MORAGA -- As they have done for the past 12 years, Tom and Bobbie Preston are collecting kids' bicycles to be refurbished and given to groups to distribute as Christmas, as part of their Cycle Recycle program.
But the Prestons have new beneficiaries this year. Whereas for the past several years the gathered bikes (and trikes) have been presented to the Marsh Creek Jail outside Clayton for inmates to repair, this year the Prestons will give the bicycles to two other groups.
"Since we have gotten so good at gathering bikes, we have overwhelmed the Marsh Creek detainees and they have enough right now for this Christmas giving," Bobbie Preston said.
The Marin-based Trips for Kids has for more than 20 years been providing lessons in self-confidence, environmental awareness and healthy habits to disadvantaged youth through having fun on bikes. It has grown into an international organization with more than 60 chapters operating in the U.S., Canada and Israel.
The Richmond Police Activity League supports an "Earn-A-Bike" program in that city, providing an opportunity for at-risk youth to learn bicycle repair, responsibility and self-confidence.
The Prestons have gathered up more than 1,500 bikes over the years, and there are still plenty of them, refurbished by the Marsh Creek residents, that will be given this Christmas to underprivileged children throughout Contra Costa County, through such community organizations as Cambridge Community Center, Salvation Army, Monument Crisis Center and the Volunteer Center.
New and/or used bikes and trikes -- in working order or repairable -- may be delivered to the side driveway of the Prestons' home, at 1307 Larch Ave. in Moraga, throughout the month of November only. Contacting the Prestons beforehand isn't necessary, but for more information, reach Bobbie or Tom Preston by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org