BELOIT (WIFR) --A Beloit couple makes it their mission to transform old bikes into shiny new sets of wheels for those less fortunate
Old bicycles and parts litter the yard and garage at Brian and Anne Reece's house. They're known as “The Bike Elves” and over the last year and a half, they’ve given away more than 500 bikes to families who can't afford one. It all started when Brian was told he had early onset Alzheimer’s.
“For the first couple months I moped around here like a dog with a tail between his legs,” says Brian Reece. “I took it to heart what the doctors told me, if I kept busy, the better chance I would have of being around a lot longer."
Brian has kept busy, tinkering with hundreds of donated bikes and parts that are dropped off daily, including during his interview with 23 News. His specialty is custom built bikes for people with disabilities, people like Ben Dombek, who was born with one leg longer than the other. Thanks to The Bike Elves, Dombek now owns his first set of wheels.
“I can go on rides with Becky and the kids and get a lot more place than before just walking," says Dombek.
Designing bikes like Dombek's helps Brian keep his mind sharp, but there's also been an unexpected reward, too.
"It's no longer our project; this is a community project,” says Anne
“Every time we drop off a bike, people say ‘What can we do?’ we say do something nice for someone else. So it is starting to spread forward; I couldn't ask for anything else," says Brian Reece.
To get involved in the project, check out: https://www.facebook.com/bike.elves?fref=ts