Finding Freedom with Metastatic Lung Cancer

Mar 2, 2019
by Kona Bikes  

Words: Lacy Kemp
Photos: Riley Seebeck


"I was a Troublemaker" Jim Brown says quietly. A mischievous smile creeps across his face as he thinks back to his 7th-grade self. “Evel Knievel was my hero. One time my mom caught me jumping ramp to ramp over a bunch of kids lined up lying next to each other on my bike.”


This is Jim Brown, age 52. Tattoos cover his hands and arms. He’s a former competitive wrestler. Ex-Coast Guard. Fire Fighter. Cancer patient. Current prognosis of his stage 4 metastatic lung cancer: a 3% chance to live five years after his initial diagnosis. He has 1.5 years left on that supposed contract and he’s living a fuller life than most of us could imagine.

f*ck Cancer
f*ck Cancer

We’re sitting in the living room of his Tumwater, Washington house on a quiet January afternoon. His massive golden retriever stares at me, panting and out of breath from doing absolutely nothing at all. The house is a typical single-family home with stuff scattered about. There are shoes stashed near the front door ranging from kid-sized to man-sized. It’s a material balance of the three daughters that live there, Brown’s wife, and Brown himself. There’s a pool outback—an unusual sight in Western Washington.

f*ck Cancer

f*ck Cancer

f*ck Cancer

We walk to the garage to check out Brown’s stash of bikes and as soon as we open the door we’re swallowed by a world of Kona lore. Photos from nearly two decades of Rad Racing teams adorn the walls. Number plates are tacked on top of each other. Kids with big toothy grins stare back at us from faded photographs. On the wall are several Konas—cyclocross and road bikes, mountain bikes and more. In the center of the garage is a gorgeous Triumph cruiser motorcycle. Next to it sits Brown’s dirt bike. Directly in front of the motorbikes is a bike stand hold Brown’s Kona Remote CTRL, and, as he puts it, his new lease on life.

f*ck Cancer

Rewinding 25 years, Brown talks about his move from Yakima to the Olympia area. He’d grown up racing bikes and riding motorcycles and quickly fell into the local race scene where he met Dale Knapp. “He was THE man,” Brown recalls fondly. “He could do everything well. He was a working-class dude. Everybody loved him.” Knapp raced for Redline bikes at the time. They began riding and training together. Knapp and fellow racers Pat Bentson, Ryan Iddings, and Susan Torgerson noticed a lack of opportunity for junior racing development and together developed Rad Racing in 1998. Brown wanted to help grow the local junior racing scene and joined their staff in 2000. He pitched Kona as a sponsor to help provide more official support to the program which began a nearly two-decade-long relationship between Kona and Rad.

f*ck Cancer

What started out as simply a method to get kids to and from races quickly grew into a Kona-based development team, and Jim found his place in the local bike scene. “It was about teaching kids life lessons and using cycling as the means to learn those lessons,” he says. “It was about setting goals, how to deal with adversity and bounce back and be a humble winner… how to take a loss with dignity.” “Jim was very humble and respectful in the world of racing and sponsorship,” Knapp says. “So, he was brilliant at making sure everyone on the team remain humble and respectful too, even if you won every race.”

Throughout his tenure as Rad’s manager, the most critical lesson was about attitude. He likened this to a quote by Vikor Frankl. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Those words would become more of a self-fulfilling prophecy than he ever imagined. His formula worked. During his tenure as manager for Rad Racing, Brown’s charges won 23 national championships and 25 of his kids were named to the world championship team for the United States. “What I really learned from my time with Jim on Rad Racing was how to be a driven and independent adult,” remarks Steve Fisher, one of Brown’s former Rad Racers who is now a veteran on the pro road circuit. “The experiences of setting goals and working hard for a given purpose will serve us a well forever. Traveling and competing around the globe at a young age forced us to be mature and to develop the skills needed to thrive as adults.”


After 15 years of firefighting and leading the Rad charge, Brown noticed something felt off with his health. He’d been riding throughout the mild 2015 winter when he started to hear a strange noise during physical exertion. Not quite a wheeze or a cough, he brushed it off as a probable allergy. After experiencing a very unusual breathing episode during the Sea Otter Classic, he decided to visit the doctor. After a CT scan showed an abnormality in the back of one of his lungs the doctors wanted to biopsy nodule for further testing but told him cancer was unlikely.

Brown remembers the moment he got the call well. “I was driving through Vantage (Washington), three hours away when the phone rang. I could hear it in my pulmonologist’s voice,” he says quietly.

“It was cancer."

The problem with lung cancer is it doesn’t get symptomatic until it’s pretty advanced. "I turned the car around and came straight home.” Brown was told if he didn’t get very aggressive with his treatment that he could only have 3-6 months to live.


