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'Ride It Out' founder donating bikes to people out of work because of the coronavirus

72-year-old man receives bike for birthday
Posted at 6:47 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 19:12:57-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A man in West Palm Beach is donating bicycles to people who recently became unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

For Edward “Billy” Battle, work is like riding a bike.

He says he’s been working at "Clematis by Night" and the West Palm Beach GreenMarket for almost 30 years.

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”I've never missed a day, and those people appreciate me, and I appreciate them,” says Battle with a smile.

Lately he’s had no choice but to commute by bike -- six to seven miles each way.

“I stay all night on the street just to be there to work because it don’t start until 9 a.m.," said Battle.

More recently, the economic strain due to COVID-19 cut off his job and part of his connection to the community.

But Battle’s dedication and positive spirit caught the attention of "Ride It Out" founder Juan Orellana, who was also recently laid off.

Still, Orellana is finding a way to give back.

“You see Billy, and you can always wave and say, 'hi,' to him. He’s an awesome person," said Orellana. "Very positive, always with a smile on his face. Why not make him happier?” says Orellana.

Two weeks ago, Orellana began donating bikes to those recently left jobless due to the coronavirus. One of the bikes donated was a Trek valued at $1,200, which he gave to Battle.

The bike came just in time for his 72nd birthday, which he celebrated earlier this week.

Battle said he’s not as moved by the price tag on the bike as he is by the kindness behind it.

“It’s just a great feeling man, to know you got some really nice people in the world. The world is made up of bad and good, but I happen to be in the mix of some good,” said Battle.