BRIGHT SPOTS: BIKE LADY ENSURING ANYBODY CAN GET THEIR HANDS ON TRANSPORTATION

Bright Spots

It may not be as easy as riding a bike, but Michelle McDaniel fixes them any way. In fact, she’s repaired well over 2,000 bikes in Tuscaloosa County and given them to those in need.

<p>Her wheels got turning back in 2008.</p><div></div><p>” I just started picking up bikes,” McDaniel told WVUA 23’s Chelsea Barton. “I have never paid more than $6 for a child’s bike. My philosophy is if a single mother is working two jobs, she’s probably not going to have the money to get her child a bike. Every kid deserves a bike. That’s how it came in to being. I just go around and get bikes and fix them up.”</p><div></div><p>According to McDaniel, who’s definitely earned her name as “The Bike Lady,” having your own bike is a special kind of happy.</p><div></div><p>“It is just the freedom of the wind blowing and you riding,” she said. “Every body needs to have a bike. If you think it is junk, I’ll come get it and give it a new life and a new home.”</p><div></div><p>What you may think is rusty rubble could be valuable to the Bike Lady.</p><div></div><p>“I will take anything. If i can’t fix it, I can at least use it for parts, ” McDaniel said.</p><div></div><p>It’s no secret we’ve shifted gears in life since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Things may have slowed down for many, but McDaniel has seen demand for her bikes hit full speed.</p><div></div><p>“That’s one of the things you can do during this virus is be outside,” McDaniel said. “That is a good thing. Being able to ride a bike is something that is natural. Everyone is saying you can’t do this, you can’t do that. You can ride a bike.”</p><div></div><p>McDaniel has refurbished bikes for the Police Athletic League, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, the local housing authority and most recently Wings of Grace Relief Center.</p><div></div><p>“I have been blessed so much through this,” McDaniel said. “That is the main reason I do it. God has just blessed me so much. It is a bike ministry. I’m just thankful he gave me a hobby to do to spend my time.”</p><div></div><p>The Bike Lady asks nothing in return from those who ride her creations, except that they know and pass on this message.</p><div></div><p>“On every bike I put a sticker that say ‘Jesus loves you,’ ” she said. “I want the child to know someone cares about them. Someone they don’t even know cares that they have a bike.”</p>

If you have bicycles or bicycle parts you’d like to donate to the Bike Lady, you can email Michelle McDaniel at mcdaniel6244@gmail.com

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Categories: Bright Spots, Community