“My kids are going to lose their dad,” he kept thinking. Brown spent a few days absorbing the news and didn’t understand initially that there is no cure for this cancer. “Treating this is like playing Wackamole, so we are limiting it systemically instead of sporadically. I’ve had 30 rounds of traditional chemotherapy infusions and have been on oral chemotherapy for 22 months. I will be on some sort of chemotherapy or immunotherapy for the rest of my life.” he says quietly. The way he speaks about his chemo is interesting. He is thoughtful and careful with his words. He talks about his treatment like it’s something very delicate. The Jim Brown of 10 years ago would have felt differently and he’s quick to admit the change he’s seen in himself since his diagnosis. “I was combative at the beginning,” he says. “I’m gonna be Jim Brown and I’m gonna do this,” he states, then softens.

f*ck Cancer

Brown’s treatments are harsh for him, physically and emotionally. He’s gained weight. His heart rate is limited and skyrockets easily. His endurance has taken a severe hit. He has swelling and joint pain. “The medications and all of their side effects are uncomfortable, to say the least. But, the drugs are killing the cancer, so it’s what we do,” he says. These effects made cycling all but an afterthought for Brown. Shortly after his treatments began, though, a friend suggested he try out an electric bike. Brown scoffed at the notion. “A motorcycle is a motorcycle and a bike is a bike and never the twain shall meet,” he says laughing.

“I didn’t understand eBikes. I didn’t want to." I didn’t need to, and I didn’t take the time to understand at first. Why not just ride a regular bike?” When cycling became nearly impossible he figured he had to swallow his pride and give it a shot. Kona sales rep Jimmy James had a spare Remote that he loaned to Brown. The moment he first turned the cranks, everything changed. “Oh my God. This is the greatest thing ever,” he says. “I immediately got in touch with (Kona owner) Jake Heilbron and asked about being an ambassador of Kona’s eBikes. Now I’m riding the Remote CTRL and it is badass!”

f*ck Cancer

The Remote CTRL has given Brown “freedom moments,” those rare times when he is able to escape the oppression of cancer.

f*ck Cancer

f*ck Cancer

Brown credits the eBike to giving him what he calls, “freedom moments,”­—what he calls any time he doesn’t feel imprisoned by his illness. “This bike enables me to do real mountain biking again,” he says. “For my 50th birthday, I was able to ride all the way to Capitol Peak in the snow. That was a good birthday present.” Brown’s relationship with cycling has evolved in similar ways that his self-confidence has. He doesn’t take the small days or rides for granted. He knows that his time on a bike is finite. “The fact that I can go out with two of my buddies and that bike puts me in a position where I can spend two hours riding trails and having fun—that’s what cycling is about for me now. This bike is the tool that has brought this joy back into my life!”


f*ck Cancer


f*ck Cancer

f*ck Cancer

I asked Brown how he would be described today by his peers. He thinks and says, “I think they’d say I’m a pretty inspirational person, and honestly, that’s a big revelation for me to be able to accept that and look at myself that way.” Brown went through his adult life focused on being something to everyone. Jim Brown of the Coast Guard.

Jim Brown the firefighter/ paramedic. Jim Brown the race director. “All of these things helped make up who I perceived myself to be and who I projected to the world that I was. Cancer has taken so much of that away from me and I didn’t realize how much of my self-esteem and ego was built into those personas.” Brown considers this for a moment before he says, “I had to rebuild who I was. I discovered I am an inspirational person and I am grabbing on to that"

Brown regularly receives notes and cards from his past Rad Racers thanking him for his dedication to the program and for being more than just a team manager. He was a mentor and a father figure. “The world should know how selfless Jim has always been with his time and Rad Racing. He dedicated so much time to so many young athletes,” Fisher says. “Jim never expected or asked for anything in return from us. He took pleasure in seeing us develop as athletes and young adults.”

The lessons he imparted on the youth of Rad Racing have come full circle for Brown. “If there is one mantra I want to have it’s to never give up and to feel the power of humility and how important it is,” he says. Brown taught those kids—many now old enough to have kids of their own—about attitude, winning and losing gracefully, and how to deal with adversity. Every day is another chance to line up at the tape in the race of life.

f*ck Cancer

Brown’s future remains uncertain. For now, his goals are to continue his treatments, ride his bike and find more things that provide him those freedom moments. He’s started mentoring other cancer patients and helping them find their own freedom moments. He lives every day by his favorite nautical term, “Hold Fast,” which means to keep persevering through challenging waters. He got the words tattooed on his knuckles in 2012 as an homage to his father who had just passed. At the time cancer hadn’t even crossed his mind. Now that ink serves as a daily reminder for Brown to live his best life, in spite of the odds.


To find out more about Brown’s Hold Fast foundation, you can check out the site at www.theholdfastproject.org.


