Recycle Bikes for Kids. (Photo Courtesy: Max Seigle, KTHV)
LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) - In Hero Central, a Little Rock man is on a mission to ensure all kids and even adults have a free set of wheels. And we're not talking wheels with a motor; these ones require peddling.
A pair of bikes made their way into this Little Rock warehouse Tuesday afternoon, adding to quite a pile inside.
"This is the room where they come in where everything is just kind of lined up and stacked," Ron King said.
There are at least 700 donated bikes here, all waiting for repairs in a nearby room.
"These are volunteers that are working on bikes and so all these bikes have to be funneled through this room to be checked out and made ready to go," King said.
Ron King is the man behind Recycle Bikes for Kids. He started it 2008, inspired by a news report about police donating unclaimed bikes to charity during the holidays.
"That so moved me and reminded me of my first bike and being a kid," King said.
He bought the first bike himself and through word of mouth others poured in.
"Immediately as I started telling friends and business people that I work with what I was going to do, they said, I have a bike for you," King said.
King's since collected more than 3,500 bikes for kids and adults. And the donations go beyond the bikes and free labor. There are donated parts filling boxes and shelves in another room. We found pedals, seats, handle bars, gears and more. All of it is "peddling" a generous operation forward.
"Everything is free, we've never charged for a bike," King said.
And it's making King feel good, doing so.
"No matter how much has changed in the world, kids still like to climb on a bike and take off down the street, it's just a lot of fun, it's a lot of freedom," King said.
King says the kids can come by and pick up a bike right away. But adults must volunteer three hours of labor to earn their bike. King says there's no screening process involved here; you just a desire for a bicycle.
For more information on this program, you can call King at (501) 952-4581. You can also email King at firstname.lastname@example.org.