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Park Rapids man turns junk into riches; donates bicycles to area children in need

Tom Condiff, of Park Rapids, restores bicycles and donates them to kids. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

A Park Rapids man has found and restored about 350 bicycles in the last three years, giving them to kids in need.

Tom Condiff, of Park Rapids, said it all started when he saw a bicycle someone was throwing away and all it needed was a tire.

"It's amazing all the bikes that people just get rid of that only need a part or two," he said. "Probably 30 or 40 of the bikes I've found just needed air in the tires."

Condiff has gone to the Hubbard County Transfer Station to find bicycles and parts. If a bicycle is beyond repair he will keep it for the parts.

He doesn't sell any of the bicycles he fixes up.

"I like turning wrenches, always have," he said.

Over the years, Condiff has given about 180 bicycles to Toys for Tots in Park Rapids. He has also donated bicycles to Toys for Tots in Hackensack. The battered women's shelter has also received bicycle donations.

Others have gotten in touch with him, looking for bicycles for their children.

"I tell everyone I give a bike to not to sell them or give them back to the dump," Condiff said. "Give it back to me, then it can get recycled."

What started as a small hobby has grown. He enjoys seeing the smiles on the faces of kids who receive a bicycle.

"I tell the kids, 'that's your freedom, but you still have to ask your parents before you take it out,'" he said.

To donate a bicycle to Condiff's cause, give him a call at 732-5125.