Updated Jan 13, 2021 12:20 AM EST
Potomac, Maryland — This past April, Ric Jackson helped a neighbor who was looking for someone to fix the brakes on his daughter’s bicycle.
“I fixed it up. He took it back. And she was thrilled and he was thrilled,” Jackson said. “And it’s just mushroomed.”
The avid cyclist and retired mathematician has since fixed more than 650 bikes for friends, neighbors, even strangers.
He charges nothing for this labor of love, but says he gets a lot in return. Especially the looks on children’s faces when they see their old bikes transformed.
When he looks at a bike he says he sees “a thing of beauty.”
“If you clean off the dirt from the tires, put new handgrips on,” he said, “before you know it, it will be … something that will just delight the heart of some little girl someplace.”
One father sent Jackson this text: “Thank you for the wonderful gift today. We had a great daddy-daughter bike ride and she was all smiles.”
“That’s the kind of thing that makes my day,” Jackson said. “That’s my reward.”
And during times like these, there might be no better reward than the smile of a child.
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