Dec. 21, 2007— -- Lewis H. Days, 74, is a hero to kids in his Durham, N.C., neighborhood, and one boy gave him a nick name that stuck — Bike Man.
"If I go to a grocery store and I see a kid and I ask him, 'do you have a bike,' and he tells me no, I say, 'Well, you got one now.' And I give him a bicycle."
A retired maintenance man living on Social Security, Days doesn't have a lot himself but he's an expert on giving — his time, talent and passion for kids and bikes.
Days has been restoring broken or abandoned bicycles for years, making them as good as new, and giving them to children who don't have one. He gives away up to 150 bikes each year. His granddaughter does the test driving.
Everyone in town knows the Bike Man — from the firehouse to the sanitation department to the dog pound.
And every Christmas he makes the rounds to firehouses, foster homes, churches, and the local Boys and Girls Club.
"Any time you see the smiling face of a child that you have given a bicycle to ... I'm a soft heart. It brings tears to my eyes when I see a kid enjoy something that I have worked on," Days said.
But this Santa's not always a softie.
"I had one little girl down the street from me, she was cussing her mother. And her mother said she wasn't going to get a bicycle, and I didn't give it to her."
But that doesn't happen very often.
Ever since Days taught himself how to fix bikes when he was only 9, his rewards, like the bicycles, have only multiplied.
"The little fellow I gave the red bicycle to — that did my heart all the good in the world. To see him enjoy that bicycle, even though he couldn't ride. But the fellow knowing that he did have a bicycle."
"When I see a smile on their face, that's a blessing ... It's a blessing that comes from up here," Days said as he pointed to the sky.