AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A group that helps disabled veterans and people with special needs has returned to offering cycling classes after losing specialty bikes in a recent theft.
Adaptive Adventures partnered with Bicycle Village in Aurora on Thursday night to offer spin class to people who need equipment other than upright bikes to participate.
The group provides access to trikes and other specialized equipment for people who have survived strokes, limb amputations and other life-changing injuries.
It was the first class held since thieves broke into a trailer and stole four bikes and other pricey equipment from their Lakewood headquarters.
“How sad that this world would rob from people that need special assistance,” said Orlinda Marquez, a disabled Army veteran who relies on workouts like ones offered by Adaptive Adventures to get out and keep moving.
At Thursday’s class, she rode a replacement bike the group was able to purchase with funds raised since the theft. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $10,000 of the group’s $31,000 fundraising goal.
“It makes me happy inside,” Marquez said, “I’m glad to hear there’s people willing to step up for those of us in need.”
The group initially thought they lost $12,000 of equipment in the theft. Chris Wiegand says it’s the third time thieves have hit the non-profit organization. In the last week, he’s discovered even more items are missing. He hopes to raise enough money to house the equipment in a new area.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Wiegand says, “a lot of people value this as not only therapeutic but lifesaving.”
Since a CBS4 report aired last week, Wiegand says more people than he could have imagined have donated money to help replace stolen equipment.
“We had complete strangers who made very large contributions because they wanted to positively affect the mission and that type of support is absolutely invaluable.”
The donations helped get Marquez cycling again.
“Freedom through mobility is their motto,” Wiegand said, “and when you’re a person with this special needs, that mobility means a world of difference.”