For those without a home, a bicycle can be a precious commodity, providing a way to get to work or an appointment, to pick up some groceries or to just feel free.
Knowing this, Cycles 4 Hope keeps the wheels spinning for the region's homeless community.
On the second Saturday of every month, a crew of bike enthusiasts packs up its tools and sets up an efficient mobile bicycle repair shop just north of downtown Sacramento. The volunteers work from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., tackling everything from flat tires to faulty brakes to missing pedals.
The line for help typically forms at dawn. The crew usually gets through 40 or 50 bikes, while turning away a similar number.
"We do everything we can to make it operational," said Shawn Holiday, who works for Intel and started the nonprofit in 2008 through the homeless outreach program at Bayside Church in Granite Bay. "If they come in with no brakes, we at least give them one brake. For so many people, a bike is their primary transportation. It can be critical for them in so many ways."
Cycles 4 Hope also works with churches, nonprofits and businesses such as REI to hold bike drives. Volunteers work at weekly "wrench nights" to repair donated bicycles that are distributed to the needy, including at the monthly repair days. Since 2008, nearly 3,000 bicycles have been given away, Holiday said.
Brian Hayes, 46, is among the many who have been helped. A Chicago native, he traveled 20 years with a carnival setting up rides before moving to Sacramento. In 2008, Hayes had been homeless about a year when he met Holiday, who gave him a bicycle.
The bike enabled Hayes to get to and from jobs working on cars. He and his wife have since moved into subsidized housing and he helps every month at the repair events.
"If it weren't for Shawn and this ministry, I wouldn't be the person I am today," Hayes said on a recent Saturday.
Cycles 4 Hope depends solely on donations. It uses a trailer to carry gear for the repair days, and to deliver bikes to those in need. The trailer is too small to carry all the bikes the program typically needs to deliver.
Supporters are asking Book of Dreams readers to help purchase a larger used trailer that could be used to deliver many more bikes, as well as to expand services to the Roseville area.
NEEDED: Used trailer to deliver bikes for Cycles 4 Hope volunteers, who serve the homeless community.
Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct the name of the organization. It is Cycles 4 Hope.