Local News

Fayetteville's 'Bicycle Man' dies at age 76

Posted July 15, 2013

— A Fayetteville man known for giving away bicycles to thousands of children for more than two decades died Monday morning after a long illness, his wife said.

Moses Mathis, 76, spent 22 years collecting bicycles from the community and then fixing them up to distribute at Christmas to children whose families could not afford them.

"I love the kids," he said in December. "I love the smiles on their faces."

In 2006, Mathis was honored by President George W. Bush with the President's Call to Service Award, which recognizes those who have a minimum of 4,000 hours of lifetime service.

Mathis' sisters – Revs. Linda Williams and Irene Bell – said helping others gave their brother joy.

"He just loved doing things for other people," Williams said. "He was just unique. We love all our brothers, but there just wasn't quite anybody like Moses."

"Seeing a little tot get on a little bike and say, 'it's mine,' you know, that was his work," said Rev. Irene Bell. 

Moses Mathis Bicycle Man's family: Helping others was 'who he was'

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Mathis' wife of more than 45 years, Ann Mathis, said her husband had been in the hospital in recent months and recently returned home under hospice care. He had two children and six grandchildren.

"He meant everything to me," Ann Mathis said. 

She said she plans to continue the work her husband started.

"He just always had other people at heart," Williams said. "That's just who he was."


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  • Zoey0815 Jul 16, 2013

    My condolences to his family. Maybe all of us should perform an act of kindness in his memory.

  • vsusu2002 Jul 16, 2013

    Rest in peace Sir, you served your community well. Condolenses to his family.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Jul 16, 2013

    What a great man. The disgusting New America is becoming too "me" and we are quickly losing greats like this.

  • LocalYokel Jul 16, 2013

    The Bicycle Man was not famous for saying 'it's mine'. He was famous for saying 'it's yours'. This article has presents both ends of the spectrum. Unfortunately for the world, there are too many people who say 'it' mine' instead of saying 'it's yours' or 'let's share'.

  • katzlover Jul 15, 2013

    oh man.. so sad.. he will be greatly missed.. a blessing to so many people

  • ecave Jul 15, 2013

    Sad news...an upstanding member of his community. He will be missed.

  • shediva Jul 15, 2013

    I enjoyed watching the news each year as they featured him and his progress with the bikes. He's such an inspiration, spending countless hours making children happy on Christmas morning. Well done Mr. Mathis. Well done. I have no doubt you are resting in peace.

  • GravyPig Jul 15, 2013

    So sad to see him pass. Rest in peace Bicycle Man.

  • oleguy Jul 15, 2013

    RIP Brother

  • silvfx Jul 15, 2013

    this guy was a true American and should be an example for all of us in our communities. Thank you for helping so many kids.