85-Year-Old Cyclist Loses Bout With Cancer

RENO, NV - He was 85, battling a terminal case of lung cancer, but his biggest regret was having to give up bicycling.

Jim Jones died last Saturday, but not after pedaling up to the end.

Jones had to give up his bike after cancer treatments left his balance shaky. Doctors feared a fall.

However, he found a solution: plans for a 4-wheeled pedal car made out of PVC pipe and he was determined to build it.

After moving to the Reno home of his daughter, Traci Hotchkin, he enlisted her help on the project. She went to a local Home Depot asking if they could at least cut the pipe to the specs in the plans.

Employee Peter Metcalf took one look and said "I'm going to check with my boss, but I think we're going to build this thing."

And he did, a couple of weeks ago, Jones was pedaling the vehicle through a local park with a big grin on his face.

Hotchkin says he was pedaling it as late as last Tuesday. Then his condition took a sudden turn and he died Saturday.

His daughter says her father lived life to the very end and the bike was a big part of it.

"He loved it," she says."He really thought people like him would dig this bike, but thanks for, you know, everybody really made his last month and a half special. Strangers. "

Hotchkin says the 4-wheeled bike will likely be inherited by a grand daughter who's a devoted "burner" and will take it and her grandfather's spirit to this year's Burning Man Festival" in the Black Rock Desert.


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