Monday, April 17, 2017

Loyd Evans, A Tribute

Loyd Evans
August 17, 1944-April 13, 2017
Avid cyclist, great friend
Loyd served in the National Guard from 1961 to 1967.
He married his lovely wife, Frances Elaine (Carter) August 20, 1966. He and Frances lived and worked in Hobbs, New Mexico until his retirement and move to San Angelo in 2011. 
I met Loyd at a club meeting in 2011 right after he moved here. He started riding with the club in 2012. He wasn't sure what to think about me at first. We were riding together and I heard "---Hobbs, New Mexico". I said "no, I am from San Angelo." We rode in silence for a while he was probably trying to figure out if I was hard of hearing and just dumb. Finally he said in a louder voice, "I am from Hobbs, New Mexico." I responded "Welcome to San Angelo" which confirmed his suspicions, hard of hearing and dumb.
Loyd was an avid rider. He would ride the routine Monday/Wednesday rides as well as the Saturday rides. He is on the right in a yellow shirt. Note also his yellow bike. He was still recovering from knee surgery and trying to get back in shape. But was frustrated.
I (no speedster) spent a lot of 2013 pulling for Loyd and soon he easily could ride along with Christine. He would express his frustration to Randy (local bike shop owner) that he would pedal just as fast and hard as we, but wouldn't go as fast. Randy determined that his gearing was all wrong for speed or distance. So--
Ta-da! By 2013, Loyd had his Pinarello. Guess what? He kept getting faster and faster and he was pulling for me!
August 2013 a group of us went to Hobbs, New Mexico for their bike rally. Brian and long distance, speedster Loyd took the long distance. The rest of us took a shorter trail. On his Pin, there was no stopping Loyd.
I mentioned that Loyd would ride the routine Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday rides. He also frequently would ride by himself from his house. His neighbors noticed his frequent rides and called the newspaper. A story was written about him and everyone was impressed by his over 3,500 miles per season.
During the 2013 Steam N Wheels race, I caught Loyd at the finish and at that time wrote in the blog, "Loyd finished and we asked him how he did. 'Aw, I don't know. They wanted me to go over to the timing booth, but I didn't want to.' "
,
Next blog entry, "We had stopped at a refreshment store and up drove Loyd. He had given in to wondering how he did. Third place in his category!! Way to go, Loyd."
 Fast forward many miles and many good times. This was taken during the March 2017 Steam N Wheels ride where he came in second in his age group.

On March 30, his riding came to an abrupt stop. We were on a local ride with the wind to our backs. As we entered a corner, I noticed he was wobbling and fighting to control his bike. It is guessed that he had a front flat just as we entered the corner. As he was headed off the road, he turned his handle bars to the right. I saw the front wheel go out from underneath him and he started to fall forward. As we were riding side by side, I passed him at that time and did not see him fall. By the time I turned around and got back to him, he was on the pavement unconscious. An ambulance was called and he was taken to a local hospital. He had a severe head injury plus multiple other injuries. He was in the ICU for two weeks before he passed.
 Loyd was a devoted family man and cherished his bride of 50 years.
Visiting with family was one of his greatest joys (other than biking) and he frequently spoke of his daughter and son with pride. Also he spent as much time as possible with grandkids and was proud of each and every one of them.

He will be missed by his family, his church friends, and, I know, his biking buddies.

Thanks for the memories, Loyd.
















Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lampasas Hillacious

Lampasas Hillacious Bike Tour
Lampasas, Texas
April 8, 2017 
This was the 3rd annual Lampasas ride. I would estimate 150 riders showed up even though the forecast was for high winds--which was accurate.
Christine in the back of the line up. Note the bike. Last week she received her Trek XM700 + Low Step electric assist bike. Suddenly, she can line up in the back knowing that she will not finish last. Her bike is as "fast" as my Giant, but the Trek comes with just a 400 watt battery, so she chose the 34 mile route to be safe, although the control panel indicates she can go 62 miles.
It was a little chilly for me so I donned my arm warmers. Wish Christine had gotten more of my bike as I am so pleased with it. I lined up with the 49 mile group knowing nothing about the ride other than it's called Hillacious. As one will see, they aptly named the ride. Sometimes it was Hellacious, and then add a 15-20 mph wind. But hey, with my great pedal assist, quit complaining. Whine, whine, with the hills and the last 20 miles into the wind, it slowed me down to a 17.5 mph average. : )
Before we even got out of town, this was thrown in our face. My Garmin indicated it was a 11% climb.
Out of town, we continued to climb.
For every downhill, there awaits another up.
To be fair, I did want to show a few downhills.

And, there were occasional flat stretches. (But a good climb is off in the distance).
Up. My Garmin indicated several 11-13% grades with numerous 4-8%.
Not sure if any of the posted pictures were the steep grades, but they were certainly on the route.
At this point, we were in a cross wind. Note the flags.
One may have noticed that there appeared to be few riders on the road. Well, the hotshots doing the 69 mile route were way up there, and the rest of the crowd way back there. The guy in this shot was a friendly local, so we rode together quite a ways. When we hit this downhill, the wind was finally to our backs. I was going 26-28 mph and could not catch up to him.

Surprise. Another climb coming up.
We traveled a short way on a major highway but the shoulder was nice and wide.
We turned off the highway onto another quiet country road. Little traffic the whole ride.
Nearing the end of the ride and back into town.
After the ride, the sponsors provided riders with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, and drinks. The volunteers were outstanding at the rest stops as well as the finish line. Thanks Lampasas.
To top off the visit, we were impressed by the County Courthouse. Lampasas is a nice community, has friendly people, and one heck of a ride. Will we return? You bet.























































































Sunday, March 26, 2017

Grape Creek

Grape Creek
San Angelo, Texas
March 25, 2017
Grape Creek is a little community just outside of San Angelo. It is one of the favorites of cyclists as it has good roads, few loose dogs, a lot of flat areas, and just enough inclines and rolling hills to keep one interested. 
 Smooth, smooth road in the elementary and high school area. I wish Texas and Tom Green County would use this pavement company. It is like Hwy 277 USED to be. 
 As we left Grape Creek, the roads were still good.
 

 Off to the left is Bean Hill, elevation2290 feet. 

 Example of long incline. Not steep, just long.

 
 Coming up on our right is Mt. Nebo, elevation 2329, reportedly the highest elevation in Tom Green County.
 

 After intersecting with March Road, there were a lot of rolling hills, one up to 10% per my Garmin.

 As "always," one has to take my word for the rolling hills as my camera insists on making the roads look flat.
 To prove a reverse point, upcoming was a good long decline...that looks flat.
 After a few more rolling hills, March Road is a steady decline back into Grape Creek. When we got to Grape Creek, half of the group wanted to do the circle again, only this time take the road that has Mt. Nebo on our left side.
 Unfortunately, there were very few wild flowers on the route and I had to stop and take this picture in order to make sure I captured them.
 Mt. Nebo coming up on our left side. 


 After intersecting with March Road once more, the road becomes a decline--but you will just have to take my word for it.
 Turning on Wren Road to go back to Grape Creek proper, Mt. Nebo can be seen off in the distance.
Wren Road before intersecting with Grape Creek Road is flat as depicted in the photo. Finally an accurate shot just before the end of a very nice ride with a great group of riders. Undoubtedly, we will ride this route again this summer.