June 13th, 2024

Community rallies to replace local veteran’s stolen bike

By Tim Kalinowski on August 7, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski - Local veteran Matthew Cody and best friend Amanda Bauer (left) pick up Cody's newly donated bicycle from Ascent Cycle co-owner Adam Duell and Lily on Friday.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

A local veteran is grateful to his friends and community members after people rallied together to replace his stolen bicycle.
“I bought a bike about a month and a half ago, and just fell in love with biking again,” explains Matthew Cody, who served in Bosnia and suffers from PTSD from his experiences there. “I have been struggling with physical health and mental health for years. I was downtown one day, and I came back outside and my bike was gone. It was going a long way for my physical and mental health, and raising my spirits. I was pretty crushed.”
Despondent, Cody turned to his friend Amanda Bauer for emotional support, who immediately began a fundraising effort to replace his bike.
“Knowing that my best friend has served our country to help people have their freedom,” says Bauer, “it was the least I could do to get money together to get him back on two wheels. Because he needs this. It is his well-being.
“I sent out a mass message to the people close to him, and immediately donations started flowing in. Where people couldn’t donate (cash), they gave me bottles, and I took them back and used all of that money. It took about 10 days to get all the donations in, and he (Cody) was having a real tough day last week, and I kind of forced my way in and said, ‘Matthew, you need to know you are loved. You need to know this community cares about you, and what you are doing is important.’
“So it was really easy to come up with the money because people who know Matthew, love Matthew,” she says.
Another friend of Cody’s also had contacts with the Norco cycling company, who agreed to donate half the value of the high end bicycle up front. Local bike shop Ascent Cycle also provided a further discount to make it easier for Cody to replace the bike.
Bauer confirms there is enough money leftover from the donation drive to also provide Cody with a high quality bicycle lock, making it less likely the cycle will be stolen again.
Cody says the gift of the new replacement bike has made him feel loved and supported by his community.
“It’s really humbling,” he says. “I have been struggling a lot, and not really sharing my story too much. People saw the struggle, and they saw how much joy the bike brought me, and how much it was pulling me out of my shell, and going for my mental health.
“You know what?” Cody adds. “This bike is even better than my last bike because this bike was bought with the love and support of my friends, family and my community. So this bike is even better.”

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