Gordy Shields, San Diego cycling legend, passed away yesterday from complications from open heart surgery.
|Opening of the H Street to Palomar Street Segment|
of the Bayshore Bikeway (2012)
Cycling record holder (national time trial record holder for the 80, 85, 90 and 95 age groups) and passionate cycling advocate, Gordy was a personal hero to me. We attended many meetings together, most of which were about the Bayshore Bikeway, the regional treasure he championed from the 1970s onward. What struck me most about Gordy was his ability to be a strong advocate for cycling, while still being a warm compassionate person. He was kind to me when I was a new advocate still struggling to find my footing in a confusing bike world. He didn’t care how far I rode or how fast, so long as I spoke up for cyclists. He understood that advocacy took a long time, and he always said that he hoped the Bayshore Bikeway would be finished before he passed. He never gave up, even during the dark days when it seemed the bikeway would never get started, let alone finished. The legacy of his perseverance lives on in the Bayshore Bikeway, along with other bicycling improvements all throughout the county. In his later years, Gordy was also an inspiring advocate for aging with grace and style, and was recently honored as one of San Diego County’s “San Diego Legends.”
What made Gordy special to so many was his warmth and kindness. He had a delight in everything he did, and that transferred onto every person whose life he touched. Gordy, we will miss your strength, your spirit, and your joy. Godspeed.