WHITE LAKE TWP, Mich. (WJBK) - The story of Tony the bike rider is similar to Detroit's Walking Man. But also somehow different.
Jason Kapoor told us Tony's story: Jason was leaving work late Saturday night on M59 when he saw him. Tony was on his bike and going with the flow of traffic.
You remember Saturday, right? Most of the Detroit Metro area got 4"-15" of snow in one day. Temperatures were below freezing and the wind was howling out of the north.
In White Lake, they got more than 9 inches, but there was Tony, pedaling away and going with the flow of traffic. Jason said he knew had to act, not just because of the weather conditions but because of the man's safety.
So he flipped a u-turn, turned his hazards on and asked the man if he wanted a ride.
"I would love a ride," the man with the frozen beard said.
Together, they stuffed his bike into Jason's SUV and got on the road together. Jason asked Tony where he was headed and he said the Meijer in White Lake. It was a 7 mile ride in the snow and wind and frozen temperatures. Tony says he's done this for years.
Tony explains in the car that this is the fifth winter he's been riding his bike to work. Considering the past few winters SE Michigan has experienced, that's quite the feat. So why is he biking to work? He said he has to.
He told Jason that his wife is ill and he can't afford a car; most of their income goes to take care of her.
Jason writes: "He isn't a weirdo, or serial killer. He is just a hard working man, trying to make a living to take care of his wife. If you see Tony riding his bike around 10:30 down M59, try to offer him a ride. You never know, it might save his life." He also urged that anyone in need this winter should get a hand.
Even if you don't live in the Waterford/White Lake area, Jason has set up a way to help out. He started a GoFundMe titled Keep Tony Warm to help Tony buy a car to stay both safe and warm through the winter. He launched it Sunday night and raised more than $9,000 in just a few hours.