It’s been a few months since we’ve been out fixing bicycles for the homeless community of Santa Ana. It wasn’t until I received an email from our resident Doctor-Biker, Doc Li asking when the next event would be. After some calendar checking and asking our wives which date would work, we headed out to Civic Center and Ross in Santa Ana, Ca.
The weather was a crazy hot, 95 degrees with about 50% humidity. Needless to say it was we were sweating before we even did anything. I loaded up my mini van with all the tools and parts that we received from our various sponsors such as Two Wheels One Planet of Costa Mesa, Planet Bike and Freedom by WTB. We also had received a cash donation from our favorite Cop, Officer Ben, which allowed us to purchase additional hard goods for the event.
Locked and loaded with parts, tools and water to pass out to the homeless…it was a hot day!
On our way out!
The Moe and RL. These are the two Original Founders of BikeCommuters.com
Upon arrival, we immediately got set up. We had our EZ-UP to shield us from the sun, had our two work stands ready, got the tools out. As soon as we were ready, things got busy. Word quickly spreads in the community that we are providing FREE BICYCLE REPAIR SERVICES.Doc Li is our most loyal volunteer. He’s ALWAYS available when set up these events. We’re really grateful for his help. The Moe is a major asset in our efforts because he is our translator. 70% of our “customers” speak Spanish, so he makes it easier to communicate with them. There have been times when I didn’t have a translator with me and that proved to be difficult. Giving back to the community is always rewarding. Even though our volunteer count was low this time, we did manage to help out at least 20 bicycles. The most common issues we see and this is where Two Wheels One Planet helped us out with are brake pads.They donated a good amount of pads for the cause. Almost ALL of the bicycles we fixed had some sort of braking issue. Some of them didn’t even have any brakes! With that in mind we replaced cables, housing and brake pads. We also made sure that all the bicycles had a well lubed drive train.
As we’re working away there was a gentleman who was just standing watching us. He started asking questions why we were out there, and if we were affiliated with any religious organization. So I briefly gave him our back story that at one point in time, I was coming out there to help feed the homeless with my church, but once I saw there were so many bicycles, I knew this was a greater need that needed to be addressed. With the help of various corporate sponsors and generous individuals, we’ve managed to keep this initiative going strong for a couple of years now. He was pretty impressed on what we were doing and thanked us for providing this service. I told him it’s the least we can do, we’ve been blessed with the ability to fix bicycles, we’re pretty good at it, so we might as well use our talents to serve others.
If you’re interested in taking part of our next event by either volunteering, donating hard goods or funds, feel free to reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org