Bicycle shop, community helps repair wheelchairs

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, August 8, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A pair of axles: $60. A new tire tube: $8. The help of a good Samaritan: priceless.

Thanks to a local bike shop and the community, the spirit of Augusta's wheelchair basketball team is strong.

Outspokin' Bicycles is donating its time and tire tools to help get the Bulldogs' wheels back in working order for basketball season.

"When I heard they had their wheelchair truck stolen and the whole trailer gone, I think the whole community pulls together and tries to help out for people who need help," owner Brett Ardrey said.

It's a rally community-wide after a team's wheelchairs were stolen and stripped.

"Takes a low guy to tear that up. It does pull on the heartstring, makes you want to get out and help," Ardrey said.

That's exactly what the Outspokin' bike shop owner has offered to do.

"We'll be able to help with labor, also donating some tubes and tires as well," he said.

It's a way to pay it forward for guys who've already sacrificed so much.

"They've helped us through being with the military and what they do each day that it's just a little thing that we can do to help out," Ardrey said.

Damion Peyton is a member of the Bulldogs basketball team. He's also a veteran.

"It makes us feel good that people in the community are willing to help and give back," he said.

He says Ardrey's not the only one who's reached out.

"We've had a gentleman from South Carolina, Bert, who has offered to do the tools. Winston Hogan, he just donated the money it's going to take to get the basketballs, so now we're working on axles and an air pump," Peyton said.

For now, Ardrey's helping with that, inflating the tires and the spirits for the determined team.

"What somebody meant for bad has turned out pretty good," Peyton said.

The community is lending a helping hand for a grateful team, bringing the cycle of giving full circle.

"We're doing the season this year for the community, you know, because they've done so much for us," Peyton said.

Peyton says they're about 50-percent ready for the season at this point. He did mention, as they're working on getting their new parts, they've gained a few new teammates as well.

However, because many of the parts are specialized, they have to buy them through a specific supplier, so they're still trying to raise money to buy the rest of what they need.


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