BUTTE, Mont. - No childhood is complete without learning how to ride a bike. At least, that's what 13-year-old Robert Chegwin believes. And he's not letting many families' inability to afford bikes for their kids get in the way.

As far back as he can remember, Chegwin has always had an affection for bikes. He's owned several throughout his life, and he dreams of one day being a downhill mountain biker. For now, he'll settle on doing tricks on the street outside his home in Butte.

"I've just loved bikes, ever since I was like three years old," Chegwin said.

"And I had my dad run over a lot of bikes because I always left them in front of my dad's truck," Chegwin added with a laugh.

All those destroyed bikes from years ago are coming back around. Chegwin now collects donated broken bikes and spare parts, and with the help of his parents and his 7-year-old brother Lucas, he repairs them back into working shape.

"Usually, I go checking for rust, and the tires to see if they're blown out or not," Chegwin said. "If they're flat... like, who rides a bike with flat tires?"

But the best part is this: the repaired bikes then go into the hands of other kids who can't afford their own.

Why does he do it? Well, maybe Chegwin just wants to see more kids out there riding with him.

"I mean, most kids these days don't even ride bikes anyway," Chegwin said. "I know a lot of kids that ride bikes, but some of my friends just outgrew bikes. And I'm like, 'I still ride them!'"

Once the bikes are fixed, Chegwin will donate them to the nearby fire station to hand out to less fortunate children, smiling at the sight of a new ride. But no smiles compare to those on the faces of his two proud parents.

"I'm a mechanic by trade, so to see him actually working on something gives me a little bit of pride," said Steven Chegwin, Robert's father. "For him to do this after we went to the bike rodeo, it's pretty cool to see him do that. It makes me feel proud."

Chegwin hopes to repair as many as 15 bikes before donating them, though the cost of replacement parts is out of his price range. If you want to lend a hand (or a seat or some tires), you can make a donation on Chegwin's GoFundMe, or you can contact his father Steven on his Facebook page if you want to donate a bike or bike parts.


News For You