by Andrew Henderson
‘Tis the season…to donate bikes for children in need.
Doyle’s Bike Sales is beginning to collect used bikes to be given to children this upcoming holiday season.
Owner Tracy Doyle began the annual holiday bike give-away in the late 1990s. Since then, he has given hundreds and perhaps thousands of bikes to needy children in the Fulton and Oswego areas.
“It started with some teachers coming in asking me if I had a bicycle here and there that I could help out a kid with,” said Doyle. “They explained to me that some of these kids in grade school would come to school with shoes that had to be taped on. These teachers would actually go to the store and buy clothes for these kids. I couldn’t believe it. These poor kids have nothing — and it ain’t there fault.”
At the time, Doyle would receive some bikes that the owners did not want anymore. He was told to use them for parts.
“I started to fix them up and I would give some of the needy kids bikes,” he said. “At one time, we had so many that we did it down at the park — and I filled the skating rink with bikes.”
Since then, Doyle has teamed with the Salvation Army, local churches, and area businesses in holding the bike give-away.
“I didn’t want a free-for-all,” he said. “There’s a guy in Syracuse who does it every year at Christmas. Anyone can show up and get a bike.”
Doyle also wanted to make sure that those in need receive the bikes. One year, Doyle teamed with the Fulton Police Department and its annual bike rodeo.
“There were people standing in line to get bikes for their kids and they had more money than I do,” he said. “Not that I am loaded or anything, but they are well-off people. That’s not what it was meant for.”
This year, the bike giveaway will be held at Fred Raynor Ford in Fulton.