Jim Taylor of Jet Lites is killed in a skiing accident

News

We are in shock. On Monday, Feb. 25, Jim Taylor struck a tree in while skiing in Squaw Valley. He was airlifted out but was pronounced dead at Renown Medical Center in Reno.

Jim Taylor is a good friend of mine. He has been a supporter/advertiser of mtbr for the last 10 years. We’ve ridden with him in the trails of Santa Cruz and we’ve skied with him Squaw. He rides like a god and skis even better.

He’s 52 years old but he’s got the fitness and agility of a 25 year old. His love for the bike is only surpassed by his love of skiing. He moved from his residence in the Bay Area to Truckee so he can be close to the skiing.

Jim leaves behind a very loving wife, Joyce who often mans his Downieville or Interbike booth while us kids play. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her.

A tragedy.
Francis Cebedo

founder, mtbr.com and roadbikereview.com

jim.jpg

——–

Here is a heart-felt message by one of Jim Taylor’s close friends, Pat Trolan.

I was a close friend of Jim Taylor’s. All your comments are extremely touching and mean a lot to those that knew him. Frankly, they have brought tears to my eyes.

Jim was born and raised in Santa Cruz, Ca. He had been skiing and cycling since an early age. After his high school years in Santa Cruz he lived in Squaw Valley for several years. He earned his living doing sheet rock. He’d save his money during the summer months so he could ski all winter.

After several years of that he moved back to the Santa Cruz area and got a job as sales rep in what is now Silicon Valley. He worked in high tech for most of his career. In his last job before starting Jet he developed, marketed and sold products for a company in San Jose, Ca. He was truly a one man show and the company did very well for the owner and Jim.

After doing this for ~10 he decided he wanted to run his own company. He was searching for ideas for a product to build. At this time night riding for mountain bikes was just getting started. Jim purchased a light from one of the companies in the industry for his own personal use. At the time he lived very near the trails at UC Santa Cruz and those trails were essentially his back yard. After using it for several months he felt it was poorly designed. It was simply too heavy and it lacked any flexibility from a feature stand point. Jim though up the concept of having a dual beam light that was modular – meaning you could run one beam two by simply snapping them together.

I remember him showing me the first draft of the engineering drawings in the back of his Ford Explorer before a ride in Nisene Marks. It was also on the trails of Nisene Marks and UCSC/Gray Whale/ Wilder Ranch where the first Jet Lites were tested. Jim would bring out several sets of lights and he’d outfit a few guys’ bikes for a ride/test session. Folks like Tom Moore, Brad Halcomb (who would win a N. Cal Pro down hill title) and I were the first to ride with a Jet Lite products before they were available to the public.

From the first prototypes the lights were brighter and lighter than anything else any of us had used before. However, Jim was always looking to improve it. He wanted to make it more reliable as well as introduce new features (dimming modes, fuel gages, longer lasting batteries, lighter batteries etc.). He test the product constantly often times on solo night rides at 11 pm during the summer months. The innovation never stopped. At times he was overwhelmed because he did the marketing, sales, design work and boxed up the product.

If you have a Jet Lite I’m 100% positive there is a Jim Taylor finger print on it. In the early days we’d sometime gather a friend or two and go to his shop on the weekend before a ride to help him. He’d tell us how many orders he had for each type of light and we’d set up an assembly line put the various components into the right boxes. We made a game out of it and tried to see how many of the various models we could build in a short time. He was always super grateful for the help. None of us would have dreamed of accepting any money.

Heck, sometimes we did it because he told us he couldn’t ride that day because he had to build lights. So, we’d offer to help so he could get the orders filled and we could ride together. It was selfish on our part. We wanted him on the ride. It was more fun with him along because he’d always stir it up out on the trail. I can hear him now says “Let’s go Daws!” “Let’s go Trolan!” “Go! GO!! Catch him!” These were some of the best times I’ve ever had. I have many, many wonderful memories of times with Jim. I know others have them as well. I’m grateful to have known him. I’m thankful to him for all the advice he gave me.

I last saw Jim on Friday February 8th in the late afternoon at Squaw Valley. We sat down at Plump Jacks for a beer (he had a coke). We had skied the two days before in the afternoon. He was headed to British Columbia the next day on a ski trip. I walked with him towards our cars through the village. We stopped at a few booths that were set up by vendors out side due to the skiing competition that coming weekend. He was happy and healthy. He was excited about his forth coming trip.

