A Boy and a Bright Red Bike

This story is another pre-COVID-19-pandemic one.  This particular day found me on my way to Mesa to deliver a bike to a sixteen-year-old boy.  While the delivery team schedules its deliveries ahead of time with a contact person, we have found that sometimes who we schedule the delivery with does not necessarily communicate that information to the person who will be home at the time of the delivery.  So, while I wear my Bob’s Free Bike T-shirt to increase the chance someone will answer the door with a stranger on the other side, I have discovered that if I am standing outside the door with a bike there’s a much better chance my knock will get answered—for who can turn down someone on the other side of the door if they have a bright, shiny bike with them?

The bike I was delivering was a red one and the color simply sparkled in the mid-morning sun, much like the candy apple red paint on 60s muscle cars.  I rang the doorbell and when a young lady answered the door, I stated who I was and that I had a bike for a certain boy.  She said “Do you want me to go get him?”  In foster situations usually the recipient doesn’t come to the door so I was a little surprised by her question but answered “Sure.”  She disappeared around a wall and walked down a hallway.  A few seconds later a boy emerged, took one look at me, took one look at the bike, started walking toward me and started repeating softly “Oh my, oh my.”  He walked to the door, never taking his eyes off the bike, extended his hand to me and shook mine, still saying “Oh my, oh my”.

As I walked back to my truck, I thought how lucky I was to be the one who gets to see the joy in the faces of our bike recipients—and how I wished that the rest of the Bob's Free Bike volunteers could experience this too.  It was then that I realized that all of the volunteers are actually with us on our deliveries—that, no matter what role they have in the organization, each of them contribute to making each delivery happen.  So, to all my fellow volunteers, thank you for what you do to enable the delivery of bikes to children around the Valley of the Sun.  While it gets a little crowded with all of you in the cab of my truck, trust that you are with me on every delivery.