ROXBURY, NJ – Struck by the determination of a man who rides a bicycle to work each day on Route 46 in all types of weather, a Roxbury policeman has so far purchased the fellow two replacement bikes.
The generosity of the officer, Roxbury Police Patrolman Silvio Valdes, was heralded today by the police department on social media. Noting Valdes is retiring soon after 25 years on the job, his colleagues praised him for having a “kind heart” and said he will be missed.
According to the department, the bicyclist is a Netcong resident who has been riding through Roxbury to jobs for about three years.
“Valdes watched the gentleman … ride his bike down Route 46 for about a year,” said the police. They said Valdes, one day, stopped the man and asked about his circumstances.
“The man stated he doesn’t have a car and he rides his bike back and forth to work,” the police said. They said the man’s bicycle “was beaten up pretty bad,” so Valdes and Roxbury Police Cpl. Devin Kellar “reached into their pockets” and bought him a used - but far better - set of wheels.
Bad Tires, Bad Brakes, Still Pedaling
The story didn’t end there. Several weeks ago, Valdes again stopped the bicyclist “to find out how things were going,” according to the department. “The man happily let him know that he was able to secure a second job washing dishes,” it noted.
However, the miles put on the vehicle had taken a toll. The police said the bike’s tires were bald and its brakes were rusted.
“The man told Valdes his second job takes him from Netcong to Wharton and then back to Nectong at 1 a.m.,” the police said. “In the rain, sleet, snow and freezing cold weather, he peddles. Never complains, just peddles to make ends meet.”
The man’s bike was so ratty, Valdes decided to buy him yet another, the police said. “This is a picture of him unloading ANOTHER new bike that he purchased for the gentleman,” they said. “The man was very grateful for his gift and thanked him with a hug.”
The police said they “just found out” Valdes wasn’t the first Roxbury policeman to help the man. They said the original bicycle, the one first replaced by Valdes and Kellar, was bought for the man about three years ago by Roxbury Police Cpl. Sean Gaffey.
“Apparently we're fans of buying bikes around here,” the police wrote.