150 Comments

  • 115 3
 Doesn’t matter what you ride just ride. If an e-bike helps someone to get in the saddle then so be it. Opinions aside it has brought this guy some joy back in his life in a much needed time.
  • 62 32
 People die of cancer, heart attacks, maybe your neighbor, maybe your mother, kid has it and it will come out soon, climate is warming, Trump is a president, then on the other side: we are going to the moon again, finding more effective ways to cure cancer, poverty diminishes, there’s less and less chance for any bigger war, but hey... an electric motor on a bicycle makes you want to kick people in the face. Good luck!
  • 21 23
 @WAKIdesigns: Well said WAKI. Speaking #truth.
  • 5 33
flag pedaldragger (Mar 2, 2019 at 20:59) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Good luck when mother nature sets her sights on you.
  • 5 63
flag excavator666 (Mar 3, 2019 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 When a product is so cancerous that you need cancer to sell it.
  • 27 6
 @excavator666: you have a mental cancer mate. An aggressive tumor. Treat it with weed and humor. There’s enough reasons to use Ebikes to get more trails, better, stronger components than reasons to hate them.
  • 6 30
flag excavator666 (Mar 3, 2019 at 15:16) (Below Threshold)
 @WAKIdesigns: Agreed there is a place for e-bikes, but this is just Pinkbike trying yet another angle to push them on us. Wait and see.
  • 11 1
 @pedaldragger: Really? This guy (and others) has a disease that kill him, and all he wants to do is ride a bike, and you hate on that? You are the lame one-
  • 4 6
 @racecase: This guy rides an e bike because it gets him out there. Waki was hating on the use of e bikes in general. I was defending the use of them, because if it helps one get out there who otherwise couldn't, send it.
I believe that I am being misunderstood. I would never wish anyone harm that is being in support of getting it done. I believe I was reacting to this quote from waki
"an electric motor on a bicycle makes you want to kick people in the face"

Thats all...
Peace.
  • 7 0
 Cancer ravages and is no descrimnator (unless you’re BRCA-1.) Bikes are toys and if they help you in some small way on the journey to your maker, electric or no, God bless!

I don’t want an e-bike but I’m glad they exist If for no other reason than people struggling physically to ride. I actually hate they’re outlawed more and more. And don’t give me ‘ooh they damage trails’. One weekend of horse traffic does more than months of bikes electric it not.
  • 3 1
 @jeremiahwas: Couldn't have said it better.
  • 6 0
 @pedaldragger: erm you obviously misunderstood what I wrote...
  • 6 3
 I'm 100% pro e-bike and stories like this are a big part of that belief. Keep hammering Jim!
  • 60 0
 Inspiring and moving. Huge props for Jim. Respect.
  • 92 47
 Inspirational, although it feels like Pinkbike (and all of their advertisers who push e-bikes) are using this as a way to try to soften up their audience to start accepting e-bike content. They know they'd get a lot of flack by starting out with a straight-up e-bike review, so instead they do it this way. I expect they'll start testing the waters with e-bike reviews shortly after this.
  • 18 16
 Yeah, kinda shows the subtle move and one can almost say: I can see how eBikes are a great benefit to those who are facing medical situations, not the case for those who are not...
  • 19 8
 That Enve e-bike wheel review stinks of this too
  • 28 13
 It would be a lot easier to cheer Kona for this story if they and other ebike sellers weren't marketing ebikes to able-bodied folks to use on mtb trails.
  • 40 7
 I would say 100% of e bike haters(me included) would say this is EXACTLY who e bikes should be for.
It's like saying I want to use one of those scooters in Walmart cuz my legs are tired. Theres people that ACTUALLY need them.
...like 400lb women,but that ruins my point.
  • 36 16
 @Phillyenduro: and yet pro racers are using e-bikes as a training tool, everyone from the Enduro crowd to elite XC world cup racers. It may not be right for you, it may not be right for me but i'm not going to judge someone on what brings them joy to their lives.
  • 17 9
 Resistance is futile
  • 34 20
 I'd go so far as to say it's shitty on Kona's and Pinkbike's part to use this guys disease to sell bikes. It's awesome this guy is finding some happiness during a terrible time, but what the hell do eBikes have to do with this.
  • 34 12
 @bartimusprime: "and yet pro racers are using e-bikes as a training tool, everyone from the Enduro crowd to elite XC world cup racers"
No they aren't. Every time you see a pro rider on an eBike on social media it's because they are pressured into promoting eBikes by their sponsors, I know this from first hand conversations.
  • 14 1
 @carlostrancex2: E-bikes definitely have their place, and this is one of them. For everyone who is blessed with good health though, learn to pedal, it will increase the odds of staying healthy.
  • 14 8
 @bartimusprime: No they're not. They're marketing them for their sponsors disguised as "training tools"
  • 10 3
 They already do quite a bit of e-bike content including reviews. It's just not appearing on the start-page for americans I think..

www.pinkbike.com/news/bmc-trailfox-amp-two-review.html

I don't mind, even though I don't ride any myself. Also some of the stuff written above is quite disgusting imo. Imagine the guy reading your comments, I'm sure he's stoked about the article... and I know some EWS riders personally who love using their e-bikes for training...
  • 30 2
 I have 60% lung function. No matter how much I work out, I can't climb on my bike. I go to bike parks and jump and love downhill but I have to rest after every 3 to 4 minutes. I have had an ebike for 2 years now and I am finally starting to get positive remarks from fellow riders. My point is that you may see this as Manufacturers using this guy to push ebikes but I see this as a person who is educating the public and helping people like me to have access to all trails. They need to open more trails for people like me who have a handicap placard. God bless you Jim Brown!
  • 44 5
 Honestly this is Kona's story, it's an awesome piece, and we'd have been total a*sholes not to run it. I'd love to see more things like this from our industry.

