Kate Miller writes for the Diocese of Wyoming’s newsletter, e-Spirit:
Once again, the summer season has come to call for a special ministry in Saratoga, Wyoming. This year, the Bikes for Kids ministry at St. Barnabas is quickly surpassing its past years’ numbers. Ralph Hicks, “The Bike Guy,” has been repairing old bikes for years. He started the ministry when he noticed a need for the repair and recycling of bikes because kids were outgrowing their bikes and riding older bikes with brakes of questionable reliability. There is also the issue of kids whose parents simply can’t afford the cost of a new bike. He wants to make sure kids have bikes and that those bikes are safe.
One could almost consider it a form of torture for a kid to be without a bike in the summer. It’s likely there very few people who don’t have fond memories of riding their bike throughout their community on sunny, summer days, feeling the untethered freedom to explore without obligation of schoolwork and chores. Ralph is seeing to it that the kids in Saratoga are able to experience this.
And the ministry is growing. Other St. Barnabas parishioners, such as Mike Day, volunteer their time and effort as well. With Mike’s help, Ralph projects twice as many bikes will be repaired this summer as were last summer. Just in the first six weeks of this year, they repaired 39 bikes. At this rate they will be fixing at least 70-80 bikes.