"All right all here is the story. I road to the Dicks Sporting good in San Diego off of Sports Arena Blvd. I put two locks on my bike both to a bike stand. I went in the store. In roughly three to five minutes I went to check on my bike (I had a bad feeling) and it was gone."
Matthew walked back out of Dick's Sporting Goods Store with the clothes on his back and his cellphone. He not only lost his bike, but all his equipment and clothing that he had carried on his cross-country journey!
To recap.....Matthew is an Iraq Veteran who decided (while serving in Iraq) to ride across the United States to raise awareness about veteran suicides. He was in San Diego, California and had stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods Store, the one off Sports Arena Blvd. He needed some gear.
After double-locking his bike to the bike stand he went inside. After being in the store less than 5 minutes, he had a bad feeling, so he went outside to check on his bike only to find it was gone!!
Store personnel were less than helpful and the police department ambivalent.....they took the report and that was about it.
The idea for his biking adventure came back in 2003 when he was active duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army. He never done any long-distance biking prior to this trip.
Matthews' bike was custom made to fit his frame. He started his "Transamerica Ride for Life" in Yorktown, Va. His route would take him all the way to Astoria, Ore. He figured that the ride would take somewhere between 100-120 days to complete as he pedalled over 4,300 miles.
Now Matthew is faced with replacing a bike that retails at $1500 IF you don't customize it. Then there are the paniers he had on his front and rear axles not to mention his gear. Gear that included clothes, food and basic bicycle toolkit and much much more (I am sure).
I can only imagine how destroyed Matthew felt upon walking out of Dick's Sporting Goods to find his bike gone. My son rode his bike from North Dakota to Maine and by the end of the journey that bike represented so much more than just a ride and a means to an end!
Losing his bike was tough, but Matthew refused to give up on his journey. His Facebook page talks about his journey.
As veterans, we need to address the war within us personally that can occur after serving in combat. We need to seek resources, ask for help, reach out, do anything possible not to become a statistic. The impact of suicide does not end once the life is taken. Many others can be affected by and suffer from a suicide. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Act now, don't wait, please follow and help support my cause.
Follow my journey as I cross the U.S. I am not a cyclist and I have probably less than 1,000 miles on a bike. This venture stems from a mere thought that I had while serving in Iraq. When I got home I wanted to do something special. Something that connected me with my country, made me slow down and see the diversity that exists right within this great nation. So, nine years later, here I sit just months away from starting a journey that just years ago seemed like a faded dream. This dream faded into the safety and security that everyday life can bring. As a competitive powerlifter and strongman, getting on a bike for three months straight seemed like a distant thought. Now, here I am… on the verge of an epic journey. My bike, my thoughts, my fears, my gear, and an adventure of a lifetime."
What Matthew needs now is another set of custom wheels, gear and following windss to complete his journey!! His original fundraiser was a buck for every mile he pedaled! Now he needs to see that silver lining of a dark and stormy cloud coming in the form of people stepping forward to help get him back on a new bike.
His journey is about so much more than riding his bike, meeting peope that have changed his life forever........it is about raising awareness of Veteran Suicides!!
You can help!
Please consider making a donation to Ride for Life and the Ride for Life cause: http://www.youcaring.com/other/transamerica-ride-for-life/68118
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