I thank you Jim.
Pat Trolan

bilde.jpg

Truckee skier dies after hitting tree at Squaw

http://www.nevadaappeal.com/article/SS/20080226/NEWS/221952640

Skiing Accident Claims Life of Truckee Man

http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=38871

jimtaylor_mtbr.jpg

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  • cactuscorn says:

    obviously this news sux. ive delt with jim many times over the years through jet and have only positive things to say.

    it would have been nice to have had the opportunity to raise a beer in the air with him after a good ride. that is if he hadnt already drank 3 and left by the time i finished said ride. instead ill open a single bottle and toast the light atop my helmet along with the man who created it.

    heres to you, jim!

  • Tony W says:

    So sad to hear that. I’m a lover of mountain biking and skiing as well and I have skied KT-22 before so I know how rough that peak is. My condolences to his wife and family.

  • Alex Wheeler says:

    This is heavy. Jim used to join the FOX Racing Shox night rides from time to time. It was always great to have him along ‘cuz he was an awesome rider and good company. My thoughts and condolences to everyone who knew him, his friends and family.

  • Zev B. says:

    What a sad story,but at least Jim was skiing when he left us, which has been a high point in my life too. I just used one of his lights on my first ever mtb race ten days ago and became an instant fan of Jet Lite.
    Best wishes to Jim’s family.

  • Jeff G says:

    very sad news. He was a great help and gave good advice over the years when I would call and purchase the only lights I have ever used! Jetlites! I wish I could have ridden or skied with him. RIP Jim; ride on.

  • brado1 says:

    wow, i’m floored. that certainly sucks. Jim was a super guy, Jim was the major reason i continue to use JetLites, from engineer/designer/marketing guy, he was the jack of all trades. i hope the company continues on. my deepest condolences to his family.

    god speed jim

  • Francois says:

    Dan’ger 02-26-2008 09:48 PM
    How horrible. My condolences.

    dan51 02-26-2008 09:52 PM
    Oh no, terrible news. Jet makes some of the best lights out there. I called them for some assistance once and spoke with him. He was super helpful and provided awesome customer service.

    My condolences.

    dHarriet 02-26-2008 09:54 PM
    that is a terrible tragedy. :(
    sending warm thoughts to his wife!

    CDMC 02-26-2008 09:59 PM
    So sad to hear. My condolences to his wife.

    rogan 02-26-2008 11:03 PM
    Oh no thats terrible. Super nice guy and very helpful….I bought two lights from him. Best customer service I have encountered. My condolences to his wife and family.

    Swell Guy 02-26-2008 11:20 PM
    That’s terrible. My condolences to his wife and friends.

    Does anyone know if he was wearing a helmet? After 35 years of skiing without incident I started wearing one just like I do cycling. Gives me a lot more confidence that I’m not going to get some nasty head-injury, especially with all the kooks and tree skiing going on these days. I also ski Headwall all the time. I’d even consider a full-face helmet. Keeps the head warm too.

    Monday morning was 4′ of epic pow based on the snowfall Sunday while I was there and the reports from friends Monday morning given that Squaw’s upper mountain was closed Sunday.

    Sorry to digress OT and sincere condolences.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by francois
    This is unbelievable. Jim Taylor is a good friend of mine. He has been a supporter/advertiser of mtbr for the last 10 years.

    He rides like a god and skis even better. No kids but has a very loving wife, Joyce who often mans his Downieville or Interbike booth while we play.

    A tragedy.
    francois

    ——–
    Skiing Accident Claims Life of Truckee Man
    Written by C. Johnson, Internet News Producer
    http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=38871

    LAKE TAHOE, CA (AP) — A 52-year-old Truckee man has died after skiing into a tree at Squaw Valley.

    Resort spokeswoman Savannah Cowley said the skier, James Taylor, struck a tree Monday morning below the Headwall chairlift.

    Ski patrollers brought Taylor to a medical center at the base of the mountain. He then was taken by helicopter to Renown Medical Center in Reno, where a spokeswoman said he was pronounced dead.

    Taylor designed Jet Lites, a lighting system for cyclists, at a Truckee-based company.

    J 02-26-2008 11:24 PM
    Sad to hear. I have a set, and yes, the support I got from them (him) was exemplary.

