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Don Glasgow: Gears for Good

Don Glasgow’s garage is crowded with bicycles, yet he and his wife hardly ride at all anymore. Tires are being pumped, rust is being removed and brakes are being checked on a daily basis as Glasgow spends dozens of hours fixing bikes of all sizes that he’ll never use. But someone will.

Glasgow, a 77-year-old San Clemente resident, is collecting bikes to donate to the people of El Niño, Mexico. He’s been actively helping the community there for the past five years, originally getting involved through his church. But to say he has made the experience his own would be an understatement.

These days, Glasgow is operating on his own (a non-profit corporation is in the works), having built up such an incredible relationship with the struggling community south of the border that he now makes trips there once or twice a month. He’s assisted with schools, orphanages and building homes, and collected everything from socks and shoes to underwear for donation. Currently, his endeavor is bicycles.

“The bikes are primarily for the kids, whose parents can’t afford to buy them one,” he says. “But the adult bikes are important too, as they can be used as the primary means of transportation.”

Glasgow was inspired to turn his charitable attentions towards bikes after meeting a woman in El Nino whose story struck him. “She told me her husband was offered a job, but had no way to get to and from it, and had to turn it down,” he says. “So the next trip I made down there, I gave the family my bike, and the man was able to take the job and help provide for his family.”

Only a couple of months into the bike drive, Glasgow has already collected nearly 100 bikes, ranging in size, shape, color and age. He refurbishes them and fixes them up as best he can before giving them away.

In addition to supporting the community of El Niño, Glasgow is heavily involved in a number of other charitable efforts, noting that despite being retired, he finds it necessary to remain busy. When he’s not out helping others, Glasgow can once a week be found at San Clemente Municipal Golf Course, where he plays with a group he started years ago.
“The best thing I get out of the game of golf are the incredible people I meet,” he says. “I just want to help people, and if sharing my story can inspire others to do the same, then we’ve accomplished something.” –Julia Pine

If you have a bike to donate to Glasgow’s efforts, or to learn more about his project, contact him at

Past Heroes