‘Jack the Bike Man,’ Legendary Bicycle Advocate, Dies at 81

Jack the Bike Man. Courtesy Facebook/Jack the Bike Man.

Jack the Bike Man died on Friday, July 7 of a sudden heart attack.

Samuel H. “Jack” Hairston founded the nonprofit Jack the Bike Man to educate the community about bicycle use and safety and provide access to bicycles to people who were unable to get their own – since 2007, the nonprofit has given away 32,000 bicycles to Palm Beach County residents in need.

Jack the Bike Man was also a successful used bike shop in West Palm Beach. 

“[He] was an extraordinary individual whose unwavering dedication to our organization and the communities we serve has left an indelible impact,” the nonprofit posted on Facebook.

Palm Beach County SMART Ride teams, including Team Bone, have been going to Hairston for bicycles, repairs, and supplies since the organization was founded in 2007. Hairston's organization boasts many programs, including education programs in elementary schools, basic bike repair classes, and bicycle giveaways. 

"[His] unwavering dedication and the positive impact he made in our community is truly commendable,” said West Palm Beach City Commissioner Christina Lambert said of Hairston. “His tireless efforts to provide bikes to those in need not only transformed lives but also fostered a sense of unity and empowerment. Jack's selflessness serves as a shining example for us all, reminding us of the profound difference one person can make when they channel their passion and compassion towards a greater cause. We will be forever grateful for his invaluable contributions."

Commissioner Lambert is an avid cyclist and participates in the SMART Ride each year. Other local Smart Riders have supported Jack the Bike Man and the services and programs available.

The board of Jack the Bike Man has started a campaign to raise $5 million in Hairston’s honor to ensure the organization moves forward. More information can be seen on the organization's website, jackthebikeman.org.


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