    Ebo 02-26-2008 11:31 PM
    Very sad news. My condolences to family and friends. At least he died doing what he loved. …. A close friend of mine injured his back on Headwall about 20 years ago by hitting a tree after falling. It’s steep and obviously dangerous. Sorry to see you lose a good friend.

    francois 02-26-2008 11:52 PM
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swell Guy
    That’s terrible. My condolences to his wife and friends.

    Does anyone know if he was wearing a helmet? After 35 years of skiing without incident I started wearing one just like I do cycling. Gives me a lot more confidence that I’m not going to get some nasty head-injury, especially with all the kooks and tree skiing going on these days. I also ski Headwall all the time. I’d even consider a full-face helmet. Keeps the head warm too.

    Monday morning was 4′ of epic pow based on the snowfall Sunday while I was there and the reports from friends Monday morning given that Squaw’s upper mountain was closed Sunday.

    Sorry to digress OT and sincere condolences.

    Wearing a helmet… YES.

    fc

    Swell Guy 02-27-2008 12:08 AM
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by francois
    Wearing a helmet… YES.

    fc

    Whoa, that’s terrible. Must’ve been a nasty collision.

    BigLarry 02-27-2008 12:23 AM
    Horrible News.

    I also talked with Jim quite a bit on several occasions when I was purchasing my Jet Lite Phantoms. We talked about technology and small business and so on.

    I’m very sad to hear this. Jim worked very hard and his company was starting to take off as a result of his huge effort.

    My condolences to his family.

    TahoeBC 02-27-2008 08:03 AM
    Very sad, I read about this yesterday, RIP Jim

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swell Guy
    Does anyone know if he was wearing a helmet? After 35 years of skiing without incident I started wearing one just like I do cycling. Gives me a lot more confidence that I’m not going to get some nasty head-injury

    Although I wear a helmet, I know a collision with a tree at any kind of speed probably > 15 miles an hour is not going to do me much good with a direct hit on the noggin. Don’t let a helmet fool you into building your confidence and taking risks you might not otherwise do.

    chairthruster 02-27-2008 08:41 AM
    Wow, very sad news indeed. My heart goes out to his wife and other loved ones. I spent quite a bit of time with Jim on the phone, he was always willing to shoot the sh$t about his lights, extremely helpful, excellent customer service. Seemed to really enjoy life to its fullest, so sad.

    grrrah 02-27-2008 08:50 AM
    This is sad. Condolances to his family and friends, including many here…

    Prettym1k3 02-27-2008 09:18 AM
    Oh man. That is so horrible.

    Maybe someone should put together a group buy for Jet Lites? I’m sure the company could use the business, as his wife will have bills to pay.

    That is so sad. My condolences, and prayer.

    grundy 02-27-2008 09:21 AM
    that is terrible news, I am sorry to hear it.

    I purchased a set of Jet lights last year. The strongest recommendation that I heard before buying was ‘pick up the phone and call them; you’ll most likely talk to someone that designed the lights. You can’t beat their customer service.’ And, that’s what I did. I don’t know if I spoke to Jim or not, but the voice at the other end of the phone was friendly, knowledgeable, and informative.

    I’m sorry to hear of his passing.

    feetsnofail 02-27-2008 09:29 AM
    what a shame – impressive bio … we lost an outstanding member of our community! he will be missed …

    budgie 02-27-2008 09:49 AM
    Just terrible. Sounds like a life well lived. My deepest condolences go out to his wife, family and friends.
    I was on Headwall Saturday and found it pretty tough going in the powder. Monday must have been really tricky. It’s easy to forget how dangerous these sports that we love can be, even to the most capable. I think I’ll be taking it slow for a little while ….

    beaverbiker 02-27-2008 10:44 AM
    ride in peace Jim. many people will miss you.

    Khemical 02-27-2008 12:16 PM
    Wow, first Steve DeLay of SWD, now this. Bummer.

