The bicycle meant 'everything' to 16-year-old Gabe and he rode it all the time as it made him feel free and calm.
Everyone has that one item they are attached to and absolutely love, no matter what. It may hold some sentimental value or maybe something that makes them feel happy. One cannot imagine the thought of losing that belonging and it is simply invaluable. For 16-year-old Gabe, it was his beloved custom bicycle. As reported by KHQ, sadly, it was stolen near his home and the boy was heart-wrenched at the loss of his favorite possession. Gabe’s father, Rich, mentioned that the boy has autism and that riding his bicycle was a way for him to “feel free.”
According to Autism Speaks, the condition is characterized by certain disturbances in social, communication and other skills. There may also be repetitive patterns and other symptoms and children diagnosed with autism tend to have a distinct personality and behavior. Gabe’s mother, Brenda, gave away the value the bicycle held for Gabe. She said, “One time, he told me that riding his bicycle is the only time that his brain is quiet and that hit me.” The bicycle was more than a vehicle for Gabe. It was his freedom, his instrument to express and his comfort activity. Though a report was filed and an investigation carried out, the bike remains missing.
Hearing about Gabe’s despairing story, Cherry Hill BMX and Two Wheeler Dealer decided to step in. The director and owner of the two respective companies decided to recreate Gabe’s custom bicycle with the ditto features as his beloved stolen bicycle. Eric Merson and Shane Myr, the good samaritans, understood Gabe’s plight. Moreover, belonging to the bicycle industry, they understood the value the bicycle held for Gabe and acknowledged the same by lending a helping hand. The article reported that the duo personally delivered the same to Gabe shortly.
Empathizing with Gabe, Eric Emerson from BMX said to KHQ, “Bikes are life for so many of our kids that are involved in BMX… and Gabe has it tough enough as is.” Emerson further mentioned the joy of having a passion such as Gabe’s that is away from the tech-overloaded plight of the world. “To see the joy in a kid’s face away from screens and on a bike is something that should never be taken from them. This small act of kindness brings a smile to a kiddo’s face and that’s all that we need,” said Emerson.
While the duo stepped out of their way and were doing their job by making the bicycle, it left a memorable impression on Gabe and his family. His father said, “The random act of kindness was shown to us without us asking or reaching out. It was refreshing to see a world that can be cynical and not always the nicest place to be. It meant a ton to our family and a ton to Gabe." His mum added, “His world is very difficult for him at times. It's just different than it is for us. When he rides, it's freeing to him. It's (as if) all the noises and lights and things that are hard for him are quiet." Indeed, kindness never goes out of style.