Friday, April 24, 2020

Memorial ride for Grossmont College counselor and cycling advocate Gordy Shields goes solo

The coronavirus outbreak has transformed a memorial bike ride held annually in the memory of a former Grossmont College counselor and local cycling legend into a solo event.

The 7th annual Gordy Shields Memorial Bike Ride is set for Sunday May 3, to honor the  decades-long cycling advocate who rode competitively well into his 90s.

Instead of the 35-mile fun ride that each year attracts scores of riding enthusiasts, members of the cycling community and the general public are invited to remember Shields in their own way with a solo ride to honor the late Fletcher Hills resident who died in 2013 at age 95.

To participate, riders must register at  , then ride anywhere – even on a stationary bike -- for a minimum 10 minutes. Log your Sunday ride on your Love to Ride profile and share riding photos for chances at winning prizes, including a free bike tune up valued at $90 and gift certificates from Adams Avenue Bike Shop.

A kickoff event locally for national Bike Month, the event offers an opportunity for riders to sign up individually or as a member of a work or social group.

“We have been coordinating this bike ride since 2013 and many of the original fans, myself included, are excited for this opportunity to promote cycling for people of all ages,” said Pat Murray, a devoted cyclist and Health Science technician at Grossmont College. “I have had the honor of leading this ride on several occasions. I am happy to help lead again, setting an example by staying safe and riding alone.”

Sylvie Froncek, program director for San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, a non-profit founded by Shields in 1987, said the pandemic has boosted business for bike shops.

“People can’t go to the gym and are finding that riding a bike is one of the best ways to boost your spirits and keep you healthy,” she said. “Just be sure to follow the rules of the road ride solor or with your housemates, and wear a mask if appropriate."

Contact Paul Gorman with the coalition at for additional information.

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