  • Francois says:

    bradmtb 02-26-2008 08:50 PM
    A great loss for cycling

    Jim Taylor was a unique, intelligent, honest guy. I first met Jim at the National Championships in Mammoth in the mid 90′s. I had purchased a first-generation dual beam at a bike swap in Larkspur a year earlier, and Jim said it was one of his first lights.
    He asked me if I wanted it upgraded (new seals, bushings, switches, and connectors) and I said sure. He took my light and sent it back to me free of charge a few days later. I talked to him just last month, and as always, he provided direct, honest advice. RIP Jim, and I hope somehow, Jet Lites live on.

    francois 02-26-2008 09:36 PM
    Holy, holy, holy moly. Jim has been a friend of mtbr for a long time. Heartbeaking.

    fc

    elsaltamontes 02-26-2008 09:46 PM
    I’m trying to makes sense of this.

    He’s a good friend. He made me look forward to my 50s so that I can kick 20 and 30 year old asses like he kicked mine. A true passionate rider. Both on knobby tires and on skis. Like some folks on this board, I met him once and we stayed in touch and rode together ever since. He’s shared with me some of the best trails in Santa Cruz. Taught me riding tips, personal finance, and just how to be a good person. I’m distraught… in disbelief. Rest in peace, good friend. I’m still hoping that this isn’t really happening and it’s just a nightmare that I’m going to wake up from.

    Slayer77 02-26-2008 10:00 PM
    Jim was awesome…

    Jim and I used to frequent the demo forest at night seeking some fun on the trails. His competitive drive always kept me going long after I’d had more than enough climbing. We also shared some time at his favorite ski destination, Squaw Valley… He was an awesome skier and really loved his powder days… Yesterday was said to be the best conditions of the year…

    I will miss Jim… I’m sorry to his family and friends.

    Thanks,

    Forrest Arakawa

  • Moto Rider says:

    Sad!

    My condolences to his family.

  • Trevor says:

    Thoughts and Prayers to his family.

  • Flyer (Neil) says:

    Jim was a wonderful guy. I hear his wife had a stroke soon after but she will recover fully. My prayers are with his family. I hope Jet Lites continues to blaze the way with the most reliable lights ever. We will miss Jim immensely. The biking industry just lost one of its best.

  • Pat Trolan says:

    All,

    I was a close friend of Jim Taylor’s. All your comments are extremely touching and mean a lot to those that knew him. Frankly, they have brought tears to my eyes.

    Jim was born and raised in Santa Cruz, Ca. He had been skiing and cycling since an early age. After his high school years in Santa Cruz he lived in Squaw Valley for several years. He earned his living doing sheet rock. He’d save his money during the summer months so he could ski all winter. After several years of that he moved back to the Santa Cruz area and got a job as sales rep in what is now Silicon Valley. He worked in high tech for most of his career. In his last job before starting Jet he developed, marketed and sold products for a company in San Jose, Ca. He was truly a one man show and the company did very well for the owner and Jim. After doing this for ~10 he decided he wanted to run his own company. He was searching for ideas for a product to build. At this time night riding for mountain bikes was just getting started. Jim purchased a light from one of the companies in the industry for his own personal use. At the time he lived very near the trails at UC Santa Cruz and those trails were essentially his back yard. After using it for several months he felt it was poorly designed. It was simply too heavy and it lacked any flexibility from a feature stand point. Jim though up the concept of having a dual beam light that was modular – meaning you could run one beam two by simply snapping them together. I remember him showing me the first draft of the engineering drawings in the back of his Ford Explorer before a ride in Nisene Marks. It was also on the trails of Nisene Marks and UCSC/Gray Whale/ Wilder Ranch where the first Jet Lites were tested. Jim would bring out several sets of lights and he’d outfit a few guys’ bikes for a ride/test session. Folks like Tom Moore, Brad Halcomb (who would win a N. Cal Pro down hill title) and I were the first to ride with a Jet Lite products before they were available to the public. From the first prototypes the lights were brighter and lighter than anything else any of us had used before. However, Jim was always looking to improve it. He wanted to make it more reliable as well as introduce new features (dimming modes, fuel gages, longer lasting batteries, lighter batteries etc.). He test the product constantly often times on solo night rides at 11 pm during the summer months. The innovation never stopped. At times he was overwhelmed because he did the marketing, sales, design work and boxed up the product. If you have a Jet Lite I’m 100% positive there is a Jim Taylor finger print on it. In the early days we’d sometime gather a friend or two and go to his shop on the weekend before a ride to help him. He’d tell us how many orders he had for each type of light and we’d set up an assembly line put the various components into the right boxes. We made a game out of it and tried to see how many of the various models we could build in a short time. He was always super grateful for the help. None of us would have dreamed of accepting any money. Heck, sometimes we did it because he told us he couldn’t ride that day because he had to build lights. So, we’d offer to help so he could get the orders filled and we could ride together. It was selfish on our part. We wanted him on the ride. It was more fun with him along because he’d always stir it up out on the trail. I can hear him now says “Let’s go Daws!” “Let’s go Trolan!” “Go! GO!! Catch him!” These were some of the best times I’ve ever had. I have many, many wonderful memories of times with Jim. I know others have them as well. I’m grateful to have known him. I’m thankful to him for all the advice he gave me.

