little boy gets a bike gift

Recently I attended a Spring Bike Clinic in Toronto, sponsored by The Bicycle Commons. I was there to help distribute refurbished bikes to kids who needed them.

The event was coming to a close, just a few minutes to go, and there were only two or three bikes left. A Dad came up to me with his two young children. The girl, about 8, got matched with a bike right away. But there wasn’t anything left small enough for the little boy, about 4.

He looked up at me, realized what I said, then pressed his face against his dad’s leg. He was so sad. It was heartbreaking.

There were a few bikes being repaired on site by volunteer mechanics so I went over in the hopes there would be one small enough for the little guy.

There was one tiny bike left, but the chain was completely rusted and needed to be replaced. The amazing mechanics decided they would check through all of the supplies to see if they could find a new chain small enough. It was late and it is hard to find parts for such a small bike.  It didn’t look good.

While we were waiting, and hoping, I kneeled down and said to the boy, “we’re going to see if we can fix this bike for you…I’m not sure if it will work, but we’re trying really hard, ok?”

He just nodded silently, with big, sad eyes.

A few minutes later one of the volunteers spotted a bike that looked a bit big…but maybe we could lower the seat?

We brought the bike over for the little guy to sit on. The mechanics lowered the seat all the way and it fit!!!

The boy was ecstatic! His whole face lit up! When I asked for a picture, he gave me a big thumbs up. As I was fitting him for a new helmet, that smile was still there, ear to ear. He walked over to his dad to show him the new helmet, then ran back to me and hugged me for a long time, arms tight around my legs.

Later, as I was leaving, I heard a child’s infectious laughter…I turned to see what was so funny and it was the boy on his new wheels, learning to ride with his dad holding his seat.  The little guy was giggling uncontrollably.   I looked at his dad and he said simply, “he’s happy”.

So beautiful. Ride on, buddy!