At Folsom State Prison, old bikes are given an unexpected second life.
Just in time for summer vacation, dozens of underprivileged students across El Dorado County are receiving newly refurbished bicycles, courtesy of inmate Mauricio Argueta, who has put thousands of hours into the prison’s bike repair shop.
“It’s really hard because it’s just me doing it,” said Argueta, who spends about 60 hours a week fixing hundreds of bicycles each year. “It’s a little tough, but I love doing this and it’s a good experience.”
Organized through the Cameron Park Rotary Club and the Folsom Moose Lodge, the restoration program was first developed in the 1980s as a way to help keep inmates busy and provide needy children a gift for the holiday season.
While the Christmas tradition continues, the program – which has delivered thousands of bicycles since its inception – has since expanded to a year-round operation, ensuring kids in need …