    I last saw Jim on Friday February 8th in the late afternoon at Squaw Valley. We sat down at Plump Jacks for a beer (he had a coke). We had skied the two days before in the afternoon. He was headed to British Columbia the next day on a ski trip. I walked with him towards our cars through the village. We stopped at a few booths that were set up by vendors out side due to the skiing competition that coming weekend. He was happy and healthy. He was excited about his forth coming trip.

    I thank you Jim.

    Pat Trolan

  • Rob Adair says:

    I briefly dealt with Jim when I bought my Jet light from him. He answered the phone, took my order and we chatted for a bit. A super nice guy with a passion for life. That light is still going strong at least 5 years later, maybe more. Because of him I have receommended Jet to a bunch of people. I am really sorry to hear of his passing.

  • I was so deeply saddened when I first heard of Jim’s passing.
    Jim was THE best rider I have known and or had the pleasure to ride with. His endurance and technical abilities are beyond definition. IF Jim was to pass, being on a bike or skiis was the only way out for him.

    Jim was a true entrepreneur. His passion for the bike and for his business where one of the same. He was always improving, making it better. I remember back in 1992. Jim got me into riding with Ron and Pat. No one could keep up with those guys. I tried and learned allot from all of them. We rode together many many miles in Wilder, Gray Whale. Dodging the rangers, what fun… We were together when Jim was designing his new Jet Lites, talking as we rode straight up a hill and at night. What a great rider he was and what great fun we all had together. Even though I have not seen Jim in awhile, he will allways be my friend and I will never forget him. My heart is out to his wife Joyce, his family and his two friends; Pat and Ron. My heart goes out to all of you.
    Gordon Liechti

  • Hugh says:

    I was probably one of the many customaers who was talked into a cheaper light. Jim was right, the light he suggested works great for me.

    This is very sad. My thoughts go out to his family.

  • Chris from Another Bike Shop, Santa Cruz says:

    Jim was a true stand up guy. I always enjoyed doing business with him. He was always a pleasure to speak to. Anyone in business knows there are some people you just never really look foward to speaking to on the phone. Any time Jim called I knew I was in for some good conversaton and catching up.
    Pat Trolan’s comments reminded me of my rides with Jim years ago. He was one of those guys that was always fun to ride with, constantly yelling out encouragements, and just super stoked the whole time.
    I learned so much about trail lights from Jim through the years, starting his company from nothing he learned a lot himself, and was always passing on tidbits to me, as I was as fascinated as he was at the things one has to consider when actually producing in numbers, a high quality lighting system. We’ll miss you Jim, enjoy the perma powder day. Chris

  • Charles Coker says:

    I got to know Jim over the years.
    He was a true class act.

    I have been a Jet fan and proponent for years and use my Jet HID all the time.. the next night ride will be in his honor…

    Sincerely,
    Charles Coker
    hammerheadbikes

  • Jim McCarty says:

    So sad. I bought a Jet Phantom because I e-mailed Jim with a question and got a reply before I could even sign off the computer. Heard from him several times when I had questions. We should all go for a night ride ASAP in honor of Jim. He will be missed…
    Jim McCarty, Taos, Mo.

  • Jim was a close and dear friend to my husband,our 16 year old daughter,and myself.We meet 23 years ago on a windsurfing beach in Maui,and have been close friends ever since.Jim lived just a few blocks away from us in Santa Cruz so we saw each other often. Jim and Ron rode (mountain & road bikes) and windsurf together at least 5 days a week for years.
    I remember the first time Jim brought Joyce over to our home so we could meet her, we knew immediately this was the one. We have all been close friends ever since (for the past 22 years). We have shared many special times together, and will always have heart-felt memories of Jim. He will be truely missed by the Dussault family…Jim you were one of a kind!
    We love you and we’ll miss you,
    Nancy

  • Kevin Moore San Rafael, CA says:

    I met Jim up at Squaw Valley back in the mid-70′s. He was the skinny kid from Santa Cruz who drove a Ford Pinto. How far he had come along in the world.