I'm reluctant to even get into the eMTB issue here because that's not the main point to this story, but... @wheel-addict we've been doing occasional eMTB reviews for a while now. Because they're contentious we don't usually publish eMTB content in North America, so you haven't seen the majority of it. If you're interested you can check out all that content by selecting the eMTB category at the top of the news feed.

I hear people's frustration on eMTB stuff and we're reviewing some options for improving that. We don't want to push things on people who aren't interested (me included), but Pinkbike also needs to be on the forefront of MTB—including eMTBs. It would have been a bad decision if we'd blanket banned content with 27.5, 29, dropper posts, and all the other things that our editors and audience have resisted in the past.

tl;dr lets be stoked on this for what it is, I hear you on eMTB, exploring options, stay tuned.
  • 9 19
flag Phillyenduro (Mar 2, 2019 at 17:59) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: "MTB--including eMTBs" is exactly where you're wrong.
  • 9 11
 I love eBikes (in the right places.) Let me start with that. This is also a great story. However, I agree, it is a political move from PB.
  • 8 11
 @carlostrancex2: yeah ebikes are terrible for people who don't have medical issues. Second only to motos. Those lazy, out of shape f*ckers who ride moto.. definitely not the best athletes in the world or anything.... totally stupid. If you ride an ebike on a moto trail, you're going straight to hell. If you ride a moto, ever, you're also going straight to hell.
  • 2 1
 @scary1: haha (last comment)
  • 7 4
 @Phillyenduro: They're for use on motorized trails. I'm not sure if you've heard of these things called "MOTOCROSS BIKES", but we have more trails for those than mtbs here in the USA. I have sweet moto trails out my back door. I've ridden them on an mtb. You know whats the best of both worlds, and lower impact on the trails, and easier for most mtbers to get into than getting a moto? An ebike. Holy shit, it's like, you could ride them on trails where they allow motorcycles, and have a great time! Who'da thunk?
  • 3 2
 @brianpark: I'd like to read the eMTB reviews. I select the eMTB category on the news feed and see only four posts and not the review from Paul Aston. Is there any other way I can get to the eMTB reviews short of using a VPN?

Further, when I go to www.pinkbike.com/u/paulaston/blog I also don't see the BMC review listed: www.pinkbike.com/news/bmc-trailfox-amp-two-review.html
  • 7 1
 @OnTheRivet: What the hell do ebikes have to do with this article??? Maybe that Jim can get out and ride!!! That probably would not happen without one due to health issues.
  • 17 6
 Americans and their E-Bike problem. Maybe stop being No. 1 polluter on this planet first.
  • 7 6
 @brianpark: my main problem with this particular piece is that this is why we need e-bikes but NOT how we should be sold e-bikes (whether we want to buy them or not).

This piece, despite all the good intentions and shitty situation, should not be reduced to guilt marketing...but Kona appears to have pulled that off.
  • 1 1
 edited
  • 5 0
 @OnTheRivet: I see your point. However it does say that Jim asked to be an e-bikes ambassador. There might be a lot of people in similar situation to Jim inspired by this - it might get people off the couch feeling sorry for themselves and out on bikes. It also might open people's minds a bit and remove some of the hate people get for riding e-bikes. You don't know why people are riding e-bikes, they could have injuries or cancer or diabetes and they're just trying to get out on bikes.
  • 5 2
 @mexicant: Busting a lung to get to the top of a trail I came across an eBike rider - he was a 77 year old and we had a chat and he told me that it was great to be able to be out and about on the trails. The eBike allows him to ride quite a bit and he's a MTB veteran.

Not so sure of the two younger guys who came up a little while into the chat with one of them pulling a wheeley as he rode past. Yeap - they were also on eBikes. Still, this was my 5 or 6th run with a decent climb and I could understand the use. Now you can travel with them as well, rent a battery pending on where you go from a bike shop.

