Meet Johnny Brazil, owner of downtown business Jackalope Cycling! Brazil was born in Petaluma, California, but at age 34, has lived in the River Valley for 21 years. One of Brazil’s favorite memories in the River Valley is when he proposed to his now-wife Jennifer, on the bluffs at Old Post Park. They have a daughter, Brooklyn.
1. What is your favorite book, and why?
The bible. As a believer and follower of Christ the book of hope and salvation. However, even if someone is not a believer, the stories and moral of it are a great guide to life. Reading and studying it yourself versus listening to what others say is very important to not get muddled misinterpreted information.
2. Dog or cat? Why?
Dog. I enjoy being able to take our dog trail running, fishing, camping, and any other family adventures we go on. Our dog “Jack” (Jackalope) is an aussie-doodle that is very smart, fast, and protective of our family. His love and companionship with our daughter is pretty special, as well!
3. What do you think is the most positive aspect of living in the River Valley?
The accessibility to outdoor recreation is absolutely the best of anywhere in the state. We are “The Hub” for Arkansas outdoors. Within 2 hours of travelling from the River Valley, I can be on a Top 50 trout tail water, rock climbing in Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, float the Buffalo River, fish Lake Dardanelle Bass Master Classic Lake, backpack the Ozark Highlands Trail, day hike to a plethora of waterfalls, or ride some of the best mountain bike trails in the world. That only names a few opportunities that sit at our front and back door.
4. What is your favorite music genre and artist? Why?
This is a very difficult question for me. I truly appreciate a broad variety of music genres and artists. From Cake to Steep Canyon Rangers to Kendrick Lamar to Sam Smith to Midland to Pantera, I have a broad spectrum of music I listen to. If I had to pick one last band to listen to for the rest of my life it would have to be The Allman Brothers. That choice avoids the favorite genre a bit since they play so many different genres of music.
5. What do you nerd out on?
Most anything that grabs my attention and provides a little bit of a challenge. Currently, I am nerding out, most, on ultra-running (running distances over 26.2 miles). I still nerd out pretty hard on vintage bicycles, fly fishing, art and wood working.
6. If you could change one thing about the River Valley, what would it be?
I would love to see the River Valley embrace and brand itself as “The Hub of Arkansas Outdoors.” With all of the beautiful outdoor recreation opportunities that surround us, we are truly blessed with the best location in the state. I believe if we take ownership of our outdoor recreation, access to the entire state, cost of living, and continue to focus on quality of life, we will improve our student retention, engagement with ATU, improve our workforce pool, attract people that are able to work remote, improve the health of the people of our community and give the River Valley something to stand for.
7. Pizza, tacos, cheeseburger, or fried chicken? Any particular reason why?
Pizza! There are so many options and ways to get creative with ingredients! Although I do enjoy a good old fashion Ninja Turtle traditional greasy pizza, I really like to try untraditional pizzas. My favorite at the moment is at Point Remove Brewery in Morrilton. It is the “Adam and Eve” and has arugula, prosciutto, and fig preserve with a white wine and Alfredo sauce.
8. What is your favorite quote?
“I know it may seem small and insignificant, but it’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” –Dr. Suess “The Lorax”
This quote helps me reflect on our capabilities, as humans. I think about how much more capable we are than we give ourselves and others credit for. Children are my favorite for this as they are definitely much smarter and more capable than we allow them to be.
9. One person (past or present) you’ve never met, with which you’d like to spend a day and what would you choose to do with that time?
I’d love to spend a day with Tom Ritchey. He is a founding father of the modern mountain bike. He has hand-built thousands of bikes and is responsible for initiating a lot of the technology in mountain biking that we still use today. I’d love to build a frame with him, ride a bike and just sit and talk about cycling and creating.
10. If you could choose to be anything, what would that be and why?
I would love to be able to be somewhat of a global missionary. My dream would be being able to serve underprivileged communities around the word by being able to teach and share skill sets I have developed throughout my life.