Boy's Bike Stolen, Fresno's Biking Community Rallies to Help

Some people ride their bikes for fun.

Others, to get in shape.

But for 12-year-old Albert Solis, his bike is his therapy.

"If I'm mad, I can get to a happy place and forget about what just happened," he says.

Albert, has Asperger Syndrome-- a disorder that makes it tough sometimes to communicate and interact with others.

He's bought a bike with his birthday money, and his mother says since he started cycling, she's seen a big change.

"It's just now one of those 'Ahhhhhhh' moments that he knows how to take care of himself now," says his mother, Crystal Dees. "He was on his bike all the time. All the time."

That was, until Sunday.

"I came back in, grabbed a drink of water. A few hours later came back out and my nana said, he, where's your bike? I'm like, I don't know. I thought it was out here," Albert says.

"His world stopped. His world came crashing down. His one thing was not there when he needed it," says Dees.

Dees mother drove around their neighborhood, but did not find it.

"Being a single mom, I don't have that sort of money to just go get a bike," she says.

Instead, she turned to Facebook.

"I posted be on the lookout. My son's bike was stolen," Dees says.

Within hours, she connect with a person that goes by the name of Bikey Brandon.

"He messaged me back and said Ok, I'll help you. I'll get your son a bike," she says.

"I hate bicycle thieves with a passion, but I love giving away bikes. Who doesn't want to be Santa Claus every day of the year?" says Michael "Bikey" Brandon.

Brandon and his group, Mikes Community Bike Rescue, helps refurbish old bikes, and give them to those whose bikes have been stolen.

"Who would steal a bike from a kid with special needs?" Brandon says.

He reached out to his friends with I Bike Fresno, and other local cyclers.

"Within an hour, I had three phone calls saying I got bikes for you."

Among them, a{}bike that once belonged to Brandon.

"I got real close to being homeless, until I got my new job. So I started selling off own stuff, and I sold my bike to my friend Andrew Simpson," he says.

Brandon offered to pay his friend for the bike.

He spruced it up, and less than 24 hours after Albert's bike was stolen, he had a new set of wheels.

"I had asked him how much do I owe you? I can't pay you till Friday," Dees said.

Brandon told her, "Nothing. It's free. I just love helping people."

"I said thank you about a million times!" Albert said.

"Andrew [Simpson] called me up and said, 'You don't have to pay me back. We're good.' He said the smile on that kids face was worth every penny," Brandon said.

Albert also got a brand new helmet and bike lock.

Brandon showed him how to register his bike, so police could find it if it's ever stolen.

"He is a bike fairy. He is an angel," says Dees.

"Because of bicycles I lost 100 pounds, I have 300-400 of the best friends in the world that I get to ride with and I enjoy life every day with good friends and lots of things to do. If I could give that somebody else, why wouldn't I?" Brandon says. "All I want is a picture of him being happy."

Mike's Community Bike rescue is in need of donations of bicycles, parts and money.

If you'd like to donate, you can click here for more, or call Michael Brandon at 559-476-0786.

The group also has accounts at two shops, Cyclery Xpress in Visalia and Tower Velo in Fresno.

You can donate using cash or a credit card to the account, and the group can then purchase items from the shops at wholesale price.

To reach Cyclery Xpress, call (559) 627-2453.

To reach Tower Velo, call (559) 268-2863.