The weight and trail erosion issue might be valid but, hey, there are some big blokes on MTB's and they would weigh not much less if not more.
  • 5 1
 @OnTheRivet: So you're saying it's shitty Jim's had a relationship with Kona, through his junior race team, going on twenty years and that Pinkbike, whose task is to bring us interesting content, is shitty for posting the story. And you can't understand the ebike part of the post? Did you even take the time to read and think about the big picture painted by the post?
  • 4 1
 @wheel-addict I kindly disagree. Pinkbike is just the platform on which this article was posted. They weren't scheming to soften you and if anything, Jim was scheming...scheming to inspire us! Thanks Jim and all the power to you.
  • 5 5
 @goroncy:America is not the #1 polluter there bud. Check your facts. Ever heard of China or many other Asain countries who pollute far more than the U.S..
  • 2 3
 That’s only because the big corps of the West moved all their factories there. Still American (and western powers) doing the polluting. America’s pollution numbers will go up with MAGA plan.
  • 3 6
 @RollinFoSho: All you wanna-be socialist children need to get your facts straight. China burns 50% of all the coal on the planet, and it’s not because of the “western factories” that are located in one small part of the country. It’s because 2 billion people need electricity to keep the lights on, heat/cool their homes, cook their food, and get from point A to point B. Contrary to popular belief, not everything is the fault of the “west”.
  • 1 0
 @SlodownU: who said I want to be socialist?
  • 3 2
 @RollinFoSho: no one said you want to be socialist, dude. People are just correcting the incredibly wrong statement that the US is the worlds #1 polluter. That's China. By a lot. Like a ton. The US isn't even in the top 5 and you have morons upvoting such blatantly false nonsense and downvoting those giving facts.
  • 2 1
 China is crushing the US in renewable energy. The U.S pulled out of the Paris climate change agreement.
  • 2 0
 @gally-nh: In terms of co2 pollution per capita the US has the highest of all industrialized countries. (gulf states are higher)
No Asian country comes close. Canada however does.
  • 2 3
 @Ttimer: the US produces half the CO2 of China. Per capita is meaningless when talking about real world numbers regarding pollution. Maybe China should stop reproducing.
  • 1 1
 The Alberta Tar Sands is a big part of our problem. We could do so much more but our country is run by crooks too
  • 1 1
 @gally-nh: The irony, China's pollution is due to Westernization
  • 3 1
 @RollinFoSho: BS. There are a billion more people there than in the US. Literally a billion more. What do you call development in Asia? Easternization?
  • 3 10
flag kawin20 (Mar 3, 2019 at 15:46) (Below Threshold)
 @goroncy: your country is the #1 muslem importer ...good luck with your Muslim invasion hope you like Sharia law.......stand up for your country your 0 for 2 so far
  • 3 3
 @RollinFoSho: and that is such an intelectually lazy comment. I think we're done here.
  • 6 2
 @RollinFoSho: Your either naive, stupid, or both. THe only thing China is consistently killing is their own environment, but keeping buying the propaganda. Your’re not a socialist, just ignorant. That’s typical of Generation Snowflake. Blame all your problems on someone other than yourself. Another common thread on Pinkbike is that everything in the comments eventually devolves into pointing at someone’s success as the cause of another’s problems. It’s kind of sad.
  • 4 1
 @SlodownU: Well said.
Taking responsibility for your actions or inactions instead of shifting blame and excusing your misbehaviours with those of others is the sign of a mature personality.
Sadly, such personalities are in short supply, not just in the PB comments but at all levels of society.
  • 1 0
 @trialsracer: Depends where you are. VT has hundreds of miles of legal, public MTB trails and 0.0 miles of legal, public dirt bike trails. If you want to ride a dirt bike off-road in VT, you basically have to know a guy who has a track that his local government doesn't know about. It bad. So, uh... where are you and when should I go on vacation there?
  • 1 0
 Yeah I feel that if this sort of thing was truly sincere and the purpose of e-bikes was to get folks with disabilities out on the trails, they would ONLY sell them to those folks. Hell they might give the to 'em. That's some truly feel good shit.

But hey the rest of us are a little lazy and that's a disability right? Might as well make a few bucks.
  • 25 1
 This story hits home for me. Jim, hang tight and keep doing your thing, man. My mother was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic in 2002 and was given a 1 year prognosis. Fortunately, and unfortunately, she made it until this month. She is now in hospice and we are hoping she stays comfortable in these final days. The point is- we got nearly 20 more years with her; she got to see her kids grow up to be young adults. She got to see college graduations. Proms. Achievements. We got to be inspired by her resilience and learn about how to persevere. I feel for you and your family. Just know, they love you and they know you love them. Keep on trucking, man, if we cross paths, beers on me.
  • 22 3
 Props to him, this is definitely the user e-bikes should be for in my opinion. But... this definitely seems like a "you aren't allowed to hate e-bikes on trails" piece as well. Flame me if you will, but I can simultaneously respect this guy using e-bikes to get out when he is disabled and also think that e-bikes need to stay off of many trails.
  • 32 13
 Got to meet Jim through a mutual friend when my wife was going through chemo. Great guy and great article. And fuck you guys who think this about ebikes.
  • 16 10
 Really, this is the Pinkbike twitter headline "Riding an ebike has given Jim Brown “freedom moments,” those rare times when he is able to escape the oppression of cancer" they led with the eBike angle, so it's sorta about eBikes.
  • 6 19
flag dguzzler (Mar 2, 2019 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 @OnTheRivet: you're a f*cking moron.
  • 4 14
flag dguzzler (Mar 2, 2019 at 14:02) (Below Threshold)
 Can't get much clearer then this @ ponchosdad
  • 1 11
flag dguzzler (Mar 2, 2019 at 14:41) (Below Threshold)
 ??
  • 9 9
 My thoughts too Ponch. Every reply in here should be about supporting a fellow mt. biker and his struggles in life, leaving the E-bike shit discussion for a more appropriate time, Jeezus Crist!
  • 7 3
 I appreciate what you're saying, but this is definitely a marketing piece for bikes with supplemental motors. It's possible to like and respect the subject of this marketing piece while also taking issue with both its premise and the notion of motorized bicycles.
  • 20 4
 I used to ride with my Dad all the time as a kid and teenager. Shuttle runs, 24 hours of adrenaline, weekend trips to ride the lifts in Fernie, so many good memories. As time went on the worse his knees got, the guy could still throw a bike around, but even half an hour of climbing just did them in. I didn't ride mountain bikes with my dad for over a decade, until he got a Levo. I now consider e-bikes to be one of the best ideas ever, I get to go rip with my dad again, and that's way more important than "earnin that climb like the good ol' days!"
Thanks e-bikes.
  • 7 4
 Bingo! I have two bad knees, one bad ankle and an atrophied calf muscle. At some point in the future, hopefully way in the future; I'm just not going to be able to hang with my nephew anymore. We've been riding bikes together since he was 3. And as long as I can still balance on two wheels I hope we'll still be doing it! So I have no problem looking to an electric assist some day to extend the amount of time we get to share on the trails.

