Holiday Bike Drive Stories: Bob Wong, Mechanic and Helmet Fitter
We’re sharing some of our favorite Holiday Bike Drive stories with you all month long. And we’d love to hear your story, too! Tell your Holiday Bike Drive story over on our Facebook page.Â
You can often catch Bob working on Holiday Bike Drive bicycles at the shop on weekday afternoons, wrenching away and trading smiles and stories with shop staff.
Over the past two and half years, Bob has quietly offered tremendous support to our programs by single-handedly second-checking the safety of almost every bicycle destined for the Holiday Bike Drive. He also trains new volunteers on Tuesday nights, helped us build a new rack to safely store our bikes, and fits helmets on the big day. Bob is enthusiastic, tireless, and immensely generous, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to work alongside him.
Bob shared his Holiday Bike Drive stories with us earlier this fall:
“The Holiday Bike Drive is more than just a collection and donation. There is time, energy, and focus in these bikes. As a person that does second checks on the bikes, I can see the growth of the volunteers, that their skills have improved, I can recognize who’s worked on this bike and know that’s it’s going to be well done. It’s just the fact that this program allows a lot of giving as well as receiving, beyond just the kids and the bikes itself.”
“I’m always amazed that there are things to be learned, and you learn them from veterans that have been there many, many times. You also learn them from the people that are learning their skills, they bring a perspective to you that makes you examine the situation from a different point of view, you learn to become a better mentor by being with the rookies as well as the experienced folks. There are some veteran volunteers that show such empathy and patience that it’s very humbling to work with them. It’s a warm feeling to see people giving so much of themselves.”
On bike donors:
“I remember one family at a Holiday Bike Drive bike collection. There was a young boy, and he was really happy to be donating his bike, because he knew how much he enjoyed it and he knew that someone who didn’t have the chance to have a bike before would get to have his bike.”
On the big day:
“To get kids their first bikes is really an exciting time. The Holiday Bike Drive is an event that involves the whole community and so many people that the sum of the parts is just greater than you can imagine. I’ve been three times doing helmet fitting, which is one-on-one with the kids. The little kids are so excited it’s hard to get them to sit still. It’s just a lot of fun.”
On supporting the Community Cycling Center:
“The Holiday Bike Drive is not as simple as someone donating a bike and it magically transforms into something that another child can enjoy. And that’s why you need to support the Community Cycling Center, there are a lot of things going on in the background that make all of it happen.”