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The Marathon Continues – Keeping the Bicycle Man’s Legacy Rolling

The Health Child and Adolescent Network will host its bike giveaway on Saturday, December 16, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 786 Blue Street in Fayetteville, NC.

Bernadette R. Bogertey-Harvey, the Executive Director of the Health Child and Adolescent Network’s Bicycle Giveaway Program, expressed her excitement to the columnist about the upcoming giveaway and continuing the legacy of Moses Mathis, better known as the Bicycle Man, with their upcoming Let’s Get Rolling charitable event. Giving bikes to kids aged one to seven to celebrate the holiday season.

Bicycle donations fills the garage; Courtesy of Facebook

The Philadelphia native has known Mathis since her son (who was young at the time) received a bike from the Bicycle Man himself. Mr. Mathis taught her son how to repair bikes. From that point on, she maintained a friendship with Mathis until his passing 10 years ago. She reflects on how much the Bicycle Man’s community work is an inspiration to her.

Young kid all smiles during the Annual Bicycle Man Bike Giveaway, Dec. 2019; Photo Credit: Melissa Sue Gerrits/The Fayetteville Observer

In 1990, Moses Mathis donated his first bicycle. According to the Bicycle Man Community Outreach Projects facebook’s page, the foundation has donated approximately 26,000 bikes to help children from low-income families get bicycles. He would collect bikes from the neighborhood, fix them in his garage, and then give them out to less fortunate children for the Christmas holiday season. Mathis’ charitable work spread throughout the community to the White House, where President George W. Bush honored him in 2006 with the President’s Call to Service Award, recognizing those with 4,000 hours or more of service in their lifetime.

Moses Mathis’ wife, Ann Mathis, continued the foundation until her retirement a year ago. Bogertey-Harvey revived the Bicycle Man initiative just as the legacy seemed destined to disappear. Her grandkids bestowed on her the nickname of The Bike Madea.

The giveaway will provide joy to the children while commemorating the true reason for the season. The marathon continues with Bogertey-Harvey, as she’s making it a mission to keep it rolling as the theme specifies, as Mr. and Mrs. Mathis would have wanted it to be.

Ann Mathis holds picture of her late husband, Moses Mathis, better known as the Bicycle Man, Dec. 2021; Photo Credit: Jay Price/WUNC

Even though bike registration has closed, there are still ways to contribute. Readers can also volunteer and make donations of bicycles and goods to continue the legacy of Mr. Mathis.

The organization also accepts donations through Cash App at $THCandANbikes. For more information, reach out to the Health Child and Adolescent Network at bikegiveawaycoordinator@gmail.com and at hcanvolunteercoordinator@gmail.com for volunteer opportunities.

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