By his late 60s, Mr. Shields was racing professionally and soon after was being hailed as a cycling advocate and an icon who set national age-group records, including in the past few years a blazing 44:53:98 in a national 20-kilometer time trial for riders 90 and older. In April, he was the lone competitor in the 95-plus class of Southern California Nevada Super Master Criterium.
Mr. Shields died Sunday of complications after heart surgery at Sharp Memorial Hospital. The Fletcher Hills resident was 95.
Former San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye said she got to know Mr. Shields through his calls and visits to her office to discuss cycling issues, particularly on how to get the road on Fiesta Island into cycling-worthy shape. She likened his passion to the artist who said, ‘I can’t not paint.’
“That was Gordy. He couldn’t not cycle,” said Frye. “You could certainly see his passion and dedication and commitment. He was a cyclist, and everything he did was focused on that.”