FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – After giving away more than 60,000 bicycles to underprivileged kids, Fayetteville’s well-known Bicycle Man Community Outreach Projects is ending after this holiday season.
The long-standing Fayetteville tradition impacted so many young people’s lives.
The late Moses “The Bicycle Man” Mathis started this project 32 years ago out of his backyard. It all started after he asked a little boy in his neighborhood one question.
“’What did you get for Christmas?’ He said he had an old raggedy bicycle. My husband said ‘Bring it up here and we will fix it’,” Ann Mathis, Moses’ widow, said.
The next thing she knew their garage was full of bikes.
Neighborhood kids showed up needing their bikes repaired.
That’s when the bike giveaway idea came to Moses.
Each year since then volunteers have helped fix up used bikes and give them to children in the community. The giveaway grew from the family’s garage to a warehouse on Wynfare Drive in Fayetteville.
“We were only doing it to help the kids in our neighborhood. We weren’t planning on anything elaborate like this,” Ann said.
Moses passed away in 2013 and Ann kept her promise to continue his legacy until she couldn’t anymore.
Nine years later, she’s retiring and plans to spend more time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“I’ve been working with this community for 32 years. It’s time. I was a young girl then. I’m old now. So, it’s time for me to do things for me,” Ann said.
Ann wants to end the tradition with a huge giveaway. She is currently in need of more bike donations, volunteers who can repair bikes and bicycle parts.
The last day for donations is Dec. 15. Kids will get to pick their bikes and helmets on Dec. 17.
If you would like to donate a bike, money, or volunteer call 910-424-3083.