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News-Winston ‘Bicycle Man’ fixes bikes free of charge, donates them to charities

BICYCLE UPCYCLE: Winston ‘Bicycle Man’ fixes bikes freed from cost, donates them to charities | Information

In case your automobile breaks down otherwise you get in an accident, the primary name is perhaps to a mechanic.

But when your bicycle breaks down and desires restore, you may name Leon McClung, the “Bicycle Man.” Whether or not the bike wants substitute handlebar grips, sprockets, or a contemporary coat of paint, he does all of it.

McClung, who lives in Winston, is approaching his ninetieth birthday on Oct. 22 and has been fixing bicycles for a decade. He buys bicycles from yard gross sales, flea markets, and wherever else he can discover them and, as soon as repaired, he donates the bikes to kids, faculties, or charities. He’s even given bikes to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Workplace and Carrollton Police Division.

“I’ll take them, separately, in my basement and do all of the work that must be performed on them to make them in good driving situation,” McClung mentioned. “Some individuals know what I do with them and provides me some previous bicycles that want repairs.”

Within the late Thirties, his father, Gilbert, put aside one acre of land and informed him and his brother, Selma, to show the land with a mule, plant it with cotton and choose it by themselves. In the event that they did this, McClung mentioned, he and his brother might purchase a bicycle with the cash they acquired from promoting the cotton.

“We did all of the work that was required,” he mentioned. “We picked one bale of cotton from the land. Dad bought the cotton and informed us we might order a brand new bicycle from Sears Roebuck for Christmas.”

That was the brothers’ first bicycle and the 2 rode it on the similar time, with Leon on the again. Selma rode on the entrance seat, and each peddled collectively. Leon mentioned he needs to present that very same pleasure he and his brother needed to kids at this time.

In 2015, his spouse, Villa, handed away after a battle with Alzheimer’s. When she was not capable of assist and sit with Leon as he labored on every bicycle, he mentioned he rolled her to the basement in a wheelchair. He put her in a recliner chair to observe him work on the bicycles.

He mentioned he now retains himself busy together with his tinkering in remembrance of her. The couple was married for 65 years.

Leon does all of the work together with his arms, from inflating the tires to altering handlebar grips and sprockets if they’ve gone unhealthy. After the repairs are made, he washes them, paints any elements that want work, and cleans the tires.

Whereas he retains no document of the time or cash he spends on every bicycle, he does rely what number of he has labored on and donated. He started maintaining these data in 2012, and probably the most he has donated was 687 bicycles in 2017. This yr, he mentioned he has labored on greater than 400.

If anybody wants a bicycle, McClung mentioned they’ll choose one out without spending a dime. He has two scrapbooks of images, thanks playing cards, and letters from individuals and organizations who’ve acquired these bicycles, amongst them the Sweetwater Mission in Austell.

“The bicycles are all free,” he mentioned. “I’ve by no means charged anybody for a bicycle.”

Every bicycle will get a duplicate of an image of his arms with a be aware written hooked up to the handlebars. The be aware explains why he fixes bicycles, giving the proprietor a message of hope.

“Check out these 90-year-old arms,” the be aware says. “God has guided these arms to maneuver over each a part of this bicycle to verify it’s in the very best wanting and dealing order as attainable. I hope you cherish and maintain it as a lot as I’ve loved fixing it for you.”

“Could it information you to at all times be seeking to God for steering in your life additionally. In the event you do that, the enjoyment you knew from driving the bike can be a lot better by following his steering in your life.”

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