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Once a month my family will volunteer in Santa Ana, Ca. to help with Operation Feed the Homeless(OFTH). Typically my wife and kids will help by serving food to some of the homeless as well as play with some of the little kids who are also there. This Sunday was no different from our typical time of serving. But the last few times we’ve been out, I had taken some donations that Planet Bike graciously sent me to pass out to the homeless who needed bicycle safety products such as lights, locks and bells. Another time that I went out, I was joined by my friend James Thomas of Serfas. He passed out a suitcase full of lights to those who needed them.
While my family was serving, I busted out my mobile bicycle repair unit. This consisted of a push cart, work stand, grease, lube, tools and truing stand. It may sound funny, but I do feel that God has blessed me with the ability to work with my hands and he’s allowed me to be very good at it. This was my way of giving back to those who are less fortunate. Not only was I able to help people, but I’m working on bikes and that’s one of my favorite things to do.
I serviced all types of bikes that had a variety of problems. Some needed truing, others needed brake and derailleur adjustments while one of the bikes needed a nut to keep the suspension pivot from falling apart.
Here you can see my red cart full of stuff.
One of the bikes I worked on was this lowrider beach cruiser that had a 100+spoke wheel. The owner complained that his front wheel was wobbly. After getting it on the stand, I quickly saw that his axle nuts were extremely loose. I quickly fixed that problem for him and he was very grateful for my services.
For each bike that came to me, I made sure I lubed their chain and checked their brakes. I wish I had a picture of it, but one bike’s drive train was completely rusted out and he complained that it was hard for him to pedal and that his bike was squeaky. After applying some lube, he was a happy man!
I love working on bicycles and its especially rewarding when I can do it for folks who can’t take of their bikes because they either don’t know how or don’t have the money to take it to a shop. I plan on going back next month and some of the folks I did meet are already looking forward to my return. If you are in the Orange County, Ca. area next month and would like to join me in providing this service to the community, feel free to leave a comment and we can set up a time and date to do so.