For the second year, Northern Michigan’s cycling community will gather to celebrate the life of our friend Braiden Voss.
During the peak of summer and the zenith of cycling season in Traverse City, it’s a wonderful time to slow down a bit and remember Braiden. Few riders have paired talent with humility, kindness with raw potential as our friend, and his absence is felt every time we put tire to pavement.
Braiden’s Memorial Ride
For all of those reasons and countless others, the cycling community invites you to remember Braiden with a roll north from Suttons Bay Bikes to Peterson Park. The ride is a great chance to tell stories from Braiden’s life and the impact he had on all of us. The group will gather at 10:15 at the park for a few kind words – and everyone is invited.
Read more: Braiden’s Last Kolo Write Up
My Favorite Braiden Story
It was one of the editions of the X100 and I’d signed up as part of a three-person relay. I finished my leg of the race, handing off to my brother, Wes. We were neck-and-neck with another squad, which included two of TC’s most talented teenagers, Cam Owens and Braiden Voss. I’d narrowly held off Cam on my leg, mostly by beating him to the singletrack and keeping him behind me.
The X100 wasn’t exactly “dialed”, and most of the relay teams were sent the wrong way. So, I stuck around and ended up riding the third leg for our team. I was tired, but I thought it’d be fine. I’d just ride my pace and bring our timing chip in.
To my immediate horror and ultimate delight, our teams came in in a dead heat; no easy ride in for me. Instead, I rode most of the leg with this new kid. Smiling, friendly and humble, Braiden was one aw-schucks away from being too nice.
He let me punch myself out in front a while, then deftly came by in the singletrack. From then on, school was in session and I was taking notes. He made tight, sinuous trails look as though he were on a rail. On the rolling, steep climbs of Muncie Lakes, he looked the same going uphill as he did going down. And the whole time he was whooping and chatting while I was gasping to hold the wheel.
Eventually, I got dropped like a sack of potatoes, but I’ve never had as much fun getting roundly pummeled in my life.
Of course, we saw just how much talent had on the bike, but his real potential was always as a person, as a contributor of kindness to our community and the wider world. I think we all know that no matter what Braiden would have been, he would have made the people around him happier, because that’s what he already did for us.
Braiden’s Lookout Memorial Ride
- Saturday, July 22
- 9am – Suttons Bay Bikes
- 10:15am – Gathering at Peterson Park