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Visit lifts ill former biker’s spirits

Several Lincoln County motorcyclists gathered on Ann StreetSaturday afternoon to fellowship and talk bikes with one of theirown.

Under an effort put together by Steve McFadden of Whistlestop,the Christian Motorcyclists of Lincoln County, and James Pickett, agroup of bikers congregated at the home of paraplegic former bikerTony Tibbs.

Tibbs, 49, has loved motorcycles since he was 12 years old. Hehad a series of strokes at age 36 that left him paraplegic andcurrently under hospice care.

“I love this,” Tibbs said as he happily looked at the bikes. “Icouldn’t pick my favorite of them because they’re allbeautiful.”

Tibbs said just being able to talk shop with his friends and beoutside with the bikes made his day.

“I’ve missed being able to ride,” he said. “That was my love andpassion to get out and feel the breeze.”

Tibbs can catch up on motorcycle technology by watching showslike “Monster Garage” and “Orange County Choppers” on televisionand chatting with his Internet friends about his favorite hobby andpastime past.

Even if it’s wishful thinking at this time, Tibbs said he stillhas dreams of one day getting back on a bike.

“If I ever win the lottery, I’ll have one built so I can get onone,” he said.

And Tibbs plans to go out doing what he loved the most: Ridingin a group of motorcycles with his friends.

“That’s my last request,” he said. “To have a motorcycle escort.But that won’t be for a long time. I might give out, but I won’tgive up.”