I don't see any issue with C-1 pedal assist bikes? Both for helping for medical or age related issues. Or just because that's what someone wants to ride! No diff from someone self shuttling on an electric bike VS shuttle with a truck/lift. ( and my guess is that MOST ppl on PinkBike have shuttled!!!)

Now I think "button/throttle" bikes should only be allowed where moto's are. But as long as that's where they ride I still have no issues with em... looks fun to me!
  • 21 6
 If you utilize a chairlift or shuttle with a vehicle, how is riding an ebike different?

I don’t own an ebike, but I’ve spent plenty of time riding chairlifts and shutting.
  • 6 2
 You're allowed to ride charilifts to access trails. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on many multi use trails leading to other users (hikers, equestrians etc) having a problem with ebikes which in turn leads to more problems with MTB access to multi use trails. Its very simple.
  • 18 2
 Ads evolved.
  • 12 0
 My wife said she'll buy me any bike I want if I beat the grapefruit size sarcoma in my abdomen. Don't think it'll be an e-bike but I do find the article inspiring. My personal motto is "Embrace the suck"
  • 7 0
 Pulling for ya. New ride soon!!
  • 11 2
 Fuck cancer! I feel this is the real reason ebikes exist, to allow people in Jim's shoes to get out and continue to do what they love. Those freedom moments are precious for sure. Huge props to Jim for having the courage to stand up to cancer and make the most of every minute. Props to Kona for standing by him and helping him get the most of those freedom moments. Rock on Jim, go punch cancer in the face!
  • 8 0
 It’d be nice if people could take this simply as a guy who isn’t feeling so great, and is dealing with a chronic illness, that just happens to use a pedal assist bike to get into the woods for some relief. You’d do the same in similar circumstances,’and if you deny that you’re a liar.
  • 10 2
 Jim served our country in the Guard, is a firefighter medic, and a positive roll model for the youth. This guy has done more for others than 99% of everyone else, and is really sick, so leave your f*cking political views out fpr once, and just tell this awesome guy Thank You and Hold Fast.
  • 16 5
 Great article! although this is like a dare for the e-bike haters here.
  • 46 19
 If you consider Ebikes as something for handicapped or ill, you may as well join throwing crap. Deep, deep inside we all want to have fun and find different things meaningful. So many MTBers hate on e-bikes but give a pass to motorcyclists just because they ride 150kg motorcycles and that somehow makes them bad asses. It is ok to ride Enduro MX in nature but Ebikes are evil... get a fkng life people. Cheer up. You are healthy cool. Live and let live. Not everyone is as lucky as you are you whiny bitches and you are not scoring any points in any game worth playing by being purists.
  • 17 0
 @WAKIdesigns: "So many MTBers hate on e-bikes but give a pass to motorcyclists just because they ride 150kg motorcycles and that somehow makes them bad asses. It is ok to ride Enduro MX in nature but Ebikes are evil..."

Huh? I've never met a single cyclist who thinks that. Most dislike Enduro motorcyclists because they are generally reckless, rude, disrespectful and ride in areas that are off-limits to motorbikes.
  • 12 18
flag WAKIdesigns (Mar 2, 2019 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 @K4m1k4z3: did you hear such opinion on Pinkbike? “Motos in nature - bad, terrible, horrible” - I didn’t. People cheer the hell out of DH pros riding motos.
  • 10 6
 More E-Bikes, more E-Motos, less petro motos for the win
  • 14 7
 It's not an article. It's an advertisement.
  • 8 2
 @RollinFoSho: Maybe you should brush up on how batteries are made!? Not exactly environmentally friendly..
  • 3 1
 @Beez177: Supercapacitors are the future, coming soon
  • 6 2
 @K4m1k4z3: most mountain bikers I know either have dirt bikes or like dirt bikes. Maybe road/XC people are more likely to dislike motorcycles, but most mountain bikers have no issue with them. I do know several people who ride dirt bikes and still dislike E-Bikes though, which is somewhat puzzling
  • 15 9
 @RollinFoSho: go through your daily life, consider mountain biking in general and then tell me your pitiful little choices make sense. Do you eat meat? Do you drive to bike? Do you live in an apartment building? Do you drive to work and how far? How many cars does your householdhave? Do you go on holidays? Do you have kids? Honestly mate... this is the problem with Online eco warriors. They want credit for buying a Prius and growing Brocvoli sprouts while 95% of their life looks just like life of a guy with 16V Diesel truck, eating bacon every morning and steak every evening. I know because I’ve been one and see many every day. I call it unconscious hypocrisy.
  • 4 2
 @WAKIdesigns: WAKIwarrior !
  • 4 0
 @Beez177: That Escalade in your driveway not have a battery to start it? Smile Hardly the most environmentally friendly vehicle choice. (not saying my vehicle is either...)
  • 3 4
 @stiingya: I'm not pretend eco warrior, I still like burning wood, driving whatever vehicle I want, and I do NOT support the green deal..
  • 2 0
 @Beez177: Complaining about how they make batteries for an electric bike while driving a huge overpowered SUV is kind of the definition of "pretend eco warrior"! Smile
  • 2 1
 @RollinFoSho: I fight for the prevalence of “it depends” philosophy. The theory of general relativity
  • 2 0
 Electric motos don’t expose you to carcinogens like motos using petroleum products. Want to say F@ck Cancer, it’s one way to help do that.
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: ?? I didn't say it was. Smile Nice try tho
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: Your inferring, I did not imply they were the same.

