How Bobs Bikes For Needy Kids Are Giving Away Free Bicycles

 

Robert Crane runs Bobs bikes for needy kids.

When I first heard about Robert, I was really touched because Robert’s life’s mission is to provide free bikes to needy children – and although he gets most of the bikes donated, he is also financing a lot of the expenses out of his own pocket.

If there is someone in the cycling world that deserves more attention it’s Robert, so I’m happy that I could make this interview with him.

Bobs Bikes sign

Can you start out by telling a bit about yourself and your mission?

My name is Robert Crane, I am 62 years old, I was born and raised in Chicago. I have been married for 43 years and have 4 children and 5 grandkids.

I have always worked in the automotive field and loved working with my hands. When we moved to Las Vegas I eventually found myself disabled and my health issues prevented me from working on cars any longer.

I used to bike in my early teens but was never an avid bike rider. I would ride from one side of Chicago to the other, I enjoyed it.

As I got older, a car came into play. I never worked on them like I do now, but I have always had mechanical jobs and like working with tools.

Before starting Bobs bikes, I didn’t have any ambition to do anything and now I wake up every morning looking forward to helping these children.

It brightens my day and makes my life feel meaningful.

It is called “Bobs bikes for Needy Kids” because Bob is my nickname and just sounds better than “Roberts bikes for Needy Kids”.

Bikes in Bobs garage

When did you start giving bikes to needy kids?

Bobs Bikes was founded one day on accident when I purchased a bike at a garage sale for my grandson but he already had one.

I listed it for free on Craigslist and I had 75 replies for one bike. That is when I realized how many children go without something as simple as a bike and I made it my mission to help the children in need.

I then began looking for more bikes and repairing them to give out to more kids.

Bobs bikes have given away bikes for 2 years and I have given away over 200 bikes.

Are you doing this alone or do your work with any organizations?

I founded this on my own but my neighbors and the good people of Las Vegas now help with donations. I have donated to the Abigail International House of Children.

On a monthly basis, I spend out of pocket around $200 to $400 a month depending on needs and inventory.

Concerning donations, I have received mostly bikes, a few monetary donations, and parts.

Bob repairing a bike

Where do you receive the bikes from?

I look for bikes at garage sales and get donations. I do repair all the bikes that need it.

It really varies on how many bikes I get a week, on some weeks none, on others up to 10. I do fix every bike and make sure they are safe for the children to ride.

The most common repairs are new tubes, grips, brakes and seats. I make sure every bike is inspected and test ridden by my grandson.

When I receive a bike that is too damaged to be fixed, I will take what parts I can salvage and the bike is picked up by a scrap man.

How do you finance repairs and spare parts?

I finance these strictly on my own. I do not ask for monetary funds but occasionally I have received help from good people in this town.

People can donate to the cause by dropping off new or used bikes and parts to my garage. I am always in need of tubes and training wheels.

I do not like to accept monetary donations but they can be sent to my paypal account and the email is bobc8000@hotmail.com.

Family receiving bikes

How do you determine if people cannot afford to buy bikes themselves?

I don’t judge others so it is hard to determine who really is in need. I give a bike as long as the child and parent show up.

People sometimes call and ask for a specific model or brand. I know they are trying to scam the other kids out of a bike.

I can only afford one bike per family but I have given away as many as 5 for one family.

I don’t know if people are requesting a bike for themselves or a child. That is why I ask that the child be present.

I don’t think that people are truly mean at heart but when they see the word free, they try to take advantage of it.

Are there some of the bikes you have given away that you remember more than others?

There are bikes and children that leave a mark on my memory more than others but they are all great children.

I really love working with the special needs kids, they light up this world. I have given away a bike to a girl with Down syndrome and she taught me to be grateful no matter what life throws at you.

Bikes in Bobs garage

What are your plans for the future of Bob’s Bikes?

Bobs bikes plans to be open as long as financially possible.

At this moment, we are secure but my household finances do come first. We do take care of my disabled brother and sister in law.

My wifes mother was living with us but just recently passed away. There are months that things are tight but we work with what we have and donations.

It would be nice if other people did the same as I do, but I cannot expand this on my own.

If I had more funding, I would be able to help everyone and purchase new bikes. I would also be able to help out adults that need a bike for transportation purposes even though I have helped adults in the past.

I do help adults by doing repairs for free if they bring the bike to me.

Visit Bobs bikes for needy kids on Facebook

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27 replies on “How Bobs Bikes For Needy Kids Are Giving Away Free Bicycles

  • Mike Butler

    It is really a great deed that Robert is doing for needy children. I appreciate the cause and the service that he is delivering to all those needy children who aren’t able to afford their love for cycling.

