15. Turning Passion into a Mission
For Billy Bradford, fixing up old bikes was not just a hobby–it was a lifestyle. Ever since he was a child, he was passionate about riding bikes. The power of pedaling fast downhill with the wind beating your face was a complete thrill for Billy. As he grew older, his love for bicycles only grew, and what started as a fun side project would soon transform into a new mission for his life.
14. A Vintage Collector
When it comes to bike collecting, Billy loves anything vintage. Living in Castro Valley, California, these types of old bikes are easy to collect due to so many people junking them on a daily basis. You would think that after restoring one of these beauties, Billy would keep it, but instead he simply gives them away. You won’t believe why…
13. IT Job By Day, Bike Fixer by Night
Giving away bikes to help those in less fortunate was a way for Billy to turn his passion into a cause for good. There was no need to keep so many bikes once he was done fixing them, and selling them seemed unfair. Therefore, he decided to start giving them away. Of course, repairing bikes in his free time wasn’t going to pay the bills, so Billy took an IT job during the day. But at night, his mind bikes 24/7!
12. A Deep Love and Understanding
According to Billy, it doesn’t matter what type of bike it is. He loves each and every one. “I fall in love with every bike– even a cheap kids bike. I sort of fall in love with it. It’s a beautiful thing and then I let go,” says Bradford.
11. More than a Hobby
At first, Billy only gave away his bikes to family and friends. However, he soon began to give away his bikes via social media. Of course, Billy would have no idea that his little bike charity would soon go viral and garner national media attention. Just wait until you see what Billy is up to now!
10. A California Santa Claus
According to Billy, he feels like a real-life Santa Claus. “I feel like I’m the recipient. I get to work on bikes. I get to collect bikes. I get to give them away. I get to be Santa Claus all the time,”
9. Donations Galore
As word began to spread regarding Billy and his bikes, Billy continued to restore his inventory, creating stunning bikes people would normally pay hundreds of dollars for at retail. Soon, he began to receive donations, expanding his bike inventory beyond his wildest dreams.
8. The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Bradford had this to say to the local media. “People can sell stuff and they don’t. They bring it over here and let me restore it and make someone happy. It’s how it should be. If you have something and if you can help somebody else, do it.”
7. Over 200 Bikes and Counting
Since he started his business, Billy has restored over 200 bikes, give or take a few. Realizing he needed to offload some of the bikes that were cluttering his lawn and driveway, Billy turned his attention to the homeless. This next story is sure to bring tears to your eyes.
6. Being a Blessing to the Homeless
One homeless couple desperately needed a stroke of luck and were struggling on the streets daily. Recently, they had both of their bikes stolen and were no longer able to make their medical appointments. The only thing they could do was pray for a miracle. Touched by their story and unflinching kindness, Billy gave them both new bikes so they could get around town.
5. Fixing Bikes for the Soul
Billy believes that despite being the one who makes the bikes, it’s the happiness of others that he feeds off of. If it’s good for the people who take the bike, he feels like has helped them as a secret benefactor.
4. Finding Your Happy Place
For Billy, fixing up bikes and giving them away fed his soul. He was not only proud of his accomplishments, but knowing he was making a difference in someone else’s life touched him deeply. We wish more people in the world were as selfless and kind as Billy.
3. Each Bike is Special
When it comes to restoration, every single bike that Billy creates is special. And while his yard tends to look like a junkyard from time to time thanks to all of the donations he receives, just know Billy is working some philanthropic magic every single night!
2. A Man With a Mission
With all of the uncertainty we live in nowadays, Billy has found a way to turn off worry through his passion for bike restoration and simply focus on being a kind, loving and compassionate individual! While he never expected his hobby to grow so large. He’s super thankful it did in the end.
1. No End in Sight
“Always a bike to work on. Always puts me back in my happy place. Work on a bike, give it away. It’s like a little happy zone right here in the garage. I need that. I truly need that,” Bradford told the local media.
Keep on biking, Billy. The world needs more people like you now more than ever!