More than 45 cyclists from all over San Diego came together at Grossmont College on Sunday, April 20, for the Inaugural Gordy Shields Memorial Ride organized by SDBC's Pat Murray and CycloVets' Darryl MacKenzie. A short convocation was offered by Pat Murray who recounted a personal story about Gordy Shields and his family. She also related that "He had a delight in everything he did and that joy transferred onto every person whose life he touched." Darryl MacKenzie then encouraged the sharing of Gordy stories during the ride and when the group stopped for lunch.
The ride departed at 8 a.m. with members of local cycling organizations, including CycloVets, of which Gordy was a member, San Diego Bicycle Club, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, and others in attendance. The route westward encompassed Navajo Rd, Waring Rd, Zion Ave, en route to Fiesta Island, with a stop at Silver Terrace Park on Friars Rd for a group photo along the way. Continuing on Friars eventually brought the group to Fiesta Island by 9:30 for a lively long loop lap as a tribute to Gordy's time-trial prowess.
The return trip offered a pleasant lunch stop at Rubios on Mission Gorge Rd with stories and remembrances of Gordy recounted by many. Upon leaving, riders chose to go at their own pace, and there were several groups arriving back at the college at different times, approximately around noon. The 34 mile ride included a 1,200' elevation total for the round trip.
Gordy's influence continues to inspire others and bring the cycling community together. April 20 was declared "Gordy Shields Day" by former city council woman Donna Frye, for his work advocating for safe cycling in San Diego, including the Bayshore Bikeway, and the resurfacing of Fiesta Island. He would have been 96 on April 20. This year, April 20 fell on Easter, and with minimal getting the word out, there was a fine showing regardless. The turnout is only expected to increase in the coming years as it is a perfect vehicle to unite the various cycling clubs of the San Diego community by coming together to celebrate this outstanding individual with a ride in his honor.
Mark your calendars and try to join us in 2015.