    Reply
  • amber hillmam

    Look for bike for daughter. She has no car.I’ll be willing pay u for a bike. So she can get around to look for jobs. They say bikes. You don’t have to pay for fuel. That save money. Marry Xmas

    Reply
  • Dave Garcea

    Dear Bob,
    My name is Dave Garcea and I live in Akron, OH. As you are, I am also a 62 year old man. I am now retired, actually partially disabled and live on SSI income. I came across your website while searching for either free or low cost bicycles for children.
    Bob, I have to tell you, a tear came to my eye when reading about your mission. God bless you. You know, when the weather is warm enough, I sit on my front porch and love watching the kids playing – riding bikes and all. I love the kids and would do anything to help them. Some of them have taken to me also. They come and knock on my door, help themselves into my house and kitchen. I always have some kind of treat for them (candy, ice cream, whatever). My neighborhood is made up of families that are pretty needy and some are struggling a lot day-to-day.
    Anyway, there is one family that lives about 6 houses up the street from me, and I have really taken to the children. Monte is five, Ariana is eight, and Danae is 10 or 11 and they don’t have bikes to ride. Early last summer, my wife and I bought used bikes for all three of them (you know, $20 to $30 each). These bikes were in pretty bad shape and by the end of the summer, all three were broken beyond repair.
    I want these kids to have bikes to ride this next summer but just can’t afford new. I think single speed bikes would be best for them. If you could help me in any way, I would be happy to pay for three good used bikes and shipping costs.
    I appreciate your consideration and again, God bless you for all that you do for those in need.

    Reply
  • love spells

    Hi there,I read your blogs named “How Bobs Bikes For Needy Kids Are Giving Away Free Bicycles” like every week.Your story-telling style is awesome, keep it up! And you can look our website about love spells.

    Reply
  • Rachel Kettyle

    I am a single mom to four amazing children but I am unable to buy them bikes because I have been out of work since last November due to illness and I am not financially able to buy them. If there is anyway you could help me buy them bikes I would be forever grateful. I have twin boys Tom and Chris who are 8 years old, a daughter Meghan who is 7 years old and a daughter Amber who is 15 years old.
    Please help me give my children the gift of new bikes.
    Thank you
    Rachel

    Reply
  • Merle SkipwithTh

    I live in Camelot Condominium, College Park, Ga., kids in my small. Area, borrow each other’s bikes an the 7,8,9 & 11-12 don’t get to ride. My passion is at the other end. I make evening gowns for seniors that at size 16 plus who can’t afford to buy, l make for free. This is my passion. But kids should have a bike if in good shape, l will be so happy to get it. We are getting toys and anything to have a toy giveaway this year on Dec 23, 2017, l am so excited to do this, to help my kids. I bring in tooth brushes and tooth paste. Books for them to read, another passion, an l look for book reports.

    Reply
    • Merle Skipwith

      Hoping u can help us any amount of bikes would be helpful, incorporated the fire department to help us, bring there trucks out, and having fun

      Reply
  • MIKIMIA HUDSON

    I was wondering how to go about trying to get two bikes for my boys I stay in Atlanta GA and they really want bikes for Christmas so I’m looking around to try to find a decent price for me

    Reply
    • wanda

      My name is Wanda Boston , My dream is to help childresns that would never experience there own Bikes, I use to work at a school for 46 years and always dream how can I get an smile out of there Childrens in giving them a gift I would go in my pockets buy pizz , get cloths but I could not

      help all of them. I would love to show love this year to Childrens that in a small community were Low income they got Flooded with Harvey and I ask God what can I do so iam asking you to please help me and show me how to make these Children Chrismas

      Reply
    • Misty Lashley

      My 12 year old son and I are having to move and I’m having to come up with money for a deposit on our new home. This week my son was at a center playing with kids and parked his bike outside. Someone decided theyd take it for their own and now my baby is left without a bike. I am in birmingham alabama.

      Reply
  • Rose M Underwood

    Hi my son was riding his big wheel today and it broke well he was riding it he was so heart broken he cryed so hard I’m a single mom going to a divorce from my absence of husband I am looking for work and don’t have the funds to buy him another he really would love to have a bike he is going to be 6 next month and never have had a bike it would be a blessing if he could have a donated bike

    Reply
  • michael wittman

    hi how do i contact you about getting a bike my phone # 724-316-0924 we live in mesa , we saw at the parade in fountian hills , thank you mike

    Reply
  • Catherine Cerauli

    I a a senior citizen and have a 10 year old grandson. He has never had a bike. I would like to gift hi a bike for Christmas but I do not have the funds to purchase one. He needs a 24′ bike. I would be eternally grateful if you can help e or direct me where I might be able to get him a bike.
    I currently live in low income senior housing and get food from food banks and a few dollars from SNAP.
    I hope you will be able to make my grandsons dream come true.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Felicia Bristol

    We are non profit organization in need of bikes to give to kids in our low poverty areas. We fed 300 to 400 families for thanksgiving. Feeding 500 for Xmas. We do free hair cuts toys nails free food massage and more please help us help others. Our event is Dec. 15th

    Reply
  • Pamela Dunlap

    Iim disable grandma n have 3 grandsons ages 4 years old 10 years old n 12 years they r greatly in need n really wants a bike for Xmas I’m praying each night n day for god answer my pray for my grands my daughter is a single mom raising the 3 boys on her own without father support I’m asking god to answer my prays for boys I live in Myrtle Beach SC god bless y’all n god please h
    elp my boys have a great Xmas that is really they only wish is a bike for Xmas

    Reply
  • Erica

    Would love to know more info about a free bike my daughter in my baby boy is the only one that doesn’t have a bike and I will love to try to see how as in go along with giving them a free bike my little boys to am I daughter is 6. We are in the South Carolina area thanks.

    Reply
  • David Albertson

    I am in dire need of transportation hsve no money to buy one.Do you know where I may obtain one?I live in Hamilton Ohio.My phone number is (513)953-3652
    Thanks,David Albertson

    Reply

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