Mobile Bicycle Repair Unit: Five Guys with Big Hearts

This past Sunday afternoon I assembled another team of guys to join me in Santa Ana, Ca. to help fix bicycles for the homeless. This was my third outing fixing bicycles and it seems like the word is spreading in the local community. Every time I do show up, more and more people are bringing their bikes to be serviced. I was privileged to be joined by some great guys. You may recognize the name Moe Ramirez (The Moe); he was one of the original co-founders of, along with our friend Gabe Preda and two of our fine readers, David Peckham and Andrew Li.

We met up at 3:30pm and set up shop. Once the locals found out that we were there, they all started showing up. We tried to work as fast as we could to address all the issues, but honestly, at a certain point, it got overwhelming. Most of these bikes are in so much disrepair that most of us here would either replace the whole bike or donate it to Goodwill. But for the folks there, this was their livelihood. Notice Dave on the left side of the photo. He put in some great effort on this beach cruiser that belonged to “Girl-Tony.” Though this bike looks pretty, it came to us with a loose bottom bracket, brakes not working, bent derailleur hanger and it wasn’t shifting. Girl-Tony got her name because there are 3 other people named Tony, but she was the only girl named Tony.

This was at the beginning. Later on a large line had formed. I lost count of how my bicycles we serviced.

The repairs ranged from basic derailleur adjustments to full over-hauls. The most common problem we saw were non-working brakes. Either their pads were so worn out they couldn’t stop or their cables were frayed and broken. One of the guys we helped was telling us the that he was doored by a car which damaged his shifter and brakes. Due to the fact he didn’t have brakes, he got a ticket for it. So I made sure I installed a new shifter cable since it was damaged from the crash as well as adjusted his brakes.

Here’s Moe dealing with and old shifter housing problem:

One of the more common problems we had: shifter cables and housing that needed to be replaced.

Gabe and Andrew working together to replace cables. Notice Andrew’s DIY workstand. We’re hoping he can do a small write up on how he made it. That stand worked like a charm!

The team ended up working on so many bikes that when it was time to go, we couldn’t leave because there was still a long line of folks waiting for help. We cranked out a few more repairs and had to call it a day. Once again the locals appreciated it and we kept getting compliments, hand shakes and even “God bless you!”

From left to right: David Peckham, Gabe Preda, Moe Ramirez, RL Policar and Andrew Li.

It certainly a service that is much needed and we’re very grateful to be able to provide it. Our next scheduled event is on July 7th. We could sure use more help. All we ask is you bring a work stand, basic tools and a desire to help. We could also use some donations in the form of hard goods. From brake pads to brake/shifter cable/housing, tubes, tires, lubes, degreasers and any old bicycle parts you may not be using. You can either ship them to the World HQ or if you’re local to Orange County, Ca., I can pick it up from you.

I do want to thank the guys that came to help. I really appreciate the heart and willingness to help out. One thing I do believe is that God has blessed me with the skill to fix bicycles and it’s my way of giving back to those who need the help. I hope our team of Mechanics can grow in the future and if you’re a Jr. High/High School student that needs community service hours, come out and help — I’ll sign off on your forms.


  1. Danny Ramirez

    I just want to piggy back on this article, you guys are the talk of the community there, these men and women are super grateful for you guys. These bikes are pretty much all they have to get around and to know you guys care and spend your Sunday working on their bikes is a true blessing. So many people over look this need, people fees them give clothes haircuts etc. but to get a group of talented men that have a passion for bikes and for them to go out into their community and work on homeless people’s bikes is pretty much on heard of. You men are one of a kind. Thank you guys for all your doing.

  2. Ghost Rider

    Danny (and everyone else): we’re really quite proud of the work RL, Moe and the boys are doing out there. So many people absolutely rely on their bikes for transportation.

    We’re hoping we can get the attention of some bike companies to help kick in parts and funding to help this project grow.

  3. David

    My hats off to people like this that can sacrifice their time for the benefit of others.

    Unrelated but in the picture of the bike on the homemade bike repair stand anyone know what kind of clamp that is that is connected to the bike or where i can buy something similar?

  4. Andrew

    Hi David, its a Pony Clamp. As RL mentioned, I will try to get out a quick DIY instructional on how to make that stand. Cost me about 50 bucks (if I recall) and around 45 minutes.

  5. David

    Hi Andrew, thanks so much for your reply… A DIY would definitely come in handy…thanks again

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