Co-workers come together to raise money for Texas man who bikes 2 hours to work

HOUSTON, Texas -- Rain, sleet or snow, Juan Estrada straps on his safety vest and heads to work.

"I wake up and thank God I get another day of work," he said. "That's why I work so hard."

The journey to get from New Caney to Texas Roadhouse in Kingwood, where Estrada is a busser and dishwasher, isn't an easy one.

The route is a little rugged, and the Mongoose bike he rides doesn't have any brakes.

His co-worker, Bianca Ayala, first noticed something was up when she saw him come to work soaked.

"I was like 'Do you do construction work before work or something like that?' And he said 'No, I biked here.'"

From there, Ayala jumped into action to help her co-worker. She snapped a few photos of Estrada and posted on Twitter, and more than 179,000 retweets later, the donations started rolling in.

More than $10,000 was raised, which is enough to get him a reliable car and insurance.

"I am very blessed," Estrada said. "I really am, because without these people doing this for me, I wouldn't be able to get a vehicle."

Ayala is also surprised by the overflow of generosity. She only recognized two of the donors, meaning the rest were complete strangers.

"It got a lot more attention than I thought," she said. "A lot more."

Estrada's bike-riding days will soon be over, but he plans to keep his work ethic and grateful spirit.

When asked what he'll do with his new ride, with a smile, he said, "Ride a little bit of air-conditioning on there and take my dog for a ride too."

* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.