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WWII veteran cycling in Lenoir

News-Topic - 5/13/2018

May 11--WANT TO RIDE?

Registration for the 12th annual Cycle to Serve opens at 7 a.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Anything Office on Main Street in Lenoir directly across the street from First Baptist Church. The race starts at 8:15 a.m. There are three course options going through northern Caldwell County and ending back downtown: 25 miles for $30 and 40 miles and 62.5 miles for $40.

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In 1944 Byron Logan was a young Navy recruit assigned to grunt work aboard a minesweeper. One night, while the ship was attempting to pull another small boat aboard, Logan was tasked with moving the small boat the rear of the ship and hooking it to the ropes, then swimming back aboard -- all while a storm brewed.

"One wave caught me, but I came back up. Then another wave came over me," Logan said.

Luckily, Logan was a top swimmer in his youth while growing up in Lenoir. He took a deep breath and dived below the surface, swimming below the chopping waves to reach a life preserver.

Logan is now 91 year old, but even seven decades later he excels as a swimmer -- as well as a runner, bicyclist and tennis player.

He enters dozens of competitions each year, including this Saturday's Cycle to Serve race in Lenoir sponsored by the Lenoir Rotary Club.

"I've just always liked outdoor sports, so I naturally got involved when my son started triathlons," Logan said.

He's always been in good shape but didn't start running and biking competitively until about 40, and he never stopped. His office at Carolina Office Equipment, a business he started in Hickory in 1965, is adorned with the 250 medals he has won over the years. Shelves are stacked with gold trophies brandished with his name.

Last year, he came in second in the National Senior Games Association 5K run in the 90-to-95-year-old group.

"It included people from Canada, so that means I'm the second-fastest old man in North America," Logan said with a laugh.

He mostly runs, but he's glad to hop in on a bike race too -- especially in his hometown. During Saturday's race, he'll pass the spot where he and his uncle used to sell sweet potatoes and a corner where they bought wheat, and he'll ride the same roads they took into town.

"Every little thing brings up a different memory," he said.

Though being healthy was always a top priority -- his motto is "Your health is your wealth" -- competing in his 90s wasn't a goal. It just happened.

"When you get older you learn that each day just adds on to another," Logan said.

His favorite parts about competing are the friends he's made and the people he meets. Over the years he has watched some drop out due to old age or injury, but he keeps on going.

Logan is an example of how Cycle to Serve has options for every age and level of bicyclist, said Michael Dineen, chair of the annual event.

The event is Lenoir Rotary Club's primary fundraiser, raising more than $10,000 that goes toward the club's various charities throughout the year, including giving dictionaries to every third-grader, providing scholarships, and a Christmas party for disadvantaged kids.

Reporter Virginia Annable can be reached at 828-610-8724.

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(c)2018 the News-Topic (Lenoir, N.C.)

Visit the News-Topic (Lenoir, N.C.) at http://www.newstopic.net/

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