Family of slain cyclist donates bikes in loved one's memory

Published: Dec. 21, 2017 at 11:31 PM EST
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There were 13 bikes, 13 helmets and, on the other side of the curtain, 13 kids who had no idea they were getting them.

The kids inside St. Paul Catholic Church on Thursday night were part of the Conquest Club, a group formed to get them off the streets, keep them out of trouble and give them direction.

Many there - kids and adults alike - had heavy hearts, with one of the club's founders and mentors having just passed away.

But it was also a time of celebration. It was their Christmas party.

The bikes came from family members of the late Mark Hinkel. They came to give them away in his memory.

, 57, died in May 2015 when he was hit by a truck while riding in the Horsey Hundred bicycle ride in Scott County.

Family members say Hinkel loved cycling and loved helping others. They started the Mark Hinkel Pedaling Forward foundation to keep his legacy alive.

"We know the joy that he, that Mark, had when he was cycling. That's the thing he loved to do," said Mary-Lynn Hinkel, Mark's widow. "And the joy he got from that, we want that to be carried forward to these kids when they get bikes."

The looks on the kids' faces when they got their bikes was proof that the Hinkels truly are spreading that joy.

Other kids at the party also received other gifts that were donated from another family who collected the toys, clothes and other items from friends and family instead of getting gifts for themselves.

pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in the crash that killed Hinkel. Last month Paz-Salvador was sentenced to 35 years in prison.