SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bob “The Bike Man” Charland’s been getting a little help from his friends.
But now he’s getting a little help from the City of Springfield, but not in the form of bike donations.
His organization “Pedal Thru Youth” has gotten so big he’s running out of space for all the bicycles.
“I started this just as a pet project to help a friend that was a guidance counselor and it grew into something that has been seen worldwide now,” Charland told 22News.
We’ll back up a few months to when bike donations started pouring in to Bob’s organization.
On several occasions since then, thieves have broken into the Garage property and stole bikes that were stored there.
Now the City of Springfield is allowing Charland to use secure space at the DPW.
“The mayor called me last week and said what we can do to help you?” said Charland. “You’ve done so much for not only Springfield, but Chicopee and Holyoke. What can we do to help you out? I said to him I need another location that’s secure and we can work on the bikes. He said give me 3 days and within three days he had a location for me.”
Monday night, Charland moved into his new space where he’ll be able to work on and store hundreds of bicycles.
Over the last 2 months Charland has donated more than 200 bikes to kids in the community.
A fundraiser for his organization will be held on Saturday, July 23, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Elks Lodge, 440 Tiffany Street in Springfield.