So essentially some dude in a giant ol Escalade pulls into the trail head and then some guy rides by on an e-mtb, then Escalade guy yell's at him for "ruining the environment"!!!

And between the two your siding with the dude in the Escalade?

Interesting... Smile
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: You're an idiot.. I'm only calling out ebikes because people think batteries are doing the world a favor. I don't like ebikes for other various reasons. I have a lot of cars, non of them electric. The Escalade I bought for a big road trip with family, not my everyday driver or mtb vehicle!
  • 1 0
 Dare accepted, I suppose
  • 25 13
 E bikes are fun.
  • 8 10
 They are. And they're getting lighter and lighter and more like regular MTBs and the more advanced they get, the more they become widely accepted among other cyclists.
  • 10 17
flag Beez177 (Mar 2, 2019 at 14:24) (Below Threshold)
 So are fat chicks, but I don't want to ride one.
  • 4 0
 @Beez177: speak for yourself!!
  • 11 0
 Inspirational indeed!! Hope you have many many more miles on this trail
  • 8 0
 The mans a true legend hold fast my friend live your life to the fullest ride when you can and when you can my thoughts are with you always
  • 11 5
 E mtbikes - got no problem with them where there are no trail access battles. I do have a problem with them being used by able-bodied people in crowded multi-use parks where the very existence of ANY mt bike is precarious. The e-bikes may push the non-riders over the edge (literally and figuratively) and get all bikes banned. Other trail users can't tell the difference and don't care to. That said - I've seen asshats on every manner of bike, so it almost comes down to rider more than bike, regarding good will and good stewardship.

And yes, I think that it's obvious that the industry (Pinkbike and Kona in this case) are using this heroic story to sell e-bikes or at least to diminish opposition and blur the lines. Go Jim Brown - I hope you beat this, and I'm glad you get to ride, but shame on the industry for making this story about an e-bike. It's not about the e-bike.
  • 3 1
 Well said.
  • 9 2
 I beat lung cancer in 2013-14. People will often down vote me when I encourage cannabis oil for treatment, but I survived and have been in full remission after a year of large amounts of oil. Good luck with your fight, Jim.
  • 5 0
 I read this, and as a father of a 9 year old boy who loves riding bikes and a man who has lost both his parents this article brought a smile and a few tears to my eyes. I originally wanted to stay home and relax...but now I rather go scoping out lines for a trail and a nice technical drop. Enjoy every minute and make the most of it. Jim...you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.
  • 9 0
 Fuck cancer for real.
  • 6 0
 That is a horribly painful cancer. He must be made out of titanium. I hope you have many many more days than on the doctors clock with your kids.
  • 12 8
 Fuck cancer! And fuck all ebike haters! This is a great example why ebikes exist. The more people that have access to get out on the trails the better. I am a cancer survivor and absolutely love mountain biking. I am still pedaling my way around the mountains, but know someday I will need pedal assist to continue my journey. E mountain bikes are all over my local trails these days and in no way detract from my experience while out. All you haters out there will someday be eating crow!
  • 7 3
 Note to all the haters on this thread: Seems to me if there wasn't something about bikes or eBikes in this story, then it wouldn't be on a biking website, now would it? Why so much hate on Kona and PB and 'The Industry'? The eBike industry, and Kona specifically, built something that improves this man's life. Why shouldn't they be proud to have built something useful? And props to PinkBike for publishing it so we can know about this guy.
And who gives a f*ck if you like it? There is an endless amount of griping in these comment sections about anything new, unusual or innovative. Personally I'm grateful for all the people and companies out there trying new stuff. That's why my Yeti is such an awesome bike ... because folks keep innovating and ignoring people who fear change.
As a personal note: I ride regular MTB's (and have since 1986) and I don't care if someone rips past me on a eMTB. None of my business as long as they are being cool. And they always look like they're having fun... which is alright by me.
  • 2 2
 (modelcitizen)...amen brother!
  • 6 0
 we all get one shot. here’s to as much living you can in your life, mrbrown.
  • 3 0
 Inspiration. Thank you for sharing. My dad also has cancer... He is 70. We just bought him an e-bike and he is on it all the time and it is giving him joy in an otherwise awful time. Great reminder to reserve judgement when we see our fellow mountain biker's on ebikes and to realize that we are lucky to still see them out there!
  • 6 0
 Keep fighting and getting those good rides in brother.
  • 2 0
 Jim, I'm glad you've found something to get you back out riding! Obviously you love to ride and have devoted much of your life to it. I'm happy to know you're still out there doing it!
I raced against your Rad Racing kids for years, and you did an awesome job with them. They really dished out the punishment!