    I have great memories of my time around Jim. He was always smiling and was always finding something good about life. We had some very fun days skiing together.

    I find the accident almost unbelievable as Jim was an excellent skier and not at all a risky skier. Just some weird fluke in the universe that took him from us far too soon. If there is a divine plan for everyone, they must need Jet Lites up in Heaven as there is no other reason I can think of for him being taken away.

    Due to knee injuries, I gave up skiing several years ago. When a friend asked if I missed skiing, I said that I do, but I miss my old skiing friends even more. I’m sad that I won’t be able to meet up with Jim once again and have another good time.

    My condolences to Jim’s family and friends.

    Kevin

  • Kevin Moore San Rafael, CA says:

    I met Jim up at Squaw Valley back in the mid-70′s. He was the skinny kid from Santa Cruz who drove a Ford Pinto. How far he had come along in the world.

    I have great memories of my time around Jim. He was always smiling and was always finding something good about life. We had some very fun days skiing together.

    I find the accident almost unbelievable as Jim was an excellent skier and not at all a risky skier. Just some weird fluke in the universe that took him from us far too soon. If there is a divine plan for everyone, they must need Jet Lites up in Heaven as there is no other reason I can think of for him being taken away.

    Due to knee injuries, I gave up skiing several years ago. When a friend asked if I missed skiing, I said that I do, but I miss my old skiing friends even more. I’m sad that I won’t be able to meet up with Jim once again and have another good time.

    My condolences to Jim’s family and friends.

    Kevin

  • Kevin Moore San Rafael, CA says:

    I met Jim up at Squaw Valley back in the mid-70′s. He was the skinny kid from Santa Cruz who drove a Ford Pinto. How far he had come along in the world.

    I have great memories of my time around Jim. He was always smiling and was always finding something good about life. We had some very fun days skiing together.

    I find the accident almost unbelievable as Jim was an excellent skier and not at all a risky skier. Just some weird fluke in the universe that took him from us far too soon. If there is a divine plan for everyone, they must need Jet Lites up in Heaven as there is no other reason I can think of for him being taken away.

    Due to knee injuries, I gave up skiing several years ago. When a friend asked if I missed skiing, I said that I do, but I miss my old skiing friends even more. I’m sad that I won’t be able to meet up with Jim once again and have another good time.

    My condolences to Jim’s family and friends.

    Kevin

  • justin scharp says:

    Wow, this is all very hard too read, it has been three days since the accident & I don’t think it has totally sunk in yet. The thought of never seeing a friend again that would normally be seen daily is hard to take. I would visit Taylor at the Jet Lite shop or he would stop in at mine (neighboring) often for a visit, powder story, bike trail info, R&D talk or just a quick heckle session. It’s hard to think that won’t happen again.

    “Stir it up” is right Pat… I can still hear his comments to me “get out of the way girlfriend”, this guy is 52 years old trying to pass a 34 year old on a mtn. bike…. What a fun person to bike, ski & just hang out with. Smart ass too!

    Jim was an incredible person.… very intelligent, extremely analytical, humorous, and a perfectionist that always had the right tool or knowledge for the job.

    Jim left me a message the morning of his accident. I wish I wouldn’t have missed that call…. He was just making sure his friends were going to be gettin’ the blue bird (powder day) like he was.

    My thoughts and prayers for Joyce, and the family of Jim Taylor.

    KT FOREVER JIM!

    Justin Scharp

  • Rick Taormina says:

    Jim has been a good friend of mine over the years. This is truly a shock. I used to help Jim build his Jet Lites when my business was slow and we would often go mountain biking at the end of the day. I will very much miss those days. Jim you will be missed very much.
    Our prayers thoughts and support are with Joyce and her family.
    Rick Lisa Gianna and Josh

  • Jerry Weingord says:

    What horrible news. I was a friend of Jim and had the honor of skiing with him last month, after a big storm. For a guy 9 years older then me, Jim left me huffing and puffing after every run, and therefore will always give me the choice where to ski.
    My wife and I will deeply miss Jim and our prayers and support are with his wife Joyce.

