TROUP, Texas (KETK) — Willard Martin, a Troup native, spends his time fixing up old bicycles to give them out to the children of East Texas.
He sits in the parking lot of the Church of Christ in Troup at 412 West Duval Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every first Tuesday of the month.
Martin can fix up to 30 bikes a month to have them ready for the first Tuesday. He said they go out fast.
“I rework them and make them like new,” said Martin.
Bengt Spizziri stumbled across Martin and was excited to take home a bike to his daughter.
“So I parked over yonder and came over and they said we got a bike and training wheels for you,” said Spizziri.
The problems that the bikes come with don’t matter, Martin makes sure the finished product is worth it.
“Not a lot of kids get the luxury of getting a new bike, and I take the old one and completely redo them, add new tires if needed and give them something they can be proud of,” said Martin.
The best part for families who receive a bike is that it is free.
“With these guys doing their thing, I don’t know how many people got bikes that probably wouldn’t have gotten bikes,” said Spizziri.
If you have an old bike, Martin will trade it for a new one. The worn-down set of wheels will then be fixed for the next child. Martin is also available to help fix any bikes.
“I had one kid come by today who kept throwing the chain off and I said ‘well bring It by and we will fix it and I’ll show him out to do it’ and he’ll learn how to do his own repairs,” said Martin.
The biggest reward Martin said is helping families and seeing a smile on their faces.