"Bicycle Man" Retiring From Charity Work

A Bonham man is well known in the area for repairing and rebuilding bicycles to give to children, but this may be the final Christmas season that Mike Connors does that work.

Huffy, Roadmaster and Schwinn; if only their previous owners could see them now.

"They’re not new, but I like the word ‘experienced bicycles.’"

Of these 75 bicycles, all of them were either donated, discovered at a garage sale or drug out of a dumpster.

"Many had flat tires, broken chains, no seat."

But it's the precision of a retired airplane mechanic that got the peddles spinning once again.

Mike Connors, who repairs bicycles for kids, says, "The Wright brothers, they had a bicycle shop when they built their first airplane. I worked on airplanes and I went to bicycles, so that makes me a little backwards."

Connors’ interests shifted gears after he retired in the late 80s and he began repairing bicycles for children. After moving to Bonham seven years ago there was no hitting the brakes.

With the help of two friends this trio has given thousands of children a Christmas gift they will never forget. Once these bikes leave Connors’ front yard they go to children who probably would never receive one otherwise. They go to local churches or children's shelters, all free of charge.

And while the smile on children's faces has kept Connors going all these years, he says his health isn't what it used to be and the time has come to close up shop, but he's hoping to pass the training wheels on to someone else.

"If I could find someone to take on this responsibility I'd be willing to help and I'd be tickled pink."

Connors has received recognition locally as well as a letter from Gov. Rick Perry commending him for his volunteer work, but while he's been busy giving bicycles away he's never actually owned one of his own.

Half of the bikes that are ready to go will be taken to a church in Madill tomorrow. The remaining bikes will be given away this Saturday at the Fannin County Bible Church in Bonham.