CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Bicycling helped one man with his road to recovery after a car crash in 2014. Today, he’s using that passion to help others.
First News at Nine’s Maria Blough shares how he’s trying to give people new life one bike at a time.
“40…45..50…55…60…65…66. 466.” Michael Van Dusseldorp counts the tick marks on the wall of his garage turned bicycle shop called New Life Recyclery.
The marks represent the number of bicycles he has fixed since starting in March.
“Once I get something in my head I just go for it, and that’s kind of what this turned into, and I was like I love this, and honestly now nothing else matters because this is where my heart’s at,” Van Dusseldorp said.
Van Dusseldorp takes bicycles in just about any state. If he can’t fix it up, he can try to use its parts to repair a different bike.
After fixing one up, the next step is to give it to someone in need.
“You can give someone a bus pass, but a bus pass too, it expires or buses only go to certain spots,” Van Dusseldorp said. “With this, they have a bike that is their own. They actually own something which gives them that kind of sense of pride, and it allows them to go anywhere.”
This mobility is a chance at a fresh start.
That’s something bikes helped Van Dusseldorp with after experiencing head trauma from a car crash.
“I was constantly in pain, and just laying in bed feeling sorry for myself, and it got worse and worse which made my depression worse and worse because I felt useless,” Van Dusseldorp said. “It wasn’t until I started doing bikes, and I obviously have to ride and test them and make sure they are okay after I fix them, and I started doing that, and I was like oh, I actually feel kind of better.”
One bicycle at a time, Van Dusseldorp said his greater goal is to let those who may be homeless know that someone cares.
In Chippewa Falls, Maria Blough First News at Nine.
New Life Recyclery is expanding its services.
It also offers food, tents, work boots and more for those experiencing homelessness.
To find out more or for details on how you can help, click HERE.