  • Pat Trolan says:

    The Taylor Family asked me to post this. If you would like to pay respects to Jim information about the service in his honor are below.

    James Fredrick Taylor

    Jim Taylor, 52, owner of Jet Lites died in a skiing accident on the slopes of Squaw Valley March 25, 2008 while trying to avoid another skier on a popular run. He received massive internal injuries after hitting a tree, despite wearing a helmet and being an expert skier.

    Jim, the beloved son of Lois Anne and Harold Raymond Taylor, was born November 25, 1955 in Saginaw, Michigan. He was raised in Santa Cruz, CA and lived most of his adult life in Santa Cruz and Truckee.
    He met Joyce Ann Taylor on Valentines Day, 1986 and it was love at first sight. They married a year later on May 30, 1987. Their collaborative and caring relationship was based on mutual support and a deep love for each other. His big heart extended to his close-knit family that shared many memorable times. He was an awesome son, husband, brother, and uncle.

    Jim was a self taught electrical and mechanical engineer who patented several products based on light technology and design that are used in cycling, adventure racing, the military and other industries. This led to the founding of his company Jet Lites that received numerous awards for its innovations.
    He excelled at virtually everything he attempted and did so in a humble manner. He lived in the moment and did everything with passion, focus and drive. Jim was blessed with numerous friends and relatives. They enjoyed his company doing many athletic endeavors that he ardently pursued which included skiing, golf, cycling, sailing and surfing. How fitting that his last day was an epic ski day and he died enjoying what he loved best.
    He is survived by his wife, Joyce; parents, Harold and Lois; his sister, Susan Calderon (Filemon), his brother Gregory; his nephews and niece, Justin and Aaron Taylor, Taylor and Zachary Calderon, Shane and Avery Elder; mother and father- in-laws Margaret and Jim Elder; sister-in-law Carolyn Elder; brother-in-law Jim Elder (Erin), and his beloved dogs Mickey and Minnie.

    Services will be held March 9, Saratoga Federated Church, 20390 Park Place,
    Saratoga, CA 95070 at 1:00 pm. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Jim Taylor to the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe by mail to P.O. Box 9041, Truckee, CA 96162 or on their website at http://www.hstt.org.

  • Francois says:

    >>Services will be held March 9, Saratoga Federated Church, 20390 Park Place, Saratoga, CA 95070 at 1:00 pm

    I will be there with Raymond.

    Coincidentally, my daughter goes to school there.

    Francis Cebedo

  • Pat Trolan says:

    Francis – Please send me your e-mail address. Send it to PTrolan@aol.com

    Txs,

    Pat

  • Braham says:

    What a tragedy. Jim was a very cool guy (I had a Jetlite), I talked to him several times and he was too nice and helpful, besides he made one of the most reliable lights in industry
    Keep lighting the path were you are JIM!!!
    My sorry to her wife and family

  • Cheryl Dembner Weingord says:

    Jim had an infectious passion for life and fun. He really lived his life to the fullest and seized each opportunity for fun and adventure. Squaw was like a second home to him and whenever he talked about it you could not help but feel his deep connection with the mountain. We loved visiting with him and Joyce at their beautiful home and hearing humorous excerpts of his biking and skiing adventures. He was admired and well-respected by his colleagues, both younger and older. We will miss his laugh and his spirit. Our love and deepest affection go out to Joyce, his sister and her family and his parents. May his spirit live on forever.

  • Cheryl Dembner Weingord says:

    My apologies for omitting his brother and nieces and nephews in our condolences. Thank you for posting the information about the services. We will be there.

  • Aaron Collins says:

    I sent a message to Jet about a dead battery from a 5 year old light and was suprised that Jim responded personally and followed up after a question. I found this to be very personal and professional. Not too many like that now, he will be missed.

  • Herb & Treas Manning says:

    We heard the helicopters and knew someone had been badly hurt. Always hope it is not one of our own. This time it was… Jim, a long time customer of ours, the kind of guy that lights up the shop when he walks in. Always polite, always eager to talk about skiing and the mountain. We will miss you Jim! Our hearts go out to his family and many friends.

  • Meat Foot says:

    This knocked the wind out of me. I am very sad to read about this. His customer service is top shelf. Condolences to his family.

  • Evil Patrick says:

    A recurring theme of life that never fails to baffle me -> why do the worst things happen to the nicest people?

