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French Camp Man Hopes To Recycle 100 Bikes To Give Away To Local Kids

FRENCH CAMP (CBS13) — Pete Paulsen said he found his inspiration to help less fortunate kids after going to a yard sale where he found some bikes for sale.

"I said, 'What if you don't sell them?' He says, 'Well I'm just going to scrap them,'" Paulsen said. "I said, 'No, no, no. Let me take them, clean them up and maybe give them to some kids.'"

Paulsen and his employees at Paulsen Motorsports refurbished 30 bikes and gave them to the Haven of Peace homeless women's shelter in French Camp.

Olga Rodriguez who runs the shelter said it was something the kids would never forget.

"Many of them cry. Other of them jump up and down like they don't know what to do with themselves like 'is this really mine?' It's just a delight to see," Rodriguez said.

Paulsen now plans to fix up 100 bikes to give away for the holidays at a drive on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1504 W. Bowman Road.

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He said it was a challenge to find bikes that nobody wanted at first.

"The first year nobody was giving us bikes. It didn't seem to happen until a couple of months ago and all of sudden they all came in at once," Paulsen said. "I was going holy cow how am I going to get all this done?"

So, he tells CBS13 that he's looking for volunteers to help repair the bikes. Some have answered the call, like Anthony Falcon.

"It's a bit nostalgic for me. Besides that, just sharing the moment and know that somebody is going to end up enjoying this," Falcon said.

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Paulsen said about 60 bikes were completed when CBS13 stopped by Paulsen Motorsports on Wednesday morning. He estimated another 16 were completed that afternoon.

He says the joy these bikes could bring to the kids that get them keeps him peddling toward his goal.

"Their family might be struggling and they're thinking I'm not going to get nothing for Christmas or nothings going to happen," Paulsen said. "And then all of a sudden, 'Wow I got a bike how cool!?'"

Paulsen said he's confident they can hit the 100 bike mark if more volunteers come by before Saturday's drive.

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