in my comfort zone, smooth. Pop out of the woods onto a road and I start heading left. Wrong turn. By the time I turn around, everyone else was popping out of the woods. I got stuck at the back of the pack. Worked my way back through the field, but couldn’t make up for that early mistake.”
Toughest Competitors: “Everyone. Anyone that’s having a good day. I’ve had so many good battles, with so many different racers.”
Favorite Athletes to Watch: “Freestyle skateboarders. Go watch Rodney Mullen’s part in Second Hand Smoke (it’s on YouTube), especially the first minute and a half. I’ve seen it over 100 times, and I am no less amazed watching right now, than for the first time about 15 years ago.”
Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Perseverance. Honesty. Follow-through.”
What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “No matter what kind of day I’m having, or how much I have on my mind, a few minutes into a bike ride, my head is clear and my day is better.”