The bike man, ‘Mr T’ starts a charity after losing 100kg through cycling

What's Fresh 16/02/2018

A south Auckland man who turned his life around after losing 100 kilograms by cycling is now encouraging others to get on their bikes.

Teau Aiturau, known to most as 'Mr T', started his own charity which refurbishes bicycles and gives them to people in need.

Today Mr T is a shadow of his former self after tipping the scales at 250 kilograms just a few years ago. 

"I needed to make a change for myself, my family and my community."

Mr T took to cycling after his doctor gave him a bike and he lost more than a third of his weight.

He wanted to pay it forward, and in 2014 started teaching kids' bike safety and maintenance. His efforts only grew from there.

"I also went to the police auction and bought ten bikes for $80 and thought, oh man, that's a bargain - and I just gave them out to whoever."

He now relies on donations, and has refurbished and given away more than 500 bikes out of his tiny shed in Mangere.

"Anyone can just come through the doors man. Come and see us come and talk to us and we'll help you out."

Local man Peter Wildermouth picked up one of the bikes about 18 months ago, and says cycling helped him recover from a lung condition. 

"I could barely walk twenty metres, but that was three years ago."

Mr T has the support of the Auckland City Council, Bike Auckland and now AMI, which donated cycle helmets to give out to the community.

He says he wants to expand his project to the rest of Auckland and would love to offer an after school programme for kids.