Bargo’s David Wren has spent countless hours restoring discarded bikes – all to put a smile on young faces.
The retired paramedic started collecting the bikes last year and restores them they are donated.
“I was driving around the area when it was the council garbage collection time and I noticed a lot of push bikes were lying about,” Mr Wren said.
“It was a waste because they would end up in the tip.
“There was nothing wrong with them. All the bikes needed was a good clean.
“I kept picking the bikes up and eventually my backyard became full.”
Mr Wren tried to donate them to large charities but the bikes were not wanted or they could not be collected.
That was until his daughter posted about Mr Wren’s initiative on Facebook.
Then Bridges for Learning got in contact.
The Bowral organisation provides therapy and support to mentally or physically disabled children.
Mr Wren said he donated nine restored bikes to the organisation last year.
“The bikes help the children with balance, hand-eye coordination and can be used during physiotherapy sessions,” he said.
Mr Wren said he would continue to repair the bikes and give them to the organisation as they are needed.
“I don’t want any money for the bikes,” he said. “I just want to give the bikes to children to make them happy.”
Mr Wren said he had also given bikes to families who could not afford a bike for their children. His daughter works in rental real estate and helps her father give the bikes to the families who can’t afford one.
Mr Wren said he had fixed and donated about 25 bikes.
He repairs bikes, scooters and tricycles. There are bikes of sizes to suit 2-year-olds up to teenagers and adults.
Mr Wren said he stripped the bike back to the frame when he began the restoration process.
“I take off the pedals, handlebars and tyres and then I clean up the frame,” he said.
“Most of the time the paint is scratched but the bikes is in good working order.
“I rub the rust back and respray the frame, pump up the tyres and put the bike back together.
“I make sure the brakes work, add a bell, safety lights and put a basket and streamers on them.”
The initiative is a “win-win” for the environment and children.
“The push bikes that are dumped can be reused and it helps the environment because they don’t end up in landfill,” Mr Wren said.
“And on the other side the children get use out of them.
“I am happy to do it.”