Glenn Lucky, known by many who see him riding in the snow, rain and cold 40 miles a day through Carson City, needs a new bike.
The 52-year-old has lived with cerebral palsy since he was 2 months old and rides his bike as often as he can as therapy to loosen his muscles, instead of sitting at home. But recently, his older three-wheeled bike is getting too heavy for him to operate and causes him to fall often.
Friends of the much-loved neighbor are raising money to pay for a new custom-fitted bike that will be easier to operate, has many gears and is lightweight. The specially-made bike costs $3,000 from the manufacturer.
Pete Pradere, owner of two local Port of Subs sandwich shops, Rob Smith, owner of the Bike Smith, and Gwen Currie from Fountainhead Associates, are asking residents to join them in raising enough money to pay for the new Greenway recumbent trike.
"He's kind of an inspiration to me," Pradere said. "To see a gentleman with that kind of debilitating disease do as much as he does. He just keeps going."
Lucky visits Pradere's shops often each week for lunch. During a recent visit, Lucky was upset and mentioned how difficult it was for him to operate the bike and he keeps falling off. His doctor's told him he might not be able to ride anymore. Shortly after, Pradere put up enough deposit money to get the bike ordered and Smith measured Lucky for his new wheels.
Lucky's mother, Peggy Lucky, said it's getting to the point where her son can hardly get around anymore. He first started riding at age 15 in South Lake Tahoe and has continued since. But if he is sick or can't ride, he gets to a point where he can hardly move, his mother said.
The two moved to Indian Hills 20 years ago. Lucky eventually started advertising for local businesses with a train of signs hooked onto the back of his bike. He hasn't been able to carry the sign for a while with his recent struggles.
"He's got to be riding that bike," Peggy Lucky said. "It gives him something to look forward to getting up each day. If he didn't have anything, he would just sit there and watch TV and he's not about to do that. He's too independent to do that."
As one of five children, Lucky has always been independent, she said.
"It was just too many kids to wait on him hand and foot," Peggy Lucky said. "There was only one of me, he had to do things for himself. His brothers and sisters have always treated him just like one of them and nobody's ever treated him different."
Though she said she felt terrible about not being able to give her son special attention when he was young, it has proven to be the "best thing that could have ever happened."
Lucky rides through snow, rain and cold, but when the winds come, he heads for home.
During the 2002 Olympic torch run through Carson City, Lucky carried the torch up Carson Street while walking with his three-wheeled walker. He also rode his bike on a 2,800-mile trip in 1988 that raised $30,000 to fight cerebral palsy.
Contact Jill Lufrano at email@example.com or 881-1217.