A picture taken in 2016 when Durban cyclist Gray Braatvedt was off to take part in the Amashova Classic 106KM race to race funds for for the non-profit organisation AuSOMEtism. Picture: Jacques Naude
A picture taken in 2016 when Durban cyclist Gray Braatvedt was off to take part in the Amashova Classic 106KM race to race funds for for the non-profit organisation AuSOMEtism. Picture: Jacques Naude

Durban cyclist dies from hit and run injuries

By Lorna Charles Time of article published May 18, 2021

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DURBAN - TRIBUTES poured in for legendary Durban cyclist Gray Braatvedt as word of his death spread on Monday.

Durban’s close-knit cycling community has organised two memorial rides to pay tribute to one of their fallen heroes.

Braatvedt died on Sunday after spending a month in hospital following a hit-and-run incident last month in Berea while crossing an intersection.

The East Coast Cycling Club (ECCC), which he rode with, has invited cyclists to join them and other local cycling clubs for a memorial ride on the Beachfront/NMR Circuit on Wednesday morning in honour of Braatvedt and as a show of support for his family.

Cyclists are to meet at Bike and Bean at 5am and the ride will start at 5.10am, with participants cycling two easy circuits in 2-up formation.

The ECCC said while there would be no dedication during Wednesday’s ride, there would be another ride on Sunday morning.

Iris Varty (DurbsDaisy), co-ordinator of The Choc (Childhood Cancer Foundation of SA) Cows KZN Herd, whom Braatvedt cycled with as a fundraising volunteer, said he got involved with The Cows when he participated in The Gabran (a three-day cycle event across KZN) about five years ago.

“When he heard that this was a fundraising event for Choc he immediately signed up and wherever and however he could assist, he would.

“His fundraising efforts were incredible and in no time, he raised enough to earn his very special Cow Cycle kit which he wore with immense pride at lots of events and races,” she said.

Varty said if ever The Cows needed assistance with a cycling event, whether it was to raise funds, assist with logistics or for him to recruit other riders, Braatvedt would immediately rise to the occasion and go far beyond what was expected of him.

“Our first ever Apocalypse Cow event, held in November 2020, not only saw Gray raise well over R20 000 but he was instrumental in the route planning and logistics and on the day ensuring that every single participant was kept safe on the route; assisted those with tired legs, and kept on shouting, ’Are we having fun yet?’ to every single participant.

“His exuberance and love of life was what made him such a perfect member of our herd,” she said.

The Pedal Power Association awareness campaign’s Stay wider off the Rider Facebook page said, “We share our condolences with Heather, Rivers and Emma, family and friends. Gray touched the lives of many hundreds, if not thousands of cyclists.”

Braatvedt’s family were still in mourning and unable to comment at the time of publication.

Braatvedt was a civil engineer who worked as a precinct manager, and managed the Sibaya Coastal Forest.

The veteran and experienced rider was celebrated for his unicycling. He was the first ever unicyclist to enter the Tsogo Sun Amashova Race in 2016 to raise funds for the non-profit organisation, AuSOMEtism.

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