    My condolences to all who knew and loved Jim.

  • ZaqHydN says:

    tragety. nothing more than this can spell more.

    I believe now, he can ride with Jesus, to ride the best of the best trail, the never ending trail of which he won’t need a light to illuminate. I can think of nothing better to imagine.

    Thank you Jim – ZH

  • Pat Trolan says:

    A personal note from Joyce Taylor:

    I want to thank everyone for all your heartfelt support since Jim’s accident. Jim meant the world to me; Jim was my best friend and the love of my life. He will be missed forever. As the co-founder of Jet Lites, I will assume control of the company. Jet Lites was not just my husband’s career, it was his dream and passion. I plan to continue his dream. We have an exceptional staff of very dedicated people at Jet Lites. We will continue to offer innovative quality products and the excellent customer service our customers have received in the past.

    Regards,

    Joyce Taylor

  • Haven Ritchie says:

    To Joyce…I did not know Jim well, but when he was buying sunscreen from me one time I asked him about his business. He had been pretty quiet with me up until then. His enthusiasm for his product and his pride in the business was palpable. My thoughts go to you and your family.

    Haven

  • Photo-John says:

    I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. Jim was one of the first industry people I met when I started working at Mtbr. He was also one of the nicest people I ever met. I don’t know what else to say. It’s sad to think that I will never see him on the trail again.

  • Hope says:

    This news is so sad that I can hardly believe it. I’ve been friends with Joyce since high school and I was out with her the very night she met Jim! He was so friendly and easygoing. Really a cool person. I can imagine him now playing on the beach or in the snow with Nikki, Rex and a little pooch named Rags. My heart goes out to the Taylor and Elder families.

  • Angela Matthews says:

    I had just met Jim last year in the locker room at Squaw. He was always very nice and cheerful. He had a hard time remembering my name and my husbands, which is Don, so he called us ‘Donangela’ just so he could remember.
    I would see him ski down KT West Face, and he was an excellent skier. I was in total disbelief after I heard about the accident. Skiing hasn’t been the same since.
    Jim, I hope whereever you are, you can still remember the Powder days.
    “Donangela”

  • Angela Matthews says:

    I meant to say “Dongela”

  • Anonymous says:

    My husband Kip died in the same place @ Squaw April 2nd 1999. I’m sooo sorry for the loss of another husband, friend…. If there is any help I can be to his wife – I’m here and have been there. It’s such a hard road.

  • Anonymous says:

    My condolences it seems as if he died doing what he loved…

    I wish we could all be this lucky! God bless this man 50 and still shredding…amazing!

    RIP JIM

    ….I bet he is still shredding where ever he is.

  • Michelle and Tom Stoddard says:

    Shocking…we’ve been loyal Jet customers for several years, rode a D’ville shuttle with Jim once and spent time talking with him on the phone when we had questions about the lights. To echo everyone else posting, he seemed to embrace life and everything about it. Our condolences to Joyce, the dogs and rest of the family. The world is a better place with people like Jim around.

  • Fritter says:

    I’m so sorry, my condolences to Joyce and the rest of Jim’s family and friends. I only rode with Jim twice in the Truckee area when he joined our Tuesday night ride group. He fit in like he’d been there forever. You could tell that he was just a great guy. We’ll miss him.

  • Curt says:

    Wow, I am so shocked to hear this news! I bought my Jet Lite in 2003 because I needed a good light for an upcoming 24 hour race, and from the reviews I read, Jim’s was the way to go: true enough, it was and is fabulous. A year or so later I wanted to upgrade it and chancing a call to Jet Lites fairly late at night, I happened to get Jim on the phone. We talked for about and hour or more about riding, my needs as far as a light, what he did besides ride, the weather, you name it — the guy really impressed me not only with his customer service, but just with his demeanor in general: here was this guy, a very successful businessman, undoubtedly a very busy one too, from how he described his days to me, and yet he took the time to help me, be cool, and just be REAL with me. It was so refreshing to talk to someone who was that successful but yet hadn’t forgotten to be genuine and sincere with his customers. Being in business myself, I know how easy it is to lose sight of that sometimes. Jim, here’s to you buddy — not only for making a stellar light, but for being an even more stellar man. RIP my friend.

  • Don C. says:

    I talked with Jim many times over the years. What a quality guy he was. I’ll miss him.

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