Bicycle Man's legacy lives on


On Saturday, hundreds of children lined up to get a shiny new bike, just in time for Christmas. Moses Mathis, the man who was affectionately known as the Bicycle Man, is probably smiling over the outpouring of generosity across the Triangle and the Sand Hills.

"It makes me feel good to know that people thought that much of him, to help carry his legacy on," his wife Ann Mathis said.

This year's giveaway is bittersweet for Ann. Her husband passed away this summer at the age of 76. Earlier this year, she set a goal to collect 800 bikes and rebuild them to help make children's dreams come true.

"The first part of the year this place was empty.  Bikes started coming in, and I feel so good about it.  People just don't know how much I appreciate it," Ann Mathis said.  

Thanks to so many generous donors, many more kids peddled away from the warehouse.

"I've been wanting a bike for a long, long time. Now I've got one, and I'm really looking forward to learning how to ride it," first time bike rider Adryanna Ondeck said.

That is why the Mathis family plans to keep the Bicycle Man's legacy of love for kids like Adryanna rolling.

At last check there were more than 1,000 bikes lined up, ready to be taken home and put to good use.

"I think he would be pleased.  I think he would be very, very pleased.  Because I think he didn't think I could do it," Ann Mathis said. "I know he'll be with me in spirit, but I would give anything if he was on that scooter with me."

Even in the final hours, the bikes just kept rolling in. On Friday, Ann Mathis headed to Holly Springs to pick up 50 more bicycles.

Despite all the generosity, there is still some sadness is Ann Mathis' heart.

"I wish I could help everybody in Fayetteville, but I just can't help everybody.  I can only go so far as the bikes that I have," Ann Mathis said.

Ann is already working in next year's giveaway, but next time around she will need more than bikes. She is looking for a more permanent home to keep the workshop running. The organization relies on donated space and is often moving from place to place.

More about the Bicycle Man efforts at:

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