Steve Austin, Jerry Gavette and James Farley are affectionately known as “Bike Guy No. 1,” “Bike Guy No. 2” and “Bike Guy No. 3” around …
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Steve Austin, Jerry Gavette and James Farley are affectionately known as “Bike Guy No. 1,” “Bike Guy No. 2” and “Bike Guy No. 3” around the city of Northglenn.
For several years, the men have collected old bicycles, repaired and polished them, and gotten them ready to give to the children in the community. All year round, the men work on Monday and Tuesday mornings on the bikes. This time of year is the busiest for them as they work on getting dozens of bikes ready for the Christmas giveaway on Dec. 21.
“I live alone. My wife died six years ago, and it’s just me and my dog,” said Austin, 87, about why he dedicates his time to the program. “I like to help out in the community. Everybody’s real happy to get something new.”
Gavette, 68, also dedicates his free time to several citizen boards and commissions, including the Northglenn Urban Renewal Authority (NURA) and the Northglenn Historic Commission.
“You give back to the community, it’s something to do when you’re retired,” he said. “The community seems to embrace (the program). We get an awful lot of donations.”
Jenni Murphy, the city’s community outreach coordinator, praised the men for their dedication.
“They all have a little bit of time and give so much,” she said. “Two mornings a week is a lot to give to a program, and we appreciate their help. It’s grown from a few bikes here and there to we gave away 262 bikes last December. This past June we gave away 82 bikes.”
The program began about 17 years ago when a city employee with the sanitation department, Jimmy Bowman, noticed that people were throwing away perfectly good bicycles, Murphy said. He asked permission to take the bikes and began working on them at home to give away to children.
After Bowman retired more than eight years ago, Murphy said, the City Council decided to make the program a city outreach project.
“People were so used to getting these bikes at Christmas that we knew we couldn’t stop the program,” she said.
The city is accepting bike donations, and all bikes — from mountain bikes to tricycles — are welcomed.
“Anything with wheels that kids use,” Austin said. He added that if the men aren’t able to repair the bikes, they salvage parts.
Northglenn residents can arrange a special pick up for bikes by contacting Murphy at 303-450-8904 or by email at email@example.com. People who don’t live in Northglenn but would like to donate bikes are asked to drop them off at the Maintenance & Operations Building, 12301 Claude Court, where the bike men work.
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