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.

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