Mark Bryson’s love of cycling came from an nontraditional place – a three-year stint in Jamaica while serving in the Peace Corps’ Green Initiative sector.
“I was provided a Fuji Adventure 2.0 bicycle to get around the community,” said Bryson. “I rode almost every single day and learned how to maintain the bike not by choice, but by necessity.”
When he returned to West Michigan, Mark got involved with the local scene through the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance, the local IMBA Chapter and volunteering.
“It’s such a close-knit, welcoming and supportive community that I cannot imagine my time in Grand Rapids without it.”
The 33-year-old outdoorsman is a brewer at New Holland Brewing. Through the brewery’s sponsorship of the MSU Gran Fondo, Bryson will be riding the 80-mile route on June 23.
It won’t be his first MSU Gran Fondo, but it will certainly be one to celebrate. In 2016, Mark suffered a bad ACL injury. Luckily, he made a full recovery after surgery and will ride his second 80-mile Gran Fondo in June.
Mark’s favorite part of the event is the camaraderie and support of fellow riders.
“Even a small donation of one’s time and money has a positive impact,” said Bryson. “If you love cycling then I’m sure you’ll be able to find a distance that fits your skill level to make the day an enjoyable experience all around.”
We wish Mark the best of luck at the MSU Gran Fondo, his first gravel race in April and his first marathon in May!