The Rapidian

Brian Schuurman: A Cyclist's Memoriam

A beloved friend, fellow cyclist and kind soul, Shurm’s presence and quirky personality will be greatly missed.

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Sadness, loss and unanswered questions stir in the Grand Rapids community after the sudden passing of Brian Schuurman, better known as Shurm.

An avid cyclist and volunteer in the bike community, Shurm’s presence will be greatly missed. A frequent volunteer of The Spoke Folks bike co-op, patrons could always count on Shurm to fix a problem even if all other avenues were exhausted.

Many of us in the Grand Rapids community suffer the loss and heartache of losing Shurm. As a Spoke Folks volunteer I was able to connect and develop a friendship with Shurm. My last time with him was an evening that we ran the shop together. We were quite the team, selling three bikes in one night and managing to help at least six patrons with bike troubles. I wouldn’t have sold the bikes without Shurm. He made sure to check every nook and cranny before the cyclist rode off.

I only skimmed the surface of the kindness Shurm had to offer. I spent many Saturday afternoons at the shop, heckling back and forth, sharing stories. He’d always tease Jay Niewiek, founder of The Spoke Folks and close friend, about his “lack” of carpentry skills.

“Brian was a wonderful joy to spend time with and we regularly said ‘love you brother’ when we departed because that what it felt like, brothers. The best way I know how to describe what I remember most about him is by just sharing a reflection I had the other day, ‘Brian, you would be laughing at all my construction goofs today and been busy saving the day saying ‘woh woh woh.... Let Uncle Shurm help you out there.’ You always finished the projects I got into that were over my head and I'm really missing your help today.’ Shurm was one of the most kind hearted, quick witted and helpful people I know,” says Niewiek.

“He was always up for fun bike adventures no matter how cold or weird they'd be. We both hosted bike tours to breweries for our birthday celebrations [and] we always had a great time,” says dear friend and fellow cyclist, Jenny Scott.

A group of cyclists met at Founders to ride to the visitation on Tuesday evening. We knew it is what Shurm would have asked for.

As the group approached the visitation his family and friends were elated by the group riding together because biking was one of Shurm’s passions.

“Rest in peace in the arms of your savior,” says his mother, Donna Schuurman. “We have our memories of you and hope they never fade. We were privileged to be your family and friend.”

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