(I hope you don't bother with all the negative comments about eBikes. Ignore the ignorant and just keep at it!)
  • 4 0
 Well I'm crying like a baby now. My close friend Rob died of cancer bout the same age. People like this thiere lives inspire me they live on in my mind . FUCK CANCER.
  • 3 1
 Disclaimer: I don't have cancer.

However, I would think Jim would agree that cancer is not necessary to benefit from one of the biggest take-aways here:

“I didn’t understand eBikes. I didn’t want to." I didn’t need to, and I didn’t take the time to understand at first. Why not just ride a regular bike?” When cycling became nearly impossible he figured he had to swallow his pride and give it a shot. Kona sales rep Jimmy James had a spare Remote that he loaned to Brown. The moment he first turned the cranks, everything changed. “Oh my God. This is the greatest thing ever,”

You just have to open your mind to a possibility...and then maybe you get to a great thing. This resonates with me. Thanks Jim, and just keep looking for a contract extension.
  • 5 0
 The arrogance of some that think they can tell others, which bike, and under what circumstances they can ride.
  • 5 1
 Thanks for a great article! Every day truly is a gift and this reminded me of that fact.
  • 2 1
 This is an awesome story, I hate Cancer and all it takes from us. On the E-bike side of things, I think this is awesome, if these bikes get more people out to the trails and other people still on the trails then that's perfect. I've been passed by an older guy on an ebike going up one of our harder climbs and my feelings were on hurt at all and he didn't damage the trail one bit (unlike the guy I met on a KTM XC350).
  • 1 0
 I'm all for E-Bikes (pedal assisted) sharing the same trails as any other mountain bikes on any given set of trails. Those electric pedal assisted bikes don't wreck the trails like a motorbike. It's the mofo's who don't respect the rules of the trails that wreck the trails. I'm not sure what the hoopla's all about for the need to ban certain types of bikes just because it may be easier for someone to ride on singletracks. You still need to acquire skills to ride technical sections. For people with disabilities, injuries, or health problems, E-bike is a good way to get out and get the mind at ease rather than taking more drugs.
  • 3 0
 Jim Brown you are a Star ,kick the Fuck out of that cancer and keep on 2 wheels matey.
  • 6 4
 Way to go Jim..ride on brother....and to all you dicks out there accusing PB of running this story for advertising reasons..think before you speak Smile
  • 3 2
 I ain't getting any younger myself, and every time I learn of somebody like Jim Brown I find myself getting a little bit more open-minded as to what options people choose . Jim Brown ROCKS. Ebikes are just a detail.
  • 1 0
 My best friend passed away within 6 months over a lung cancer, which was back from another one 5 years earlier. The problem with lung cancer is that it can easily spread over the whole body though the blood distribution.
  • 1 0
 "And there shall be a dark soul, and this soul will eat other dark souls, and so become their inheritor. The soul will not rest in an angel, but a man, and he will be a warrior."
  • 3 0
 Great Read ....Cheers Mr Brown #F"Cancer
  • 3 0
 The lives you touched will Love you for ever Jim Brown. Be Well.
  • 2 0
 I wish you all the best in your fight Jim and keep riding that bike, they are the fountain of youth.
  • 4 3
 For all the ones bitching about how this excellent story is ebike advertising....In the the whole thing, "ebike" is mentioned a whole 3 times.
  • 3 0
 This is actually the first Pink Bike article I have read in entirety.
  • 1 0
 Suddenly my struggle with my dislocated lens and not being able to ride that well since Christmas until surgery at some unspecified date sounds completely trivial.
  • 1 0
 Big difference between choosing an e-bike and having no choice but to use one as your only means of continuing to ride. Best wishes to Jim and his family!
  • 1 0
 I love ebikes, I love my ebike! Love it! Keep riding, Jim! It ain't about one vs another- it is what one can and wants to do!
  • 3 0
 Yer F u c k Cancer!
  • 3 0
 way to be, Jim.
  • 4 3
 Fuck yeah, Jim. Nice work on making me rethink ebikes.
  • 2 1
 Why do yanks hate ebikes so much ?
  • 1 0
 Good luck Jim. You are a Live-2-Ride-&-Ride-2-Live kinda guy!
  • 8 8
 E-bikes, better than cancer.
  • 3 5
 Great story. Never managed to understand why yanks don't like ebikes. Are they like a Honda cr500 over there? They certainly aren't in Europe.
  • 1 0
 Long live jim brown !
  • 1 0
 Ride on!
  • 2 4
 No I said F UCK CANCER!
  • 1 3
 I'm down voted for saying F UCK CAnCER. Your a stupid twit!
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